The Buenos Aires Rojo Sangre film festival (BARS) was inaugurated in 2000 to put focus on independent genre cinema. The festival was designed to fill the niche in the country’s film market. The number of genre films made in Argentina was rapidly increasing, but major Latin American film festivals were reluctant to include such films in their program because many film producers and film critics still considered horror, science fiction and fantasy superficial, not serious, “secondary” film genres.
The inaugural edition of Buenos Aires Rojo Sangre was held in December 2000 at the School of Social Sciences of the University of Buenos Aires. Over the years, its attendance has grown considerably and the program has expanded to include over 200 films. In 2004, Rojo Sangre became a competitive festival. Today, it is one of the largest film festivals in Latin America. Each year, the festival draws over 12,000 cinema lovers and industry professionals. The event is supported by the Film Museum of the City of Buenos Aires and the National Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual Arts.
Buenos Aires Rojo Sangre awards a number of prizes in several competition sections. Some of the awards are awarded by the jury, while others are given based on the results of the public vote. The jury gives the awards in the following nominations: Best Feature Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Screenplay, Best Special Effects, Best Cinematography, Best Short Film, Best Director Short Film, Best Argentinian Short Film, etc. The nominations might slightly change from year to year. The jury also can give special mentions. The audience choose the best feature film and the fest short film. Films can’t receive more than two awards and more than two special mentions.
The BARS is one of the most highly anticipated events in Buenos Aires. Filmmakers submit their works to find local distribution as well as attract audience attention.