Made in Peru: Lima Film Festival comes of age

Barrow, Sarah (2015) Made in Peru: Lima Film Festival comes of age. European Journal of Media Studies (journal of NECSUS) . ISSN 2215-1222

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The Festival de Cine de Lima (Lima Film Festival) was launched in 1997 as ‘elcine’ with ten days of screenings composed of 21 features and 38 shorts from ten Latin American countries alongside a three-day event in the southern city of Arequipa. Over 15,000 spectators attended what was described by its organisers as an ‘unprecedented event’[1] – not just for its statistics but also for the way it encouraged private enterprise to support a major cultural activity, involved many young people in its organisation, included events designed to provoke debate about the value of cinema, sparked mass participation on the part of the public through its competition voting system, and caught the attention of the national and international press.

In August 2015, the 19th edition introduced around 300 international films to audiences across the Peruvian capital and beyond, with more of those films than ever before made by Peruvian directors, including several selected for the feature competition. Indeed, while many of the original features of this resilient festival have been retained it has been intriguing to witness the gradual increase in profile granted by the event to home-grown talent. After years of tension and mistrust between the most prominent film critics in Peru and many local film-makers battling with a precarious set of cultural, political, and financial circumstances, this change signals a welcome recognition of national production by those that have tended to look beyond national borders for inspiration. Moreover, despite the relative paucity of co-ordinated film production activity in Peru compared with other Latin American nations, it would seem that this festival (and other smaller film events that have emerged around the city over the last two decades[2]) provides some evidence of a growing interest in cinema ‘made in Peru’. This article aims to shed some light on the development of this key cultural event, to unravel its role as instigator and mediator of national and regional cinema, and to consider its place as part of the film ecology of Peru.

Keywords:Lima Film Festival, JCOpen
Subjects:P Mass Communications and Documentation > P303 Film studies
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Film & Media > Lincoln School of Film & Media (Media)
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ID Code:19827
Deposited On:19 Dec 2015 23:50

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