Mar del Plata fest gets serious

Jury led by Spanish helmer Jose Luis Borau

BUENOS AIRES– The new authorities at Argentina’s film institute, Incaa, will launch an uncharacteristically sober Mar del Plata film festival March 8.

For starters, festival authorities have declined to pay the cachets demanded by big-name stars and picked a more cerebral jury in an attempt to break away from the gaudy style of the previous administration.

The jury will be led by respected Spanish helmer Jose Luis Borau and will also include U.S. critic David Bordwell as well as helmers Daniel Burman from Argentina, Russia’s Nikita Mijalkov, Cuba’s Humberto Solas and Fanta Nacro from Burkina Faso.

Mar del Plata is the only Class A fest in Latin America, meaning the competition section includes only films that have not appeared in other festivals and have not screened outside their home country.

Fest will host workshops on subjects ranging from filmmaking and photography in cinema to music in cinema, film preservation and digital technology.

The Mar del Plata fest closes March 17, with the award of the Ombu prizes for best film, director, actor, actress, Ibero-American film and script.

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