21st Toulouse Rencontres des Cinémas d'Amérique Latine

France, March 20 - March 29 2009

The jury

Bojidar Manov (Bulgaria), Wolfgang Hamdorf (Germany), Maria Teresa Oleksiewicz (Poland)

Awarded films

The “Rencontres Cinémas d’Amérique Latine”, founded 20 years ago by a small group of lovers of Latin American cinema around the “Cinémathèque de Toulouse”, is one of the most important festivals for South American movies outside the Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries. Toulouse, the pleasant and cozy university town in the south-west of France, with its special open and relaxed atmosphere, is an important meeting point for filmmakers, actors, critics, producers and distributors, and for a mainly young audience with an obvious enthusiasm for cinema.

Nearly 200 movies were presented in the official competitions, “Coup de coeur” (Heartbeat), “Découverte” (Discovery), “Documentaire” (Documentary), and “Court métrage” (Short Film), in the panorama sections and in the retrospectives “Chilean Documentaries after Dictatorship”, “50 Years of Cuban Cinema” and “10 Years of New Argentine Cinema”.

It was a strong year for the Argentine cinema, and young Argentinean filmmakers had a strong participation in all sections, among them Lucia Puenzo and Sergio Mazza in “Coup de coeur” and Mariano Llinás, José Campusano and Santiago Giralt in “Découverte”. Two days were dedicated to the 15th edition of “Cinéma en Construction”, the “work in progress forum” initiative, with eight projects from Argentine, Chile, Mexico, Peru and Uruguay.

The FIPRESCI Jury had to choose a first feature film from the Discovery Program and presented the International Critics’ Prize to the four-hour first feature film Extraordinary Stories (Historias Extraordinarias) by Mariano Llinás (Argentine, 2008). (Wolfgang M. Hamdorf)