The Opening Ceremony was held in an environment filled with emotions. A packed Astor Piazzolla Room, in Teatro Auditorium, welcomed this new beginning of the Film Party. Broadcasted live by INCAA TV and Televisión Pública, the ceremony was in tune with this remarkable edition.
The band Cuatro vientos filled the room with music. Accompanied by the audience rhythm, they set the ideal atmosphere for an excellent opening. Then, four screens appeared where images were screened during the entire event. With great enthusiasm, Gabriela Radice hosted the first night of the Festival.
Gustavo Pulti, the Town Mayor, gave the welcoming words: "With joy and a lot of expectations we receive this new edition”, he said before anticipating packed theatres with neighbors and people from all over the world, as a result of "open and honest access to culture”.
Next, Jorge Telerman, the President of the Instituto Cultural de la Provincia de Buenos Aires, expressed he was "truly honored to be part of the Festival”, an event that belongs not only to people from Mar del Plata but "to everybody”.
Then it was Lucrecia Cardoso’s turn to speak. The President of INCAA was deeply rejoiced for the making of this edition, and she backed with figures "the great moment our cinematographic industry is going through”. With 17 films in the three competitions, she expressed that "cinema grows in a country that grows”.
In tune with Telerman’s speech, a distinction was given to ENERC for its 50° anniversary. Its dean, Pablo Rovito, accompanied by Santiago Loza, Vanessa Ragone and Fernando Martín Peña, the Festival’s Artistic Director –all of them former students of the school– received a plate in order to also celebrate the opening of two new schools in Jujuy and Formosa.
Only one person could outreach the previous round of applause. That person was Martínez Suárez. After a moving tribute with screenings of Los muchachos de antes no usaban arsénico, Los chantas, Noches sin lunas ni soles, El crack and Dar la cara, and which ended with the words, "Thank you, maestro”, the audience gave a standing ovation to our dear President of the Festival.
Deeply moved, José delivered an unusually long speech: "You already know me for my suit, because I ware it for the Opening and Closing ceremonies, and for my shawl. I recently received an e-mail from the tie union saying they know where I live and the bar I go to every day”. After the audience’s laughs, José promised "the best Festival ever”. It certainly will be.
Afterwards, Radice introduced the juries of the four Competitions. The audience gave a warm round of applause to the renowned exponents of the seventh art, who will have the difficult task of awarding the prestigious Astors.
Fernando Martín Peña and José Martínez Suárez went back to the stage to present the final touch of the ceremony: Arnaud Desplechin, who was very pleased to be there even though he is not "a speaker but a filmmaker”. The French director said he was "honored, proud and humbled” with the audience "who will have the kindness of watching my film”.
The exact word uttered by Desplechin was "gratitude”, the same feeling an entire country experiences for being part of the biggest cinematographic event of the year. Everything is ready for us to live an excellent Festival. Now, let’s enjoy it!