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Thursday marks the start of the twelve day long 18th edition of the Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema (BAFICI) — one of the most prominent festivals of its kind — which will be throwing us into a whirlwind of 400 films from all over the world; 81 of which will be premiered. Unlike, say, Cannes, the rest of us (non-celebs) have access to the screenings which will be taking over the city’s multiple auditoriums and cultural centers from April 13th to April 24th. Here’s what you might like to know.

Opening

The porteño festival kicks off on Thursday 14th at 12.15PM at the Gaumont (Rivadavia 1635) with Eugène Green’s Le Fils De Joseph, a French comedy about a boy raised by his single mother, who is in search of his father’s identity. You can purchase tickets here.

Closing

Fast forward ten days. The festival will come to a close with Don Cheadle’s Miles Ahead, featuring the man himself and Scotland’s finest: Ewan McGregor. Yes, please. Get your hands on some tickets here. It will be screened at Teatro Gran Rivadavia (Rivadavia 8636) at 7PM on April 24th.

What About Everything In Between?

Given the vast choice of films, you’d still be reading this by the time the whole sha-bang is over so let’s go through this year’s various “competitions”. As stressed by the festival’s new artistic director, Javier Porta Fouz, Latin American cinema has a great presence in the event. It is in fact its own competition this year, alongside the International Official Competition, the Argentine Official Competition, the Avant-Guarde & Genre Competition, the Human Rights Competition (bow down) and Argentine Short Film Competition.

In terms of categories within the aforementioned competitions, here is what’s on offer. Knock yourselves out:

  • Architecture — Films that turn the spotlight on framework of our urban and rurual surroundings; on the lights, the shadows, the landscapes, shapes and compositions.
  • Arts — When art is used to draw our attention to art: cinema that focuses on theater, dance, photography, literature and contemporary art.
  • Cinephilias — We’re reaching new levels of meta here. “Cinema for cinema’s sake. Cinema about cinema” they say.
  • Food & Drink — The only category that really matters.
  • Coming of Age — Films about that five year gap when you feel trapped but free; same but different; when you feel old but you’re still so young.
  • Places — it’s in the name.
  • Music — see above.
  • Late Night — for all that happens when night falls, after the kids are tucked into bed.
  • Passions — A word true to this city, described by BAFICI as “The rapture felt in the presence of somebody else, the eagerness to reach the podium in a sports competition, the feelings of jealousy, the need to believe in something, in somebody — all is packed in this section.” (Four of them are about football, obvio.)
  • People & Characters — Individuals worth documenting.
  • Careers — “If you prefer to play it safe, this is your section, Careers, with the most recent of the new classics, master filmmakers who have already gone a long way down the road, remain true to themselves and show no signs of wearing off.”

Talking about his new responsibility with the festival, Javier Porta Fouz said “my idea is to add as much diversity to the menu as possible, so that the concept of ‘festival film’ can expand and become as varied as independent film has done in the world.” Diversity it sure has.

The Venues

MAPA BAFICI FINAL OK

The Free Stuff?

The next twelve days will be packed with free open air cinema screenings, cultural center screenings, seminars and presentations which aren’t to be missed. Click the links for the full programs.