Four years ago, I was bronzing myself on the sandy beach in the morning, attending embassy-organised cocktail luncheons in the afternoon while slyly earwigging film critics to help me decide what movie to watch later that evening. Ah, the glamorous world of cinema. Welcome to Pantalla Pinamar.
While those essentials plus the obligatory red carpet still form the core of this Argentine-European film festival, now in its eleventh year, there have been a few changes during the intervening years. The almost beach-facing Bahía cinema has been replaced by the downtown Oasis complex; tickets cost just 15 pesos (tix to regular flicks cost around 70 pesos) and a book of 10 will set you back just 100 pesos; and Bodega Argento – a staunch supporter of London’s Argentine Film Festival – is now a sponsor.
The brainchild of film critic Carlos Morelli that’s supported by the Incaa national institute of film and audiovisual arts, Pantalla Pinamar is now considered to be “of national interest” by Argentina’s lower house, the chamber of deputies. And given the European melting pot that is Argentina, it was certainly a smart move to create a festival that will get today’s Argentines nostalgic for the old countries while also showcasing recent Argentine flicks, more than 70 in total, making for an ideal cultural exchange.
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