62nd International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, 5-10 May 2016
Theme Programme 2016: El pueblo – Searching for Contemporary Latin America
During the past ten years, Latin America has generated an ever-increasing number of original and innovative artist films, most of which are still to be discovered in Europe. In this year’s Theme programme, “El pueblo”, curated by Federico Windhausen, the 62nd International Short Film Festival Oberhausen will showcase this new wave of Latin American short film, using the multivalent concept of “el pueblo” as a point of reference. The programme will feature around 50 works from 13 countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, and Puerto Rico.
In Latin America, “el pueblo” is a pregnant term: it can refer to an entire region, the people of a nation, the common people, or a village. During the 1960s and 1970s, the New Latin American Cinema endorsed “el pueblo” as an idea to mobilise revolutionary socio-political transformations. But today, this widespread ideological rallying cry (“Somos el pueblo” – “We are the people”) no longer carries the same impact or promise. More recent films have replaced this declaration of collective identity with the question of: What is “el pueblo”?
They shift away from grand narratives, whether nationalist or pan-Latin American, towards small-scale collectivity, looking carefully at the behavioural, material, and environmental particulars of politically-charged micro-spaces. They use ambiguity and elliptical structures, leave key events or factors outside the frame to raise questions about the historical, political, and cultural frameworks of what we see. They locate “el pueblo”, the people, in the singular places and restricted sites where small-scale developments and “minor” stories occur, in settings which include the vast streets of Brasilia, the deep interior of the rainforest, Mexico's high-tech factories, a mining town in the Andes, or the rural plantations of southern Paraguay.
Grouped around themes such as migration and identity, urban spaces, encounters with indigenous communities, performance and ritual, conflict and protest, or gender and power relations, the programme will feature works by Federico Adorno (Paraguay, winner of the Grand Prize of the City of Oberhausen in 2015 for La estancia), Bruce Baillie (USA), Pablo Marín (Argentina), Guillermo Moncayo (Colombia), Nicolás Pereda (Mexico), Camilo Restrepo (Colombia), Beatriz Santiago Muñoz (Puerto Rico), Gustavo Vinagre (Brazil) and others.
Federico Windhausen is a film scholar and curator based in Buenos Aires. For his most recent curatorial project, he presented the films of Marie Louise Alemann at TIFF Bell Lightbox (Toronto), the London Film Festival, and Cine Tonalá (Mexico City). In 2014 he led the first Oberhausen Seminar. His writing has been published in October, Hitchcock Annual, MIRAJ, Millennium Film Journal, and Senses of Cinema and others. He is editing A Companion to Experimental Cinema and writing a book on Argentine experimental film.
Oberhausen, 14 January 2016
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