The Human Rights Office invites all citizens to participate of Asterisco Film Festival
INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL ON SEXUAL DIVERSITY
Argentina is today in the path of human rights and sexual diversity. Is in that context that the Human Rights Promotion Subsecretary of the Human Rights Nation Secretary, with the support of INCAA, announce the Second Edition of “Asterisco” Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual, Intersexual and Queer film Festival.
Since the last decade, Argentina has been expanding civil rights and working towards total inclusion for diversity. In this matter, Argentina is at the vanguard in the region. We are the first country in Latin America to approve the law of “Matrimonio Igualitario” -proposed by ex President Nestor Kirchner- that allows couples of the same genre to get legally married. This works together with the political decision to build a society where everyone can live their lives with full liberty and dignity. July 15, 2015 is the 5th anniversary of the Law of Matrimonio Igualitario and Asterisco will be part of the celebrations surrounding this date. We can also mention the law of “Identidad de Género”, that allows Trans and Intersexuals to legally change their names, and the acknowledgement of diverse families with access to all legal rights, in agreement with the policies of human rights of president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner's government.
However, these achievements require the support of a deep cultural change. Cinema is an essential tool, not only for entertaining, but also for the ideological and emotional education of everyone. Cinema happens to us with all of our senses. To project in widescreen a film that includes this kind of topics, is a way to project in the conscience of thousands of spectators other realities that are already part of everyday life.
After 31 years of democracy, we celebrate the second Asterisco Festival, that will help promote the discussion on production, distribution and investigation of national and international cinema, so that sexual diversity and their civil rights are finally visible for all people.
Martín Fresneda - Human Rigths National Secretary
Carlos Pisoni - Undersecretary of Human Rights Promotion
Martin Fresneda is a human rights lawyer, graduate from National University of Córdoba and is the current National Secretary for Human Rights in Argentina. He is one of the founding members of the human rights organization H.I.J.O.S (Sons and Daughters for Identity and Justice, against Forgetting and Silence). Martin is a proud son of Tomás Fresneda and María de las Mercedes Argañaraz. In July 1977, his parents were kidnapped in Mar del Plata during a military operation against a group of lawyers activists called “The night of Ties”. His mother was pregnant of 5 months when she was disappeared by the dictatorship. Martin is still looking for his brother or sister. He took part in trials for crimes against humanity as a lawyer representing victims of the dictatorship as well as human rights organisations. Before being designated National Secretary for Human Rigths, he was in charge of ANSES in the Córdoba Province (National Social Security Agency). Martin Fresneda is one of the promoters of the Asterisco Festival, seeing it as a tool to keep building a culture of human rights as well as the broadening of civil rights.
“When there is a need is when rights are born,” to quote an Evita Peron speech. He is the Under-Secretary at the National Promotion of Human Rights Secretary in Argentina. He was the representative for the Human Rights Secretary at the Memory and Human Rights Promotion Space (ex ESMA). He is a lifelong activist with H.I.J.O.S organization. His father, Rolando Pisoni and his mother, Irene Bellocchio were kidnapped and disappeared by the Argentine dictatorship when Carlos was just over a month old. His parents believed and fought so that 'love and equality rule all people,' to quote a Peronist phrase. With that inheritance, Carlos grew up and based his activism in that same belief. He believes that human rights are what make us equal in our diversity, which is why we are doing this festival.
ASTERISCO is an international film festival about sexual diversity. It is to celebrate the diverse and many ways of being and loving in the world; forming relationships and families, and living in equality and with respect for differences.
ASTERISCO is a film festival whose natural place is Argentina, where full citizenship includes everyone. It is country seen around the world as one that is at the vanguard of civil rights, with laws covering same-sex marriage, gender identity and access to assisted fertilization. These are laws that without restricting the rights of anyone, have widened the recognition for sectors of society that have been historically marginalized, such as the lesbian, gay, trans, bisexual and intersexual population. These are laws that in order to be fully applied require profound cultural changes and it is there that cultural and artistic expression can help break down symbolic boundaries that still separate the minority from the majority in our society.
ASTERISCO, the name of the festival, is a declaration of principles. The * is a way to include diversity in language, the use of the * avoids demarking gender in the Spanish language and is a strategy to include all identities.
ASTERISCO is a festival destined to cross frontiers, to thrill those are unprepared and move those in fear, because that is what film does - it makes us experience for ourselves something that seems to be so distant. For over an hour we live and experience a part of the world that we did not believe ourselves to be in.
ASTERISCO is a meeting point for filmmakers, activists and the public where everyone can unfold their questions and concerns. We will find some answers, but above all we will find new questions to ask.
Albertina Carri is, in order of appearance: daughter of the revolutionaries Ana Maria Caruso and Roberto Carri, murdered during the last military dictatorship; screenwriter, producer and film director; lesbian, mother, and the wife of Marta Dillon. She believes that music is God, that only art will save the world, and that cinema is a machine of mass destruction of common sense. She feels honoured, overwhelmed, happy and expectant with the challenge of being the artistic director of Asterisco, the LGBTIQ film festival of his beloved country.
INVENTING THE INVENTORY
There has been a paradigm shift in Argentina in recent years, with changes to the law considering sexual diversity as a human right, promoting same-sex marriage and gender identity laws as a basis for social change. It must also be reflected in renewing cultural policies too.
It is in this context that a film festival in line with the laws that are setting a precedent in the world for having been based in the strong dialogue between organisations, civil society and the State. Film was the art form that experienced the 20th century and which reinvented itself in the new millennium to generate new screens, enthusiasms, and new visions both in front and behind the screen.
