BUENOS AIRES — The 10th Buenos Aires Intl. Festival of Independent Film wrapped April 20 with the crowning of Mexico’s “Intimidades de Shakespeare y Victor Hugo” for best film and the screening of French helmer Christophe Honore’s musical “Love Songs.”
Directed by newcomer Yulene Olaizola, “Intimidades de Shakespeare y Victor Hugo” (Intimacies of Shakespeare and Victor Hugo), a docu about a grandmother who recounts her days with a murderous lodger, also was the audience’s favorite foreign pic.
Lance Hammer nabbed director kudos for his rookie suicide drama “Ballast,” which also scored the critics’ Fipresci and the Catholic communications association Signis awards.
Actor prize went to Taiwan’s Lee Kang-sheng for his role in the erotic drama “Help Me Eros,” his sophomore directing effort.
Liu Dan scooped the actress nod for her performance in “Night Train,” a dark thriller from Chinese helmer Diao Yinan that also won the jury special prize.
The jury awarded a special mention to American John Gianvito’s history doc “Profit Motive and the Whispering Wind” — also a human-rights award winner — and another to closed community-set “Una semana solos” by Argentine Celina Murga. Mexican road adventure “Cochochi,” by the duo Israel Cardenas and Laura Amelia Guzman, earned a special mention from the jury and Signis.
In a much-watched competish for homegrown features, Alejo Hoijman’s “Unidad 25” (Unit 25), a docu about an evangelical prison, took best film, while Gonzalo Castro scooped the director nod for literary drama “Resfriada” (She, With a Cold).
The jury special prize went to “Historias extraordinarias” (Extraordinary Stories), a four-hour, multilayered adventure and suspense drama directed by Mariano Llinas that also scored the aud nod for local film. The jury awarded a special mention to “Suden,” a political thriller about Argentine composer Mauricio Kagel returning to his homeland after 35 years. Directed by Gaston Solnicki, it also drew the top film nod from the Argentine Film Journalists Assn.
With better organization and an expansion of venues, fest saw attendance surge, with ticket sales rising 63% to 170,000 from the previous edition.
Bafici, as the fest is known, is the country’s biggest in number of titles and second in international importance to Mar del Plata’s FIAPF category “A” event. It has become a hot spot for co-producers, buyers and distributors to see the latest out of Argentina, a leading production market in Latin America.
“The festival is a meeting place for Latin American cinema,” helmer-scribe-programmer Sergio Wolf, who ran the event for the first time, told Daily Variety. “It is a place to see the filmmakers of tomorrow and we want to sustain this.”
And the winners are:
FILM: “Intimidades de Shakespeare y Victor Hugo,” Yulene Olaizola, Mexico
DIRECTOR: Lance Hammer, “Ballast,” U.S.
ACTOR: Lee Kang-sheng, “Help Me Eros,” Taiwan
ACTRESS: Liu Dan, “Night Train,” China
JURY SPECIAL PRIZE: “Night Train,” Diao Yinan
SPECIAL MENTION: “Profit Motive and the Whispering Wind,” John Gianvito, U.S.
SPECIAL MENTION: “Una semana solos,” Celina Murga, Argentina
SPECIAL MENTION: “Cochochi,” Israel Cardenas and Laura Amelia Guzman, Mexico
FILM: “Unidad 25,” Alejo Hoijman
DIRECTOR: Gonzalo Castro, “Resfriada”
JURY SPECIAL PRIZE: “Historias extraordinarias,” Mariano Llinas
SPECIAL MENTION: “Suden,” Gaston Solnicki
AUDIENCE AWARD FOR FEATURES:
FOREIGN: “Intimidades de Shakespeare y Victor Hugo”
ARGENTINA: “Historias extraordinarias”
SHORT: “El contrabajo” (The Contrabass), Alejo Franzetti
SHORT: “Ahendu nde sapukai” (I Hear Your Scream), Pablo Lama
SHORT: “Fedra o la desesperacion” (Fedra or the Despair), Gustavo Galuppo
CINEMA OF THE FUTURE AWARD:
FILM: “Llavallol,” Grupo Tierra en Trance, Argentina
HUMAN RIGHTS AWARD:
FILM: “Mi vida dentro” (My Life Inside), Lucia Gaja, Mexico
FILM: “Profit Motive and the Whispering Wind”
SIGNIS AWARD FOR FEATURE:
SPECIAL MENTION: “Correction,” Thanos Anastopoulos, Greece
SPECIAL MENTION: “Cochochi”
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Jing Song Dong, “Night Train”
SPECIAL MENTION: Peng Jung Liao, “Help Me Eros”
ARGENTINE FILM JOURNALISTS ASSN. AWARD FOR ARGENTINEAN FEATURE:
SPECIAL MENTION: “Construccion de una ciudad,” Nestor Frenkel