• Torino Film Festival

  • Mar de Plata Int'l Film Festival

    Best Male Performance, Honorable mention
  • Jeonju Int'l Film Festival

  • Black Canvas Film Festival, México

  • Cinemancia Film Festival, Colombia

  • Festival Novos Cinemas, Pontevedra

Spanish with English subtitles

With Ignacio Quesada, Camila Peralta, Valeria Santa

Why you must-see this film. Because this lively ‘guerrilla’ film breathes an unmistakable porteño air and offers a first-hand experience of today’s Argentina in the news. It’s an economic thriller reminiscent of our favorite Nine Queens (Fabián Bielinsky), and because its blend of suspense and thrills will keep your students on their feet!

An extended sequence of newsreel footage about Argentina’s spiraling inflation since 2019 sets the stage for Pablo, who works on Peatonal Florida, Buenos Aires’ economic and tourist epicenter, trying to survive in a precarious and exhausting working world.

When he falls in love with Florencia, an architecture student who shows him the city in a different way, he gets involved in the illegal exchange business selling dollars on the black market to improve his standard of living. As an impending currency crisis looms, Pablo seizes the opportunity to strike a blow using the volatility of the dollar value to his advantage. Despite the risks of getting caught by his money-laundering boss, he comes up with an elaborate scheme that could earn them enough money to change his life.

Ultimately, director Lautaro García Candela suggests a utopic world where workers start to investigate (and understand) their context and can act upon it, becoming masters of their own destiny.


“Proudly inscribed in a lineage of realistic and urban cinema that goes from Nine Queens to Mauro. A lively film made in a guerrilla way (taking the cameras out into the street without anyone noticing them), that breathes an unmistakable porteño air.” – Ezequiel Boetti, Página 12

“Among the attractions of the film we must highlight the script: without cracks or digressions. Precise, surprising, with doses of thriller and romantic comedy, it dialogues with the reality of its time and with several films that preceded it and showed the impact of the successive crises and economic ups and downs of our country on urban youth.” – JULIETA BILIK, Rolling Stones

“Without losing sight of the humanity and the closeness of the protagonists to the common people, the endearing and at times frenetic Money Exchange is not tense because of the amount of money involved but because of the risks that arise when the inexperienced protagonists get involved in increasingly complex adventures.” – Diego Lerer, MicropsiaCine

“[An] unsentimental portrait of modern-day precarious youth navigating shifting tides of capital, one that progresses to an inevitable but nevertheless affecting climax.” – David Robb, Slant Magazine

“Lautaro García Candela’s movie explores Argentines’ obsession with the US currency through the eyes of an illegal dollar seller.” – Facundo Iglesia, Buenos Aires Herald

“Populated with believable supporting characters, and its street scenes often exude a cinema-vérité rawness... ” – David Robb, Slant Magazine

About the Director
Lautaro García Candela is a filmmaker, critic, and teacher. He studied at the University of Cinema. His debut feature, I Love You So Much That I Don’t Know, premiered at BAFICI 2018 in the Avant-garde and Gender Competition, and participated in the Festifreak (where it won the award for Best Argentine Film) and the Malaga Festival. It was also shown at the Anthology Film Archives in New York and the Portuguese Cinematheque in Lisbon.

Money Exchange, his second feature film, premiered in the International Competition of the Mar del Plata Film Festival and participated in the Jeonju, Cinemancia (Medellín), Black Canvas, and ASUFICC festivals.

He is also the editor of the film criticism magazine “La vida util,” with which they have already published six issues with wide distribution in Latin America and Spain, and participated in the organization of the 2022 Argentine Cinema Survey.

Notes on Film

Money Exchange emerges from walking through Buenos Aires’ micro center for a long time, a place where tourists, currency exchange houses, offices, banks, and all the characteristic hustle and bustle of the street and bars converge. In the eyes of the people walking there, I can see the dream of ‘saving oneself’ in an economy that is exploding. And young people (the most affected by this) find themselves in a situation of precariousness and uncertainty: they did not get to experience the last good years of Argentina.

In that context, I thought of making a film that would address all these issues without losing tenderness, a sense of humor, the formal exploration of some personal obsessions, without it becoming a denunciation film with a univocal message or using the characters as mere stereotypes. I was interested in the figure of the ‘arbolito’ (street currency exchanger) because their work is directly related to the political and economic reality of the country almost like no other job. The relationship is direct. And to film them at their workplace, we had to document some of those microcentro streets that vibrate so much.

The circulation of people is incessant and highly varied on Peatonal Florida: all the tourists passing through Buenos Aires and a huge number of office workers who work in banks, various offices, or even in the government. This makes this place a business opportunity for those who want to buy or sell dollars on the black market. All these transactions are done on the street, aloud, forming a kind of corridor where you can hear the street currency exchangers saying ‘cambio, cambio’ without interruption for four or five blocks. It’s the informal, precarious economy, outdoors. This is what it means to work in Argentina today.”

– Lautaro García Candela, Director