×

Buenos Aires Festival Spolights Local Pics

Indie fest shines light on local 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 FestivalBafici 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.

Popular on Variety

“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.”

More Film

  • Warner Bros. Pictures trailer launch event

    Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jon M. Chu Tease 'In the Heights' Movie

    Lin-Manuel Miranda, director Jon M. Chu and star Anthony Ramos took the train to the top of the world to offer a sneak peek of “In the Heights,” Warner Bros.’ big-screen adaptation of Miranda’s (other) hit musical. “I’m thrilled we’re here, and I’m thrilled we’re uptown,” Miranda rhapsodized to a packed crowd at a cozy [...]

  • One for the Road

    Wong Kar-wai to Produce 'Bad Genius' Director’s 'One For The Road'

    Wong Kar-wai is producing “One For The Road,” a new film that reunites the director and star of 2017 Thai hit “Bad Genius.” Production in New York and Thailand will begin by the end of the year. The film is a buddy drama and a road movie that sees two old friends who have been [...]

  • Jesse Eisenberg

    Film News Roundup: Jesse Eisenberg to Star in Indie Thriller 'Wild Indian' (EXCLUSIVE)

    In today’s film news roundup, Jesse Eisenberg is starring and exec producing “Wild Indian”; Jason Bateman is directing “Shut In”; “Saturday Night Live” veteran Paula Pell is honored; and the Palm Springs Film Festival sets its opening and closing films. CASTING Jesse Eisenberg is starring in and executive producing the independent thriller “Wild Indian,” Variety [...]

  • disney d23

    Top 19 Media Trends of 2019: Disney's Box Office Dominance

    The domestic box office market share over the last 12 years provides a sobering reminder of how important franchises are to studio performance, especially for Disney. Although the 2019 box office looks to be falling short of the previous year’s total, Disney is ending the decade on the highest possible note, becoming the first studio ever [...]

  • Pierce Brosnan Cinderella

    Pierce Brosnan to Play the King in Camila Cabello's 'Cinderella'

    Pierce Brosnan will play the king opposite Camila Cabello in writer-director Kay Cannon’s new telling of “Cinderella” for Sony Pictures. Billy Porter, Idina Menzel and Nicholas Galitzine are also confirmed to star in the film, which will be released in theaters Feb. 5, 2021. Cabello, a multi-platinum selling and Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter, will be integrally involved [...]

  • John Boyega

    John Boyega: 'Star Wars' Fandom Conflict Is 'The Most Stupid Thing in the World'

    Unlike his “Star Wars” compatriots Daisy Ridley and Oscar Isaac, John Boyega enjoys a robust presence on social media, with nearly 1.5 million followers on Twitter and over 1.6 million followers on Instagram. He regularly engages with fans, and posts inside looks at his life inside the “Star Wars” media maelstrom. It’s meant that Boyega [...]

  • Yahya Abdul-Mateen II

    'Watchmen' Star Yahya Abdul-Mateen II Says He Would Consider Playing Superman

    Those who are caught up on “Watchmen” know Yahya Abdul-Mateen II knows how to strike the balance between understated and omnipotent. He’s also no stranger to playing superheroes, as Aquaman’s nemesis Black Manta in the DC Universe. But asked whether he would consider taking on another DC Extended Universe role — Superman — Abdul-Mateen told [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content