Latin Wave: New Films from Latin America
Each year, Latin Wave provides the opportunity for Houstonians to see new films from Latin America, and to meet internationally acclaimed filmmakers who travel here to present and discuss their films and to experience the city.
The intimate nature of the festival allows audience members to interact with the filmmakers at Q&A sessions and during informal conversations throughout the weekend. These dialogues enrich the understanding of contemporary filmmaking in Latin America.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the Latin Wave brochure with all the details.
Film Festival Admission
$10 General admission
$8 MFAH members
$8 Seniors (65+)
$8 Students with ID Complimentary admission for students on Sunday.
Organized by the MFAH in association with the creative partner Fundación PROA, Buenos Aires.
Sponsored by Tenaris.
Past Events in This Series
In this comic Cuban sci-fi adventure, a widowed schoolteacher gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit another planet.
In films such as Children of Men, Gravity, and Y Tu Mamá También, Alfonso Cuarón demonstrates an uncanny ability to reflect on the human condition while offering boldly entertaining cinematic experiences. Roma chronicles a year in the life of a middle-class family in 1970s Mexico City.
Two married psychoanalysts on the verge of separating bring their teenagers on vacation from Buenos Aires to the Brazilian island Florianópolis, where the parents spent time early in their relationship.
A documentary following Che Guevara's “disappearance” in December 1965, when the Argentinean guerrilla commander hid in Tanzania and Prague.
A box-office sensation and Argentina’s Oscar submission for Best Foreign Film, The Angel tells the true story of a baby-faced teenager who committed some 40 robberies and 11 homicides in the 1960s.
While preparing for an exhibition at Montevideo’s National Museum, a painter struggles to maintain a bond with his daughter and to accept his ex-wife’s new relationship and pregnancy.
Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra
The rise and fall of rival Wayuu clans in northern Colombia unfolds as an epic tragedy of pride, greed, and the clash between old and new worlds.
In this true-crime drama, Gael García Bernal goes on the run after stealing artifacts from the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City.
Natalia Cabral and Oriol Estrada
A biracial girl, involved with preparations for her quinceañera, meets a boy online and faces challenges being honest about him with her family.
Alejandra Márquez Abella
During the Mexico economic crisis in 1982, a wealthy couple’s existence crumbles when they are unable to maintain their extravagant lifestyle.
A divorced, elderly woman fights back when she discovers that the bank is about to foreclose on her home.
A civil servant in 18th-century South America slowly loses his mind as he obsesses over a letter from the Spanish Crown confirming a long-awaited transfer.
Laura Mora Ortega
Invited guest: director Laura Mora Ortega
A young woman develops an unlikely friendship—with her father’s killer—in Colombian filmmaker Laura Mora Ortega’s latest feature.
An overnight security guard becomes involved in a cover-up in a thriller that delves into some of the darker facets of life in Mexico City.
A Cuban professor finds an unlikely friend—in space—in a drama that highlights how important historic events can affect the lives of everyday people.
José María Cabral
Invited guest: director José María Cabral
Prisoners use an invented sign language to communicate—and accidentally fall in love—in Domincan filmmaker’s José María Cabral’s latest feature.
Invited guest: director Samir Oliveros
Siblings must put aside their differences to get out of trouble in this comedy—Colombian filmmaker Samir Oliveros’s debut feature.
The Future Ahead (El futuro que viene) explores decades of friendship between two women, Romina and Florencia.
A modern interpretation of the Hans Christian Andersen classic, The Little Match Girl (La vendedora de fósforos) follows several characters navigating through Buenos Aires.
Kleber Mendonça Filho
Clara, a retired music critic, is determined to continue to live in her home in Recife, despite the intimidating tactics of a ruthless real estate developer. As the other neighbors have been convinced to sell, she alone remains living in the building, standing strong against the construction firm’s harassment.
A hilarious comedy of errors, The Tenth Man playfully considers family ties and the impossibility of escaping them.
Set in the late 1980s near the Colombian-Venezuelan border, Rober Calzadilla’s suspenseful first feature reveals the harrowing true story of the Amparo Massacre.
Special guest: writer-director Iván Gaona
Iván Gaona’s suspenseful feature debut tells a gripping crime story about ordinary men caught in a situation that rapidly slips out of their control.
Banned from many Latin American countries during their heyday, the Rolling Stones performed 10 concerts in the region in 2016. The film offers an enticing combination of backstage antics, exhilarating concerts, and historical context.
Special guest: writer-director Carlos Lechuga
Set in eastern Cuba in 1983, Carlos Lechuga's second feature tells the story of the unlikely friendship that arises between a dissident gay novelist and a young woman dedicated to the Cuban revolutionary government’s political beliefs.
Special guest: writer/director/cinematographer Yanillys Pérez
Yanillys Pérez’s debut film straddles documentary and fiction, offering an intimate portrayal of a young boy and the very adult challenges he faces.
