Peru’s ‘Kinra’ tops Mar del Plata Film Festival

Argentina’s ‘Partió de mí un barco’ took the Special Jury Prize and the Audience Award

Marco Panatonic’s debut film Kinra won the Golden Astor for Best Film in the international competition of the International Mar del Plata Film Festival, which closed on Saturday with a ceremony at Mar del Plata’s Auditorium Theater. 

Tapping into the typical Latin American issue of internal migration from the country to the cities — and spoken in Quechua — Kinra follows Atoqcha, an Andes peasant who moves to Cusco to find work and training. 

The jury — including Mimi Plauché, Prano Bailey-Bond, Charles Tesson, Celina Murga and Tana Schémbori — lauded the film “for the way it tells a solid story through a powerful mise en scene that allows us to observe the humanity of the characters. A true find.” 

Panatonic, who received the award at the ceremony, mentioned the hardships of making films in Peru today. 

“There is a fascism that doesn’t allow us to film the way we want to, so this award helps us defend Peruvian cinema. It helps our cinema reach these festivals, so we can tell the stories that represent us on the film screens,” he said. 

Argentine Cecilia Kang’s second feature Partió de mí un barco llevándome (A Boat Departed from Me Taking Me Away) won the Special Jury Prize and the Audience Award, “for the way it builds a powerful connection between a search for identity, a family’s history and violence against women in Korea during the war with Japan.” 

When receiving the award, Kang defended state funding for film production and public education, two issues in dispute in Argentina’s upcoming elections. 

“This project was born thanks to winning a contest of the INCAA (Argentina’s National Institute of Film and Audiovisual Arts) called Documentary Incubator, which gave it a boost. State support was essential. Thanks to my training in a public film school, I had the opportunities my parents didn’t have,” she said.

In the Argentine competition, the Astor award (named after Mar del Plata’s own world-renowned tango composer Astor Piazzolla) went to The Klezmer Project, a docu-fiction on the origins of klezmer music directed by Leandro Koch and Paloma Schachmann. The jury described the film as timeless, “celebrating identity, tradition, art and culture” and praised “the playful way it addresses generational change in relationships and narrative forms with both a surprising and simple setting.” 

The Latin American competition was topped by Francisco Rodríguez Teare’s Otro sol, a documentary with fictional elements about a famous international thief from Chile “for its formal risk-taking, which transcends the film tradition it is inscribed in, leading us through a rare geography with hypnotic characters.” 

At the ceremony INCAA president Nicolás Batlle celebrated “despite this year, despite the hardships, we pulled off the festival with 150,000 people packing the theaters to watch 200 beautiful films among short and feature-length films.” This year’s festival was certainly smaller, with fewer films and theaters than usual, mostly due to the country’s economic crisis. 

“Next Sunday, the future of our culture is at stake,” said Buenos Aires province Chief Advisor Carlos Bianco, referring to Argentina’s upcoming presidential runoff, where La Libertad Avanza candidate Javier Milei has vowed to eliminate all forms of state funding for cinema. Union por la Patria’s Sergio Massa attended the festival’s inauguration to support film professionals and promise “more and better state funding” for local cinema.  

 “We need the state to promote and strengthen Argentine culture and cinema,” said Bianco. “I’m just asking for awareness, insight, and courage.”

The full list of official awards below.



Astor Piazzolla Award for Best Feature Film
Kinra, directed by Marco Panatonic

Astor Piazzolla Award Special Jury Prize 
Partió de mí un barco llevándome, directed by Cecilia Kang

Astor Piazzolla Award for Best Direction
Laura Basombrío por Las almas

Astor Piazzolla Award for Best Acting Performance
Sara Summa for Arthur & Diana

Astor Piazzolla Award for Best Script
Shane Atkinson for LaRoy

Audience Award
Partió de mí un barco llevándome, directed by Cecilia Kang


Astor Piazzolla Award for Best Largometraje
Otro sol, directed by Francisco Rodríguez Teare

Special Mention
O dia que te conheci, directed by André Novais Oliveira

Astor Piazzolla Award for Best Short Film
La noche del minotauro, directed by Juliana Zuluaga Montoya

Special Mention
Nueva esperanza, directed by Carlos Rentería


Astor Piazzolla Award for Best Feature Film
The Klezmer Project, directed by Leandro Koch and Paloma Schachmann

Premio José Martínez Suárez a la Best Director
Romina Tamburello and Federico Actis for Vera y el placer de los otros

Astor Piazzolla Award for Best Short Film
Especies de compañía, directed by Juan Renau

Special Mention
Corrientes mercuriales, directed by Carolina Fusilier

Special Mention
La necesidad de un testigo, directed by Mariana Sanguinetti and Renzo Cozza


Astor Piazzolla Award a Best Feature Film
Malqueridas, directed by Tana Gilbert

Special Mention
Orlando, ma biographie politique, directed by Paul B. Preciado

Special Mention
Mast-del, directed by Maryam Tafakory

Astor Piazzolla Award for Best ProjectTodo documento de civilización, directed by Tatiana Mazú González


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