Buenos Aires Film Fest Appoints New Artistic Director

Film critic Marcelo Panozzo will replace Sergio Wolf after five years directing.

BUENOS AIRES – The Buenos Aires Minister of Culture Hernan Lombardi announced yesterday that film critic Marcelo Panozzo will replace Sergio Wolf as artistic director of the Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival, one of the more renowned fests in the region.

The announcement was made in a restricted press meeting with only a handful of local journalists from newspapers Clarin, Pagina 12 and La Nacion.

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“My decision of stepping down had been agreed with the local authorities since last year, for many reasons, among them my need for time to work on my own projects as a filmmaker, like a documentary on meteors that is called El color que cayó del cielo”, said outgoing director Wolf, who co-wrote several features and co-directed I Don’t Know What Your Eyes Have Done to Me, together with Lorena Muñoz.

"I think it’s a sensational choice”, said Wolf about his replacement. “Panozzo is someone who really loves BAFICI, which is a fest that has actually fed on the spirit of the people who has been part of the staff throughout the years. I believe Panozzo can bring new things to the festival, because he’s a person who is very linked to rock, music, and publishing, a worldly and informed man with lots of qualities and talent”.

A journalist, editor, and film critic, Panozzo had been a BAFICI programmer under the direction of Eduardo Antin (Quintin) and also served two years under Wolf’s management. “He has the proper blood BAFICI concentration”, joked Wolf

“The programming team hasn’t been defined yet, but mi idea is to work with a very similar team to the one that made BAFICI in the last years. There will be no big changes in this area”, said Panozzo.

“I believe there is a very thin line to work with, between a huge, impossible festival and the need to shed light on things. BAFICI is a screen that shows films that you can’t find somewhere else, and if that falls, it will leave a void. A few years ago, the festival was somewhat bloated, but now I think it has a very good size, so I think I would continue on that path”.

Minister Lombardi highlighted the value of a transitional change, since Panozzo has been part of the Bafici staff for years, and the last two changes in the direction replacements were somewhat conflictive. “BAFICI has always had an historical continuity and a unique spirit that transcends all of us, so this institutional change and rotation of views seems quite timely. This is the first time in fourteen years that we have a transition with everyone working together in it”, said Lombardi.

The 14th edition of BAFICI closed last April 22nd, with 230,000 tickets sold and 450 films screened.

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