Last week at DocMontevideo’s documentary pitching market, emerging Argentinean filmmaker María Alvarez took home the IDFA Award for Most Promising Project. Lauded for its intimate, patient, and persistent gaze, Alvarez’s film project The Lost Time (El tiempo perdido) offers a window into the poetics of reading and reflection through an unlikely group of characters.
The feature-length documentary project follows a group of elderly people who have been meeting for 18 years at a Buenos Aires bar to read Marcel Proust’s novel In Search of Lost Time, imbuing it with a new and personal meaning. As Alvarez’s second film, The Lost Time follows the success of The Cinephiles (2017), forming the next chapter in the director’s trilogy on elderly people who immerse themselves in the pleasures of art as a refuge for the soul.
“[The Lost Time is] a project that excites for the way it manages to capture one of the most intimate and beautiful acts that people can perform: to read. Through her patient and close look, the filmmaker discovers the singularities of a group of older adults who find in the text of Proust the shelter where we all want to return,” said IDFA Associate Programmer María Campaña Ramia, who awarded Alvarez.
“Here persistence is the gesture that shines doubly: from the one who films and the ones who are filmed. Patience and persistence, the distinguished qualities of documentary cinema that we will strongly need to resist these troubled times,” Campaña Ramia added.
In addition to making waves at DocMontevideo’s documentary pitching market, Alvarez’s winning project has secured her an all-access pass to IDFA 2019, including a flight to Amsterdam, hotel stay, an IDFA Forum Pass, and meetings with decision makers.
Photos by Sebastián Aguilar Aloy.