Jujuy and its Film Festival, seeking to become a benchmark in the region

Facundo Morales, general coordinator of the Film Festival of the Heights. / Photo: Edgardo Valera

The province of Jujuy bet 8 years ago on the cinema with the International Festival of Heights and from that beginning it has sought to become a meeting point for the seventh art of the Andean region, with the signing of agreements with both provinces and countries in the region and that in this edition is seen in the 120 films that make up its programming .

Since its foundation and with the project clinic, movements have been generated among 60 and 70 million pesos for the local film industrytold Télam the general coordinator of the festival, Facundo Moraleswho clarified: “For someone who does not know reality, it seems little. But it changes our lives. It means that there is movement, the creation of ties and many jobs”.

“We have links with the provinces of the region and others in the country. Here there is a NOA production clinic in which, during the first three, 40 projects were trained, of which 15 went to Incaa”synthesized the official of the Festival, after which he listed a series of objectives that had been raised at the beginning and that, little by little, are being fulfilled.

A) Yes, Jujuy has signed agreements with Bolivia to participate in the Bolivia Lab, the most important instance in the neighboring country for projects in production; another with the ten Argentine Andean provinces for the creation of a film bank to share freely, in addition to a constant relationship with the rest of the countries through the embassies and film institutes and the waiting for a provincial law, which will provide autonomous funds to both the festival and the Jujuy Film Commission, and the creation of the office of Development.

One of the experiences that take place during the development of the festival Photo Edgardo Valera
One of the experiences that take place during the development of the festival. / Photo: Edgardo Valera

“We are already seeing the fruits. Morales pointed out. This year we are going to have the Laboratorio de las Alturas, which is for fiction filmmakers from Jujuy. One of the prizes will be participation in Bolivia Lab, which has a large market in Santa Cruz and La Paz. In December, we signed an agreement with 10 Andean provinces to generate exchange and common projects”.

Although the catalog is not yet printed -it is expected to be for October-, the contents have already been selected. There are 50 works, of any type and genre, so that these provinces can exhibit them in the desired format: screening in theaters, festival set-up, streaming or for educational purposes, among others.

To this is added the imminent sanction of the local film law, which “creates the provincial film institute, with financial and administrative autonomy, with a fund for all the actions of the body, with the Film Commission and the Festival inside, as well as a photographic archive and audiovisual, for the preservation of heritage”.

The norm also specifically proposes the creation of a platform in which the beneficiary works of the law can be exhibited. In the plans is to include Festival films, classes and other issues of interest to the sector.

Music with roots in the Andean region present in the film exhibition Photo Edgardo Valera
Music with roots in the Andean region present in the film show. / Photo: Edgardo Valera

“Every time we are happier with what is produced in this part of the world. Putting it in value is an objective that the Jujuy Film Commission has set for itself, which manages the needs of a production that decides to film in the province. That is why they have seen many productions in the province”Morales noted.

One of the objectives that has been set is to exploit the landscapes that Jujuy has, which range from the jungles of the Yungas and the arid Puna, to the Andean steppe and the colorful hills. That is why in recent years there have been shootings like the one in “Pipe”, with Luisiana Lopilato for Netflix, “My Masterpiece”, by Gaston Duprat, and the award-winning “Carnaval”, by Juan Pablo Félix.

“They were made Morales listed. 70 productions since 2017, including movies and commercials, which generated a lot of work. They are grains of sand that have not only generated a movement in the industry, but also in everything that surrounds it, such as hotels, transfers and gastronomy.”

Morales We are increasingly happy with what is produced in this part of the world Photo Edgardo Valera
Morales: “Every time we are happier with what is produced in this part of the world. / Photo: Edgardo Valera

“Here we also have the headquarters of Enerc since 2015. There are already almost 100 graduates since the birth of the school. Everything listed is going to consolidate the work that has been done and empower the activity with more resources. The idea is that this transcend a governmentMorales was excited, in the middle of a festival that culminates on September 11 and in which the local cinephile tries to overcome the barriers put up by an era where platforms and tanks of superheroes have devoured much of the audiovisual cake.

As for the Festival, with the idea of ​​decentralizing it from the capital, the Tilcara and Palpalá venues have been created, in addition to taking the Traveling Cinema to four other towns in the province. Among the offers outside the room are workshops and talks, as well as a 3D experience in the Plaza España in San Salvador.

For Morales, Jujuy is “the most Latin American province in the country” and this makes it an attraction for the Festival, where films are screened that are outside the commercial circuit, but whose particularity is that they do not have the Andes as a central theme. “We believe -he maintained- that they are countries with a different cinematography. This is the only festival that values ​​the cinema that is made in the Andes, and I am not talking about the theme, but that they are produced and directed by artists from these countries”.

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