MADRID – The Mexican resort city of Cancun will host the fifth edition of the Platino Prizes in 2018, the main awards in Ibero-American film that serve to “strengthen the industry, ... our origins and our common language.”
Chile’s Pablo Larrain’s statement on the awards was echoed by all participants at the gala ceremony Saturday evening in Madrid at which Gaston Duprat and Mariano Cohn’s “El ciudadano ilustre” (The Distinguished Citizen) emerged with the top honors.
The film emerged with the best picture, best screenplay and best actor awards, the latter taken home by Oscar Martinez, but it did not win the nod for best director, which went to Spain’s Pedro Almodovar, who emphasized the “feeling of brotherhood” within the Ibero-American film industry family.
“We have something very important in common, which is the (Spanish) language, and it’s something that brings us closer together in an organic way, and so it’s logical for these awards to exist, which provide visibility for Ibero-American talent,” he said.
Although Almodovar also acknowledged that it is “very difficult to compete against the English-speaking film machine because the industry is in English, and thus it’s so important for us to celebrate our own language.”
This is a milieu that is well known by Larrain, who made “Jackie” in the United States and said that distribution is the greatest challenge for Ibero-American film, which turns out many films but is not able to export them beyond Latin America.
“Something is happening, there’s a lack of synchrony among our countries despite the fact that we speak the same language,” Larrain said, adding that initiatives such as the Platino Prizes can help to improve the situation.
Argentina’s Pablo Trapero, one of the most internationally renowned filmmakers, also said that the great failing of Ibero-American film is that its works are seen mostly in Latin America.
However, he said he was optimistic because “our films win awards at the big (film) festivals and every year there are one or two films from our countries that have a great communication with the public.”
Argentine screenwriter Andres Duprat, the winner of the Platino for best screenplay for “El ciudadano ilustre,” said that “We have to have the self-esteem to award ourselves. Other countries do it. We have a lot of people, and I think that it’s super important to acknowledge our work.”
This year, the film with the most nominations was that of Spain’s Juan Antonio Bayona, “Un monstruo viene a verme,” which took four of the seven awards for which it had been nominated, albeit all of them in technical categories.
The winner of the award for best actress, Brazil’s Sonia Braga, for her work in “Aquarius,” said that “We have to keep producing and speaking out on and promoting Ibero-American film.
And Oscar Martinez said that “The Platinos are a great festival of Ibero-American film. We have to bring ourselves into harmony and defend our film and our culture from invading markets.”
The gala, hosted by Spain’s Carlos Latre and Uruguay’s Natalia Oreiro, was rebroadcast in 17 countries and could be viewed in 80 million homes.
The goal of the Platino Prizes is to break down barriers and encourage unity among the Ibero-American peoples through cinema, according to its organizers – the Spain-based Audiovisual Producers’ Rights Management Association (EGEDA) and the Ibero-American Federation of Film and Audiovisual Producers (FIPCA).