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Mar del Plata: Gustavo Biazzi, Demián Rugna, José Celestino Campusano, Tamae Garateguy in Argentine Competition

Section a mine of world premieres, some by named cineastes

MADRID — The Mar del Plata Film Festival opens on Nov. 17 with its , Argentine Competition, in typical fashion, brimming world premieres: Nine of its 12 entries.

One awaited movie is “The Bums,” the debut feature as a director of Gustavo Biazzi, a cinematographer on Santiago Mitre’s “The Student” and Cannes’ Critics’ Week winner “Paulina” and an affectionate portrait of some friend’s layout summer.

Sold by Aura Films, “Terrified,” a supernatural procedural, will segue from Mar del Plata to a Blood Window screening at Ventana Sur. Winner of a first Argentine Fantastic Genre Film Competition production grant, allotted by the INCAA Argentine Film-TV Institute, it is directed by Demian Rugna, a cult director-producer since 2007’s English-language “The Last Getaway.”

José Celestino Campusano, one of Argentina’s better-known filmmakers and frequent Mar del Plata attendee and winner, presents “The Scourge” – the tale of a Buenos Aires social worker who is pushed to the limits of his professional confidence.

Tamae Garateguy, Argentina’s high priestess of genre, brings the erotic thriller “Until You Untie Me.” Described as a a nightmarish love story between a dancer with nothing to live for and a doctor bearing the burden of a malpractice suit, the film promises to be filled with sex and blood. Garateguy says the film is one “ in which I go back to my usual themes: Death, sex and pain.”

Additional bows will be made by “Pool Sweeper,” from Jorge Leandro Colás, based on the novel “Barrefondo,” in which a pool cleaner faces the daunting reality of class differences, and “I Am Here,” an immigration story set in Buenos Aires and the debut feature of directing duo Juan Manuel Bramuglia and Esteban Tabacznik.

2017’s Argentine Competition also takes in Nicolás Torchinsky’s “The Centaur’s Nostalgia,” a portrait of what survives of Argentine gaucho life, focusing on an elderly couple who, having already shared a lifetime together, converse more with their livestock than each other, outside of reciting familiar couplets from the rural tradition.

Although Manuel Abramovich is one of the competition’s youngest participants, he is among it’s most lauded as well. The director has had films compete at Tribeca, Karlovy Vary and San Sebastian, and before coming to Mar del Plata his latest documentary, “Soldado,” was nominated for both the original documentary award and a Crystal Bear at Berlinale this year as well as a Zabaltegi-Tabakalera Prize at San Sebastian.

Luis Bernárdez returns to Mar del Plata with “The Corroborators,” which received a special mention at the festival’s 2015 works in progress section. Experimental and avant garde filmmaker Ernesto Baca is bringing his homage to the endangerment of celluloid filmmaking “Réquiem para un film olvidado.” Mariano Galperín, whose film “Dulce de Leche,” competed at 2011’s edition of the fest, and Román Podolsky present “Everything I See in Mine,” a look back at the 1918 visit of Marcel Duchamp to Argentina’s captial. Finally, Joaquín Cambre will be competing with his debut feature “A Trip to the Moon,” a coming-of-age tale with an almost dark twist.

The jury for this year’s Argentine Competition is comprised of three members: legendary French filmmaker Bruno Forzani who, along with his wife and directing partner Hélène Cattet, have received numerous international plaudits for films such as “Let the Corpses Tan,” and “The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears,” Korean film critic and author Kim Young-Jin, and Latvian director Laila Pakalnina, who’s films have competed at countless festivals including Locarno – two Golden Leopard nominations for Filmmakers of the Present, Berlinale – Best Short Film nomination for “Udens,” and Cannes – Palme d’or for best short nomination for “Silence.”

The festival runs Nov. 17-26.


“Terrified” (Demián Rugna)

“Pool Sweeper” (Jorge Leandro Colás)

“The Scourge” (José Celestino Campusano)

“I Am Here” (Juan Manuel Bramuglia, Esteban Tabacznik)

“Until You Untie Me” (Tamae Garateguy)

“The Centaur’s Nostalgia” (Nicolás Torchinsky)

“The Corroborators” (Luis Bernárdez)

“The Bums” (Gustavo Biazzi)

“Réquiem para un film olvidado” (Ernesto Baca)

“Soldado” (Manuel Abramovich)

“Everything I See Is Mine” (Mariano Galperín, Román Podolsky)

“A Trip to the Moon” (Joaquín Cambre)

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