Buenos Aires Film Festival 2024 lineup features slew of Argentine premieres

The 25th BAFICI comes as film festivals across the country fight devastating funding cuts

The Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival (BAFICI) unveiled the full program of its 25th anniversary edition, which features an array of Argentine world premieres amidst a daunting scenario for the country’s film festivals, besieged by government funding cuts.

BAFICI 2024 will feature an array of world premieres of Argentine films by emerging and established directors, as well as the latest from world-renowned filmmakers, special programs on unique directors, and restored classics, Thursday’s full line-up announcement revealed.

“[The Argentine films] haven’t been shown anywhere else,” said festival director Javier Porta Fouz, adding that 2024 has seen the most Argentine film submissions ever.  

“A lot of this year’s BAFICI was designed to welcome as many Argentine films as possible,” he said. Most Argentine productions will have only two screenings instead of the usual three, to make room for more films, he noted.

“It’s a crucial moment. We need to fill every screening,” he added. 

BAFICI offers three main competitions (International, Argentine and Avant-Garde & Genre), and non-competitive selections which include retrospectives and focuses on specific filmmakers (Gonzalo García Pelayo, Cristián Sanchez, Rodrigo Areias, and Giacomo Abbruzzese) as well as themed sections like Comedies, Arts & Crafts, Portraits, and Coming of age. 

The Music section includes documentaries on past and present local bands like Don Cornelio y la Zona and 107 Faunos, as well as one of the program’s highlights: an original 35mm print of Adiós Sui Generis, the 1976 film that recorded the last show by Charly García and Nito Mestre’s hugely popular folk-rock duo Sui Generis at the Luna Park stadium in 1975.  

BAFICI’s announcement comes in the wake of the government’s decision to cut all state funds for film production. In March, the government suspended the operational funding of the National Institute of Film and Audiovisual Arts (INCAA) and terminated thousands of contracts as part of its public-sector austerity plan. The cuts also affect most of the country’s state-funded film festivals.

Peaceful protests by film professionals at the INCAA-run Gaumont Cinema in Buenos Aires ended with police repression and several arrests

Organized by the Buenos Aires Culture Ministry, BAFICI will kick off with School Privada Alfonsina Storni, the latest from cult filmmaker Lucía Seles, who topped the Argentine Competition last year with Terminal Young.

The closing film will be José Luis García’s Fuck You! The Last Show, a documentary about 1980s cult band Sumo and their 1987 Obras stadium show, two months before the death of now-legendary singer Luca Prodan.

One of the main cultural events in Buenos Aires, BAFICI’s catch-all selection goes from a Malaysian action flick to a French-made vampire adaptation of Tolstoy and a documentary about Un buen día, Argentina’s favorite bad movie. The work of first-time directors will join the latest from renowned filmmakers such as the prolific Hong Sangsoo’s A Traveler’s Needs and Bruno Dumont’s absurdist sci-fi comedy The Empire (winners of the 2024 Berlinale’s Grand Jury Prize and Silver Bear, respectively)

This year’s festival will run from April 17-28, featuring 280 films (roughly 180 feature-length films and 100 medium and short films) in 13 venues across the city.

BAFICI has its own website with festival information and ticket sales. The program guide is available for download, and the catalog will be online on April 9.

Tickets are AR$1,500 (AR$1,200 for students and senior citizens) and can be purchased online from April 9 at 10 a.m., or in person at the following theaters:

April 9-28: Teatro San Martín (Av. Corrientes 1530)

April 18-28: San Martín Cultural Center  (Sarmiento 1551), Espacio INCAA Gaumont Theater  (Av. Rivadavia 1635), Cinépolis Plaza Houssay (Av. Córdoba 2135), Cinearte Cacodelphia (Av. Pres. Roque Sáenz Peña 1150)


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