From Friday 22nd until Sunday 24th March, you can watch film at the newly born filmfestival «Cine Latino». Organised by Bergen International Film Festival (BIFF) in collaboration with Cinemateket USF.
The festival is mainly a response to the positive reaction that Latin American films usually get during BIFF, the director of the festival, Håkon Tveit, tells us.
– It’s a dramatic region with great stories, he says.
He believes that Latin American directors have something in their hearts – something that they really want to tell.
Latin American films are missing from Bergen
For him, the tipping point was when he realised that more than 600 films are made in Latin America a year, but in 2018 only one was given cinema distribution in Norway.
– We feel like we’re covering a need of the audience for those films, because of the good level of the Latin American cinema and also the absence of it in Norway, he says.
He adds that a lot of Norwegian companies invest money in Latin America, taking advantage of situations like the crisis of democracy in Brazil. The majority of people in Norway is not aware of what has happened or what is currently happening in those countries. For Tveit, movies can raise necessary awareness.
Understanding the Latin American culture through films
Claudia Fernandez, a Mexican master student at the University of Bergen, is a volunteer at the festival. She underlines the importance of using an indigenous language.
– It demonstrates a problem of our country, she explains.
Fernandez thinks the films calls attention to the broadness of the Latin American culture. She believes that it is important for the viewers to understand all the aspects of the Latin American culture.
– We talk about Latin America, but Latin America is many countries. We share many things, but also have separate identities.
A mixture of cultures and stories
The program consists of nine films coming from eight different countries. Director Tveit is responsible for selecting the films that will be screened. He states that he was very careful in representing the whole of Latin America geographically, but also aware of picking female directors or movies with indigenous focus.
– I tried to balance high artistic level with films that will attract the audience, and that people will enjoy, he explains.
He continues to explain that Latin American cinema has gained enormous recognition the last few years. One of the films showing is the academy award winner «Roma». Tveit says that the use of an indigenous Mexican language makes this film even more special.
– Latin America is not just salsa or «Narcos». The most characteristic thing for me would be inequality. The differences between the rich and the poor and also between genders. Latin American cinema shows this reality in a way that engages the audience.
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