Interview with Federico Schmukler

Federico Schmukler, the author of the movie “Refugio” and last year’s winner of the Star Film Fest, takes a slightly different role in this year’s edition of the festival. This young director and producer from Argentina will be joining this year’s Star Film Fest as a festival jury member. We have succeeded in stealing him from his responsibilities as a director and asked him a couple of questions concerning his engagement as a member of the jury. 


Have you earned more credibility in the film industry due to winning last year’s Star Film Fest award in the category of feature film? 

Federico: I really don’t know … Maybe the prices are the end of a path that the films and directors do without realizing the importance… I think that winning Star Film festival was the beginning of something bigger in my career. 


The story of the meeting of the two protagonists, the boy Lazaro and fishermen Gonzalo, touched the viewers of the film “Refugio”. Where does Lazaro go at the end of the film, does he return to home and his family or does he continue to wander? Could the relationship between Lazaro and Gonzalo be comprehended as the time lapse representation of every man’s life – first the unexpected arrival, then the escape from its own reality followed by the discovery of friend and the final return to reality as opposed to continuation of wandering? 

Federico: Yes of course that’s the idea… I really enjoy when the spectators have its own version of the final. Everyone watches different things and “Refugio” has done a great success with the public identifying with it.  And Lazaro…. I think that Lazaro just keep escaping… Until he finds himself. 


What are your expectations of this year’s contestants? What are the crucial elements of a winning film in a specific category? 

Federico: Depending on the category I really expect good storytelling, good acting and a fresh original idea.  Will be better is those elements are used to give the audience tools to understand and make aware of our global situations. 


Will you be judging films this year based on your own last year experience as a contestant?

Federico: Not really… I will judge understanding the budgets, the originality and the origin of each film.


Are you feeling more pressure now that you are a member of the festival jury with a great responsibility or was it more of a challenge to present a film in front of Star Film Fest audience last year?

Federico: They are 2 different responsibilities… Last year was more like an adventure, and this year knowing the festival and being a judge I think that I have more confidence.


Taking in consideration your engagement in the film industry as a proven and productive director, I’m interested in your experience as a jury member? Have you been a member of the jury ever before in a similar film contest or a festival?

Federico: Will be my 3rd time like a judge… But the first time in Europe. In Argentina I’ve been in 2 festivals, one of photography and the other one of short films… my experience was great and I’ll really enjoy working with judges from other nationalities and other perspectives, because that resumes a lot what I think of cinema. These collective work, that teamwork…


What would be your message for the young film authors and what would be the message for the audience? 

Federico: For young authors to keep filming and to tell a story from the heart. It’s the most important thing to tell something that you really want to tell. And for the audience to be receptive, to see the cinema as an art form. And to look for the authors. To recognize themselves with a film it’s the most valuable thing.


What remains at the end is the sweet anticipation of this year’s Star Film Fest. Alongside  many new films competing this year we gladly recommend taking a look at the “Refugio” if you haven’t seen it yet.