San Sebastián City Hall.
San Sebastián City Hall. Photo: Iñigo Ibisate — Pixabay.

Latino cinema shines at the San Sebastián Festival

A new edition of this film festival will take place between Sep. 22 and 30.


Empowering Latino Stories

September 29th, 2023

Keeping His Legacy Alive

September 1st, 2023

Latino Filmmakers in NY

September 1st, 2023

A Story You Can Not Miss

August 17th, 2023

Supporting Latino Creatives

August 11th, 2023

Rising Black Stars

August 10th, 2023

A Latino Hero In Action

August 9th, 2023


El viento que arrasa” (A Ravaging Wind), by Argentinian director Paula Hernández, starring Latin American star Alfredo Castro (“Karnawal,” “El Club”), will be the opening film of the “Horizontes Latinos” section at the 71st edition of the San Sebastian Film Festival.

This segment of the festival shows feature films not yet released in Spain, produced in whole or in part in Latin America, either directed by Latino filmmakers, or that have Latino communities of the world as their backdrop or subject.

In total, "Horizontes Latinos" will present 12 films this year, which are set in Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Brazil.

About the Prize

Variety highlighted some of these productions, which will aspire to the “Premio Horizontes,” which will distribute 35,000 euros ($38,615) for the director of the film and its distribution in Spain.

The Horizontes films that are the first or second works of their directors will also be eligible for the TCM Youth Award, decided by a jury of 150 students.

The Stories

The list of contenders for the 2023 edition includes three films that won prizes at the Latin American Work In Progress initiative in San Sebastián: “El Castillo,” by Argentine director Martín Benchimol; “Estranho Caminho,” by the Brazilian Guto Parente; and “Alemania,” by the Argentinian María Zanetti, who was awarded at the festival's 2022 Europe-Latin America Co-Production Forum.

Pedágio” (Toll), by Carolina Markowicz, whose producers include the Brazilian giant Globo Filmes, will close the section, one of the greatest examples of San Sebastián's long-term commitment to Latin American cinema.

Horizontes Latinos Competition Titles 2023

1. “El viento que arrasa,” Paula Hernández, Argentina-Uruguay

Chilean star Alfredo Castro, Spain’s Sergi López (“Pan’s Labyrinth”) and Almudena González (“Argentina, 1985”) topline the cinematic adaptation of Selva Amada’s admired novel, a tale of a preacher and his daughter whose car breaks down during their latest mission to spread the gospel. Produced by Cimarrón and Argentina’s Rizoma and Tarea Fina (“Incident Light”). 

It marks the second presence in Horizontes of a Hernández film after 2019's "The Sleepwalkers."

2. “Pedágio,” Carolina Markowicz, Brazil-Portugal

A Globo Filmes and Bionica Filmes production, it follows a highway toll worker, desperate because his son is gay and willing to do anything to change his condition.

It represents Markowicz's return to the section after assisting last year with “Charcoal.” Paris-based Luxbox is the distributor.

3. “Alemania,” María Zanetti, Argentina-Spain

A co-production by Argentina’s Juan Pablo Miller at Tarea Fina with Madrid-based Solita Films’ José Alenda, winner of the ArteKino International Award at San Sebastian’s Europe-Latin America Co-Production Forum in 2021. It focuses on the character of a teen whose family life is racked by her sister’s mental disorder. Meikincine sells.

4. “Blondi,” Dolores Fonzi, Argentina-Spain-U.S.

The feature debut of Argentina’s Dolores Fonzi, star of Santiago Mitre’s Cannes Critics’ Week winner “Paulina.” A coming of age of a 40-something mother and her son, led by Fonzi, Leonardo Sbaraglia (“The Accused”) and Rita Cortese (“Wild Tales”). Film Factory Entertainment sells the film, licensed by Prime Video for VOD in the U.S. and Latin America. 

5. “Clara se pierde en el bosque” (Clara Gets Lost in the Woods), Camila Fabbri, Argentina

Argentine writer-actress Fabbri’s directorial debut, a portrait of a woman confronted with a traumatic occurrence from her past.

6. “El castillo” (The Castle), Martín Benchimol, Argentina-France-Spain

El primer largometraje dirigido en solitario de Benchimol, una producción de Gema Films adquirida por Luxbox, cuenta la historia real de un ama de llaves que hereda un castillo en medio de la pampa argentina de su antiguo empleador. Un estreno de Panorama de la Berlinale.

7. “El eco” (The Echo), Tatiana Huezo, Mexico-Germany 

Benchimol’s first solo-directing feature, a Gema Films production picked up by Luxbox, tells the true story of a housekeeper who inherits a castle in the middle of the Argentine pampas from her former employer. A Berlinale’s Panorama premiere. Its worldwide sales rights are handled by Mubi's The Match Factory.

Born in El Salvador and residing in Mexico, she was included in the retrospective 4+1: Contemporary Mexican Cinema with "The Tiniest Place" in 2011, and winner of the Horizontes Award in 2021 with "Prayers for the Stolen.”

8. “Heróico” (Heroic), David Zonana, Mexico

A Sundance World Cinema Dramatic and Berlinale Panorama player, sold by Goodfellas, marking Zonana’s follow-up to San Sebastian 2019’s contender “Workforce.” An anti-military authority drama turning on a teen who enrols in a military academy looking for a better future. 

9. “Los impactados,” Lucía Puenzo, Argentina

Fifth film by Cannes, Berlin and Tribeca competitor Puenzo, now also forging a successful career as a TV showruuner, as on “La Jauría.” The film follows the steps of a lightning-strike victim, toplining Chilean actress Mariana Di Girolamo, star of Pablo Larrain’s “Ema.”

10. “Los colonos” (The Settlers), Felipe Gálvez, Chile-Argentina-U.K.-Taiwan-France-Denmark-Sweden 

How Chile’s South was won: A 1900 Patagonia-set Western detailing the slaughter of Mapuches, or their incorporation into a myth of civilisation.  Produced by Chilean Giancarlo Nasi’s Quijote Films, sold by MK2 Films, playing at Cannes’ Un Certain Regard, winning a Fipresci Prize.

11. “Estranho Caminho” (A Strange Path), Guto Parente, Brazil

Set up at Brazil’s Tardo Filmes, Parente’s tenth feature won the Projeto Paradiso First Prize in the WIP Latam section and was multi-awarded at Tribeca. It follows a filmmaker who reconnects with his father during the forced lockdown of the pandemic.

12. “Tótem,” Lila Avilés, Mexico

Avilés, whose feature debut “The Chambermaid” screened at San Sebastian’s New Directors in 2018, tells this time a choral film about life, focusing on a 7-year-old girl who looks on as her family foundations crumble.


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