Festivals are eclectic meeting points and points of communion for intense interchange between filmmakers, journalists and the public. But above all it is the possibility to open an audiovisual lane to represent collective, sexual, sensual and social desire and that can intellectually include all society.
For these reasons it is important to recuperate film as a meeting point, a place to connect and offer visibility to a community’s sensibility. An international festival allows us to continue looking beyond, to see diversity with no boundaries or frontiers, to keep broadening the map of identities. That is why we have to keep searching for cinema that provide an inventory of what exists, but also show what does not exist and what is still invisible.
It was a love of cinema and a career test that lead him to film criticism, which he has done avidly since 1995. His writings on film have been published in Argentina, South Korea, Spain, Holland and Poland. His passion for the Film Club, created by Octavio Fabiano, found a channel as curator for film and video exhibitions, until he was invited to be planner for Mar del Plata festival and Bafici. He is has been an activist with Argentina Homosexual Community (CHA). He has written for the magazine El Amante for over a decade and in the Soy supplement in Pagina/12 newspaper since it was founded. He acted in the video El mató a un policía motorizado, he played and sang in 107 faunos concerts and is in the football team on the cover of an album by Bestia Bebé. He was summoned as Jury of the TED Award at Berlinale, after his outstanding work in Asterisco 2014.
ASTERISCO evolves as a public initiative, as a way of extending the political victories to the cultural and symbolic field. It could be argued that cultural barriers will not be automatically broken as a result of these kind of events, but nor must we underestimate the power of the symbolic. Only 30 years ago, the last civil servant who censured Argentine film said, in public, that thanks to his work our society had not had ‘problems of homosexuality.’ And only 15 years ago, the first attempt to organise a festival about sexual diversity, because the public institutions would not fund it. In between these two anecdotes there is also a third. Upon seeing the gay pride march in the film El Censor (Calgagno, 1995), Raul Alfonsín asked a friend – under his breath – if ‘that’ represented the advent of democracy. It is clear that for the dictatorship’s civil servant, but also those who followed him, the ‘problem’ begins with visibility. And it is exactly that quality that first defines any audiovisual festival.
There is another quality that is necessary but that is not a given: it must be developed. It is not enough to look for films that allow us to tick all the right thematic boxes. The real task consists in the challenge of prioritising the artistic quality over the activist’s conviction, in finding films that use its natural visibility to touch the soul of its subject. Years ago the critic Alejandro Ricagno wrote: ‘We do not want to be accepted; we want to be loved.’ That is what it is about.
Cinema historian, collector, teacher and programmer. He has tried to set up a National Film Library, but so far has been unable to. While he waits for that project to happen, he has built a blue tower in the depths of the suburbs of Buenos Aires to keep his personal film collection. He lives alongside things that no longer exist. He admits to being slightly overwhelmed representing the heterosexual minority in this festival but promises to do everything he can.
Violeta studied Image and Sound Design in Universidad de Buenos Aires. She was part of the group LesGaiCineMad (Festival Internacional de Cine Gai Lésbico y Transexual de Madrid) and was Coordinator of the Latin American region of Red de Cine LGBT. Violeta is Co-Founder of Asociación Civil y Cultural “Brandon”. An association that produces many and various cultural activities and of course, the famous Brandon parties. She has worked in the production and direction of numerous audiovisual projects.
She is certain that films can change the world, and agrees with Cheshire’s Cat on the matter that you will always get somewhere, if you walk long enough.
Rita Falcón has a Bachelor's Degree in Art Studies (UBA). Between 2009 and 2013 she worked as a programmer in Pay-TV network I.Sat.
In 2012 she co-founded www.cinemargentino.com, a non profit video library of Argentinian Films, that was declared of Cultural Interest by the Legislature of the City of Buenos Aires and the Senate.
She currently manages digital distribution at Energía Entusiasta.
She's proud of being a part of Asterisco for the second year in a row, and to work towards making the festival bigger and stronger.
Artistic Director: Albertina Carri
Programmers: Albertina Carri, Fernando Martín Peña, Diego Trerotola
Producers: Violeta Uman, Rita Falcón
Consultora de producción: Laura Citarella
Administrative Production: Fernanda Gimenez
Business Producer: Mateo Bendesky
Programming and Venues Coordinator: Eugenia Campos Guevara
Assistant Producers: Vic Posse, Lizzania Sanchez
Guest Office: Santiago Rodrigo Hilara
Guest office Staff: Max Woellert, Christian Jankowski
Design: Ale Ros
Assistant Designer: Silvia Canosa
Programming: El imperio de los sentidos, Leandro Listorti
Curator: Emilie Jouvet , Sebastián Freire
Catalogue and Program Guide Editors: Sol Santoro D’Stefano Agustín Mango
Editorial Design: Alejandro Ros, Cecilia Loidi
Correction: Micaela Berguer
Translation: Juan Pablo Martínez
Web: Juan Ignacio Jankowski, Lis Altamirano, Alan Paemaa
Press: Cris Zurutuza
Digital Communication: Carla Sanguineti
Spot: Juan Pablo Zaramella
Inscription Illustration: Luciano Vecchio
Design and production of gift bags: Juan Ignacio Jankowski, Lis Altamirano
Technical Coordinator: Carolina Rolandi
Technical Team: Lucas Iaccarino, Julián Tagle
Sound Assistant: Arián Frank
Film Traffic: Luciana Schnir
Subtitles: Copia Cero
Subtitle Supervisor: Karen Bennett