• Argentina-Philippines ties strengthened through film

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    His Exellency Roberto Bosch, Ambassador of Argentina to the Philippines PHOTOS BY ABBY PALMONES

    His Exellency Roberto Bosch, Ambassador of Argentina to the Philippines PHOTOS BY ABBY PALMONES

    As its thriving movie industry continues, the Embassy of Argentine Republic, in collaboration with the Film Development Council of the Philippines and Shangri-La Cineplex, recently held the second Argentine Film Festival (AFF) to introduce and familiarize Filipinos to the flourishing Argentine culture.

    “We try to show that apart from the big distance that separate us, there are a lot of things that put us together. The movies and the cinemas are one way of showing the culture of other countries,” Ambassador of the Argentine Republic to the Philippines Roberto Bosch told The Manila Times. He added that the purpose of the festival is to introduce the Philippines to Argentina and vice versa, aiming to strengthen cultural and diplomatic ties between the two countries.

    “Filipinos will feel what is happening in Argentina in normal life situations as shown in some of the movies, and that sense will highlight the connection that exists between the two countries that we normally overlook because of the distance that separate us,” said the ambassador.

    (From left) Lala Fojas, Shangrila Plaza Mall EVP, Liza Diño, Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) Chair; and His Exellency Roberto Bosch

    (From left) Lala Fojas, Shangrila Plaza Mall EVP, Liza Diño, Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) Chair; and His Exellency Roberto Bosch

    Bosch shared they have more time and ideas this year to craft the festival, which in some way shows something about Argentina—the lives and culture they have, what they are and what they think. At the same time, the embassy also considers what the Filipino audience can enjoy.

    “Relationships between countries, especially when they are geographically distanced need to be based on knowledge of culture of the other,” the ambassador explained.

    He hopes that through the event Filipinos may know what Argentina offers in terms of trade and political relations, and social development.

    For this, they prepared six of the best contemporary films with a good combination of genres–comedy, drama and thriller.

    The film festival opened with the romantic-comedy movie Sidewalls (Medianeras, 2011). It explores the ideas of alienation and preoccupations that are believed to keep us separated. It’s about two city dwellers living in buildings just across each other but are worlds apart. Next shown was 2009’s El Hombre de al Lado (The Man Next Door), which tells about a designer and a used-car salesman in conflict when the salesman tries to install windows overlooking the designer’s property.

    Paulina (La Patota, 2015) has shadowy ambiance for the audience as the movie discloses the journey of a teacher in a town where she was violently assaulted by a gang of youths. The film, Noir Thriller Betibú (2014) highlighted the murder case of a businessman, which endangers the lives of two journalists and a novelist.

    On the lighter side of the film festival are the movies The Mystery of Happiness (El Misterio de la Felicidad, 2013) and Fermín, Glories of Tango (Fermín, Glories del Tango, 2014).

    In The Mystery of Happiness, a married couple tries to find the husband’s friend and business partner who one day disappears, only to find out a person different from the one they thought they knew so well. The Fermín, Glories of Tango, meanwhile, tells the story of a psychiatrist, discovering his old patient speaks in the titles and lyrics of tangos.

    The 2nd Argentine Film Festival ran from August 18 to 21 at Cineplex Cinema 4, Shangri-La Plaza, Mandaluyong.

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