The Uruguay International Film Festival returns and celebrates its 40th anniversary
A journey through the history of Uruguayan cinema, which this year celebrates the fortieth anniversary of its film festival

Four decades separate Uruguay in 1982, which, while restricting the rights of individuals by the dictatorship (1973-1985), organized its first International Film Festival, which is 2022; However, after the pandemic, the feeling of “reclaiming freedom” is comparable.

In the 1970s and 1980s, when meetings of more than three people were banned in the South American country, queuing at the door of Cinemateca Uruguaya, in Montevideo, was a symbol of resistance against the anti-democratic regime. In 2020, the arrival of Covid-19 led to the closure of his premises and, subsequently, the reduction of room capacity and travel difficulties for foreign guests, which prevented the last two editions of the event from being held normally. . For this reason, Cinematheque Uruguay, despite the warnings, appeals to that dark past of excitement around this 40th edition of the event which will show, from Wednesday until April 24th, 170 films from 50 countries in 6 rooms in Montevideo, in addition to a special section for transmission on its digital platform.

Uruguayan Cinematheque coordinator, Alejandra Trelles, reports the return of attending the traditional film festival

40 years of festival

According to the coordinator, Alexandra Trellis, the festival was born in April 1982, at a time when “all freedoms of citizens were curtailed” and the event was already “a place of meeting and freedom in the midst of that panorama that was so sad.” And that, in a bit, is what happened in the previous two editions, for different reasons of course. Now, it’s like restoring the freedom that allows us to receive all these movie characters and that spectators fill the theaters,” he adds with anticipation.

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the film With love and determinationfrom French Claire Dennis – Silver Bear for Best Director at the Berlinale 2022 – will open the festival that will conclude it The employee and the employerthe last creation of Uruguay Manuel Neto ZassIt was shown in Cannes and San Sebastian, and Switzerland will be its guest country. Swiss director Nicholas Wadimov She will be one of the guest stars and will engage in conversations with viewers who come to see one of her six films that he will be showing.

Vincent Lyndon and Juliette Binoche in "With love and determination"Claire Denis' film will open the Uruguayan Film Festival
Vincent Lyndon and Juliette Binoche in “Avec amour et acharnement”, a film by Claire Denis to be screened at Cinemateca Uruguaya

“We chose a director who seemed to us to be one of the most interesting voices in contemporary cinema,” he says. Trellis, who notes that his creations, both documentary and fiction, are “historically and politically transcended.” Swiss Turkish director Ufuk Emiroglu to submit your film My father and the revolution and me (2013), about which he will discuss with the audience.

“Then we will have in the different departments directors and discoveries for this festival, as we always do,” said Trills, who remembers that the Cinemateca competition “is a mixture” of its own discoveries and other great international competitions, such as those already mentioned, Venice or Locarno. The bulletin board consists of seven sections (International Feature Film and American Ibero Film; Human Rights Production; New Directors; Cinema for Children and Youth; and National and International Short Films).

framework "The employee and the employer"Which will conclude the Uruguayan Cinematheque Festival
The “Employee and Chief” framework that will conclude the Uruguayan Cinematheque Festival

7 decades of love for cinema

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The Cinematheque celebrates its 70th birthday with this festival, since its birth in 1952, when Uruguay was known worldwide as the “Switzerland of America”. In Uruguay, 19 million cinema tickets were sold at the time – for a population of 800,000 people in Montevideo, nearly half the current population – when football was nowhere near that; So it was necessary to have a film archive in Uruguay,” he explains Trellis.

Alejandra Trellis, coordinator of the Uruguayan Cinematheque.  EFE / Alejandro Prieto
Alejandra Trellis, coordinator of the Uruguayan Cinematheque. EFE / Alejandro Prieto

After several central venues in the Uruguayan capital, today it occupies a modern building in Ciudad Vieja – the historic center – with several screening rooms, next to the Solís Theatre, where the festival opens on Wednesday. The event coordinator concluded that “the cinematheque is a fortress of culture, a film forum and forum, and what it seeks is to go beyond cinema.” Online programming through the Más Cinemateca platform for those outside Montevideo.

Source: EFE

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