Film festival stressing peace opens today in San José

The Ministerio de Cultura y Juventud and the Centro Costarricense de Produción Cinematográfica present 80 films from around the world during the 2012 international film festival beginning today.

The theme “Paz con la Tierra” invites participants to view audiovisual, cinematographic and video works with story lines that encourage respect for diversity and peaceful coexistence among human beings, plants and animals.

“This festival wishes to reaffirm the human dignity, promoting respect for life and contributing to the formation of a critical spirit that strengthens the collective consciousness. In that regard, the festival poses a challenge to those works of film and video that promote violence as mass entertainment in its various forms, including abuse of nature and the disrespect to all forms of life,” said organizers.

The film festival had been going on for 18 years. It was usually held in November, but the ministry decided this year to change the date in the effort to bridge together the Costa Rican festival with other Latin American film festivals such as the International Film Festival in Guadalajara, México, the Icarus Film Festival in Central America, Guatemala, as well as the Festival International of the new Latin American cinema, Havana, Cuba, and the International Film Festival of Panamá.
Mexico will be honored during the festival for being the starting point of Latin American movies more than 100 years ago.

“Our guest of honor is Mexico, whose film has been starting point and reference for the creation and evolution of the Latin American and world cinema over more than one century. A sample of films in that country, proposed as a whole by the International Film Festival of Guadalajara, the Mexican Institute of cinematography will be scheduled as a tribute to this cinematographic heritage,” said the ministry.

Costa Rica has 22 different documentaries, video clips and short fiction firms. The first will be the animation “Inalcanzable.” The United States has eight different films that include Harry Belafonte’s “Sing Your Song,” “Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey” and “Restrepo,” a story about men in Afghanistan.

This festival runs to Aug. 4 at the refurbished old customs house, the Antigua Aduana in east San José. Other showings will be at the Magaly and Variedades movie theaters, teatros National and Melico Salazar, National Auditorium and the Mercado Central of San José.

There will also be performing arts and music workshops, visual arts exhibitions, talks, forums and conferences to promote active participation and artistic and intellectual exchange, organizers said.

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