Latin America LGBTQI+ Panel at San Sebastian: Trends, Hurdles

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09/22/2021

Taking place inside a cool, concrete extension of the San Telmo Museum, a dedicated Basque cultural hub, the challenges facing LGBTQI+ cinema in Latin America was the subject of an industry panel at San Sebastian International Film Festival. Participants included Patra Spanou of the eponymous German sales outfit, which handled sales for the homoerotic feature “El Príncipe;” festival programmer and producer Hebe Tabachnik, producer of “Valentina;” Clarisa Navas, director and scriptwriter of Berlin hit “One in a Thousand,” a lesbian love story set on the working class outskirts of Argentina’s Corrientes; and Gabriela Sandoval, a multi-hyphenate producer and distributor at Chile’s Storyboard Media, head of Sanfic Industria and executive director of the Amor LGBT + Film Festival. Moderator Rolando Salazar of Festival Outfest Peru led the discussion. Spanou spoke about the nuances of reaching distributors. “We deal with arthouse films, and our first concern is with the film and arthouse sector and then it’s with the LGBT story so that you can attract specific distributors,” she says. “There are smaller categories that might take films for video or because they are sexy or because they are supporting these communities.” Tabachnik has been programming festivals for 20 years in the U.S. and Latin America. She executive produced the Brazilian trans film “Valentina,” by Cássio Pereira dos Santos in 2020. “It took seven years to make it but it couldn’t be made today because these films are censored by funds,” she says. “We can see progress but also that we have gone back, especially in Brazil which is a conservative society making financing difficult.”

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