• Festivals

The HFPA Had a Strong Presence at BAFICI 2022

It was a celebration of cinema that lasted 13 days in which there was room for all genres and styles. The 23rd edition of BAFICI, the Buenos Aires Film International Film Festival concluded on May 1, 2022.

The day before, the winners were announced at the Centro Cultural San Martin.

Clementina, an Argentine film directed by Constanza Feldman and Agustin Mendilaharzu, took the award for Best Film, the Grand Prize in the International Competition, as well as the Audience Award with its ingenious portrait of a family locked in during the pandemic using puppets and starring the directors. Carrero, a film by Fiona Lena Brown and German Basso that depicts the inner life of people who spend their lives sifting through trash for valuable items received the Stimulus Award for Argentine Cinema and was very appreciated by audiences.

Other winners were Ignacio Ragone’s Ida as Best Short and Neus Ballus as Best Director for Six Dies Corrents from Spain. Juan Cano for Chile’s Proyecto Fantasma and Judith Roddy for Ireland’s The Cry of Granauile shared the Best Acting Award. Tyler Taormina received a Special Jury Award for Happer’s Comet (US), and Leonor Will Never Die (Philippines) won a Special Mention. Equally important was the Argentine Competition in which, among many other recognitions, Maximo Ciambella’s Amancay received the Grand Prize, Alejo Moguilansky and Luciana Acuña’s La Edad Media was awarded Best Film and Jonathan Perel’s Camuflaje received the Special Jury Award. Lucia Galán, the astounding leading actress of Spain’s Cerdita, took home Best Acting in the category Vanguard and Genre for playing an overweight girl bullied by her classmates who gets involved with a serial killer who tries to avenge her.

Some great films such as The (In)patient and The Broken Cup from Chile were ignored by the juries but were appreciated by audiences that gave them standing ovations after their screenings.

The Festival showcased a variety of films, running the gamut from those with the potential for a commercial life outside the festival circuit to those experimental films that chose image over plot or where the line between documentary and fiction was hard to determine. Restored films were also screened. A celebratory screening of the 60-year-old Odd Number, a classic of Argentine cinema was held in the presence of its legendary director, Manuel Antin, now 96, who also filmed a series of vignettes about the meaning of cinema that preceded every screening at BAFICI.

Jan Oxenberg films, restored by Indie Collect and presented by the HFPA for the first time ever in local cinemas were a success. Each one of the three screenings (that included the shorts Home Movie (1973) and A Comedy in Six Unnatural Acts (1975), as well as the documentary, Thank You and Good Night (1991)) was attended by large numbers of young people. Two of the screenings were introduced by one of the three members of the HFPA in attendance. In the last one, Barbara de Oliveira Pinto from Portugal explained to the audience at the Sala Leopoldo Lugones in the Teatro General San Martin how the Restoration Committee of the organization selects films to preserve from the many requests every year.

The HFPA was also invited to participate in a panel about restoration organized by the Festival, also at the Centro Cultural San Martin in the heart of downtown Buenos Aires. The conversation was moderated by Alberto Acevedo from the Association of Friends of the Cinema Museum and touched on the efforts of Leandro Listorti, director of The Infinite Film to restore Argentine films at the Cinema Museum. Fernando Madedo, former head of the National Cinematheque and now working with Cubic Restoration, explained how the system that keeps copies of films released in Argentina fails to keep track of what is in the National Institute of Cinema warehouses. Acevedo also mentioned that 90% of silent films from the country and 50% of the early talkies are lost forever. HFPA member Gabriel Lerman explained how our organization has been using the resources provided by Golden Globes licensing fees to support many institutions in their quest to save invaluable films such as Roma by Federico Fellini, the early shorts of the Lumiere brothers, Argentine films such as Roman Viñoly Barreto’s The Beast Must Die and El Vampiro Negro, and Fernando Ayala’s The Bitter Stems, all restored by the Film Noir Foundation with funding from the HFPA.


Right after the panel concluded, the HFPA hosted a reception at Milion, a restaurant where the opening party also took place, co-sponsored by the Argentina Film Critics Association. Many international guests of the festival such as Bruce Le Bruce, Justin Lerner, and Anita Rocha da Silveira were present, as well as local film directors like Sol Berruezo Pichon Riviere, Ivan Fund, Francisco Bendomir, Tamae Garateguy, and Miguel Kohan. Also present were cinema icon Graciela Borges (The Weasel Tale), TV legend Andrea del Boca and her daughter Anna, musician Antonio Birabent, and actors Agustin Sullivan, Azul Fernández, Balthazar Murillo, Benjamin Alfonso, Brian Maya, Camila Pizzo, Carla Pandolfi, Cesar Bordon, Daniel Barone, David Masjnik, Diego Cremonesi, Diego Domínguez, Diego Veggezzi, Esteban Prol, Eugenia Alonso, Francisco Andrade, Fabio Aste, Flor Limonoff, Gabriel Rovito, Deborah Fideleff, Gaston Cocchiarale, Jorge Roman, Julieta Zapiola, Lourdes Mansilla, Malena Sánchez, Monica Raiola, Lola Ahumada, Nacho Pérez Cortes, Olivia Vigiano, Pablo Ini, Rochi Igarzabal, Mario Aguilar, Romina Fernandes, Sol Mengoni, Thais Rippel, Tupac Larriera, Valentin Villafañe and Victorio D’Alesandro.

Guests were able to see a few clips from this year’s Golden Globes show on monitors around the room, including one by Kyle Bowser, SVP of the NAACP’s Hollywood Bureau, in which he explained the basis of the Reimagine Coalition that the organization has formed with the HFPA. There was also a live presentation. Javier Porta Fouz, artistic director of BAFICI gave the initial speech in which he welcomed the HFPA to Buenos Aires and praised the initiative to bring to BAFICI the restored films of Jan Oxenberg. In turn, Lerman spoke on behalf of the HFPA, explaining how the journalists’ group has been working tirelessly to increase diversity and implement reforms in order to get ready for the 80th edition of the prestigious gala next January. He also thanked the Argentina Film Critics Association for participating in the event, explaining how the two organizations are alike in many ways. Juan Pablo Russo from the local journalistic group announced the return of the Silver Condor Awards for their 70th anniversary in a live event on October 3. Finally, de Oliveira Pinto closed the presentation by inviting all the guests to enjoy the party and to celebrate cinema together.