'Embrace of the Serpent' Wins Mar del Plata Film Fest

Embrace of the Serpent Still - H 2015
Courtesy of Andre?s Co?rdoba/Oscilloscope Laboratories

Oscar submissions from LatAm and Europe topped the awards in the main competition.

Ciro Guerra's Embrace of the Serpent took the Astor for best film at the 30th edition of the Mar del Plata film festival, which officially closed on Saturday night with a ceremony at the Astor Piazzola hall of the city's Auditorium Theater.

Earlier this year, the Colombian-Venezuelan-Argentine co-production topped the Director's Fortnight at the last edition of Cannes, and was selected by the Colombian Film Academy as the country's submission for the Oscars in the best foreign-language film category.

In the international competition, the jury formed by Ricardo Aronovich, Elvio Gandolfo, Isaki Lacuesta, Fiorella Moretti and Marco Muller gave a best director award to Ivan Ostrochovsky for his Berlinale entry Koza, Slovakia's bid for an Oscar nom.

The best actor award was delivered to the entire male cast of Pablo Larrain's The Club: Alfredo Castro, Roberto Farias, Jaime Vadell and Alejandro Goic. The film, Chile's Oscar candidate, also grabbed best screenplay for writers Guillermo Calderon, Daniel Villalobos and Pablo Larrain. The best actress award went to Erica Rivas (Wild Tales), for Ariel Rotter's Incident Light.

In the Latin American competition, the jury formed by Valdivia film fest director Raul Camargo Borquez, Jang Byungwon, and Andrea Picard selected Nelson Carlo de los Santos Arias' Santa Teresa & Other Stories as best film, and Natural Arpajou's Princesas for best short.

Benjamin Naishtat's Locarno entry El movimiento won best film in the local competition. The jury formed by Todd Brown, Maximiliano Cruz and Nina Rodriguez also gave a special mention to Matias Scarvaci and Diego Gachassin's doc Docile Bodies. The best director award went to Fernando Salem for How Most Things Work.

The Festival's new LoboLab co-production forum delivered awards for LatAm projects The Settlers, by Felipe Galvez (Chile), Camila Urrutia's Gunpowder (Guatemala) and Carlos Piñeyro's Antawara (Bolivia).

A new Alfredo Alcon Award was presented and delivered to Guillermo Francella, Argentina's most popular comedian and star of Pablo Trapero's The Clan.

The only A class festival in Latin America, Mar del Plata runs Oct. 30 to Nov 7.


The main awards are listed below:

International Competition

Best Film: Embrace of the Serpent (Ciro Guerra)

Best Director: Ivan Ostrochovsky, for Koza.

Best Actor: the male cast of The Club – Alfredo Castro, Roberto Farías, Jaime Vadell and Alejandro Goic.

Best Actress: Erica Rivas (Incident Light)

Best Screenplay: The Club – Guillermo Calderon, Daniel Villalobos and Pablo Larrain.


Latin American Competition

Best Film: Santa Teresa & Other Stories (Nelson Carlo de los Santos Arias)

Best Short Film: Princesas (Natural Arpajou)


Argentine Competition

Best Film: El movimiento (Benjamin Naishtat)

Special Mention: Docile Bodies (Matias Scarvaci and Diego Gachassin)

Best Director: Fernando Salem, for How Most Things Work.

Best Short Film: Fantastico (Matias Sposato)

Best Short Film Director: Pablo Camaiti, for Gomorra.

DAC Award for Best Argentine Film in All Competitions: Docile Bodies


Other Awards

FIPRESCI Award: Incident Light (Ariel Rotter)

Best Work in Progress: The Corroborators (Luis Bernardez)

Jury Prize Work in Progress: La helada negra (Maximiliano Schonfeld)

Alfredo Alcon Award: Guillermo Francella.