Julio Nakamurakare previews this year’s CineFest Brasil, which runs at Village Recoleta from 12th-18th May.
Although Buenos Aires is as culturally rich a metropolis as you could expect, its film offerings, however rich in diversity in spite of the growing expansion of mainstream distributors, are noticeably limited when it comes to the film production from neighbouring countries and the rest of Latin America.
True, it’s not every Latin American country that can boast a powerful and internationally recognised film industry as Argentina’s, which, since the emergence of the so-called “Nuevo Cine Argentino” in the second half of the 1990s, has been doing the round of the world’s most important competitive and non-competitive festivals.
Brazilian cinema, with a massive output every year in quantitative terms, offers a wealth of cultural diversity little seen beyond the country’s borders. A brief look at BA’s film “cartelera” (What’s On) suffices to demonstrate that, apart from standout gems, Brazilian cinema does not enjoy a prominent presence here. In fact, only true cinephiles and film connoisseurs will be able to mention the odd example of Brazilian movies that have made an impact here and elsewhere.
For intellectuals, it was only in the 1960s that Brazilian cinema, under the influence of Italian neorealism and France’s Nouvelle Vague, created what came to be known as “Cinema Novo” (New Cinema), a modern, experimental type of filmmaking that brought Brazilian cinema to the attention of worldwide audiences. Name Glauber Rocha’s politicized output, Nelson Pereyra Dos Santos, Ruy Guerra and Carlos Diegues and any film connoisseur worth their while will nod in agreement.
Over the last few years, an annual event has been held in BA to promote Brazilian cinema here. Known as CineFest Brasil, the festival, now in its seventh edition, runs 12th-18th May at the Village Recoleta multiplex. Fourteen Brazilian features (two of them in coproduction with Argentina) will vie for the top prize. This year, CineFest Brazil’s godmother is renowned Argentine producer-director Lita Stantic, who will be the subject of a tribute at the festival’s Closing Night. Organised by the Circuito Inffinito de Festivales, CineFest offers festivalgoers a plethora of outstanding Brazilian productions from last year as well as retrospectives and homages and a distributors’ market.
Compact and rich in audiovisual content and film-related cultural activities, CineFest is structured around three main points: Coproduction Exhibition; Brazilian female directors; and Competitive Section
The Official Competition will award its main prize, the Lente de Cristal, to the public’s favourite feature. As a challenge for film and journalism students, CineFest holds the Concurso de Crítica Universitaria, in which participants will submit a critical analysis of one of the features in the exhibition.
CineFest Brasil runs from 12th-18th May Village Recoleta, Vicente López 2050. For more information and programming, visit the website.