Boris Izaguirre Hails Robust State of Ibero-American Cinema

“El abrazo de la serpiente” (Embrace of the Serpent), “El clan” (The Clan), “El club” (The Club), “Ixcanul” and “Truman” – reflect the “extraordinary” strides that film industry has made over the past five to 10 years.

Venezuelan novelist, screenwriter and TV personality Boris Izaguirre will present the five nominees for best picture in the third edition of the Platino Prizes gala, a July 24 awards show that he said would showcase the robust state of Ibero-American cinema.

In an interview with EFE in Miami, Izaguirre said those films – “El abrazo de la serpiente” (Embrace of the Serpent), “El clan” (The Clan), “El club” (The Club), “Ixcanul” and “Truman” – reflect the “extraordinary” strides that film industry has made over the past five to 10 years.

“The growth of this cinema has been enormous, as evidenced by its importance in the programs of international festivals,” said Izaguirre, one of the celebrity guests at the gala, which will take place in the resort city of Punta del Este, Uruguay.

Hundreds of celebrities on both sides of the Atlantic will be on hand for the latest edition of the Platino Prizes, organized by EGEDA, the Spain-based Audiovisual Producers’ Rights Management Association, and the Ibero-American Federation of Audiovisual Producers, or FIPCA.

Izaguirre hailed the important role that awards galas, film festivals and critical acclaim have played in promoting Ibero-American cinema.

“It’s very important to have the support of the critics, who are losing some of their value with the social networks but will remain key guides” for film-goers, said Izaguirre, the runner-up for Spain’s prestigious Planeta Prize in 2007 for his novel “Villa Diamante” (Diamond Village).

The 50-year-old writer and showman said all of the Latin American countries had made an “enormous” effort in recent decades to develop their national film industries and shown they not only have the talent but also have conceptualized the “idea of a film industry, of producing a significant number of titles.”

“Latin America is always explaining itself. Like minorities, who need to explain who they are and why they’re a minority,” he said of the recurring themes in the region’s films, which frequently involve social conflicts or more international subject matter such as immigration.

The author of the 2014 novel “Un jardin al norte” said on the other hand that “Hollywood’s stereotyped image of Hispanics” was steadily being overcome but still urged patience, noting that Latin America also is the victim of stereotyping in the “mecca of cinema.”

He said the important thing was for the region to also trust that it can develop its own film industry.

Izaguirre said he was excited about participating in the Platino Prizes gala and recalled that the event attracted the interest of the European public when it was held last year in the southern Spanish city of Marbella.

This year’s awards “make me feel more Latin American,” said Izaguirre, who divides his time between Madrid and Miami, where he is a personality on Telemundo shows such as “Suelta la Sopa” and “Ya era hora.”

The films garnering the largest number of nominations in the third edition of the Platino Prizes are “El abrazo de la serpiente,” directed by Ciro Guerra, and Jayro Bustamante’s “Ixcanul,” both of which received eight, followed by Pablo Larrain’s “El Club” (The Club) and Pablo Trapero’s “El Clan” (The Clan), which picked up six.

Cesc Gay’s “Truman” received five nominations.

The Platino Prizes, which bring together films from 23 Ibero-American countries in a joint project, were established in 2014 with the clear goal of promoting and supporting the region’s cinematic output.


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