×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Buenos Aires’ Passion for the Bigscreen

Indie fest spotlights local pic preems for cinema lovers

Buenos Aires is a city with a passion for cinema: It has 12,000 film students, for example, and the Buenos Aires Intl. Independent Film Festival — Bafici for short — attracted 350,000 people last year, up 15% on the previous edition.
Artistic director Marcelo Panozzo, who took over the reins last May, points out that while the Internet has increased the awareness of independent cinema among Argentine auds, these films do not, by and large, get distribution in theaters: The fest is the only place where they can be seen on a bigscreen.

The vibe of the fest, which runs April 10-21, can be summed up in one word, says Panozzo: Curiosity. “It’s the word that best defines the excitement that forms around the programming’s announcement,” he says.

But what makes the fest a must-attend? “First and foremost, that the majority of important Argentinean films from the past 15 years originated in Bafici. Second, we screen 450 films, and in that selection there are films for everyone’s taste. It’s a must for those who want to see the premieres and discover the new talents of the region’s cinema. Finally, Buenos Aires is a lovely city in April.”

Including Hawaii from Marco Berger (Plan B, Absent) and the Lucia Puenzo-produced Bomb, the majority of the local films screening are world premieres or have been little seen abroad, such as Leonardo Brzezicki’s Night.

“The best thing about Bafici is that it allows a snapshot of the current state of Argentine cinema,” Panozzo says.

Among changes this year is a redo for the second international competition, previously called Cinema of the Future, now renamed Avant Garde & Genre, with a character distinct from the main section unlike its predecessor.

“In both experimental and genre film (and hybrids), interesting things are happening, that festivals tend to program at the margins, but we wanted to push those films to center-stage,” he says.
The fest is also being streamlined, eliminating many sub-sections and focuses, Panozzo says.

Aside from the festival itself, Panozzo would also like to see screenings of the films at other times of the year. “It’s necessary that festivals are not a 10-day oasis in the middle of the desert, that they collaborate in the most active ways possible, so that their cities’ screens are as diverse as possible.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • 1982 El Gouna Festival

    Egypt's El Gouna Film Festival Puts Arab Helmers at Center Stage

    The upbeat state of Arab cinema will be on the screen and in the balmy air at Egypt’s El Gouna Film Festival (Sept. 19-27), which is steadily gaining traction in its stated ambition to become a key platform and solid driver for Middle-East producers. “This year was one the best for Arab cinema,” says Intishal [...]

  • Star Skipper Paramount Animation

    Meet Star Skipper, Paramount Animation's Magical New Trademark Logo Character

    Studio logos are powerful signals to audiences.  Multiple generations of moviegoers flipping through channels or scanning streaming titles have frozen at the sight of a desk lamp hopping across the screen, because it means a Pixar movie is about to play. Likewise, when a young boy lounging inside a crescent moon casts his fishing line into [...]

  • Sybil

    Cannes Competition Movie 'Sibyl' Finds North American Home With Music Box (EXCLUSIVE)

    Music Box Films has acquired the U.S. and Canadian rights to Justine Triet’s darkly comic drama “Sibyl,” which competed at Cannes and had its North American premiere at Toronto in the Special Presentation section. Represented in international markets by mk2, the film follows the ambiguous relationship between Sibyl, a jaded psychotherapist (Virginie Efira, “An Impossible [...]

  • Kent Jones Directs 'Diane'

    Kent Jones to Exit New York Film Festival (EXCLUSIVE)

    In a surprise move, New York Film Festival’s director and selection committee chair of seven years Kent Jones will step down following this year’s 57th edition, which runs Sept. 27-Oct. 13. The departure comes as Jones’ feature filmmaking career is taking off. Issues of potential conflicts of interest have arisen as his work has moved [...]

  • Ava-Mark-Split

    Ava DuVernay, Mark Ruffalo Selected for SAG-AFTRA Foundation Honors

    Ava DuVernay and Mark Ruffalo have been selected by the SAG-AFTRA Foundation for its fourth Annual Patron of the Artists Awards. The awards will be presented on Nov. 7 at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills. The show benefits the nonprofit SAG-AFTRA Foundation and is not televised. Previous SAG-AFTRA Foundation Patron of the [...]

  • Wes Anderson

    Fox Searchlight Buys Wes Anderson's 'The French Dispatch'

    Fox Searchlight Pictures has acquired worldwide rights to Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch,” extending the indie studio’s long collaboration with the filmmaker. The company has released four of Anderson’s films, including his two most recent pictures, “Isle of Dogs” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” “The French Dispatch” is described as “a love letter to journalists” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content