'Between Two Waters' Wins Mar del Plata Film Festival

Courtesy of Mar del Plata Film Festival
'Between Two Waters'

Isaki Lacuesta’s San Sebastian winner topped the 33rd edition of the only A-class festival in Latin America.

Spanish filmmaker Isaki Lacuesta’s Between Two Waters topped the international competition at the 33rd Mar del Plata international Film Festival in Argentina, where it also picked up the best actor award for Israel Gómez Romero.
 
A follow-up to Lacuesta's 2006 film The Legend of Time and a winner at the San Sebastian Film Festival, Between Two Waters follows the lives of two young gypsy brothers in the San Fernando Island in the form of a documentary-fiction hybrid. The jury awarded Lacuesta’s ninth film "for its cinematographic power when exploring a social, political and racial reality through a strong link with the characters throughout time."
 
Roberto Minervini’s intense documentary What You Gonna Do When the World Is on Fire? grabbed a best director award and a best actress honor for its non-professional star, Judy Hill, who was present at the festival. The film, which premiered in Venice, continues Minervini’s dissection of the American South and the everyday effects of racial and social inequality.
 
The Special Jury Award was shared by J. Salaviza and R. Nader Messora’s The Dead and the Others and Ivan Fund’s There Will Come Soft Rains
 
With France honored as guest country, Mar del Plata welcomed several French personalities, including legendary Nouvelle Vague actor Jean-Pierre Léaud, art house filmmaker Léos Carax and popular comedian Pierre Richard, all of whom presented a selection of their most popular films and received lifetime achievement awards. 
 
Gender inequality and government funding of culture were also issues at the event. While opinions criticizing the government's cultural policies resonated during the fest's opening and closing nights, the event, in its first year under new artistic director Cecilia Barrionuevo, took a stand for women rights in the film industry, organizing the first Film and Gender Perspective Forum, an area for collective reflection on gender inequalities in the world of cinema. The initiative included open debates with local film professionals and personalities including Lucrecia Martel (Zama) and Mercedes Moran (El Angel). 
 
"Inequalities between men and women are very alive both in Argentina and in the rest of the world, and very strong things are happening in this regard," said Barrionuevo. "Thanks to the struggle of women throughout all of these years, we've built new spaces of visibility and construction. We at the festival want to take those spaces and transcend the typical roundtable about 'women in cinema,' going a little bit further and bring forward analysis and action strategies."
 
The 33rd Mar del Plata International Film Festival ran Nov. 10 through Saturday.
 
A full list of official awards follows.
 
INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION
 
Golden Astor for Best Feature Film
Between Two Waters by Isaki Lacuesta – Spain
 
Silver Astor for Best Director
Roberto Minervini for What You Gonna Do When the World's on Fire? – Italy-USA-France
 
Silver Astor for Best Screenplay
Federico Veiroj for Belmonte – Uruguay-Mexico-Spain
 
Silver Astor for Best Actor
Israel Gómez Romero for Between Two Waters – Spain
 
Silver Astor for Best Actress
Judy Hill for What You Gonna Do When the World's on Fire? – Italy-USA-France
 
Special Jury Award (Ex Aequo)
The Dead and the Others by J. Salaviza, R. Nader Messora – Brazil-Portugal
 
There Will Come Soft Rains, by Iván Fund – Argentina
 
Audience Award
If Beale Street Could Talk by Barry Jenkins – USA
 
LATIN AMERICAN COMPETITION 
 
Best Feature Film 
Fausto by Andrea Bussmann – Mexico-Canada
 
Special Mention
The Crosses by T. Arredondo Lugon, C. Vásquez Méndez – Chile
 
Best Short Film
El cementerio se alumbra by Luis Alejandro Yero – Cuba
 
ARGENTINE COMPETITION
  
Best Feature Film
The Black Tree by Máximo Ciambella, Damián Coluccio
 
Special Mention
Julia and the Fox by Inés Barrionuevo
 
Best Short Film (Ex Aequo)
That Summer Without a Home by Santiago Reale
 
Meanwhile the Waves by D. Gavaldá, C. Rivoira
 
CINE.AR Prize
Best Argentine Short Film
Meanwhile the Waves by D. Gavaldá, C. Rivoira
 
ALTERED STATES COMPETITION
 
Best Feature Film (Ex Aequo)
Casanovagen, by Louise Donschen – Germany
Chaos, by Sara Fattahi – Austria-Syria-Lebanon-Qatar
 
WORK IN PROGRESS
 
Best Project
Los conductos by Camilo Restrepo – France-Colombia-Brazil
 
Young Critics Award
Best International First Film
Terra Franca by Leonor Teles – Portugal
 
Original Soundtrack
Best Feature Film 
Los Knacks: Déjame en el pasado by Mariano Nesci y Gabriel Nesci