Filmed over a period of five years, this engaging documentary follows a group of now-elderly women friends in Chile who have been meeting for tea for many decades.
In coastal Mexico, young siblings befriend local children and sets out on an adventure, searching for a long-lost treasure from the 16th century. Idyllic and full of hope, Treasures exquisitely captures the limitless possibility that youth represents.
Maite Alberdi’s latest documentary is about a group of adults with Down Syndrome who’ve been at the same pastry-making school for more than 40 years—even longer than their teachers.
Effortlessly weaving parallel narratives that occur on the same stretch of the Amazon, Colombian filmmaker Ciro Guerra tracks the devastation wrought by colonialism on this once-pristine, thriving environment. In 1909, German explorer Theodor Koch-Grünberg and his guide enlist the help of young shaman Karamakate to help them find the elusive yakruna plant, whose healing powers they believe will cure the explorer’s illness. In 1940, in the region now ravaged by the rubber trade, American explorer Richard Evans Schultes searches for[…]
Presented by Cristina Garza, producer and international sales agent The latest film from Chico Teixeira—a popular guest at the very first Latin Wave with his film Alice’s House—is a coming-of-age story set in São Paolo. Fifteen-year-old Serginho has to grow up quickly: His father has left the family and his mother has a drinking problem, leaving Serginho responsible for his younger brother Mateus. No longer in school, Serginho must juggle a difficult home life and a job working for his[…]
Mesmerizingly beautiful, Ixcanul captures a disappearing way of life and people. Teenage María lives with her family at the base of an active volcano. They are hardworking, Kaqchikel-speaking Mayans, harvesting coffee beans for a Spanish-speaking overseer to whom María is promised in marriage. But she yearns for someone else: Pepe, who dreams of leaving the village and traveling to “the other side of the volcano” (the United States). When these two come together one evening, their union has tragic consequences. This[…]
Tango’s most famous pairing, María Nieves Rego and Juan Carlos Copes, revolutionized and revitalized the once-waning dance in a relationship that spanned four decades both on and off the dance floor. German Kral’s feature documentary Our Last Tango interviews (separately) each of the dancers, and vignettes reconstruct their early years as they rose to fame in their mission to bring tango to the international stage. Now in their 80s and no longer on speaking terms, these two tango greats discuss[…]
Presented by writer-director Lorenzo Vigas Armando (a nuanced performance by Alfredo Castro, so memorable in Post Mortem during Latin Wave 6), middle-aged and solitary, lures young men from the streets to his Caracas apartment with the promise of money. In fact he’s a voyeur, although the distance he maintains contains its own particular aggression. Life takes an unexpected turn when he meets 17-year-old Elder. This relationship begins with violence, but transforms as a surprising intimacy emerges, for which neither is prepared. From Afar,[…]
Alejandra Márquez Abella
Presented by Cristina Garza, producer and international sales agent Dalí and her new boyfriend, Chavez, travel to Mexico’s coast with her eight-year-old son Pepe in tow. Their attempts to have a good time at the all-inclusive resort seem forced. The place has seen better days, and being crammed into one room does not make things easier. Pepe misses his recently deceased father. Dalí wants to spend time with her son but feels disengaged, while Chavez struggles to figure out how[…]
Following his previous essay film Nostalgia for the Light, Patricio Guzmán moves from the mysteries of the cosmos and the observatories in the Atacama Desert to the ocean that defines an important border to his native Chile. In The Pearl Button, Guzmán contemplates the lack of relationship that Chileans have with the Pacific, despite the country’s nearly 2,500 miles of coastline. But this was not always the case. Before colonial times the Kaweskar (the Water People) paddled the length of[…]
Free for students with ID Introduced by members of the Museum’s teen leadership group, hang@mfah Cuca’s cozy rural life is shattered when his father leaves for the city, prompting Cuca to embark on a quest to reunite the family. The boy’s journey unfolds like a tapestry, with the animation taking on greater complexity as Cuca's small world expands. As he enters civilization, industrial landscapes are inhabited by animal-machines, with barrios of colorful streets and shop windows, and flashing neon advertisements[…]
Julio Hernández Cordón
I Promise You Anarchy follows two teenage lovers in Mexico City as they become embroiled in the city’s illegal, narco-run blood trade. Newcomers Diego Calva Hernández and Eduardo Eliseo Martínez, non-actors discovered on Facebook, give outstandingly honest and committed performances as Miguel and Johnny. They skate with their friends through the chaotic neighborhoods of Mexico City, revel in their blissful sexuality, and make a bit of cash in the illegal blood trade. A contact connects them with narcos—drug traffickers who[…]
