• Program consists of 73 films in 18 different languages from 35 countries.
  • More than 120 Costa Rican and international guests will take part in workshops, encounters, debates and educational activities.
  • Fest will pay tribute to renowned Finn filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki with a retrospective.

San José, Costa Rica, Thursday, November 15 2017- A total of 73 of the best and most prestigious Central American and international independent films will be featured at the Costa Rica International Film Fest 2017 (CRFIC17). Costa Rican Center for Film Production (Centro de Cine), a branch of the country’s Ministry of Culture and Youth (MCJ), is in charge of this event.


According to Fernando Rodríguez, director of Centro de Cine, three years after the consolidation of the Fest, “the CRFIC seeks to strengthen the support and promotion of Central American stories with which we Central Americans identify ourselves, and which positions our voice within the planet’s film and audiovisual horizons. This is a platform for our audiences to reflect upon, a collection of signs and spaces of genuine identity that vindicate the region’s peoples, and that becomes stronger day by day.”


The sixth edition of CRFIC17 will take place from December 7 to 16 in thirteen locations in the provinces of San José, Cartago, and Alajuela (see list of venues, below), so that a more numerous public will be able to enjoy a program that is thematically diverse and appropriate to all ages.


To further extend the Fest to multiple audiences, 40 cost-free sessions will be held in locations such as the Luis Paulino Mora Mora Institutional Attention Center, La Libertad Park, and the National Park, as well as in Magaly Film Theater, La Aduana Theater and the 1887 Theater. The first screenings in the latter three venues will also be cost-free.


Another innovative feature of this year’s Fest is the mobile app that will be released by Centro de Cine, which will allow users to consult the CRFIC program and details, as well as to buy tickets to the screenings and to vote for the movies competing for The Audience Applause. The app can be found with the name “Centro de Cine”, and will be available for Android and iOS.




The CRFIC17 will consist of 73 audiovisual works from 35 countries and in 18 different languages. Out of these, 50 are full-length films, 20 are short films, 1 is a mid-length film, 1 a web documentary series, and 1 a virtual reality film.


A total of 29 productions will be screened in the different competitive sections of the Fest. 9 movies will be screened within the Central American Full-length Film Competition; 10 within the International Full-length Film Competition; and 10 as part of the National Short Film Competition.


The CRFIC will also present the non-competitive sections Costa Rican Window (Ventana costarricense), Panorama (Panorama), Radar (Radar), Special Features (Presentaciones especiales), Youth Section (De Jóvenes), Retrospective (Retrospectiva), Bridges (Puentes), and Cult Classics (Clásicos de culto). Each one of these sections will show films with important subjects and original approaches to satisfy the varied tastes of the different audiences.


The CRFIC will pay homage to Finn filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki (1957), to which the Retrospective Section will be dedicated with a selection of four of his best-regarded films.


Concerning the selection of the films, CRFIC17 artistic director Raciel del Toro said: “In this sixth edition, the Fest will feature a kind of cinema that encourages reflection and emotion, but also entertains. This is a position taken in the face of reality”.


Del Toro also underlined the program’s focus on independent film, which has the purpose of inviting the audience to interact directly with the moving image, regardless of distinctions between fiction and documentary, or animation and real image-capture techniques. Thus, “all film modalities and narrative strategies coexist, because what is interesting for us are the stories that the movies tell”.


The CRFIC’s curation team included artistic director Raciel del Toro, international executive consultant Nicole Guillemet, curator of the Preámbulo Program Yoshua Oviedo, and writer and film promoter Silvia Piranesi.


As for the economic incentives of the competition sections, the CRFIC will award a total of 5.000.000 Costa Rican colones (around USD 8.900) to the movies selected by the corresponding jurors (see list below).


Thus, the best Costa Rican full-length film of the Central American Full-length Film Competition will be awarded 3.000.000 colones (around USD 5.000), the Audience Award in the same Competition will consist of 1.000.000 colones (around USD 1.800), and the best work of the National Short Film Competition will endow also 1.000.000 colones (around USD 1.800).


CRFIC Industry and Training

Around 70 Costa Rican and 50 international guests will participate in workshops, encounters, debates, and educational activities.


