29th Mar del Plata International Film Festival

Argentina, November 22 - November 30 2014

The jury

Diego Faraone (Uruguay), Andrea Martini (Italy), Federico Karstulovich (Argentina)

Awarded films

A Sea of Movies. Perhaps what most characterizes Mar del Plata’s Film Festival are the city shores, constantly symbolized with the sea lion that can be seen in its logo. The windy city offers a beautiful view of the sea, and the sunbath and the freshness of the air offers the energy needed to get a good immersion of celluloid. All the cinemas are located in a small area, and the maximum distance between two theatres may be twelve blocks, so the foreigner visitor can move between them on foot and easily get used to the small downtown circuit. Besides, the cost of the movie tickets is pretty inexpensive (two Euros maximum) and the food in the area is generally also very affordable.

The 29th edition of the Festival took place from November 22th to November 30th and was attended by almost all the directors of the competition categories (International Competition, Latin American Competition, Argentine Competition and Work In Progress). The movies screened were over 400, including feature, short films and documentaries, and the festival also has its own remarkable sections: “Hora cero” (Midnight Screenings) gathers the most bizarre, intense and innovative genre films from all over the world, so you usually find a big amount of zombies, vampires and joyful violent outbursts in these specific screenings; “Estados Alterados” (Altered States) presents, on the other hand, films that break schemes and cannot be categorized, alternative, independent, faraway from what’s established and standardized. “Busco mi destino” (In Search of Destiny) focuses on debuts and new filmmakers; “Las venas abiertas…” (Open Veins…) displays all of the best genre films made specifically in Latin America, and we could continue listing and describing sections containing classic films, for children, documentaries and so on…

Like in every great festival, each attendee can do his own programming, and there are so many different combinations and possibilities as cinephile individualities. But this year we could take the chance to hear the opinion of attending directors Claire Denis, Francisco Lombardi, Nacho Vigalondo, Lisandro Alonso, Ezequiel Acuña, José Celestino Campusano, the screenwriter Paul Schrader and the actor Viggo Mortensen, among others. There were also retrospectives dedicated to the Russian filmmaker Aleksei German, the Paraguayan writer Augusto Roa Bastos, Alfred Hitchcock’s silent British period and Argentine directors Carlos Hugo Christensen and Daniel Tinayre.

The award for best film went to “Come To My Voice” (Were Dengê Min) by Turkish director Hüseyin Karabey and the award for best director to the French actor and filmmaker Mathieu Almaric for “The Blue Room” (La chambre bleue). The main prize in the Latin American selection was given to the Chilean “To Kill a Man” (Matar a un hombre) by Alejandro Fernández Almendras. In the same category, the FIPRESCI prize went to the outstanding film “Necropolis Symphony” (Sinfonia da necrópole) by Brazilian director Juliana Rojas. (Diego Faraone)

Mar del Plata International Film Festival: www.mardelplatafilmfest.com