Across Latin America, the position of nannies is a unique phenomenon, where many become dependable maternal figure to their young charges. Brazilian filmmaker Anna Muylaert scrutinizes the relationship that many families have with their domestic help and the contradictions that can emerge. The Second Mother follows a woman who has become indispensable to her employers, damaging the relationship with her own daughter in the process. This is the case with Val, a São Paolo nanny/housekeeper whose close relationship with Fabinho[…]
Latin Wave’s first foodie documentary celebrates Peruvian cuisine, boasting an eclectic array of flavors and ingredients. Finding Gaston follows chef Gaston Acurio, whose culinary skills and enterprising spirit have been instrumental in bringing the diversity of Peru’s cuisine to the rest of the world. For Acurio, it’s more than just about food, it’s about social revolution and national pride. The film follows him across Peru, meeting landowners and fishermen who provide the outstanding raw materials that have been essential to[…]
In this wise and witty comedy-drama from Chilean director Cristián Jiménez (Bonsái from Latin Wave 6), Sofia (Ingrid Isensee), a beautiful actress and young mother who lives in Valdivia and has recently separated from her husband, seeks to transform her life through a “disconnection vow.” She decides to unplug: no cell phone, TV, Internet, or even reading for a year. But all doesn’t go smoothly: Her disruptive sister returns, and Sofia discovers a troubling secret about her father, leaving her[…]
Arrestingly enigmatic and eerie, Jauja marks a new direction for acclaimed Argentine auteur Lisandro Alonso. Working for the first time with a formal script and professional actors, Alonso maintains the singular visual style and languid pace that made his previous films (Los muertos; Liverpool) so memorable. Viggo Mortensen plays Danish general Gunnar Dinesen, assigned to the wilds of Patagonia during the Spaniards’s 1882 campaign to rid the land of its indigenous people. When his daughter Ingeborg (Viilbjørk Malling Agger) runs[…]
Juán Martín Hsu
Introduced by director Juán Martín Hsu Thousands flock to Buenos Aires’s La Salada, South America’s largest market. This poignant debut explores the vibrant locale through the stories of new immigrants and sheds light on the diverse immigrant community. Mr. Kim (Chang Sun Kim) operates a clothing stand and lives with his daughter Yun Jin (Yun Seon Kim), who is unhappy about her father’s selection of her future husband. Mr. Kim befriends and hires Bruno (Limbert Ticona), an illegal immigrant from[…]
Oscar Ruiz Navia
Imbued equally with a whimsical nature and a punk-rock soul, Colombian filmmaker Oscar Ruiz Navia’s (Crab Trap from Latin Wave 5) new feature, Los hongos, follows two young men through the streets of Cali, Colombia, in search of a good time and a higher purpose. Best friends and street artists, Ras and Calvin scout their city for surfaces to decorate with whatever paint they can scavenge. Inspired by news of the Arab Spring uprisings, they dream of collaborating on a[…]
Israel Cárdenas and Laura Amelia Guzmán
Introduced by Geraldine Chaplin The Dominican Republic beach town of Samana is a popular spot for locals and expats alike. With increased tourism comes new opportunities for locals to improve themselves financially. Sand Dollars follows the lesbian romance between 20-year-old local Noeli and the sophisticated expat Anne (played with incredible nuance by Geraldine Chaplin) who is absolutely smitten and possessive. Noeli, who lives with her boyfriend, takes advantage of Anne’s kindness, but is tempted by the offer of a better[…]
Introduced by producer Elena Greenlee Manos sucias follows Jacobo (Jarlin Javier Martinez) and Delio (Cristian James Abvincula), estranged brothers who reunite on a lucrative drug run. Jacobo seems hardened beyond his years, in contrast to the cheerful and optimistic Delio. Both have reasons for taking this extreme risk: Jacobo wants to move to Bogotá, while Delio, from a fishing village with few opportunities, dreams of making it big as a rapper. Over the course of this tense action-drama, the brothers[…]
Introduced by Geraldine Chaplin In Charlie Chaplin’s poignant debut feature, the Little Tramp (Chaplin) cares for an orphan (Jackie Coogan). After a few years they make their living together as a team, but the relationship is put in jeopardy when a social worker tries to take the boy away. Chaplin was already famous when this film was released, and it made child actor Coogan an international celebrity. Many critics consider this to be Chaplin’s most personal film. Geraldine Leigh Chaplin[…]
Ernesto Daranas’s debut feature Behavior has impressed audiences by taking on taboo topics and revealing the less picturesque realities of life in Cuba. Eleven-year-old Chala (Armando Valdes Freire) lives with his mother Sonia (Yuliet Cruz), an addict who provides for the two of them by raising carrier pigeons. School affords a stabilizing force thanks to his teacher Carmela (Alina Rodríguez). When another teacher sends Chala to live in a “reeducation” facility, Carmela is determined to take on the system to[…]
