Rural Film Festival: Corrientes and the stories of its people

Sebastián “Chapu” Toba: “The need arose to democratize, to take cinema where it had not reached”. Credits: Regional Rural Film Festival

Last Thursday and Friday the eighth edition of the Regional Rural Film Festivalmein Nice view, currents. Different schools from the region participated in it, who presented audiovisual productions aimed at making environmental problems visible.

A few meters from Route 27, a column of eucalyptus trees guarded a dirt road that ended at the facilities of the WEATHER; huge sheds, machines and, in the distance, the greenhouses. Old walls rejuvenated with paintings of a woman harvesting corn, farm work and rural education.

In the distance, a woman greeted with an adventurous “Good morning!” stretching out the final “a” and letting her voice disappear in the middle of the enormous venue. The lapachos starred in a work worthy of post-impressionism, since their flowers in shades of pink, fuchsia and flamingo, were shaped like pointillism in the blue sky clear of clouds.

I want to see your eyes again cambasaid a hoarse voice. A radio musicalized the minutes before nine o’clock on Thursday morning with the chamamé entitled “Puente Pexoa”. As some welcomed the arrivals, a group began to wave their hands and sing happy birthday. Alicia, one of the collaborators, was celebrating and the singing felt like a massive concert.

Inside one of the sheds, a giant screen with the festival logo; on the left, a mural that recalls Rene Oviedoone of the creators of the project, and to the right a table with a gold tablecloth. There, those who inaugurated the last edition spoke.

“In 2014, together with René, we began to talk about the idea of ​​telling stories from the periphery, from the margins. This is how the Rural Film Festival starts”, said “Chapu” Toba when recalling the origins. In addition, he commented that the first year “we came with a little box and some movies under our arms. Over time, cinema began to be understood as a tool for telling stories and changing realities.”

country film festival
Marcela Collard: “The emotions that we experience moment by moment are always a surprise. We are challenged by the stories, the other realities”. Credits: Sebastian Molina

field stories

While the coals toasted the cakes on the grill, Fabian Faisalteacher of the Agricultural Family School – Mocoví, from the town of watercress, He was not afraid to show his self-confidence. “We came to present ourselves at the festival for the first time. We were sharing the film camp, which was the first to be held, and now we are living this experience,” she said.

Fabiana is one of those charismatic teachers; one of those that while they are teaching a class they are also doing a stand up function. The laughter of her students gives her away at every step. Her delegation included three teachers and second and third year students. The almost four hours of travel were not noticed on the faces of the young people who enthusiastically presented her audiovisual project.

“In the short we tell more or less what our day is like; since we left our houses until we arrived at school”, shared Tomás, one of the students. Tomás, together with his companions, attend an alternating school. Under this modality, they spend a week at home and another at school.

In the most recondite of the province of Corrientes there are rural stories that escape the imaginary of “a field, a cow and a mill”. The history of these students is marked by distance, to get to school they must cross kilometers and kilometers of road. Finally, that path led them to be immortalized on the big screen and in the history of Rural Cinema.

First working day

After the opening words of the organizers, Marcela Collard, who acted as host, said: “This shed becomes a cinema on the count of three”, and the projection began. Who opened the first day was the short entitled “Watch out, young people on the move” from school 846 Onion Spot.

The main character was Benjamina child who was overwhelmed by seeing himself reflected on that big screen. His shyness only allowed her to say “it was a pleasure for me”, and he showed it smaller than he was. His mother took the floor, then, to continue: “It’s a very nice experience, he really likes art, so we’re very happy with this,” she assured.

In this way the tape began to run and all the planned short films and documentaries were screened. While the wind felt like pats on the back, everyone enjoyed choripanes and juice. Marcela’s eyes shine when she talks about this project, “because she has a magic that you have to come see to know what it is about,” she said.

Part of that charm has to do “with the fact that we feel part of it, we share ourselves and we are in the same harmony,” he added. Currently, the board of directors is made up of “a triumvirate” -as they themselves call it- in which Natalia Vega, Analia Barbosa and Marcela Collard.

The cinema moves more than 500 students and professors from the region, and even other directors of Buenos Aires, Paraguay, Cordova Y Mexico. For this reason, from the organizing team they rescued that “it is going to make its way in the form of a network and that is fantastic”.

country film festival
Sebastián “Chapu” Toba: “This festival is super revolutionary because we began to realize that there were stories to tell around us, and that they are just as valuable as what they show us on television or in the cinema in Buenos Aires”. Credits: The Liberator

The legacy of Country Film Festival

The festival had the ability to convert a shed where tractors and agricultural machinery are stored into a room where you press the button “recording” to immortalize stories. INTA had the capacity to offer itself and be part of this challenge to derive the stereotype that in the countryside one lives in such and such a way.

As Fabiana Faisal said: “You have to have an open mind to teach, and more to learn.” The festival teaches and learns “with young people on the move”. With stories told and produced by their own protagonists. With stories that transcend barriers and turn students into actors, makeup artists and film directors.

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