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“Goya, Carrière and the Ghost of Buñuel” by Spain’s José Luis López Linares clinched the best film prize out of 15 entries in competition at the ARCA Festival of Films on Art. 

Lopez was bestowed the valuable ARCA prize, a bronze sculpture designed and crafted by Uruguay’s preeminent artist Pablo Atchugarry whose foundation is the principal sponsor of the festival. The festival’s second edition ran Jan. 2–7.

Expressing his delight and appreciation for winning the prize, Lopez said in a video message: “The film begins with Goya and ends with Goya through the memories of Carrière who deeply loved Spain and everything Spanish. He had a fantastic collaboration and most of all, a deep friendship with Buñuel.”

In the docu, the late French screenwriter, author and playwright Jean-Claude Carrière, best known as the co-writer of Spain’s foremost surrealist filmmaker Luis Buñuel, reacts in a few deft but penetrating sentences to some of Goya’s greatest works of art, exploring the painter’s personal context, empathy for the humble, seen in his analysis of Goya’s “Summer” (pictured), and status as a revolutionary way ahead of his time, anticipating the rebellion against rationality embodied in surrealism.

Sold by Reservoir Docs, “Goya, Carrière and the Ghost of Buñuel” is produced by France’s Mondex Films and Milonga Productions, Spain’s López-Li Films and Zampa Audiovisual and Portugal’s Fado Filmes.

Goya, Carriere and the Ghost of Bunuel Courtesy of Reservoir Docs

The festival reported a massive turnout once more. “Given that there were only 15 films in competition, we saw an estimated 4,500 attending the screenings, with each free screening reaching a capacity of 70% to 90%, said the festival’s co-executive producer Andres Varela who noted that juror Cesar Charlone had a tough time choosing the winner because of the high quality of the films in contention.

As Charlone commented at the closing ceremony: “The winners are the programmers. I have had to be a juror in several festivals and I don’t remember having participated in one with the level of films that have been offered this week.”

Said festival director Mercedes Sader: “After the success of this second edition, ARCA has become a must-attend event among the cultural artistic offerings of Punta del Este. The MACA museum once again became the perfect setting for an immersive experience in great figures in the history of art and also a chance to rediscover those forgotten artists who have been rescued through these incredible films.”

The new festival comes at a fortuitous time when some changes have taken hold since the beginning of the year. As of Jan. 1, the Uruguayan Film Institute (INCAU) has been transformed into the Uruguayan Film Agency, ACAU (Agencia de Cine y Audiovisual de Uruguay).

According to producer Lucia Gaviglio, president of the Uruguayan Producers Association, Asoprod, ACAU “will operate with a board of directors made up of representatives from the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Industry, the Ministry of Economics, one member from the private sector and its president, Facundo Ponce de Leon.”

“This is the result of a process that started in the middle of last year. Asoprod was closely involved to make sure that the basic regulations that support the production of Uruguayan content are upheld,” she added.

“The main difference with an agency and an institute is that an agency will have more freedom to secure financing from alternative sources, i.e. private investors, aside from state funding,” she pointed out.

Goya, Carriere and the Ghost of Bunuel Courtesy of Reservoir Docs