Argentina's biggest festival to focus on young talent

BUENOS AIRES — The 14th Buenos Aires Festival of Independent Film opens April 11 with debut helmer Armando Bo’s local dramedy “El Ultimo Elvis” (The Last Elvis), about an impersonator.

Bo co-wrote “Biutiful” with Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.

Ursula Meier’s Berlin-winning “L’Enfant d’en haut,” a sibling tale set in a Swiss ski resort, will close the country’s biggest festival, and showcase for Latin America, on April 20.

The fest will screen 449 films with a focus on helmers’ first and second features.

The main competition, for international films, includes 15 titles competing for film, director, screenplay and thesp kudos.

Argentina has three world premieres in the lineup: Gabriel Medina’s father and son drama “La Arana vampiro” (The Vampire Spider), Maximiliano Schonfeld’s farm drama “Germania,” and Alejandro Fadel’s “Los Salvajes” (The Wild Ones), which follows a group of kids in the outback.

Others making their world preems include Chilean Elisa Eliash’s seducer tale “Aqui estoy, aqui no” (Here I Am, Here I’m Not); American Zach Weintraub’s “The International Sign for Choking,” about a scriptwriter trying to find himself in Buenos Aires; and “La Casa Emak Bakia” (The Search for Emak Bakia), a documentary by Spaniard Oskar Alegria.

Also in the competition are Australian Justin Kurzel’s serial killer tale “Snowtown,” Chilean Cristian Jimenez’s love story “Bonsai” and U.S.-Canadian co-production “Francine,” directed by Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky, about a woman coming out of prison.

Other entries are Philippine Marlon N. Rivera’s satirical comedy “The Woman in the Septic Tank,” Dutch helmer Sacha Polak with father-daughter story “Hemel,” Israeli Nadav Lapid’s “Policeman,” about a clash between anti-terrorist forces and young rebels, and Serbian Maja Milos’ “Clip,” about a sex-crazed teen.

Rounding out the slate are Valerie Massadian’s childhood story “Nana” and Celine Sciamma’s “Tomboy,” about a girl who changes her identity, both from France.

Fourteen features, most of them world premieres, will compete for film and director in the Argentina competish. Entries include Berlin-screened holiday drama “Salsipuedes” by Mariano Luque, Nadir Medina’s coming-of-age tale “El Espacio entre los dos” (The Space Between Us) and Luis Ortega’s street tale “Dromomanos” (Roamers).

There also is an 19-strong competish for new cinema including the world premiere of “Crazy and Thief,” a childhood adventure tale by American Cory McAbee.

The 9th Buenos Aires Lab, one of the world’s biggest markets for Europeans to find Latin American co-productions, will run April 13-15.

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