Greater Harrisburg's Community Magazine

Art Becomes Reality: Twists, insights, laughs from “Official Competition”

Photo courtesy of Media Pro.

From directors Mariano Cohn and Gastón Duprat comes “Official Competition”—a film within a film and an act that turns into reality.

Humberto Suárez (José Luis Gómez) is a wealthy businessman who wants to leave an imprint, not by donating to a children’s center or funding medical research, but by funding a hit film. He pays an egregious amount of money to buy the adaptation rights to the book, “Rivalry,” which he has not read, and hires Lola Cuevas (Penelope Cruz), an eccentric director who takes uncharted paths when it comes to finding the heart of the scene.

Two actors are hired to play rivaling brothers: Félix Rivero (Antonio Banderas), a blockbuster actor, and Iván Torres (Oscar Martinez), an esteemed theater actor/acting professor. Lola’s hope is that they will butt heads naturally and be able to appropriately capture the headspace of the roles they play. She puts the two actors through a series of unconventional exercises that she is certain will get them to where they need to be. But her methods may push things a little too far as the actors find themselves gliding into their roles, even outside the contexts of the film.

The film toes the line between silly and uncomfortable in a beautiful orchestration of pride, ambition and art becoming reality, portraying a side of humanity that we always hope to ignore. Banderas’ and Martinez’s tense chemistry and Cruz’s surprising idiosyncrasies will leave you laughing throughout the whole movie, and the story holds plenty of emotional twists and turns. What a bizarre film to sink your teeth into this summer.

“Official Competition” will play at Midtown Cinema this July.

Midtown Cinema is located at 250 Reily St., Harrisburg. For more information, visit


July Events At Midtown Cinema

3rd in The Burg Movie Night
“Flash Gordon”
Friday, July 15 at 9:30 p.m.

Free Outdoors Film Series
“Raiders of the Lost Ark”
Saturday, July 16 at 7:30 p.m.

National Theatre Live
“Henry V”

Sunday, July 17 at 5 p.m.

eSports Demo Day
With SNDBX Gaming
Monday, July 18

Down in Front! Presents
“Mac and Me”
Friday, July 22 at 9:30 p.m.

Free Outdoors Film Series
“The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert”
Thursday, July 28 at 7:30 p.m.

Down in Front!
Pride Edition presents
“Mommie Dearest”
Friday, July 29 at 9:30 p.m.


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