Within the areas of Industry and Training, the CRFIC 2017 continues its engagement with the development of spaces for capacity building and exchanges for professionals in the field. The latter will spend time with international specialists in workshops on relevant topics aiming to promote the Costa Rican and Central American film industry.


Industria CRFIC 2017, specifically, selected 16 projects, 10 out of which will take part in the Project Presentation Forum category, a space for Costa Rican works in progress. The other six proposals were chosen to integrate the Film Under Construction space, created for Central American films already in the post-production stage.


The CRFIC 2017 will endow 8.500.000 colones (around USD 15.000) to three finalist Central American productions at Industria CRFIC, as well as professional consulting of the highest level


CRFIC 2017 Training, on the other hand, has the aim of building capacities and tools for criticism, promotion and distribution of films within the Central American region. This section will include the Film Criticism Lab, the Campus Latino Workshop, and the Film Promotion Training Seminar “With Cinema In Your Hands” (“Con el cine en tus manos”).


The Fest will also have training activities open to the public and cost-free, with the purpose of stimulating critical reflection and debate through talks, lectures, and discussion panels where national and international guests will approach techniques, processes and other topics related to the cinematographic world.


After the screening of some of the films, Training CRFIC17 will organize several Question and Answer sessions with guests directly related to the screened films. These sessions will be signaled on the program handout with two asterisks (**).


Complete Program


Central American Full-length Competition


This Competition serves as a platform to perceive different sensibilities and ways of storytelling, but the Central American seal underlies this plurality as a region full of stories, inquiries, and identities shared by filmmakers. The section includes a set of films that constitute a presentation card of the region towards the international audiovisual community.


Medea**, director: Alexandra Latishev - Costa Rica

Violeta al fin**, director: Hilda Hidalgo - Costa Rica / Mexico

Nosotros las piedras**, director:  Álvaro Torres - Costa Rica  

Atrás hay relámpagos**, director: Julio Hernández Cordón - Costa Rica / Mexico

500 Años**, director: Pamela Yates - Guatemala

El puma de Quelepa, director: Víctor Ruano - El Salvador

Heredera del viento**, director: Gloria Carrión - Nicaragua

Morazán**, director: Hispano Durón - Honduras

Olancho**, directors: Ted Griswold, Chris Valdés - Honduras


International Full-length Film Competition


The International Full-length Competition compiles stories coming from the most different regions of the planet, but their common thread is relevant topics in contemporary social contexts. This films feature not only an intrinsic artistic character, but they also encourage a direct dialogue with the audience on political, economic, environmental, philosophic and cultural concerns.


Mala junta** (Bad Influence), director: Claudia Huaiquimilla - Chile

Pendular**, director: Júlia Murat - Brazil / Argentina / France   

Men don’t Cry,  director:  Alen Drljevic - Bosnia-Slovenia / Croatia / Germany

Tehran Taboo, director: Ali Soozandeh - Austria / Germany

La novia del desierto** (The Dessert Bride), directors: Cecilia Atán / Valeria Pivato - Argentina  

Last Men in Aleppo, director: Feras Fayyad - Denmark / Syria / Germany

La libertad del diablo** (Devil’s Freedom), director: Everardo González - Mexico

City of the Sun**, director: Rati Oneli - Georgia / USA / Qatar / The Netherlands

Insyriated**, director: Philippe Van Leeuw - Belgium / France / Lebanon

Sexy Durga**, director: Sanal Kumar Sasidharan - India  


National Short Film Competition

The National Short Film Competition is a section dedicated to Costa Rican short films, where the value of short stories is underscored as a film modality of inherent artistic quality, with qualities on their own and a constant creative search. With this section, the CRFIC intends to exhibit works from Costa Rican filmmakers that are new to the scene.


