By Jack Rico
On April 16, 2012, the First Ibero-American Online Film Festival iber.film.america, promoted by filmotech.com, came to a close. Internet users across Ibero-America were able to see, free-of-charge, legally and online, a selection of fourteen films which have participated previously or have received awards at other film festivals, such as San Sebastian, Venice and Sundance.
For the three weeks the festival took place, its website had more than 126,000 visitors from all countries which make up the Ibero-American region, with the greatest numbers coming from Spain, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic.
Medianeras (Sidewalls), by Argentine director Gustavo Taretto and produced by Rizoma Films (Argentina) Eddie Saeta (Spain) and Pandora Films (Germany), has won the Critics’ Award, selected by the First Edition iber.film.america Jury, composed of the film journalists and critics Hugo Chaparro Valderrama, Jean Christophe Berjon, Joel Poblete, Marcelo Stiletano, Nicolás Kusmin and Toni Ulled Nadal.
The film, an Argentine, Spanish and German co-production, stands out for the ability with which its director and script-writer, Gustavo Taretto, defends humor as one of the most efficient mechanisms to portray the dramas of modern human kind: the lack of communication in large cities, the loneliness not out of choice, the fruitless search for love and the second, third, and even fourth chances. Performing in the film’s leading roles are Javier Drolas and Pilar López de Ayala.
The film’s producer, Hernán Musaluppi, will be an honored guest at the EGEDA Ibero-American Audiovisual Forum, being held April 24-26, 2012 in Panama City, Panama, where he will receive an award that comes with $3,000 in prize money.
Contracorriente (Undertow), by Javier Fuentes-León and produced by El Calvo Films (Peru), Dynamo (Colombia), La Cinefacture (France) and Neuecameofilm (Germany), has won the People’s Choice Award, with this film receiving the highest number of votes by users via a facebook app voting system created especially for the Festival.
This film, which is the Peruvian filmmaker’s debut work, tells the story of Miguel, a young fisherman living in a coastal town in northern Peru whose love is divided between his wife and a gay painter.
All festival film viewers participating in the selection of the People’s Choice Award were included in a raffle before a notary public for a trip to Los Angeles to attend the 18th annual Recent Spanish Cinema series and ten year-long passes for free viewing of the online movie portal filmotech.com
The list of raffle winners can be found on the festival’s website: www.iberfilmamerica.com
Results from participation in the Festival during the three weeks it was held show the success of this first edition of iber.film.america, a pioneering initiative of filmotech.com, with support from the ICAA (Spanish “Institute of Cinematography and Audiovisual Arts”), FIPCA (acronym in Spanish for the “Ibero-American Federation of Cinematographic and Audiovisual Producers”) and the Instituto Cervantes.