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Abner Benaim Plaza Catedral

Festival Predictions

2021 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Abner Benaim’s Plaza Catedral

2021 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: Abner Benaim’s Plaza Catedral

Attempting to guess the less than a dozen titles in Sundance’s World Dramatic comp section is a true crapshoot but seeing that Panamanian filmmaker Abner Benaim‘s last picture Ruben Blades Is Not My Name had it’s world premiere at Sundance’s competing festival SXSW means they are keeping tabs on this project. Benaim signed up the very choosey cinematographer Lorenzo Hagerman (Amat Escalante’s Heli and Rick Alverson’s last two features) and by enlisting the excellent Ilse Salas (featured in The Good Girls – check out our portrait of her in our TIFF studio) he assures that there’ll be interest for all Spanish speaking film territories and beyond. Production took place in August of 2019 on what promises to be a visually evocative shoot. Benaim works in docu as well, meaning Plaza Catedral counts as his third fiction feature as should also have a legit chance at a Berlin slot. Salas is surrounded by Narcos’ Manolo Cardona and the film’s co-lead young non-actor.

Gist: Salas plays a 42-year old grief-stricken woman, Alicia, who has severed her ties with married life and society. Her life is turned upside down when a 14-year old boy, “Chief,” who looks after people’s cars, comes bleeding into her house.

2020 American Film Festival in Poland

Prediction: WORLD CINEMA DRAMATIC COMPETITION

U.S. Distributor: Rights Available.

2020 American Film Festival in Poland

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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