26th Rencontres Cinémas d'Amérique Latine, Toulouse
France, March 20 - March 30 2014
The 26th edition of Cinélatino, a competitive exhibition of Latin American cinema, took place from March 20th to March 30th 2014 in Toulouse — the fourth largest city of France, capital of Airbus and non-official capital of the French South. Its location has deep roots in European history. Before The Kingdom of France within its actual borders was established, trade connections between medieval kingdoms (which later formed modern France and Spain) were already intensive since the wide river Garonne, which crosses the city of Toulouse, made a natural water road of commercial and economic development. So, it is not surprising that in Toulouse a Spanish-speaking community had appeared long before it grew up strongly after 1938. All the following explosions in Latin American countries with its tragic consequences have eventually increased the Ibero-Toulousian population. This gave to the festival its second title — Rencontres de Toulouse (Meetings of Toulouse). The cinemas screening the programs of Cinélatino were always full (a rare success!) which doesn’t mean that only emigrants come to see films and to hear exotic musicians. Maybe the most serious achievement of Cinélatino is in its strengthening of the local audience, from students to well-to-do professionals of high-tech industry. After the event is over in Toulouse, the screenings continue in Barcelona: the two filmotheques, one in Toulouse (celebrating its 50th anniversary this April), another in Catalunya, exchange films and experience.
The Association for Meetings of Latin American Cinemas in Toulouse (ARCALT) headed by Francis Saint-Dizier is a permanent general manager of the festival which has two competition categories (fiction and documentary) and 16 juries — 9 for fiction films, 7 for documentaries. The 26th edition in 2014 screened almost 140 long and 52 short fiction films and 7 documentaries. The program also included 8 different Panoramas and non-competitive sections Muestra and Femmes du cinéma (Women of cinema). Within the frameworks of the festival there were also professional discussions (Platforme professionelle, Autour du cinéma, Cinéma en region, etc.) and pitching like Cinéma en construction.
The International Competition comprised 14 feature films. Only 9 of them, made by young directors, were regarded as candidates for the FIPRESCI prize. The award for best film — Coup de coeur — went to Homen das multidoes directed by Brazilian directors Cao Guimaraes and Marcelo Gomes. The award for best first film went to Mexican picture Somos Mari Pepa directed by Samuel Kishi Leopo. Both film critics’ prizes — French critics’ award and FIPRESCI prize — went to Brazilian Casa Grande by first-time feature director Fellipe Barbosa (his first long feature). A rare coincidence: the audience award also went to Casa Grande, so Fellipe Barbosa was really the star of the closing ceremony! (Julia Khomiakova)
Rencontres Cinémas d’Amérique Latine, Toulouse: www.cinelatino.com.fr