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4+1 Good Reasons to Visit Latin America

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November 21 through 25, a.k.a. Thankgsiving Weekend 2012, is a good time to be in Latin America. It's warm, your weird aunt probably won't be there, and you don't have to eat bone-dry turkey leftovers for days. It is also when Festival 4+1 takes place.

The 4+1 film fest is held simultaneously in Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Rio de Janeiro, and Madrid, which is where the good people of Fundación Mapfre, the event's organizers, are based.

Their idea is a good one: comb the world's top festivals to find the best films by emerging filmmakers without wide distribution along with others by established auteurs whose work is snubbed by the commercial cinema circuit of the host cities. This way, artists reach a wider audience and the wider audience gets to see quality films without having to book a trip to Cannes. Only one film will get the EUR 20,000 4+1 Audience Award, but to me it looks like everybody wins.

From the looks of the Official Selection, the prize will be hotly contested. The same is bound to be true for tickets. But there's no need to worry, this festival is all about access. Those who can't make it into the theaters can stream the entire programme on their gadgets. For the gadgetless, there are conferences and classes, including one in Rio by Werner Herzog himself, Best Director at Cannes in 1982 for his colossal Fitzcarraldo, the story of a European entrepreneur and resolute dreamer determined to build a grand opera house in the middle of the jungle.

Read more about the festival here.

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