'People That Are Not Me' Tops Mar del Plata Film Festival

Agustin Mango
The Hollywood Reporter

Hadas Ben Aroya's People That Are Not Me took the Astor for best film at the 31st edition of the Mar del Plata Film Festival, which officially closed Saturday night with a ceremony at the Astor Piazzola hall of the Argentine city's Auditorium Theater, hosted by Argentine actress Andrea Frigerio (The Distinguished Citizen).

Romanian helmer Radu Jude picked the best director prize for Scarred Hearts, while Bertrand Bonello's Nocturama won a Jury Special Mention for best cinematography. The film, shot just before the terror attacks in Paris last November, depicts a group of adolescents who plant a series of bombs in the French capital.

Kleber Mendonça Filho's Aquarius won the Audience Award and best actress honors for Brazilian legend Sonia Braga, while Mahershala Ali was named best actor for Barry Jenkins' Moonlight. The international competition jury was formed by critics Jonathan Rosenbaum and Sylvie Pierre, Argentine director Lorena Muñoz (Gilda) and festival director Jean-Pierre Rehm (FIDMarseille).

In the Latin American competition, the jury - which included film curator Agnes Wildenstein, American filmmaker John Gianvito, Argentine critic Marcelo Stiletano and directors Nelson Carlo de los Santos Arias and Adirley Queirós - selected Vincent Carelli, Tatiana Almeida and Ernesto De Carvalho's Martirio as best film and Yamil Quintana's Aire quemado for best short. Eduardo Williams' The Human Surge also was awarded with a Special Jury Prize. 

Tomas De Leone's El aprendiz won best film honors in the Argentine competition, and the best director prize went to Lukas Valenta Renner for A Decent Woman. Jury members in this category included Jinna Lee, Ted Fendt and Julietta Sichel.

The festival's new LoboLab co-production forum handed out awards to LatAm projects Loba, by Kiro Russo (Bolivia); Manuel Nieto's El empleado y el patrón (Uruguay); and Francisco Márquez's Un crimen en común (Argentina).

The only A class festival in Latin America, Mar del Plata welcomed director Olivier Assayas (Personal Shopper) and legendary Italian cinematographer and three-time Oscar winner Vittorio Storaro (Café Society), among other international guests.

The main awards are listed below.

International Competition

Best film: People That Are Not Me - Hadas Ben Aroya
Best director: Radu Jude, for Scarred Hearts
Special mention for best cinematography: Nocturama - Bertrand Bonello
Best actor: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)
Best actress: Sonia Braga (Aquarius)
Best screenplay: Paradise - Andreí Konchalovsky, Elena Kiseleva

Latin American Competition

Best film: Martírio - Vincent Carelli, Tatiana Almeida and Ernesto De Carvalho (Brazil)
Best short film: Aire quemado - Yamil Quintana
Special Jury Prize: The Human Surge - Eduardo Williams (Argentina-Brazil-Portugal)

Argentine Competition

Best film: El aprendiz - Tomas De Leone
Best director: Lukas Valenta Rinner, for A Decent Woman
Best short film: Murciélagos - Felipe Ramírez Vilches
Best short film director: Mariano Cócolo, for Al silencio

Other Awards

Audience Award: Aquarius  - Kleber Mendonça Filho
FIPRESCI Award for Best Argentine Film: Balloons (Mariano González)