Entertainment | November 2007
|Journey to Bring Big Screen to Small Towns|
Marcela Valente - IPS
go to original
Buenos Aires - A young Argentine couple will set out from this capital city in December on an overland journey through 12 Latin American countries, as far as Mexico, taking their country’s films to small towns in rural areas, with backing from the state and civil society organisations.
|The aim is to put on free film shows in places where there are no cinemas.|
- Alex Sly
"The aim is to put on free film shows in places where there are no cinemas," Alex Sly, a photographer, film-maker and member of the "Rodando Cine" (roughly: Rolling Films) project, told IPS. His travelling companion is his girlfriend Ine Kracht, a political scientist who is now studying journalism.
Their departure date is Dec. 29, and they plan to return in October 2008, although the trip might be extended to a full year.
Digital technology is what makes this venture possible. The magic of cinema can be reproduced today with a DVD player, a projector and a screen, which in this case measures a sizeable three by four metres, Sly said.
"We have about 80 films, including feature-length fiction films, shorts, documentaries and children’s films," he said.
The project is sponsored by the state National Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual Arts (INCAA), the Universidad del Cine film school and Fundación Inquietudes. "We have all sorts of movies, including some new blockbusters," said Sly, who estimates there will be 200 spectators a day at each stop.
All the producers and film-makers of the movies for the free mobile shows have waived their screening rights.
The tour will begin in small towns in 11 provinces in northern Argentina, in the southern hemisphere summer. "We’ll have audiences every day there, because a lot of people will be on holiday," he said. Then the mobile screenings will go international.
With logistical support from embassies, they will travel to rural areas in Bolivia, Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala, Belize and Mexico.
If they get additional funding from Ibermedia, an inter-governmental fund to stimulate the film industry throughout Ibero-America (Latin America, Portugal, Spain and Andorra), they will also visit Brazil, Chile and Uruguay.
"People are eagerly awaiting us at every destination," said Sly. The idea is for the embassies to promote the cultural tour, whose second goal is to show Argentine films in other countries, in places where even the most commercial films are never seen.
Apart from the impassable gap between Colombia and Panama, where they will have to take a plane, they will cover the entire route in a van, which will often double as a mobile home. "We’ll make occasional stops for supplies in the bigger cities, but the film shows will all be in small towns," he said.
The couple are taking video cameras and microphones to make a record of the experience itself. They will interview local people on the way for material for a documentary. At some points they will be joined by invited guests who will also contribute to the account of the project’s progress.
The films are extremely varied. Some are from the 1960s and 1970s, like "Don Segundo Sombra" (1969) and "Juan Manuel de Rosas" (1972), both by Manuel Antín, currently rector of the Universidad del Cine.
Other films belong to a new Argentine cinema movement that has given rise to an increasing number of local productions since the 1990s, most of them first works by young directors.
They include "Sólo por hoy" (Just for Today, 2000) by Ariel Rotter, "La demolición" (The Demolition, 2005) by Marcelo Mangone and "El boquete" (The Gap, 2006) by Mariano Mucci.
"INCAA has promised to add some box-office successes which they will provide themselves," Sly said.
Events on the journey will also be recorded on the "Rodando Cine" Internet site by means of a diary, which Sly and Kracht will keep up-to-date with anecdotes and stories about their experiences.