UPA! Una pelicula argentina

Argentina 2007, Feature film, 90' | Director Tamae Garateguy, Santiago Giralt, Camila Toker | Screenplay Eva Bär, Tamae Garateguy, Santiago Giralt, Camila Toker | DoP Tamae Garateguy, Santiago Giralt, Camila Toker | Editor Eva Bär | Sound Pablo Gamberg, Guillermo Picco | Music Tomi Lebrero | Cast Santiago Giralt, Camila Toker, Tamae Garateguy

A film director, an actress and a woman producer want to shoot an Argentinian film (Una Pelicula Argentina). Once they've squeezed some funding from a European film development agency, they start to make Tandil/Tromsö ? a black-and-white melodrama in which, for the most part, the male protagonists wander around gazing at the sky intensely. But things soon start to go wrong with their movie and the trio's friendship is put to a severe test.

UPA! Una pelicula Argentina shows us Argentinian cinema like we've never seen it before. Our film-makers had had enough of those boring old films where lonely men wander through the landscape, well, gazing intensely at the sky. They had also had enough of the cliché-laden expectations of foreign film buffs regarding "Argentinian film". And so, instead, they set out to make a comedy abut film-making as such ? an imaginary Making-of documentary that never actually gets produced because there are too many obstacles in its way. Lack of cash, an unreliable crew, film permits issued and revoked, a crazy coked-up director.

The real film was made without any sponsoring. The result, born of necessity, is a Dogma-style movie with pacy turbulent camerawork. An aesthetic that underscores the film's main theme: the difficulty of shooting a film in a country where there is hardly any money available for such ventures. Argentina with its population of 40 million has 12,000 film students (in Germany, there are only 2,000 film students compared to a population of 80 million!) Which is why most young Argentinian film directors seek out financial support from international film institutes and/or festivals. Only a few lucky ones can fall back on project funding from the Argentinian state.

"The funds are allocated by festivals that expect specific images of Argentina. Images related to the crisis, to poverty and to third-world scenery. If you write a screenplay of your own, you soon start thinking to yourself: No way, it does not meet the expectations of this or that film festival in Europe. And you begin to adapt the story accordingly".
Santiago Giralt


In April 2006, the Argentinian film-makers EVA BÄR, TAMAE GARATEGUY, SANTIAGO GIRAL and, CAMILA TOKER formed their group "UPA Films", the express aim being to shoot UPA! Una pelicula Argentina. The result was a surprise success both at home and abroad. Since then, the quartet have together realised four other film projects, including a pilot movie for Argentina TV and several video clips.

Tamae Garateguy
Feature Film