by Lauren Pringle
BAFICI (Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival) fever has swept the city and left many hands golden, including some local talent sweeping the boards with success. The stats prove that this year’s BAFICI was a smash hit. A total of 350 million people participated in this year’s event, 15% more than last year. 230 tickets were sold and it was remarked as a profound event for cinema in Argentina. 449 films were shown including, feature films, shorts and documentaries. There were 111 Argentine titles shown at this year’s festival and an array of independent talent was demonstrated.
Argentina’s Armando Bo’s “The Last Elvis” was received with honours and the week saw an international array of talent take away the top prizes. Best film overall was taken by the Israeli directors Nadav Lapid, “Policeman” who also swept the board with best director. Best Actress went to Zoe Heran for her role in “Tomboy” and Best Actor went to the Argentine Martin Piroyansky for “The Vampire Spider.” Special prize was awarded to Maximiliano Schonfeld for “Germania” and Best Argentinean film went to Gabriel Medina’s “The Vampire Spider”.
With such overwhelming figures, who can complain that the Buenos Aires Film Festival is an annual event to brag about. With so much cinema to see, film selections proved difficult, but I do have to take my hat off to the efficient organization of the festival. I won’t bore you with the highs and lows of the films I saw but rather insight you with some personal favourite flicks. “Crazy and Thief” by Cory McAbee tells the story of an innocent 7 year old sister taking her two year old brother on a mystical adventure. The cinematography was delicate and wonderfully insightful into the beautiful minds of these young beholders. The free events in parque centenario are always a smash hit, (perhaps because they use the word free). However despite being crammed with people the selections are always a good watch.
“Electric Children” by Rebecca Thomas stood out to me particularly for the bizarre and sentimental storyline. The tale follows a southern belle who has an immaculous conception from listening to music. She escapes from her strict Mormon roots and heads to Las Vegas to find the voice of the music tape that impregnated her. A beautiful tale of mystery and hope, the acting was convincing and filled with realism. The cinematic design was simple and interesting to watch. Overall, I would definitely recommend this film as a way to indulge in a teenage fantasy for a few hours.