Israel's 'Policeman' Wins at Buenos Aires Film Fest


Gaston Solnicki’s "Papirosen" tops local competition.

BUENOS AIRES Israeli drama Policeman, a tragicomic take on anti-terrorist military forces, topped the international competition at the Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival (BAFICI), which kicked off on April 11 and closed Sunday. Policeman's first time helmer Nadav Lapid also picked up best director.

Best actress went to Zoe Heran, star of Celine Sciamma’s Tomboy, a sexual identity drama from France that also picked up the FIPRESCI award. Local star Martin Piroyansky picked up best actor for Gabriel Medina’s La araña vampiro (The Vampire Spider) which was also awarded as the Best Argentine Film in the international competition.

Alejandro Fadel’s impressive existencial western Los salvajes (The Wild Ones) got the ADF Best Cinematography award for DP Julian Apezteguia, while Maximiliano Schonfeld's Germania a family drama set on a German community in the Entre Rios province, got a special mention from the international jury.

Particulary solid this year, the Argentine competition was topped by Gaston Solnicki’s Papirosen, a documentary on the helmer’s wealthy family. This is Solnicki’s second feature following süden, a documentary on the late contemporary music composer Mauricio Kagel. Dromomanos helmer Luis Ortega (Black Box) picked up best director, while cinematographer Roman Cardenas’ got Kodak's best image treatment Award for Fernando Gatti’s Igual si llueve.

The Girl from the South, Jose Luis Garcia’s personal search for South Korean peace activist Im Su-kyong received a special mention. A favorite among local critics and winner of the audience award, the film features surprising archive footage taken in late 1980s North Korea, back when Garcia attended an international socialist festival soon after the Tian’anmen Square massacre in China.

Praised as this year’s finest competitive selection, the cinema of the future program featured 19 films, including Dominga Sotomayor’s very well-crafted Rotterdam winner De jueves a domingo and The Fragments (My Mouth, My Revolt, My Name) the latest from Sylvain George, who won the international competition last year with Qu'ils reposent en revolte (Des figures de guerre). Portuguese Gonzalo Tocha’s Ena Terra nao e na Lua picked up best film. The jury also gave out a special mention to OK, Enough, Goodbye, a fresh and humorous view on life in Tripoli directed by Lebanese Rania Attieh and American Daniel Garcia, who had previously picked up the best new directors award in at Abu Dhabi Film Fest for that film.

The Buenos Aires Lab (BAL), a highlight in the Latin American project market scene, gave co-production awards to several projects from young directors in the region. Matias Piñeiro’s Viola (Argentina) and Diego Mondaca’s Agua topped the award list with two each.  

An estimate of 230.000 tickets was sold in this edition of BAFICI, according to official numbers.

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