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Must-Sees - Master Class: Andrés Duque

The Conversations with Masters of this edition featured the enriching presence of Venezuelan filmmaker Andrés Duque, who presented his conference From Karelia to the unexplored region, where he reviewed the cartography of his films and revealed the elements that make his work unique. The talk was produced in collaboration with the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella Film Program, and was moderated by Andrés Di Tella.
Must-Sees - Master Class: Andrés Duque

At the beginning of the talk, the director referred to his previous attendances to the Festival: “Mar del Plata has always been a bit of a home for me. When I directed my first film, Iván Z, I had already been invited by the Festival to show it. Then, my later film (Parallel 10, which I consider was extremely difficult at that time; not for a wide audience) was selected in Mar del Plata, and it also received the first good review, something that I appreciate a lot (laughs). It gave me a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of drive to keep going”.

Immediately afterwards, he referred to what it means to start a journey in cinema, until incorporating it as a fundamental part of life: “When we start making films, we really don’t know where we are going. Boys and girls go through school and don’t know very well if they are going to be film directors, screenwriters, or if fate will take them in other directions. Having that in mind, it is important to find the way in which cinema can become a pillar of salvation, of help, of consultation. To be almost the reason you to live. If that is not there, you will hardly be able to continue. Cinema gives us many answers to questions we ask ourselves”.

In another passage, after referring to the influence of a classic documentary like Nanook of the North, by Robert Flaherty, Duque spoke of an identifiable aspect in his own filmography: “I have always played a bit to include elements in my films where the trick could be something that is also part of the construction of reality. Why? Because we live in a digital context and because cinema has a double nature: on the one hand, it is a register of reality; on the other hand, it is also construction, fiction, magic, falseness. The two poles could be the Lumière brothers and Georges Méliès. And we are living in a century where the power of the illusory has more and more presence, and in my cinema, of course, I open the doors for it and do not try to build a truth from those documentary canons”.

At the end of the talk, Duque returned to Iván Z to point out the fundamental moment of the appearance of a sticker album of King Solomon’s Mines, which originally belongs to Zulueta’s classic, Rapture, and whose influence he described like this: “I think it was a bit of the trigger, the reason why I became a filmmaker. That sticker of Iván Zulueta, from the unexplored region, is the territory that I go through, mapping and filling with characters that are as magical as they are real, fascinating, eccentric, and that of course make up what cinema is for me”.

Below, the complete conversation: