• Festivals

HFPA Makes Its Presence Felt at BAFICI

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) makes it presence felt at the Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente (BAFICI). Three members attended the Argentinian film festival, Argentinian members Gerardo Prat and Gabriel Lerman as well as the undersigned.


“BAFICI is one of the main film festivals in Latin America and it is one of the largest film festivals in Argentina,” says Gabriel Lerman, who was born and grew up in Buenos Aires and was happy to attend the festival.


Restored Sergio Leone Film

The HFPA is known for its charity and restoration work. One of the films the HFPA has helped to restore is Sergio Leone’s A Fistful of Dollars (Per un pugno di dollari). The film was screened at three separate events at BAFICI: at the three screenings almost 1,000 people saw it.


On April 25th, BAFICI festival director Javier Porta Fouz introduced the film at Cine Gaumont in Buenos Aires. HFPA member Gabriel Lerman provided the introduction at the screening.

“We spend the profits from the Golden Globes to help a lot of charities and we also do a lot of restoration work,” said Lerman from the stage of Cine Gaumont. “There were thousands of films that were lost forever because there were no funds to restore them. So we make an effort to ensure that the films are preserved for future generations to see.”


Full House in Buenos Aires

Sergio Leone’s spaghetti western film A Fistful of Dollars is from 1964 and stars the American actor Clint Eastwood. Cineteca di Bologna restored the film, and Martin Scorsese’s The Film Foundation also provided financial support. Javier Porta Fouz praised the restoration work that the HFPA does.

“We really like screening the restored classics here as the audience members really like the films by Sergio Leone and we sell out really fast,” says Porta Fouz. “The first screening was a true celebration because it was full on Tuesday night and the print was amazing.”

The HFPA has spent around $9 million since 1996 on restoration grants and has been part of restoring around 155 titles as well as 200-300 of the Lumière brothers’ films. Over the past 10 years, the HFPA has historically spent between $395,000 (2022) and $800,000 (2020) annually on restoration.

“It was incredible that we could screen this film by Sergio Leone, which was restored with the help of the HFPA,” continued Porta Fouz.


The HFPA celebrates the Golden Globes at BACIFI

The HFPA also promoted the Golden Globe awards at a reception cohosted by Asociación de Cronistas Cinematográficos de la Argentina at the Arthaus in Buenos Aires.

The director of the festival, Javier Porta Fouz, was presented with a plaque from the HFPA celebrating the connection between the Festival and the Press Association.

“Cinema is an international art form,” says Porta Fouz, who posed for photos with the Golden Globe awards plaque that he received at the event.


“We are aligned. Right now, the cinemas are full of blockbusters and we share a common goal: we want to promote diversity in cinema and we want to inform people of how diverse cinema is. And I am happy that you are present at our festival.”