"It's remarkable how many films are made here" - Mariano Pensotti on Argentinian cinema and inspirations for Cineastas Jan 23, 2015

by Erin talks with Mariano Pensotti about the creation of Cineastas:

Cineastas began, the genre-jumping artist reveals, as a documentary project to interview filmmakers involved in Buenos Aires’s booming movie industry. “It’s remarkable how many films are made here and how much variety there is. They really reflect a city in the eyes of a filmmaker,” says Pensotti. “There has been a democratization of different classes of people to make movies. The mix of technology has changed but there has also been a strong contribution from the state in funding movies. There’s also been a generational change: people from other fields that are making movies, coming from theatre or literature.”

As Pensotti became more and more interested in the way filmmakers’ lives shape their fictions, and the way their fictions influence their real lives, he started to turn to theatre as a better way to depict his themes. The ingenious creation of the “split-screen” stage came later, over the creative team’s lengthy, months-long process.

“The split screen was always in our minds but we didn’t really know how to use it on-stage. We failed a lot in the process,” he says with a laugh. “One thing I like the most about our system is that we have six or seven months before the premiere, and that has a huge effect on the whole group. We’re not funded by the state; we’re an independent company. And we’ve found this is the only way to produce something we feel is meaningful. Every time I do a play, I’m always conscious it is going to be a part of my life for a long time.”

Read the rest of the interview/preview at If you miss Cineastas in Seattle (or want to see it again, check it out at Vancouver's PuSH Festival Feb 5–7.

photo by Carlos Furman