'La Flor' Wins Buenos Aires Film Festival

La Flor - Publicity - H 2018
Courtesy of Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival

Mariano Llinas' record-breaking 14-hour-long fiction feature won best film and best actress honors for its four female stars.

Cult filmmaker and scriptwriter Mariano Llinas' epic 14-hour-long film La Flor (The Flower) topped the 20th edition of the Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival, which began April 11 and ends Sunday. The film also won the best actress award for its four leads, Pilar Gamboa, Valeria Correa, Elisa Carricajo and Laura Paredes.

The longest fiction feature in Argentine history, La flor consists of six different episodes, all starring the same four actresses, who form the acting company Piel de Lava ("Lava Skin"). Shot independently over a nine-year period across three continents and split into three parts for theatrical exhibition purposes, the six installments feature an array of different stories and genres, including an international espionage thriller, a horror B-movie, a musical love story and a remake of Jean Renoir's 1936 silent classic A Day in the Country.

Brazilian Tiago Melo, whose credits include production roles in Kleber Mendonca Filho's Aquarius and Gabriel Mascaro's Neon Bull, won the best director prize for his feature-length debut Azogue Nazareth, which premiered in Rotterdam's official competition.

The BAFICI program featured more than 50 world premieres, including Special Jury Prize winner Violence Voyager, a gekimation (i.e., animated paper cutouts) directed by Japanese filmmaker Ujicha (The Burning Buddha Man).

International guests of BAFICI's 20th edition included camp icon John Waters, French cinema legend Philippe Garrel (Lover for a Day) and Ewen Bremner (Wonder Woman), who gave an acting seminar during the festival.

A list of the fest's awards are listed below.

International Competition

Best Film:  La flor – Mariano Llinás
Special Jury Prize: Violence Voyager
Best Director: Tiago Melo – Azougue Nazaré
Best Actress: Pilar Gamboa, Elisa Carricajo, Valeria Correa and Laura Paredes, for Mariano Llinás' La flor
Best Actor: Anders Juul for Christian Tafdrup's A Horrible Woman
Best Original Score: Nilotpal Borah, for Rima Das' Village Rockstars
First Mention: A Tiger in Winter – Lee Kwang-Kuk
Second Mention: Good Manners – Juliana Rojas and Marco Dutra

Argentine Competition

Best Director: Lola Arias – Theatre of War
Best Film: The Daughters of Fire – Albertina Carri

Avant-Garde and Genre Competition          

Special Mention: BraguinoClémént Cogitore
Best Short Film: Watching the Detectives – Chris Kennedy
Best Feature Film: The Seen and Unseen – Kamila Andini
Grand Prize: The Image You Missed – Donal Foreman

Latin American Competition

Special Mention: La cuarta dimensiónFrancisco Bouzas
Best Director: Mauricio Alfredo Ovando – Still Burn
Best Film: AvernoMarcos Loayza

Human Rights Competition

Special Mention: El silencio es un cuerpo que caeAgustina Comedi
Best Film: Meteors – Gürcan Keltek

Best Argentine Short Films

La prima suecaInés Barrionuevo and Agustina San Martín
Las floresRenzo Cozza
El liberadoMartín Farina