What goes together better than independent film and a tropical getaway? The 8th annual Costa Rica International Film Festival (CRIFF) held in the remote town of Montezuma brings together the best of both worlds, showcasing creative new films in a tropical locale that’s both idyllic and lively.
In its 8th year, the CRIFF will be held this coming June with events beginning the 5th and running through the 22nd. With three components to the festival, including independent, documentary and short films, there are plenty of options to entertain any viewer. And a diverse group of viewers there will be. CRIFF brings together filmmakers and viewers from all over the world for a colorful array of ideas and vivid discussions.
While the deadline for submissions has only just passed, judging from some of the films last year, we can expect a variety of themes from filmmakers this year. From environmental issues, to creative dramas, the big ideas that are put on display in this small village will be no less than surprising and engaging. Last year’s award winners included a Chilean-Argentinean Western called ‘Sal’ by Diego Rougier, and a documentary called ‘American Courtesans’ by James Johnson, to name just a couple.
The setting for this film festival is not what you may expect; it’s rural, remote and definitely off the beaten path a bit. But for an independent film festival, perhaps you would expect nothing less. The town is beachfront and consists of a nice combination of local residents and bohemian ex-pats, both of which you will likely find in attendance at the festival.
The screenings and other events are held primarily in three or four of the beachfront hotels and restaurants in Montezuma, where shoes are always optional and a rum cocktail (or at least fruit smoothie) is almost expected to be in-hand at all times. In addition to the screenings, participants and attendees will be able to take part in film discussions and other festivities, including live music and beach parties. After a day full of film screenings, you can walk to the beach, dig your toes in the sand and let your own creativity run wild.
But don’t let the ‘tropical beach party’ atmosphere of these events deceive you. The residents in this town are highly aware of and advocates for the environment, sustainable development and giving back to the community. So travelers and participants of the festival, as always, should be considerate of the locals throughout this event, practice cultural sensitivity and, last but not least, enjoy the show!