And the end came. The great film party had an exceptional closing ceremony at Astor Piazzolla Room in Teatro Auditorium. We experienced nine days of pure audiovisual art, celebrating magic and emotions with its creators. Over 400 films and 120.000 spectators are proof of the excellent impact of this 30° Edition of the Mar del Plata International Film Festival.
The closing ceremony started with a jazz show by Los cuatro vientos, who played classic soundtracks of Hollywood films from the Golden Age. Hosted by Gabriela Radicce, the President of INCAA, Lucrecia Cardoso, and the Secretary of Culture, Teresa Parodi, were present, and they both stressed the transformation of the media occurred during the past 12 years.
"I love being here”, assured Parodi, "cinema is building identity: the camera reveals culture. As Leonardo Favio used to say, our aim is to bear witness of history, to become memory. The Festival offers quality and transcendence, fostered by state policies that repatriate talent. I celebrate this final day and I thank the Festival for enriching our lives with this art.”
Thus, the award ceremony began, filled with touching moments, like the DAC award to Diego Gachassin and Matías Scarvaci, directors of Docile Bodies, who also received a Special Mention of the Jury of the Argentine Competition.
Then, the first Alfredo Alcón Award for Best Performance of the year was given. The award was for actor and comedian Guillermo Francella, who was honored to receive a prize named after one of his main referents, who would also become a college and friend of the protagonist of The Clan.
Later on, the winners for best trailer, poster and essay went up to the stage, and the Audience Award was announced: the film Remember, by Atom Egoyan. The director could not be present at the ceremony, but he sent a message through Pablo Conde: "Being in Argentina and winning this award is a dream come true, I never thought I’d receive such a warm reception”.
After that, the LoboLab awards were given. The Special Mention of the Jury was for Antawara -Bolivia-, by Carlos Piñeiro, produced by Juan Pablo Piñeiro. For the perspective offered by this project and its team, faithful to its place of origin and filled with an originality that cuts through its structure, as also the way of working for this type of independent cinema.
The Second LoboLab Award was for Pólvora en el corazón -Guatemala/Mexico-, by Camilia Urrutia, produced by Inés Nofuentes, for the original idea and the courage of its director, the jury wanted to give her the possibility to travel in order for the project to find every opportunity to connect and open up to the world.
Last, the First LoboLab Award was for Los Colonos –Chile-, by Felipe Gálvez, produced by Dominga Sotomayor and Matías Hernández. For its strength and quality, because it has a promising director and a talented production company, and because this award will enable the development of a project that will certainly get far.
And then came the turn of the official awards. Pablo Caimatí’s speech, winner of the award for Best Director of an Argentine Short Film for Gomorra, was very touching: "I want to keep on doing this”, he stated. The award for Best Argentine Short Film was to Fantástico, by Tomás Sposato. "I’ve been coming here for the past 12 years as spectator. Receiving an award is too much”.
Then, Fernando Salem, who received the award for Best Director of the Argentine Competition for How Most Things Work, shared the acknowledgement with his technical crew: "I only directed an excellent team”.
The Best Feature Film of the Argentine Competition was El movimiento, directed by Benjamín Naishtat, who was not present; the award was received by its producer, Federico Eibuszyc, who said that if the film had had such a great impact was due to the fact that "Benjamín did what he wanted and we all let him”.
The Latin American Competition had two winners. The award for Best Short Film went to Natural Arpajou for Princesas. "I’ll start making feature films so that short film directors won’t hate me”. The award for Best Latin American Feature Film went to Santa Teresa & Other Stories, by Nelson Carlo De Los Santos Arias, based on Roberto Bolaño’s novel 2666.
As for the International Competition, The Club, by Pablo Larraín, received the Silver Astor for Best Screenplay and Best Actor for the entire mal cast (Alfredo Castro, Roberto Farías, Jaime Vadell and Alejandro Goic), and Incident Light received the Silver Astor for Best Actress for the performance of Érica Rivas. Director Ariel Rotter received it on her behalf and stated: "what happened with the film was amazing”.
en su nombre y destacó: "lo que pasó con la película en el festival fue increíble”.
Ivan Ostrochovský received the Astor for Best Director for Koza. Pablo Conde received the award on his behalf and assured the festival had been an extraordinary experience for the director and that he did not want to leave.
Lastly, came the Golden Astor for Best Feature Film of the International Competition of the 30° Mar del Plata International Film Festival. The prize, awarded by the president of the Festival, José Martínez Suárez, and the President of the Jury, Marco Müller, was to Embrace of the Serpent, by Ciro Guerra, a co-production between Colombia, Venezuela and Argentina. The Astor was received by its protagonist, Tafillama (Antonio Bolivar Salvador): "I come from the Colombian Amazonian jungle. I appreciate the recognition of our indigenous culture and identity”.
And so another festival went by. An edition where over 2500 people enjoyed cinema on the beach for free; where 8 new movie theatres were opened, including Paseo Aldrey and the MAR Museum; where, once again, new records of enrolled films, screened films and audience sere set; where 3 new books were published by the Festival; where talks, tributes, acknowledgments, seminars and round tables with film critics, theorists and filmmakers were held; where renowned international artists visited us, such as Johnnie To, Arnaud Desplechin, Atom Egoyan, Kidlat Tahimik, Steve Oram, Trent Harris, Peter Sohn and Gustave Deutsch, among others.
The party is over, but the cinematographic art never stops. See you at the 31st.