This story begins with a family scene. Location: her grandparents' house in Córdoba. Every weekend, while the adults carried on the sacred ritual of napping, a six or seven year-old girl watched classic films on TV. "Love was born there", says Cecilia Barrionuevo, the new artistic director of the Mar del Plata Film Festival –and the first woman ever in that position.
She has been working for the Festival for the past ten years. A Social Communication major from the University of Córdoba (UNC), she has an MA in Creative Documentary from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), and won the Leo Dratfield Professional Development Fellowship to participate in the Flaherty Film Seminar, New York, USA. A co-editor of the Las Naves Cine collection, she participated in renowned international film festivals as a juror and was a guest programmer in film institutions like La Casa Encendida in Madrid, Tabakalera - Centro de Cultura Contemporánea, the Uruguay International Film Festival, and the Film Society of the Lincoln Center in New York.
"If I think about my life I can't separate it from cinema," says Barrionuevo. "Each place I've visited connects me to cinema, many of the people around me whom I love are relate to this environment; my thoughts, my joy, and my sorrows all are mostly linked to this job we dedicate our lives to," she adds.
Regarding this edition, the director highlights the new status of the Altered States section as an Official Competitions, as well as the expansion of the Work in Progress program to include projects from Latin America: “Our Festival, the only one with an A Class in Latin America, will give these films a place where they will be shown to programmers from the all over the world. This is made possible by the professionalism of the people who work in the different areas of the Festival."
"In this edition we chose films that renew genres with innovative and audacious proposals", says Barrionuevo, as she explains that the programming team formed by Marcelo Alderete, Pablo Conde, Paola Buontempo, and Francisco Pérez Laguna have achieved a balance between film tradition and innovation, continuing the work they have been doing for years. "We are confident that this edition is more consistent, organic and bold," she adds.
The Festival has always supported new voices, both among people who make films and those who watch it. This year, together with the Film Criticism program of Universidad del Cine, Barrionuevo and her team have organized the First Young Film Criticism Workshop, whose participants will choose the Best International First Film. Also, she points out, "for the first time the Festival will organize a Forum of Film and Gender Perspective that will contribute to equality in the different areas of filmmaking."