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Hats off to the first films and to Alfredo Castro for his support for young filmmakers

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                It is via the Youtube and Facebook platforms of the Cinélatino festival that the prices of this extraordinary edition of the Rencontres de Toulouse were announced.  A 33rd online edition therefore, pandemic obliges, for this first set of March with an appointment scheduled in June for the awards ceremony and the meetings with the guests of the festival, the Brazilian documentary filmmaker Maria Augusta Ramos and the Chilean actor Alfredo Castro , which has already received a special tip of the hat during the awards ceremony, this Sunday, March 28. 

                                    <p>The Cinélatino festival aims to promote Latin American cinema in France, and especially young filmmakers whose work it supports through structures such as Cinema in Construction.  And if there is an actor in Latin America who encourages this young cinema, it is Alfredo Castro.  By saluting the latter's work, the jury of the festival's favorite Grand Prix rewarded " <em>the generosity with which he puts his talent at the service of first films </em>(Carnival <em>by Juan Pablo Félix) but also more experienced directors </em>(I'm scared bullfighter <em>by Rodrigo Sepúlveda)</em> ».</p><h2>Alfredo Castro, fellow young directors  </h2><p>In L'<strong>interview he gave</strong> to the festival team, Alfredo Castro talks about his happiness in working with young directors.  Their freedom of tone, their radicality suit his own commitment to him as an actor.  He has thus participated in many first films and the directors call on him for their first works as his talent and his notoriety are an obvious asset for films in the making, while funding and support are so difficult. to obtain.

So Carnival, selected for the feature film competition, is the debut film by young Argentinian director Juan Pablo Félix. Alfredo Castro, long hair and thug draw, plays the role of the father of the young hero, Cabra. The father, who is released from prison, tries to reconnect with his dancer son of Malambo, a traditional Argentinian dance that has become the lifeline of this teenager who is a little lost in a disjointed family. A film shot on the Bolivian border, and which asked Alfredo Castro, he who lives in a third body to interpret (” metabolize »He says) his roles and will seek deep within himself and his character the springs of his game, a particular effort.

Read also: Alfredo Castro, the actor of extreme roles

The actor was also praised for his role in another film presented in competition, I’m scared bullfighter, by Chilean director Rodrigo Sepulveda, of which it is the fourth feature film. He plays the role of an old transvestite who embroiders Chilean flags on tablecloths for the wives of the fascist soldiers and falls in love with a young activist whose organization is preparing an attack against Augusto Pinochet. Between Carlos, the revolutionary, and The crazy woman, the old transvestite once star of the scenes queers, A relationship is formed made up of complicity, seduction, laughter and drinking. A fascinating character and an interpretation that echoes other roles previously performed by Alfredo Castro in the cinema or the theater. Who else but him to be The crazy woman ? This film I’m scared bullfighter was crowned with public awards – The South Dispatch and the Ciné + prize, a novelty in this edition of Cinélatino.

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<h2>Award-winning first feature films</h2>First film recognized by a prize, the Grand prix coup de cœur, <em>The new girl</em>, by the young Argentinian director <strong>Micaela Gonzalo</strong>.  It tells the story of Jimena, a young girl who, after her mother's disappearance, goes to Patagonia to join her half-brother in the hope of finding work and starting a new life.  Employed in a cell phone assembly factory, she discovers the reality of the world of work, social struggles but also workers' solidarity and fraternity.  It is the director's first feature film, and a film in which the bonds of friendship that are forged between female workers - the employees of a cooperative play their own role - soften the harshness of the climate. , the harshness of the environment, the coldness of the light.  The young girl, finely interpreted by Mora Arellinas, discovers a new family in this end of the world.  A film which also enriches a corpus nourished by cinematographic works on the world of work in Argentina, but from the point of view of fiction.</p>                <p>
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Other first feature films this time honored with the SFCC Critics' Prize, <em>The soul wants to fly</em>, by Colombian Diana Montenegro, and the Brazilian film <em>Antique house</em> by João Paulo Miranda Maria.  The main character, Cristovam, is an old black employee of a dynasty belonging to a dynasty of Austrian origin.  We are in the south of Brazil, in a region where the colonists of European origin (who think of themselves more European than the Europeans themselves) have nothing but contempt for the black immigrants of Sertão.  Served by the favorite comedian of <em>new cinema</em> Antonio Pitanga, who started his film career in <em>Barravento</em> in 1962 alongside <strong>Glauber Rocha</strong>, the character of Cristovam undergoes a metamorphosis as he travels through the old abandoned house that gave the film its title.  In revolt against the established order, Cristovam finds there clothes, masks and attributes that refer him to his mixed origins and to the magical beliefs of his ancestors.  Little by little, the old man changes his skin and the film shifts from social realism (the hygienism of the dairy, the racism of the bosses, political patronage) into the fantastic world of spirits.  A dialectic also of the visible and the invisible, and of the hidden of Brazilian society, <strong>explains the director</strong>, of which it is the first feature film and the fruit of six years of work.  A film also recognized by the Prize of the International Federation of the Press and that the Toulouse festival accompanied with Cinéma en construction.</p>                <p>

All these first award-winning films justify <em>in the aftermath </em>the work carried out by the Rencontres de Toulouse festival team to support this young cinema in its manufacture, production and distribution.  The film industry has been enjoying a fascinating adventure for the past ten years, rejoices Alfredo Castro.  From Europe to Latin America, from Mexico to Chile, we work together, we produce together, we love each other and we mix, he enthuses.  These are fruitful exchanges that are formed and which allow Latin American cinema to make itself known and take its rightful place on the international scene.  This is the mission that the Cinélatino festival has been assigned for more than thirty years and we can bet that we will find all the young filmmakers rewarded with new projects in the years to come.

► All the films are still online on the Cinélatino platform until April 5

► Note that the festival and audience documentary prizes were awarded to Paraguayan Arami Ullón for her film Just the sun

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► All the winners can be found here


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