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Must-Sees - Special Dossier: 25 years of Historias Breves

If we think about a turning point in film and filmmaking in Argentina in recent decades it is, without a doubt, the appearance of Historias Breves (Short Stories). Celebrating 25 years of this series, the Mar del Plata Film Festival presents a collection of exciting conversations with its creators and the filmmakers who made history thanks to this essential contest.
Must-Sees - Special Dossier: 25 years of Historias Breves

Luis Puenzo, president of the National Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual Arts (INCAA), Bebe Kamin (filmmaker and coordinator of Historias Breves) and Carlos Abbate dean of the National School of Cinematographic Experimentation and Production (ENERC) held a meeting that focused both to the past and to the future: the three authorities recalled the beginning of Historias Breves as a founding milestone of New Argentine Cinema, and detailed the tributes that both the Festival and the Ventana Sur market will provide to the annual series of short films, as well as to the great generational renewal that it promoted in the national cinema. In addition, they announced the opening of a new ENERC campus, which will be located in the city of Mar del Plata and will be focused on teaching animation and digital effects. The dialogue went through a continuous history of promoting the new generations that will continue to strengthen the Argentine audiovisual industry.

Later, a new tribute to Historias Breves took place. It consisted of the reissue of a must-see material: the original interviews conducted at the time with Lucrecia MartelAdrián CaetanoCristian BernardAndrés TamborninoBruno Stagnaro and Ulises Rosell, the winners of the first call for short films in the series of films, who can be seen in their youth sharing their reflections and describing and analyzing their first audiovisual works, in 1995. These interviews, which did not lose their freshness and relevance 25 years later, can be viewed on the Festival’s YouTube channel.

The next day, a new homage was held in which the journalist Nora Lafón spoke with filmmakers Sandra GugliottaBruno Stagnaro and Daniel Burman about the beginnings of their careers in cinema, the circumstances in which they carried out their short films for the series and what they represented in their training and cinematographic career. Lafón highlighted the meeting as an opportunity to “speak about careers that have a lot to do with the beginnings of independent cinema, with a new generation of filmmakers in our country”.

The table 25 years of “Historias Breves” (“Short Stories”). Directors talk: Martel-Rosell-Tambornino brought together these three renowned lead figures in Argentine cinema, who recalled the circumstances in which they produced their short films for the series and began to build great careers in the industry. Ulises Rosell indicated that the first presentation of Historias Breves “triggered something that was significant: that there were a number of people studying cinema who immediately felt identified”. Andrés Tambornino, for his part, described the artistic context in which his generation began to grow in cinema: “I think there was a kind of uprising against everything that was going on. A desire to shatter things and do something different. There weren’t many references, either. Finally, Lucrecia Martel described the common intention of the short films of that year to “listen to other sounds, more street sounds, not just a set cinema. And that seems to me to be a desire to meet the street”.

In the last meeting, it was the turn for the testimonies of Adrián CaetanoJorge Gaggero and Pablo Ramos to evoke the first installment of the series of short films which represented the appearance of a new generation of filmmakers and a new paradigm of Argentine cinema, in a talk moderated by critic Diego Lerer. Caetano referred to the common spirit in all the short films of the 1995 edition, which “somehow tried to tell a short story in a classic way”: Later, Jorge Gaggero spoke of the impact that this first group of filmmakers had: “There were a lot of students, people, who saw in us the possibility of doing what they loved”, while Pablo Ramos added: “From there came something that turned around the history of Argentine cinema. That multiplicity of perspectives had a very profound impact that still remains”.