Benjamín Naishtat's ROJO Wins at Ecuador's Cuenca Film Festival

Rojo, the third feature film by Argentine director Benjamín Naishtat was awarded the top prize for best film in the international competition at the 7th edition of Cuenca’s Orquídea Film Festival in Ecuador. The Brazilian-Portuguese coproduction Chuva é Cantoria Na Aldeia Dos Mortos / The Dead and the Others by João Salaviza and Renée Nader Messora was awarded the award for Best Film in the Ibero-American First Film competition.

Starring Darío Grandinetti, Andrea Frigerio and Alfredo Castro, and set in the mid-seventies, Rojo follows a strange man who arrives in a quiet provincial city. In a restaurant, without any apparent reason, he starts insulting Claudio, a renowned lawyer. The community supports the lawyer and the stranger is humiliated and thrown out of the place. Later that night the stranger, who is determined to wreak a terrible vengeance, intercepts Claudio and his wife Susana. The lawyer then takes a path of no return involving death, secrets and silences.

Other winners include the Mexican film The Chambermaid / La camarista by Lila Avilés, which was presented with the awards for best director and best actress, while Valmir do Côco won the award for best actor for his role in the Brazilian film Azougue Nazaré by Tiago Melo.

The Ecuadorian documentary Sacachún by Gabriel Paez was the winner of the audience award, while Diego Ortuño’s Huaca was the winner of the best Ecuadorian short.

The jury in the international competition was composed by filmmaker Roberto Doveris, producer Hanne-Lovise Strarkveit and Cinema Tropical’s Carlos A. Gutiérrez. The Ibero-American jury was composed by Nadia Dresti from the Locarno Film Festival, and directors Juan Sebastián Jácome and Michael Wahrmann.

The 7th edition of the Cuenca Film Festival took place October 19-26 in Ecuador.