February 8, 2023


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ARCA Pablo Achugari Cesar Charlon

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This is a completely private version for 2n.d The ARCA International Festival of Arts in Uruguay as it shakes off the pandemic blues that saw some guests cancel last year.

“Despite the peak of the Covid situation last January, we had about 5,000 attendees,” said fest director Mercedes Sader, who noted that the event’s outdoor screenings were typical for the time.

Running January 2-7 this year, ARCA begins in 2022 to coincide with the opening of the coastal resort town’s first contemporary art museum, the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo Atchugarry (MACA). The 75,000-square-foot museum, designed by architect Carlos Ott, commands vistas of a 99-acre sculpture park and sweeping grounds that include an outdoor amphitheater, a small outdoor theater for video art screenings, forests and a helipad. The museum houses Cine MACA, an indoor theater with a 100-seat capacity.

“We learned last year how to integrate outdoor screenings into this spectacular setting,” said co-executive director, Andres Varela.

“We have moved the dates forward to January 2 because the region’s year-round population of 12,000 to 15,000 has expanded to 450,000 at this time. [summer]which is unique in Uruguay,” noted Sebastián Benderic, co-executive director of ARCA and director of Cine MACA.

ARCA opens with the out-of-competition world premiere of “The Children of the Mountain” (“Los Hijos de la Montaña”), produced by Benderic and Varela’s Choral Scene. Directed by Saad, the documentary explores the life and work of Uruguayan sculptor Pablo Achugari whose foundation is the main patron and driving force behind the festival.

“The first edition was truly phenomenal, and with this second edition, we are making sure that with consistency and perseverance, the festival will grow and expand its scope in the best possible way,” said Atchugari.

Curated by programmer Sergio Fant, a selection of 15 art-themed features, most of which are docuseries with an animated film and one fiction, will compete for the Best Film award. The winner takes home a sculpture, ARCA, clearly designed and cast in bronze by Atchugari from his original Carrara marble sculpture.

Cesar Charlon
Credit: Alexander Salsky

Uruguayan director and DOP Cesar Charlon, member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and Best Cinematography Oscar nominee for his work on Fernando Meirelles’ seminal “City of God,” will select the winner of this year’s edition. “Each year, we select a person whose merit as a judge is undisputed,” Sader noted.

Charlon, whose other credits include “The Constant Gardener,” “The Two Popes” and Spike Lee’s “Soccer Free City,” serves as DOP for Varela’s “The Child Who Dreamed” (“L’ Enfant qui reve”). . Artist Philippe Genty, which is expected to be ready by the end of 2023.

The festival concludes with the most mainstream of titles, helmer-writer-actor Michel Placido’s period drama “Caravaggio’s Shadow.” “A lot of families come on the closing night so we wanted the most commercially appealing film to close the festival,” Sader said.

Most of the other films in the lineup are decidedly more auteur, intimate works, many by female directors. Irene M. Borrego’s “The Visit and a Secret Garden” explores the fate of women artists in Spain, without showing a painting by the once-celebrated but now-forgotten Spanish painter Isabel Santalo, Sader noted.

Alison Otto’s “The Thief Collector” shows how truth is often stranger than fiction.

Sophie Bruneau’s “Cezanne” offers a minimalist look at the revolutionary French painter’s work with a visit to his atelier in Aix-en-Provence.

ARCA Award
Courtesy of ARCA

“Dreaming Walls” by Amelie Van Elmbot and Maya Duvardier takes a final look at New York’s legendary Chelsea Hotel as it is transformed into a luxury hotel.

Art’s link to the festival has two talks planned, with New York-based curator and writer Barbara London, who was forced to cancel last year, on January 5 on ‘Experimentation in the Moving Image’ where she presents a video collection at MoMA. and will discuss his work overseeing the exhibition program.

On January 3, art historian and curator Veronica Flom, director of the Uruguay-based Ama Amoedo Foundation, will discuss the nonprofit’s mission to promote the presence of Latin American artists worldwide and increase their visibility on the global art scene.

ARCA 2023 Main Race Lineup:

“Children of the Mountain,” (Mercedes Sader, Uruguay, opening film, out of competition)

“An Imaginary Land,” (Juan Solanas, Uruguay, France)

“Shadows of Caravaggio,” (Michel Placido, Italy, France)

“Cézanne,” (Sophie Bruno, Belgium)

“Charlotte,” (Eric Warren, Tahir Rana, Canada)

“Dream Walls,” (Amelie van Elombt, Maya Duverdier, Belgium, France, Sweden, Netherlands)

“Follon,” (Gaitan Saint-Rémy, Belgium)

“Goa, Carriere and Buñuel’s Ghost,” (Jose Luis Linares-López, France, Spain, Portugal)

“Historjà – Stygn För Sápma,” (Thomas Jackson, Sweden)

“Infinito, L’Universo di Luigi Ghiri,” (Matteo Parisini, Italy)

“Inside the Uffizi,” (Karina Belz, Enrique Sanchez Lance, Germany)

“Cobra: Auto-Retrato,” (Lina Chami, Brazil)

“Plan for Buenos Aires,” (Gerardo Panero, Argentina)

“Rubens Garchmann: King of Kitsch,” (Pedro Rossi, Brazil)

“Thief Collector,” (Alison Otto, US)

“The Visit and a Secret Garden,” (Irene M. Borrego, Spain, Portugal)

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