The Mar del Plata film festival had an unusual opening ceremony on Saturday, during which the Argentine culture secretary Pablo Avelluto received the boos prize, while characters such as actress Mercedes Morán and director Ana Katz expressed their concern about the cinema situation. .
"It's good that they are whistling because I wanted to talk about it, but we have to listen to it" – said the secretary who until recently served as the Minister of the Nation, after entering the Auditorium Theater stage, in the midst of a strong whistling cataract unprecedented in the 33-year history of the festival, which is celebrated 400 kilometers south of Buenos Aires.
Avelluto had serious difficulties in finalizing a short speech lasting about three minutes, which takes place as part of the strong confrontation of the center-right government of President Mauricio Macri with the sector of the Argentine film and audiovisual industry.
Groups of producers, directors and actors condemn the budgetary under-spending and cuts made by the National Institute of Cinematography and Audiovisual Art (Incaa), which also finances the festival.
"Do you remember when we lived in a democratic society and we listened to each other?" Avelluto confirmed, without losing his peace after a few interruptions with shouts: "What a hypocrisy!" or "He's lying!"
Meanwhile, the official tried to emphasize what he considered the achievements of the current administration as a "record of shootings" in the country or "number of lawsuits and complaints filed in the anti-corruption office in connection with the policy of the sector in recent times" in relation to the previous Kirchner government.
"I want everyone to understand that in the case of any break, over any point of discrepancy, all, let's think as we think, we want our cinema to grow," said Culture Secretary Avelluto.
For her part, Argentinian actress Mercedes Morán, who received Astor's award for trajectory and stars in Sueño Florianópolis, the Argentinian An Katz who opened the festival, said with strong applause: "I was very worried personally throughout the year, fearing that huge cuts the budget prevented the implementation of this recognized festival. "
Meanwhile, Katz, who stood on the stage with a lot of his film team, asked Incaa to remember that in addition to promoting film insertion, "he has a key goal to give space to movies that have a personal look, to movies that they ask questions, to the raw operas, to be born and to many, to the films they experience and seek freedom. "
Amidst loud applause, he concluded: "Because of these films, not just those that have achieved the desired box office success, our cinematographic identity is also built."
A few months ago, at the end of September, Argentinean director Benjamín Naishtat used the platform that the film festival aims to condemn the cultural policy of the current national government when he raised the Golden Shell as the best director for "Rojo" in San Sebastián,
"I'm not going to talk about what improvised people are leading the public policy in the film, but from here I wanted to tell these people that culture is worthy, part of the nation's dignity, and dignity is not negotiated," he said at the time.
Due to the crisis, the Mar del Plata Film Festival had to shorten its duration from the planned 11 days to eight.
And that's because a lot of the cost of the contest is in dollars, like in international passages or prices that have to be paid for the exhibition of films, which is a problem in the face of the strong devaluation that has suffered this year in the Argentine currency,
Moran raised his voice. The award-winning actress, wearing a green scarf, criticized cuts in cinema culture.