The best of recent Argentine cinema will be present at the 30° Edition of the Mar del Plata International Film Festival, in tune with the particularly fertile moment our audiovisual production is going through.
Evidence of this is the huge number of national feature films in the three Festival’s main competitions, a total of 17, among which there are films by new and renowned directors, international premiers and films that have already been acclaimed abroad.
Another 11 films will be part of an additional section, Argentine Panorama, which are also evidence of that richness and diversity.
But there is more. There are more Argentine feature films in the Midnight Screamings section, a place where traditional genres are reanalyzed and reinterpreted; in Sea of Kids, for the youngest ones; in Altered States, with films that use very personal means of expression.
And there are also short films. Short films in competitions but also in the panorama section, already premiered at international festivals. In addition, a section with films in progress, with another 17 films we hope to see finished in future editions. Also, for the first time this year, the Lobolab, to encourage the development of projects in coproduction with other countries.
What the world’s most important festivals do best is to represent an estate of affairs. Thus, this year the Mar del Plata Film Festival offers more than 400 films: to show the state of cinema around the word at present. Likewise, the over 100 Argentine films (short, feature films and wips) that will be screened in this edition represent the amount and variety of films being made in our country at the moment.
Argentine Feature Films in Competition
La luz incidente, by Ariel Rotter
Mecánica popular, by Alejandro Agresti
Eva no duerme, by Pablo Agüero - Argentina/France/Uruguay
Latin American Competition
Samuray-s, by Raúl Perrone
Lo que nunca nos dijimos, by Sebastián Sánchez Amunátegui - Mexico/Argentina
El arrullo de la araña, by José Celestino Campusano
Camino a la paz, by Francisco Varone
Como funcionan casi todas las cosas, by Fernando Salem
Los cuerpos dóciles, by Matías Scarvaci and Diego Gachassin
Hijos nuestros, by Juan Fernández Gebauer and Nicolás Suárez
Hortensia, by Diego Lublinsky abd Álvaro Urtizberea
Kryptonita, by Nicanor Loreti
El movimiento, by Benjamín Naishtat
Paula, by Eugenio Canevari
Pequeño diccionario ilustrado de la electricidad, by Gustavo Galuppo and Carolina Rimini
Los pibes, by Jorge Leandro Colás
TRIBUTES AND RETROSPECTIVES
To every man in the world…
This phrase was the idea taken by the Festival to organize this year’s tributes and retrospectives on Argentine cinema. The filmmakers we will revisit this year are foreigners who developed most of their careers in Argentina (Amadori, Borcosque, Pappier, Ríos) or who found refuge and work here during fascism in Europe (Pierre Chenal) or anticommunism in United States (Richard Wright).
It is worth mentioning that this year INCAA has made a huge effort for the recovery of Argentine audiovisual heritage, since a great number of the films belonging to the retrospectives have been recovered for that end, in many cases in 35mm copies, which will guarantee their long-run preservation. In tune with this effort, work is being done on the digitalization of many of these films to make them available to the audience in the best possible conditions, either through INCAA TV or through the digital editions promoted by INCAA.
Retrospective of Ralph Pappier (1914 – 1998)
Artistic director and filmmaker. Born in China and of French descent. Since the 1930s he started developing his professional career in Argentina. He introduced setting special effects in Argentine cinema, first in Pampa studios and later on with a specialized department in San Miguel Studios.
Retrospective of Pierre Chenal in Latin America (1904 – 1990)
French director who took refuge in Argentina during World War II. He was one of the most prominent French filmmakers of the 1930s, best known for film noir thrillers. He was the first to take James Cain’s celebrated novel The Postman Always Rings Twiceto the big screen, at a time when censorship banned it in his native country.
In Argentina he directed A Real Man, The Corpse Breaks a Date, Se abre el abismo, Viaje sin regreso, Native Son and Sección desaparecidos, and in Chile he made El ídolo. The retrospective will include all of these films, and it will be the first time his entire Latin American work will be exhibited. This was possible thanks to the contribution of Cinemateca de Chile and Library of Congress, through which his film Native Son will be repatriated.
Native Son -1950- by Chenal is the Festival’s most important recovery. It is based on a novel by Richard Wright, a ground-breaking author on the vindication of racial rights in the United States. His novel Native Sonis now a central piece of 20th Century American literature. It was adapted into a theatre play by Orson Welles, and that version was a huge success in Argentina directed by Narciso Ibáñez Menta. In times of anticommunist black lists, Wright was not able to make the cinematographic adaptation of his book in his country and so he was invited to Argentina by Chenal, Agentina SONO Film and Uruguayan producer Jaime Prades. That is how something exceptional was produced: an Argentine film spoken in English, shot in Martínez, but set in Chicago. American censorship forbade the exhibition of Native Son in its full version and the film disappeared for decades. It was restored by the Library of Congress, with the contribution of Argentine anthropologist Edgardo Krebs and Fernando Martín Peña. The restoration was exhibited at the New York Film Festival, held at Lincoln Center. In Argentina it will be exhibited in Mar del Plata for the first time after its premiere back in 1951. This event is possible thanks to the gentle collaboration of ARGENTINA SONO FILM.
Tribute to Carlos Borcosque (1894-1965)
Chilean filmmaker, Borcosque worked in Hollywood and had a vast career in Argentina. The only existing copy of Pobres habrá siempre will be screened, his most personal film, banned by Raúl Apold for being "not sufficiently Peronist” and then by the Liberating Revolution for being "too Peronist”.
Tribute to Luis César Amadori (1903 – 1977)
Born in Italy, he was "The Director of Acclaimed Hits” in Argentina and later on he continued his career in Spain, chased by anti-Peronism. The Festival will screen two of his best Argentine films: Madreselva and Maestro Levita.
Tribute to Humberto Ríos (1929-2014)
Born in Bolivia, member of the generation of activist filmmakers of the 1960s, Humberto Ríos studied in IDHEC (Institute for Advanced Cinematographic Studies) in Paris and directed iconic films such as Faena and Eloy. The intention is to screen the latter, together with his medium-length film Esta Voz entre Muchas, which in 1979 was the first film ever to document the testimony of an activist who managed to escape the clandestine camps under Argentine dictatorship.
Program of audiovisual heritage recovery
Argentine Cinema Forever III – with INCAATV
Fourteen Argentine films restored in 35mm, thanks to the combined effort of public and private archives.
Ever onward to memory
A preview of the digitalization process of Fernando Birri’s, Raymundo Gleyzer’s and Gerardo Vallejo’s complete filmography will be screened, a work that includes research and localization of films scattered in different places, and digital correction of the most politically committed material. As part of this project, books on Vallejo and Gleyzer are being prepared.
A compilation of animated short films produced in Argentina since the silent period until Manuel García Ferré. In most cases, the films were lost. The initiative is done in collaboration with the Museum of Cinema. As part of this section, there will be a program dedicated to the films of Víctor Iturralde, film critic, historian and popularizer of films for kids, very didactic and important for several generations. His work is made up mostly of experimental films, hand drawing in celluloid and a documentary –Crónica en Maciel- about an avant-garde educational experience that took place in the late 1950s in Maciel Island.