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BA's premier film festival BAFICI adds new venues, open-air screenings

The latest edition of the Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival hits cinemas and public spaces from April 3 to 14.

Friday 22 March, 2019
The BAFICI is Buenos Aires' premier film festival.
The BAFICI is Buenos Aires' premier film festival. Foto:File-Perfil

The line-up for the Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema (BAFICI), the capital’s premier independent film festival, was announced Tuesday, with organisers revealing a new venue and several open-air screenings.

After years in the Recoleta neighbourhood, BAFICI's headquarters in 2019 will be the Multiplex cinema in Belgrano, where just metres away at the Museo de Arte Español Enrique Larreta, film-lovers will be able to enjoy open-air screenings of some of the world's biggest and best creations, as well as workshops and interdisciplinary activities. The festival runs April 3 through 14.

"The BAFICI's history obliges us, as with every edition of the festival, to reinvent", Culture Minister for Buenos Aires City Enrique Avogardo said Tuesday, during the official presentation of the event’s programme at the Usina del Arte in La Boca.

"What we're hoping to achieve with this move is, on the one hand, jump into the unknown, move to a new neighbourhood. On the other hand, and this is important, we're awarding cinemas which bet on film diversity throughout the year," he added.

For his part, BAFICI's artistic director Javier Porta Fouz explained that "no cinema has been involved in each of the 21 editions [of BAFICI]. What is always present is the City of Buenos Aires, the City's public and the public that comes from outside to the City believing that BAFICI is the place to make contact with new forms of cinema."

This year's edition of the festival will take place across 37 venues, including traditional cinemas, independent cultural centres and clubs.

"This is very relevant because Buenos Aires has a giant independent cultural ecosystem among its theatres, music halls, cultural centres, galleries. These are fundamental in terms of prompting access to culture and the circulation of diverse cultural assets," Avogardo added.

He also explained that many poorer neighbourhoods would gain access to the festival thanks to the City's Arte en Barrios (Art in the Neighbourhoods) programme.

WHAT TO WATCH

The festival's opening film is an Argentine comedy Claudia by Sebastián de Caro, staring Dolores Fonzi and Lali Espósito. It will screen simultaneously at the Espacio INCAA Cine Gaumont in Congreso and, free of charge, at the Parque Centerario Amphitheatre.

The documentary Santiago, Italia by Italian legend Nanni Moretti will close the event. The film showcases the support the Italian Embassy in Santiago gave to hundred of Chileans during the Pinochet dictatorship.

Porta Fouz emphasised the importance of début films and Latin American premieres at this year's edition.

Among the line-up of extra activities the BACIFI will hold this year are musical shows, interactive games, exhibitions, virtual reality, make-up stands and dance classes, as well stage, make-up and stop-motion workshops.

BAFICITO, a long-standing event for children, will run at the Museo Enrique Larreta during lunchtimes, where nine films will be shown. Among them, Astérix: Le secret de la potion magique, based on the classic French tale; and animé works Mirai by Mamoru Hosada and Okko's Inn by Kitaro Kosaka.

Julien Temple, director of musicians like David Bowie and the Sex Pistols, will attend the events as a special guest. Temple has produced eight films, including a documentary on Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards and the influential British band The Kinks.

Portuguese actress Isabel Ruth, Swedish actress Christina Linberg and Austrian filmmaker Friedl von Gröler are also on the BAFICI's special guest list.

The festival's full programme can be accessed online. Tickets can be purchased online from March 27 or in person at the Multiplex Belgrano at 2199 Vuelta de Obligado street or via Tu Entrada at 560 Viamonte street.

Tickets cost 70 pesos. While some activities are free, spots must be reserved online.

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