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Argentina beyond beef, tango and Evita.

CINEMA is the best way to get to know other countries, says Roberto Bosch, Argentina's ambassador to the Philippines.

Although his country is time zones away, Filipinos may find some striking similarities with their Argentine counterparts-beyond the Catholic faith, the fiery Latin temperament and tumultuous history with authoritarianism. Bosch points out, 'We want Filipinos to get to know our way of life, our sense of humorwho we are as a people.'

For the second Argentine Film Festival, which will be held at the Shang Cineplex of Shangri-La Plaza from Aug. 19 to 21, organizers lined up 'various films' that capture snapshots of Argentina in all its unique splendor.

After all, there's more to Argentina than beef and wine, two of its most renowned exports.

'We chose movies that Filipino viewers would easily appreciate,' Bosch relates. 'There are comedy, thriller and drama films. For good measure, there's also a movie on tango ('Fermin, Glories of Tango').'

Surely, the six films in the fest celebrate the best of the Argentine film industry, which Bosch describes as 'thriving and internationally acclaimed.'

Juan Jose Campanella's 'El secreto de sus ojos' won the Oscar best foreign language film in 2010 and was remade by Hollywood as 'The Secret in Their Eyes,' starring Julia Roberts in 2015.

Argentine films have been making waves in international festivals and organizers made sure to include several award winners to this year's event, says Corina Sarli, third secretary of the Embassy of the Argentine Republic.

'We want to show different aspects of our movie industry,' Sarli remarks.

Mariano Cohn and Gaston Duprat's 'The Man Next Door' brought home the best cinematography award from the Sundance festival in 2010.

It likewise swept the Argentine Academy Awards, winning best film, director, actor, new actor, original screenplay and music. The 2009 urban dramedy won best actor, original screenplay and music at the Argentine Film Critics' Association Awards, as well.

Santiago Mitre's 'La Patota (Paulina)' topped several major festivals, including Cannes (where it won the Critics' Week grand prize and the Fipresci prize), Beijing (best picture, actress, screenplay), San Sebastian (Horizons award), Torino (special jury prize, best actress, audience award, Gandhi's Glasses-special mention) and Miami (grand prize jury, Ibero-American Opera Prima award).

The 2015 thriller likewise won best actress at the Premios Fenix and Argentine Academy Awards for Dolores Fonzi, who plays the titular heroine, an idealistic human rights lawyer who is raped by gang members.

Gustavo Taretto's romantic-comedy, 'Sidewalls,' won the audience award and best film at the Gramado Film Festival in 2011.

Herman Findling and Oliver Kolker's 'Fermin, Glories of Tango' bagged the audience award at the World Cinema section of the Phoenix Film Festival in 2015.

Daniel Burman's 'The Mystery of Happiness' was nominated for best feature film at the Oslo Films From the South Festival in 2014. The midlife comedy features Guillermo Francella, who was also in the cast of 'El secreto de sus ojos.'

Miguel Cohan's 'Betibu' won best new actress and screenplay at the Argentine Academy Awards. The 2014 crime drama also won best screenplay at the Argentine Film Critics Association.

This early, Bosch is drafting the lineup for next year's fest. 'I'm thinking of including Pablo Aguero's 'Eva Doesn't Sleep,' a docu-drama on how the body of the late first lady Evita Peron was taken from one place to another. It stars Gael Garcia Bernal.'
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Publication:Philippines Daily Inquirer (Makati City, Philippines)
Geographic Code:3ARGE
Date:Aug 15, 2016
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