“Paper & Glue,” the feature-length documentary that follows French artist JR as he glues his provocative large-scale images of people in places such as Rio de Janeiro’s favelas, the US-Mexico border wall and a Californian supermax prison, won the first prize at the first Uruguayan artistic film festival, ARCA, which ended on Friday, January 14. The prize is a bespoke sculpture by renowned Uruguayan artist and festival host Pablo Atchugarry, worth 60,000 euros ($68,487).
“Exploring the great capacity of art to challenge perspectives and unite communities, [“Paper & Glue”] highlights the power of art and the work of the artist, which makes visible and gives voice to those who do not have it”, commented the jury of the festival.
Special mentions were also awarded to “La Intención del Colibri”, the first feature film by Uruguayan filmmaker Sergio de León, which chronicles the love story between the late artist Ulises Beisso and his partner Juan Arrospide, and to the documentary ” Hidden Away” (“Volevo Nascondermi”) by Italian Giorgio Diritti about the naive, mentally handicapped and abused mid-century painter Antonio Ligabue.
Launched to complement the inauguration of the Pablo Atchugarry Foundation’s new drama museum, MACA, on January 8, the arts festival took place from January 9 to 14 with around twenty international art films in the running.
“We estimate that more than 3,000 people came for a week of cinema where – surrounded by works of art – they saw a curated selection of films from different continents, with multiple cinematographic languages and proposals to discover and rediscover the lives of artists and works of art,” said festival director Mercedes Sader. “It is particularly impressive to see how this unique and privileged setting has amplified the pleasure and emotion of a film… We are working with MACA to develop the next edition with increasingly solid links between the museum’s exhibitions and the festival’s programming.
“We have sought to prepare a thorough and extensive program that remains primarily focused on the arts,” said ARCA executive producer Andres Varela, who together with Coral Cine partner Sebastian Bednarik produced the festival and headed its infant industry section. “On the other hand, the audience attending, its attractive location and the time of year in which it takes place have been the basic elements that suggest that we are on the right track, as we plan the next editions.”
Screenings took place in the museum’s cinema, as well as in its outdoor sculpture park. In addition to the cinematic experience under the stars, the festival screened a selection of video art from the Geneva Moving Image Biennial, curated by the Museum of Contemporary Art Geneva and curated by Andrea Bellini and Laura Bardier of the Este Arte fair. Uruguayans Pablo Uribe and Guillermo Zabaleta also participated as guest artists with a selection of video works.