Lili Zhen Álvarez, director: Carolina Mora  - Costa Rica

Elena, director: Ayerim Villanueva - Costa Rica

El hilo, director: Pietro Bulgarelli - Costa Rica

La ocarina, director: María Inés Pijuan - Costa Rica

Chaves en la foto, director: Alejandro Bonilla - Costa Rica

Umbral, director: Federico Montero - Costa Rica

El arte de desenterrar, director: Alessandra Baltodano - Costa Rica

Nado, director: Alejandro Ferlini - Costa Rica

Jabalí, director: Xabier Irigibel - Costa Rica

La familia de la vejiga, director: Juan Manuel Montero - Costa Rica



This section is the ideal space for gathering a more mature cinema; it is the place where we will find the most recent works of filmmakers that have become references of independent film worldwide, given their revisiting of recurring themes in their trajectory, or the continuous reinvention of their oeuvre.


La Cordillera** (The Summit), director: Santiago Mitre / Argentina / Spain / France

In the Fade, director: Fatih Akin / Germany - France

On Body and Soul, director: Ildikó Enyedi / Hungary

Una mujer fantástica** (A Fantastic Woman), director:  Sebastián Lelio / Chile / USA / Germany / Spain

Sueño en otro idioma (I Dream In Another Language), director: Ernesto Contreras / Mexico / The Netherlands

Radiance, director: Naomi Kawase / Japan / France

Zama, director: Lucrecia Martel / Argentina / Brazil / Spain / France / The Netherlands / Mexico / Portugal / USA

Vazante, director: Daniela Thomas - Brazil / Portugal

Loveless, director: Andrey Zvyagintsev - Russia

Happy End, director: Michael Haneke - France / Austria / Germany



Radar gathers works from filmmaker’s that, even in an early stage of their careers as directors of full-length films, show a particular talent in creating fascinating characters, telling amazingly lucid stories, or search for unusual narrative styles. These are films unafraid of distancing themselves from ordinary canons associated to the language of film.


Chavela, directors: Catherine Gund / Daresha Kyi - USA

Nobody's Watching**, director: Julia Solomonoff - Argentina / USA

Axolotl Overkill, director: Helene Hegemann - Germany

Bosque de niebla (The Cloud Forest), director:  Mónica Álvarez Franco - Mexico

Pop Aye, director: Kirsten Tan - Singapore / Thailand

Loving Vincent, directors: Dorota Kobiela / Hugh Welchman - Poland / Great Britain

Beauty and the Dogs, director: Kaouther Ben Hania - Tunisia / France / Sweden / Norway / Lebanon / Qatar / Switzerland

Carpinteros (Woodpeckers), director: José María Cabral - Dominican Republic

Rey, director: Niles Atallah - Chile

Have a Nice Day, director: Liu Jian - China


Special Features

Special Features are a good opportunity to get close to filmmakers whose stories have very peculiar characteristics and portrait places at home and away with a personal seal.


San José de noche, directors Felipe Zúñiga / Carlos Benavides / Sasha Zuwolinsky - Costa Rica

Atenas, director: César González - Argentina

Leafcutters, director: Catherine Chalmers- USA



  • Cerulia, director: Sofía Carrillo - Mexico
  • Yin, director: Nicolas Fong - Belgium
  • Journal animé, director: Donato Sansone - France
  • Nocturne, director: Anne Breymann - Germany
  • Amor, nuestra prisión, director: Carolina Corral - Mexico
  • XOXO - Hugs and Kisses, director: Wiola Sowa - Poland
  • Ticho, director: Adriana Ronquillo - Mexico
  • It Would Piss Me Off To Die So Yoooooung, director: Filipe Abranches - Portugal



The CRFIC 2017 will be dedicated to the Finn cult filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki. Four of his movies will be presented in this Retrospective.


The Other Side of Hope (2017) - Finland - Germany

Man Without a Past (2002) - Finland

Drifting Clouds  (1996) - Finland

The Match Factory Girl (1990) - Finland



This section bridges gaps toward artistic and technic interdisciplinarity. It is dedicated to the interaction between film and other artistic manifestations, as well as to relating movies with performative exhibitions and several technological experiences, thus allowing different audiences to come close to one another.


Four Walls, director: Alice Shindelar - USA / Lebanon

Haxan**, director: Benjamin Christensen - Sweden

500 Años**, director: Pamela Yates-  Guatemala

Tesoros, director: María Novaro- Mexico

Ruido**, director: Osvaldo Jiménez- Costa Rica



This section is directed to our younger audiences; it presents stories starring children and teenagers, who reveal their questions and expectations while they confront the idea of growing up.


