Chile's Oscar Contender 'No' to Open Buenos Aires Film Fest

New director announces changes in programming and venues, deal with Cannes Film Market.

BUENOS AIRES – Pablo Larrain’s No, the Chilean nominee for best foreign language flm at the upcoming Oscars, will open the 15th Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival. The announcement was made Wednesday at a very restricted press meeting recently-appointed fest director Marcelo Panozzo held with only four journalists, according to the Otroscines website.

"We had chosen it before it was selected by the Academy, and Larrain kept his commitment of opening the fest with it," said Panozzo. The film’s Mexican star Gael Garcia Bernal is expected to present the film in Buenos Aires.

Together with Buenos Aires’ Minister of Culture Hernan Lombardi and fest producer Paula Niklison, Panozzo also revealed the fest will leave Hoyts’ theaters in the Abasto shopping mall (where it was held since its first edition), and use instead the screens of Village Cinemas’ multiplexes in well-off Recoleta and Caballito. The City’s own Recoleta Cultural Center will serve as the fest’s new HQ, while the other 7 venues will remain the same.

Panozzo also detailed a new agreement between BAFICI and Cannes’ Marché du Film, where four projects from the Work in Progress section of the Buenos Aires Lab (the fest’s film project promotion side-bar) will be taken to Cannes film fest and presented to buyers and distributors in a special event.

While the overall amount of films will stay the same (around 400), the programming structure will undergo some changes. “We will eliminate several sections that used to feature only a few films, and will make a big panorama of 80 to 100 films that can defend themselves, without us having to create a framework for them," explained Panozzo

New competitive section Vanguards and Genres will replace the one called Cinema of the Future and feature both shorts and full-length films, while retrospectives on filmmakers and countries are expected to be larger. Also, both local films and the most renowned international titles will have more screenings than the rest, some of them in larger cinemas, in order to make them more available to the public.

The Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival runs from April 10-21.