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‘Sea’ makes splash at Buenos Aires fest

Gonzalez-Rubio's father-son tale wins for film

Mexico’s “Alamar” (To the Sea) won the award for film in the international competition in the 12th Buenos Aires Intl. Festival of Independent Film (Bafici), Argentina’s biggest fest that closed Sunday.

Pedro Gonzalez-Rubio’s story of a Mayan father’s relationship with his half-Italian son during a trip to the sea also picked up mentions from UNICEF and the Catholic communications association Signis.

Romania’s Corneliu Poromboiu nabbed the director nod for Cannes-laurelled “Police, Adjective.” Film also picked up the actor award for Dragos Bucur’s performance as a doubting cop.

Bustling and smoothly run, the fest offered ample exposure for films making world premieres, including Liao Jiekai’s “Red Dragonflies” (Singapore) and Thomas Fazi and Enrico Parenti’s “Standing Army” (Italy) plus dozens from Argentina and a handful out of Latin America.

“Every year Bafici is becoming even more of a platform for launching films to the world,” said Argentine helmer Delfina Castagnino, who made her world preem with friendship dramady “Lo que mas quiero” (What I Love the Most), which won the prize for Argentinian film in the international competition while its stars, Pilar Gamboa and Maria Villar, shared the actress award. “The buzz that the festival generates is very important for films.”

Sergio Wolf, who ran the fest for a third year, said he will continue to look for fresh fare to consolidate Bafici as a platform for new talent and films.

“A lot of directors and producers are choosing Bafici as a place for launching to the world,” he said. “Bafici aspires to show the films that are coming. This is hard to achieve but it is what the festival is looking to do and it is what people have come to expect.”

As a sign of this, the Cannes Film Festival picked up “Los labios” (The Lips) a docu-fiction tale of three social workers dealing with poverty and ineffective state social policies in small-town Argentina for Un Certain Regard. It is the first time a film in competition at Bafici has made one of the two main competitions at Cannes.

“This breaks a myth that the films that compete in Bafici can’t go to Cannes,” said Wolf.

Among other winners in the international competish, the jury awarded a special prize to Italian Pietro Marcello’s immigrant-transvestite love story “La bocca del lupo” (The Mouth of the Wolf).

In a much-watched competish for Argentine feature, Gonzalo Castro’s “Invernadero” (Winter-House) came out on top.

Ivan Fund and Santiago Loza scooped director honor for “The Lips.”

The cinematography nod went to Sebastian Lingirardi’s “Las pistas — Lanhoyij — Nmitaxanaxac” (The Clues) and the special jury prize went to Mariano Blanco’s skater flick “Somos nosotros” (It’s Us).

“La ultima tierra” (The Final Place), the freshman effort of Paraguay’s Pablo Lamar about an old man’s loss, swept Buenos Aires Lab, the biggest co-production and work-in-progress market in Argentina.

“Los ausentes” (The Absent Ones) won the work-in-progress award for Argentine first-timer Luciana Piantanida.

International Official Selection

Film: “Alamar” by Pedro González-Rubio (Mexico).

Director: Corneliu Poromboiu for “Police, Adjective” (Romania).

Jury’s Special Award: “La bocca del lupo” (The Mouth of the Wolf) by Pietro Marcello (Italy).

Argentine Film: “Lo que mas quiero” (What I Love the Most) by Delfina Castagnino.

Actor: Dragos Bucur for “Police, Adjective” (Romania).

Actress: Shared by Pilar Gamboa and Maria Villar for “Lo que más quiero” (Argentina).

Argentine Official Selection

Film: “Invernadero” (Winter-House) by Gonzalo Castro.

Director: Iván Fund and Santiago Loza for “Los labios” (The Lips).

Jury’s Special Award: “Somos nosotros” by Mariano Blanco.

Cinematography: “Las pistas — Lanhoyij — Nmitaxanaxac” (The Clues) by Sebastián Lingiardi.

Feisal Award (Iberoamerican Federation of Image and Sound Schools)

“Los labios” (The Lips) by Santiago Loza and Iván Fund (Argentina).

Assn. of Argentine Cinematographic Journalists Award

“Los labios” (The Lips) by Santiago Loza and Iván Fund (Argentina).

ADF Award (Argentine Assn. of Cinematography)

Mauro Pinheiro Jr. for “Os famosos e os duendes da morte.”

Signis Award (World Catholic Assn. for Communication

“La bocca del lupo” (The Mouth of the Wolf) by Pietro Marcello (Italy).

Fipresci Award (Intl. Federation of Film Critics)

“Lo que mas quiero” (What I Love the Most) by Delfina Castagnino (Argentina).

Human Rights Competition

“Cuchillo de palo” by Renate Costa (Spain-Paraguay).

Cinema of the Future

“Morrer como un homem” by João Pedro Rodriguez (France-Portugal)

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