Argentine cinema was a big winner at the conclusion of the 18th edition of the Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival (BACIFI), which announced its winners on Saturday at a press conference held by newly appointed fest director Javier Porta Fouz and the BACIFI programming team: Violeta Bava, Juan Manuel Domínguez, Fran Gayo, Magdalena Arau, Agustin Masaedo and David Obarrio.
The Long Night of Francisco Sanctis won the top prize in the international competition as well as best actor honors for lead Diego Velazquez. Directed by Andrea Testa and Francisco Marquez, the film is the only Argentine entry in Cannes this year and will compete in the Un Certain Regard section.
The special jury prize also stayed home and was awarded to La noche, actor-director Edgardo Castro's sex-driven tour through Buenos Aires' edgier night scene.
Egyptian filmmaker Tamer El Said scored the best director nod for In the Last Days of the City, a portrait of Cairo before the revolution, which premiered in Berlin. The best actress award went to Peru's Liliana Trujillo for Jonatan Relayze's Rosa Chumbe, one of the two special mentions awarded by the jury, alongside Joao Nicolau's John From.
In the Argentine competition, Dario Mascambroni's Primero enero topped the slate, while Melisa Liebenthal was named best director for her Rotterdam-premiered The Pretty Ones.
S. Craig Zahler's Kurt Russell-starrer Bone Tomahawk won the Avant Garde and Genre competition, in which Ross Sutherland's Stand By for Tape Back-up grabbed the section's Grand Prize. Both films premiered at the Fantastic Film Fest in 2015.
The new Latin American competition was topped by Homer Etminani's Immortal, a Colombia-Spain co-production, while the best director award went to Argentine Maria Aparicio for Las calles.
The complete official awards are listed below.
Best film: The Long Night of Francisco Sanctis - Argentina - Andrea Testa & Francisco Marquez
Special jury prize: La noche - Argentina - Edgardo Castro
Special mentions: Rosa Chumbe - Peru - Jonatan Relayze Chiang; John From - Portugal/France - Joao Nicolau
Best director: Tamer El Said (In the Last Days of the City)
Best actor: Diego Velazquez (The Long Night of Francisco Sanctis)
Best actress: Liliana Trujillo (Rosa Chumbe)
Best film: Primero, enero - Dario Mascambroni
Best director: Melisa Liebenthal - The Pretty Ones
Special mention: Raídos - Diego Marcone
AVANT-GARDE AND GENRE COMPETITION
Best film: Bone Tomahawk - S. Craig Zahler (USA)
Grand prize: Stand By for Tape Back-up - Ross Sutherland (U.K.)
Best short film: Vintage Print - Siegfried Fruhauf (Austria)
LATIN AMERICAN COMPETITION
Best film: Immortal - - Homer Etminani (Colombia/Spain)
Best director: Maria Aparicio - Las calles (Argentina)
Special mention: La ultima navidad de Julius - Edmundo Bejarano (Bolivia)
HUMAN RIGHTS COMPETITION
Best film: A Maid for Each - Maher Abi Samra (Lebanon)
Special mention: Ombre della sera - Valentina Esposito (Italy)