You may have heard the buzz “BAFICI is here” and you  might be thinking what the heck is BAFICI. Well it’s time to get inside the loop- BAFICI stands for the Buenos Aires Festival de Cine Internacional (The International Buenos Aires Film Festival). This prestigious film festival started in 1999 and has grown exponentially since then. Last year alone ticket sales increased to over 200,000. Films from Argentina, Latin America, and from all over the world are featured.

Here are a few movies that already have a lot of buzz:

El Estudiante (Argentina): At first sight, this could be a tale of initiation: Roque, a young man from the interior, comes to Buenos Aires to attend college; and right when he seemed only interested in meeting girls, he starts to get involved with politics and gets ahead in his career as a student representative. But, while focusing in the sole viewpoint of its lead character Roque, the film starts to unfold a vibrant story that opens up to different directions: utilitarian relationships, the pendular oscillation between ethics and betrayal, politics as a generational issue, the youthful urge for getting quickly ahead, the perspective of a future that could either reproduce a rancid and corrupt past or imagine a different future. Santiago Mitre has not only made a film that looks into the world of college –a place rarely visited by Argentine cinema, except for maybe Dar la cara–, he has also presented university as a mirror capable of reflecting social tensions by drawing a plot with a lucid and tireless drive for narrating Argentina. If the so-called New Argentine Cinema was ever defined as non-political, El estudiante is the most brutal and brilliant rebuttal to that fallacy: it’s not only new, but also indispensable. (BAFICI website)
Blue Valentine (USA): A couple’s weekend; their daughter is in her grandfather’s house; they have a free reservation pending in the town’s themed-hotel (the “futuristic” room appears to be the most tempting one). Due to those stupidly logic circumstances of marriage, Dean and Cindy’s future as a couple seems to be reduced to yet another night under the same roof. Derek Cianfrance builds his story of rusty love around that definitive situation, going through the recent decades of indie cinema all the way up to coming across the ghost of John Cassavetes. With a structure that challenges the typical linearity of stories about couples-who-are-not-in-love-with-each-other-but-stay-together-for-their-kids, the action in Blue Valentine goes back and forth through time, alternating different time lines to contrast all those dreams and promises that never come true. The surprising thing about it is that all these original narrative features seem tiny compared to the lead actors’ performances, which kind of reinforce the Cassavetian style. (BAFICI website)
Essential Killing (multiple countries): If Four Nights with Anna (2008) could have been regarded as the sporadic comeback of a has been director, its immediate follow-up Essential Killing proved that Polish filmmaker Jerzy Skolimowski is back in cinema for good. Awarded many times since its premiere in Venice, including Best Picture in the neighbor festival of Mar del Plata, it’s a pure action film with a contemporary spirit that yet doesn’t prevent it from addressing universal issues and present a different kind of male hero without giving up one bit of the genre’s most attractive element. The action starts in the Afghan mountains, where a Taliban fighter is discovered and captured by Western forces. Tortured and interrogated by the military, he’s taken to a maximum security base the US has in Eastern Europe. The rest of the film narrates the prisoner’s desperate escape through a snowed forest. The lead character is played by an always interesting Vincent Gallo, who takes on the physical and emotional challenge of the captured character, who never speaks and of whom we don’t even know his name. (BAFICI website)

One of the many benefits of living in an international, culture-forward city like Buenos Aires is being able to take advantage of these wonderful festivals and with a price like $12 pesos, it’s a must see. You will also get a chance to be a part of the voting process!

There are multiple screening locations across the city including, Hoyts Abasto, Atlas Santa Fe, Arteplex Belgrano, Complejo Cultural Cine Teatro 25 de Mayo, Teatro San Martin,  and more. There will also be a few outdoor projections in Plaza San Martin de Tours and Pasaje Carlos Gardell.

All tickets are $12 pesos for Adults and $10 pesos for students. You can buy your tickets online or at Casa de la Cultura- Av. De May 575, PB (Mon to Tues 10am to 8pm) or Cine Hoyts Abasto- Av. Corriente 3247 (Mon to Sun, 10am to 8pm).

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