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OSCAR MARTINEZ Congratulated FEST on Its Jubilee

Argentine actor Oscar Martínez (72), who had to cancel his guest appearance at FEST due to the current situation in Ukraine, addressed the press via Zoom.

He plays one of the main roles, along with Penelope Cruz and Antonio Banderas, in the satire OFFICIAL COMPETITION (Competencia oficial) by Argentine director duo Gastón Duprat and Mariano Cohn. Penelope plays director Lola Cuevas, who hires two renowned but completely different actors: Hollywood star Félix Rivero (Banderas) and theatre playwright Iván Torres (Martinez). Through Lola's eccentric challenges, the two of them face their ego, impatience and their own artistic heritage.  

Although it seems that Duprat and Cohn have presented a satirical critique of modern Hollywood productions, Martinez expressed a different opinion:

- I don't think the film is a critique of Hollywood or the film industry in general, I would rather say that it is a dark comedy about the pre-production of a film. You can see the specifics of the work of the director, who is very eccentric and perverse and who puts the actors in humiliating situations. She thinks that hiring two actors who are in conflict and who hate each other and which fuels their conflict will be useful for the film. We are witnessing a kind of pathology made up of ego, vanity and the desire to compete - Martinez explained.

Ivan Torres and Felix Rivero have two completely different approaches to acting, and Oscar Martinez - who has built a successful career in both film and theatre - says he is closer to the ‘harder current’ represented by his character, Torres.

- Ivan Torres is a man who has more experience in theatre than in film. Personally, I belong more to his acting style, although I would not attribute some of his characteristics to my personality. He is a vain, arrogant man and rigidly adheres to some attitudes, especially in the process of preparing the role, with which I do not agree - Martinez pointed out.

He revealed to the press that he is partly to blame for Penelope Cruz in this film. Namely, she contacted Martinez in 2017, after watching the film ‘The Distinguished Citizen’ (El ciudadano ilustre), which was also directed by Dupret and Cohn, and asked him what it looks like to work with two directors on the set.

- The collaboration with them is wonderful and very pleasant. Gaston Duprat deals with acting and interpretation, and Mariano Cohn with the technical aspect, so there are no problematic situations - said Oscar.

During almost half a century of his career, Martinez has achieved dozens of notable roles in film, television and theatre. It was difficult for him to answer, which roles especially changed him on a deeper level.

- It is difficult to establish how many people can be changed by that (acting) experience, which role has changed them radically, broadened their view onto something specific or onto something related to his personality. It has probably happened to me many times, but I could not name any role specifically - said Martinez and continued:

- Every fiction, whether in a film or in a theatre, causes the most passionate observers to expand their view of the complexity and diversity of the human being. It makes us think about ourselves. What unites the one who creates fiction and the viewer is the passion for the human, for man as a phenomenon, for what we are and the need to constantly explore our being - said Martinez.

In the end, he wished FEST good luck:

- I am deeply sorry that I could not be with you, I thank you very much for this conversation and I wish you good luck, because I know that FEST is celebrating 50 years. I hope you like the film.

Screenings of the film ‘Official Competition’, which is in the selection of the Gala 50th FEST, are as follows: March 1 at 4.30 p.m. in the IMAX Hall of the Cineplexx Galerija Belgrade, at 5 p.m. in Hall 1 of the Cineplexx Ušće, at 5.30 p.m. in Hall 2 of the Cineplexx Ušće, March 2 at 10 a.m. in Hall 1 of the Kombank Hall, at 12 p.m. in the Cultural Centre of Belgrade Movie Theatre, at 6.30 p.m. in Hall 5 of the Cineplexx Galerijay Belgrade, at 10 p.m. in Hall 3 of the Cineplexx Galerija Belgrade and March 3 at 5 p.m. in the Fontana Cinema.


Knjaz Miloš
Embassy of Canada to Serbia, North Macedonia and Montenegro