Las dos Irenes, director:  Fabio Meira - Brazil

Tesoros, director: María Novaro - Mexico

Zombillenium, directors: Arthur de Pins / Alexis Ducord -  France / Belgium


Cult Classics

This section is conceived as a celebration of works that have transcended in the history of cinema, given their cultural impact, their artistic contribution, or their conceptual innovations. Our not-so-young audiences will be able to revisit films that left a mark in their lives, and that are now presented in restored editions. Our younger audiences will have the chance to fuel their love for movies, and to wonder at the cinematographic legacy  passed on to us by history.


Night of the living dead¸ (La noche de los muertos vivientes), director: George A. Romero - USA


Costa Rican Window

This section takes a look at Costa Rican works approaching topics of interest for the national contemporary societies, films that are able to have a direct dialogue with the audience.


Ruido**, director: Osvaldo Jiménez - Costa Rica

Soy improvisao**, director: Juan Manuel Montero - Costa Rica

Gigi**, director: Erika Bagnarello - Costa Rica


CRFIC 2017 Jury


  • National Short Film Competition Jury
    • Cristóbal Serrá Jorquera (Costa Rica). Filmmaker with a Masters degree in Creative Documentary from Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona.
    • Millán Luis Vázquez-Ortiz (Spain). Founder and general director of Agencia Freak.
    • Rodrigo González (Spain, Mexico). Director of Animasivo, Contemporary Animation Fest at Mexico City.


  • Central American Full-length Film Competition Jury
    • Gustavo Fallas (Costa Rica). Filmmaker, producer and screenwriter.
    • Eduardo Guillot (Spain). Writer on film and popular culture.
    • Nina Rodríguez (Germany). Program director at the Guanajuato International Film Festival.


  • International Full-length Film Competition Jury
    • Jurgen Ureña (Costa Rica). Filmmaker with a Masters degree in Creative Documentary from Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona.
    • Tatiana Huezo (Mexico). Filmmaker with a Masters degree in Creative Documentary Direction from Universidad Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona.
    • Mario Mariani (Italy). Music score composer for film, animation and television.




San José

Magaly Film Theater– film screening venue from December 7 to 15

1887 Theater– film screening venue from December 8 to 16

La Aduana Theater– venue for film screenings and for activities within the frame of Bridges (Puentes), from December 8 to 16.

National Park– film screening venue from December 12 to 14.

La Libertad Park, at Desamparados – venue for film screenings and for actividades within the frame of Bridges (Puentes), from December 7 to 10.

CENAC, small tower– venue for talks, lectures and discussion panels, cost-free, from December 8 to 14.

Casa Caníbal (Spain Cultural Center)– Professional Training venue (not open to the public).

Centro Costarricense de Producción Cinematográfica (Centro de Cine)– Industria and Training venue (not open to the public).

Casa Camanance– Industria venue (not open to the public).

Casa del cuño– gathering space all through the Fest, screening venue for the virtual reality film, from December 8 to 10.

CENAC, big tower– Press Room.



Cinépolis Terramall– film screening venue, from December 7 to 9.

**Times and prices will be announced on the first week of December by Cinépolis

**Tickets will be sold at Cinépolis box office, and not through Yapp.



Centro de Atención Institucional Luis Paulino Mora Mora– screening venue, from December 11 to 14 (exclusive for inmates).


The first screenings at theaters Magaly, La Aduana and 1887 are free of cost.


¢ 2000 general

¢ 1500 students

Citizens over 65 years of age: free entrance.


Ticket sale


Magaly, Aduana, 1887 Theaters

Online at www.costaricacinefest.go.cr and www.yappexperience.com (from November 25).

Credit and debit cards are accepted.


Press contact: Sergio Pacheco,  CRFIC2017 Communication Director. Mobile phone number +506 8816- 2283. Email [email protected]

Ana Beatriz Fernández, Content Manager. Mobile phone number +506 8325 5319. Email [email protected]