A week after Argentina’s Un cuento chino (A Chinese Tale) directed by Sebastián Borensztein picked up a Goya for Best Latin American film, the region is set to host a film festival which launches its first edition this September, in San Juan, Argentina.

The international Unasur Cine festival, an initiative between San Juan’s government, producer Mariana León Echevarría and director Paula de Luque, aims to gather the continent’s countries at one festival, creating an inclusive cultural space which allows each nation to shine while maintaining its own identity.

Unasur, the Union of South American nations, is a regional group formed of 12 member nations and León Echevarría is keen to see maximum participation. With the aim of creating ties between film-makers from Unasur member nations, the festival will include jury members from each of the 12 who will judge the feature-length and short fiction and documentary competitions. 

“We want to use this as a window for new productions coming out of our continent, so that they can then undertake commercial circuits in cinemas, thereby consolidating the cinematography industry in our country as well as in the other Unasur member countries - which are Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia,  Chile, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela,” León Echevarría said, speaking from San Juan.

“We also believe that the first Unasur Cine festival will be a strategic example of Latin American integration, and we understand that integrating Unasur countries at a cultural gathering means integrating them in politics and via culture, giving them basic tools to construct an identity,” she added.

Unasur Cine will accept material completed after 31 August 2010 until 15 August this year and the festival will take place from 22-29 September in the city of San Juan.