Calgary Latin Wave runs today to Sunday at the Uptown Stage and Screen

11/06/2010 at 9:18 am Leave a comment

Ten years ago, you would never have seen an Argentine film in a Brazilian theatre. The countries’ respective film industries, as small as they were, tended to operate in complete isolation from each other, like estranged cousins.

Such divisions did not make for a unified front when it came to promoting the colourful world of Latin American cinema.

But a decade later, the ever-decreasing costs involved in filmmaking and ever-increasing connectivity of the world has made for a much more fluid movement. And the world is beginning to notice. Projects are being bankrolled around the world by film funds linked to major festivals, such as Berlin and Rotterdam. At the Cannes Film Festival this year, there were more than a dozen films competing from that part of the world. Two of the five movies nominated for the Best Foreign Film at this year’s Oscars were from Latin America.

“There is a movement happening in Latin America,” says Diane Sanchez, who works for the Toronto Film Festival and is head programmer of the first Calgary Latin Wave Film Festival.

“The filmmakers are watching each other’s films,” says Sanchez. “There is definitely a way of presenting their own reality, which is a similar reality. These are mostly countries with a great discrepancy between rich and poor, a big class consciousness that you don’t have in Canada. They are similar socially.”

So it was only a matter of time before Calgary, which has become a hot spot for new festivals dedicated to world cinema, would organize an event that puts a spotlight on Latin American cinema. Calgary Latin Wave is part of a worldwide program dedicated to giving the films a wider audience. Similar events are held in Mexico, the U.S., Argentina, Italy and Romania. The festival, which runs Friday though to Sunday at the Uptown Theatre, will offer eight films of various genres, ranging from The Maid, a Chilean drama about class divisions, to Argentina’s comedy Empty Nest and its Oscar-winning crime drama The Secret in Their Eyes.

“In Calgary, there is such a blank slate in what has been on offer in Latin America,” Sanchez says. “It was a good opportunity to bring a lot of the stuff that has been happening, not just last year but for the past three years.”

Read from source on Calgary Herald


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