A total of 13 films will compete in the 15th edition of Venezuelan Film Festival in Caracas from June 14 to 20.
The 15th edition of Venezuela’s most prominent film festival, the Merida Festival of Venezuelan Cinema will be held from June 14 to 20, where national cinematographic productions will be showcased and celebrated.
This year the festival won’t take place in Merida as it usually does, but in the capital city of Caracas instead.
A total of 120 seats will be available for six days during which 13 Venezuelan films in competition will be showcased: Amnesia by Gabriel Marino, Arpon by Tom Espinoza, Canción de las sombras by Roque Zambrano, Cumbres borrascosas by Tony Rodríguez, Historias pequeñas by Rafael Marziano, Jazmines by Lídice by Ruben Sierra, La cula by José Salavarría, La noche de dos lunas by Miguel Ferrari, Operación Orión by Rubén Hernández Ramon, Parque Central by Luis Alberto Lamata, Peleador nocturno by Mario Pagano, Voy por ti by Carmen La Roche, and Yo imposible by Patricia Ortega.
Journalists Juan Antonio Gonzalez and Alexandra Cariani, producer Pedro Mezquita and filmmakers Geyka Urdaneta and Luis Rodriguez will be in charge of awarding Best Direction, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Script, Art Direction, Photography Direction, Editing, Sound, Camera, Music, Casting, Makeup and Costume prizes.
In addition, a list of short films will be showcased along with Araya a documentary by Margot Benacerraf which won Critics' Prize at the Cannes Film Festival 60 years ago. The documentary, late journalist and cultural promoter Pablo Antillano and filmmaker Joaquín Cortes, will receive a tribute.
The director of the film festival Karina Gomez said the festival is being held in Caracas as an exception this year only and will hopefully return to Merida. "We have the desire to return to the Andean region for the next editions," she said.
This year's festival will not include the complementary activities like the Cine Atomo marathon, which was held as part of the festival since 2007. Gomez and her four-person team are not discouraged though and hope to take up these activities again next year.
The festival started in 2005 and was created to promote and reward national cinematographic production.
The festival comes in at a time when the country is facing harsh and illegal U.S. sanctions asphyxiating its economy, affecting all sectors of life including the festival and its activities. The country has also been a victim of repeated attacks against its electric grid system, which continue to occur outside of the capital of Caracas.