BUENOS AIRES — Argentina’s 21st Mar del Plata Film Fest unspools March 9-19 with a strong slate of first features, a coproduction market and celebrity attendees including Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon.
Latin America’s only event accredited by fest org FIAPF as a Category One event opens with Werner Herzog’s deep-space mockumentary “The Wild Blue Yonder,” in official competition. More than 200 films, most without distribution in Argentina, will screen, with at least 10 features making their world preem.
Herzog’s film will compete against 17 titles for the Golden Astor, including two from Argentina: Daniel Burman’s father-and-son drama “Derecho de familia” (Family Law) and Marcelo Pineyro’s job-interview expose “El metodo” (The Method).
For the fourth consecutive year under the direction of Argentinian helmer-scribe Miguel Pereira, event is packed with pics by young filmmakers out of competition.
Nine films will make their world preem in a section of Argentina features, a sign of the growing recognition of the country’s films. Argentinian Teresa Constantini’s “El amor y la ciudad” makes its world preem in a female directors sidebar.
Production in Argentina has risen to a steady 60-70 pics a year this decade from less than half that.
Celebs confirmed to attend and give 30-minute public chats include Michael Winterbottom, Juliette Binoche, Sarandon, Robbins, Abel Ferrara, Paul Morrisey, Krzysztof Zanussi and Ramadan Suleman.
Fest holds its second edition of a film market March 13-16 to promote co-production deals for Latin American projects. Confirmed participants include HBO Latin America and Warner Bros. as well as buyers, distributors and producers from throughout Latin America.
Heads of South American state film orgs will meet to discuss implementing a pan-continental screen quota system for the region like the one already in operation in Argentina and Brazil.