In April, and just like in the last few years, the independent filmaking business takes hold of the Federal District. The BAFICI and is part of the locals.
Start spreading the news! The Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival -Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente de Buenos Aires (BAFICI)
in Spanish- is coming to town
once again and fans try to get an advance of this year’s schedule. Eventually, the films and timetables are announced and tickets begin to be sold. The festival has been unleashed.
It is almost impossible to talk about BAFICI. If once this whirl leaves town anyone tries to discuss the experience with another person who has attended the festival, they will confirm that they will both appear to have gone to different events.
Then, it is convenient to accept this premise: we will not even see a part of what we have planned to see. But there is also another true fact: surprises are usual in this festival and we will surely have discovered more than we have expected as soon as we go in.
Once the festival has been inaugurated, queues instantaneously appear at the box offices and at the venues’ gates. Little by little, more and more people gather. Those who have bought their tickets in advance go straight in. Those who have not will have to buy the tickets on the spot, either choosing at random or getting whatever is available. And then, the tickets are sold out.
Why then is this experience recommendable if at times it gets us deep into oceans of people and frustrates us because we cannot see everything we want? Why then if it represents either an opportunity to discover unexpected masterpieces or a risk to be trapped in atrocious experiences (a curious fact: these experiences will be completely different according to each viewer)? Why then if it deprives us of sleep hours or just our precious time?
We can give two answers for readers to choose the one that suits them best.
On the one hand, BAFICI is a window onto a new kind of films: the films that are being made and that do not reach the commercial cinemas. This is not about seeing the latest films (though this is about that too), or seeing what is being shot in countries to which we do not usually have access (though this is about that too): BAFICI offers special sections for the retrospective, the classic, conversation and encounters with several celebrities that come along to Buenos Aires to take part in this event.
And on the other hand, BAFICI is a particular phenomenon that keeps growing on good grounds. The hordes of people, the schedules, the films, the venues, the wandering from one corner of the city to another to catch another movie. The festival itself is an experience.
Things that could not happen somewhere else then happen. A special energy generated by the passion shared for films. A passion that unfolds its past and its present for a few days. And suddenly, we find ourselves facing situations that seemed to be extinct: entering a dark cinema without the slightest idea of what we are about to see, chatting in the corridors with perfect strangers to ask their opinion about the latest movie, having a heated discussion about a film worth defending.
It is true, BAFICI may be terrible and exhausting, but it is completely worthwhile. And it takes a little bit more than a week a year.