San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

International Film Festival opens Friday

From the print edition

Step into the home of an Iranian family. Attend the performance of a gringo mariachi. Witness the birth of psychoanalysis with Freud. And by all means, do it from a theater seat in San José, as these diverse experiences are part of the 2012 International Film Festival in Costa Rica. Made up of workshops, lectures and 80 films under the theme “Peace with the Earth,” there’s entertainment for all interests.

“Films reflect the personality and identity of the countries they represent,” said Culture Minister Manuel Obregón. “This festival strives to renew human dignity and contribute to … a collective critical spirit.”

Some of the films aim to bring understanding to different forms of violence, such as abuse of natural resources and disrespect of human life, he said. The films were selected by Nicole Guillemet, who was co-director of the Sundance Film Festival for 15 years.

The festival’s guest of honor is Mexico, a trendsetter in Latin American film for more than 100 years. Accordingly, a film series entitled “What was seen in Guadalajara” will be included. The films will be judged by a jury panel, and Costa Rica’s Jaguar Prize will go to the top picture. 

The festival’s epicentre is La Antigua Aduana in San José’s Barrio California, where films, lectures and workshops will take place. Other locations include Magaly Theater, Plaza de Cultura, National Theater, the Children’s Museum and the Central Market, among others.

Films will be shown in their original language with Spanish subtitles. General entrance is ₡1,500. The festival will be held in theaters across San José, from July 27-Aug. 5. For schedules, tickets and more info, visit

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