Gina Rubiano oozes energy, warmth and a seemingly inexhaustible passion for cinema.
The Columbian born cineaste currently holds the position of NSW Festivals, Events and Marketing Coordinator for Palace Cinemas. She kindly took some time out of her frenetic schedule to chat to Glam about all things cinematic, and in particular her “baby”: the Cine Latino Film Festival.
So what brought this National University of Columbia film and tv production graduate, to Australia?
Curiosity! I didn’t know much about Australia, she laughs. I knew that they spoke English and that there were kangaroos and koalas! Rubiano studied in Melbourne and then worked for some time at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, before ending up in Sydney in her current position.
Originally she wanted to work in production
I really dreamed of dedicating my life to doing special effects for cinema. So I studied film and TV production, and soon I realized that dealing with actors and scripts and so on was not really my cup of tea. But I wanted to somehow be involved in the cinema industry. And then I found the wonderful Masters at University of Melbourne in Arts and Cultural Management.
These impeccable credentials have lead Rubiano to her current position, working with the growing film festival sector for Palace Cinemas. She is almost evangelical about festivals, as they allow cinemas such as Palace Nova to show far more foreign language films than they would otherwise be able to with a standard release. And with her background, what better person to talk to about Latino cinema.
Latino cinema is diverse, just like South America itself. Even when you travel through different regions of Columbia it’s like travelling to different countries. This diversity of race, culture, weather and history is reflected in the cinema itself.
With such a wealth of great films, it can be difficult to navigate through the program. We asked Rubiano what her highlights would be.
The first one would be Breadcrumbs. This deals with the dictatorship in Uruguay, and dictatorships are a strong theme in Latin American cinema! This film has amazing, strong female characters. It deals with what was happening in Uruguay in the 70s but also what is happening now, and how these strong women have made peace with their past.
My next choice would be The Summit from Argentina. It has an excellent cast, but is also a very good film for anyone who wants to know a little bit more about Latin American politics. Then we have The Desert Bride [look out for Glam’s review of this one tomorrow]. This tells the story of a very ordinary woman on a road trip, and even though she looks like a weak character, she actually has lots of strength inside. Paulina Garcia is the star, and I feel I can make a parallel with Cate Blanchett. They are both women who can personify anyone. And her performance in this is just so, so beautiful.
Then finally there is You’re Killing Me, Suzanna, our opening night choice. This stars Gael Garcia Bernal, who is such a cool guy, and he is playing such an annoying character!
This year’s festival has three sections: Contemporary Selections, Hola Mexican Film Festival, and Cine Argentina, each with a wealth of cinematic delights.
The Adelaide screenings begin tomorrow night November 16th, at Palace Nova Cinema with You’re Killing Me Suzanna in a special opening night event, and runs through to the 29th November.
Check out the full program here.