Introduced by director Isidora Marras Olivia (Loreto Aveno) is visiting her mother when gets a bizarre call from a collection agency looking for a so-called Lorena Ruiz and insisting that she pay her accumulated debt. Arriving home, Olivia receives a series of calls from more collection agencies demanding that she pay up, oblivious to Olivia’s insistence that she is not Lorena Ruiz. When her cell phone also becomes invaded by a stranger demanding a meeting with Lorena, Olivia determines to[…]
The startling debut film from Diego Quemada-Díez presents a stark and unsentimental look at the realities of migration. Centering on the story of three young Guatemalans attempting to cross the U.S. border from Mexico, La jaula de oro compels viewers to contemplate the harsh circumstances that many migrants must face. Juan, Samuel, and Sara (who is forced to disguise herself as a boy) embark on a journey that they believe will culminate in a life of ease and comfort once they[…]
*Introduced by filmmaker Victoria Galardi Divorced and living with her teenage daughter, Lu (Valeria Bertuccelli) asks her close friend Ana (Elena Anaya) to house-sit while she goes away with her new fiancée. Ana spends her days lazing by the pool, afflicted by a deep loneliness. During this time, Ana gets to know Lu’s ex-husband and begins an affair that will have profound implications on her friendship with Lu. Victoria Galardi’s second solo feature is an honest and poignant commentary on[…]
Emiliano Altuna Fistolera, Diego Enrique Osorno, Carlos Federico Rossini
Introduced by filmmaker Carlos Rossini Since 2006, when a war on drugs and organized crime was declared, there have been about 60,000 narco-related fatalities in Mexico. Within this culture of violence, in the city of Monterrey sits San Pedro Garza Garcia, the richest municipality in Latin America. Presiding over this wealthy enclave is outspoken mayor Mauricio Fernández Garza, a millionaire who is determined to end the violence through any means necessary. A controversial figure, Fernández has no qualms about how[…]
Introduced by filmmaker Neto Villalobos Challo, bored by his day-to-day routine, buys a rooster, which he names Rocky, to get into cockfighting. The two become inseparable, with Challo taking Rocky along with him everywhere, singing to him—even letting him sleep in his bed. Unfortunately, Challo’s landlord, tired of the rooster waking up the neighbors at the break of dawn, is adamant that Rocky must go. Luckily Challo has friends who stick by him, including a loquacious workmate and Candy, the[…]
Juan Manuel Echavarría Olano
*Introduced by producer Margarita De la Vega Hurtado Directed by acclaimed Colombian artist Juan Manuel Echavarría Olano, this evocative documentary film portrays a community that defies the culture of violence by keeping alive the memory of the disappeared. The town of Puerto Berrío has endured 30 years of violence between armed guerrillas, the army, paramilitaries, and drug traffickers. Local townspeople have fished out the remains of victims of violence, called No Names (NNs), drifting downstream. They adopted and baptized these[…]
Introduced by filmmaker Claudia Sainte-Luce When strangers Martha (Lisa Owen) and Claudia (Ximena Ayala) share a hospital room, neither could foresee the profound influence that this chance meeting would have on their lives. Intuiting Claudia’s loneliness, mother of four Martha invites the young woman to her home. An orphan since the age of two, Claudia does not know how to navigate the relationships between Martha’s children, but as the realization that Martha is dying of AIDS dawns on her, her[…]
Leticia Tonos Paniagua
For poverty-stricken Haitians, the Dominican Republic is a promised land, regardless of instances of racism and challenges in finding opportunity. Exploring the tensions between these close neighbors, Dominican filmmaker Leticia Tonos Paniagua creates a Caribbean version of the classic Romeo and Juliet tale. Janvier is determined to earn an honest living, despite the constant police harassment he faces. He gets a break working as a body guard for a local drug lord—watching his beautiful younger sister. As the two fall[…]
Ana Guevara Pose and Leticia Jorge Romera
Teenage Lucia and her brother Federico are spending summer with their father. Divorced, Alberto wants quality time with his kids and takes them to a popular resort. As the days pass and the rain pours down incessantly, their summer rental home seems to get smaller and smaller. Codirected by first-time feature filmmakers Ana Guevara Pose and Leticia Jorge Romera, Tanta Agua magnificently captures the claustrophobic atmosphere that a teenager experiences when forced into close quarters with her family. Lucia moves[…]
María, a single mother of three, struggles to make ends meet as a seamstress. Circumstances force her to also care for her elderly father Agustin, who shows early signs of dementia. As the burden of caring for him increasingly weighs on María, she decides to take him to a home for the elderly, but she is turned away. Out of desperation, she commits an act that she soon regrets. Mexican/Uruguayan filmmaker Rodrigo Plá’s feature gives a sincere and nonjudgmental portrayal[…]
Famed Chilean singer/songwriter Violeta Parra is a household name throughout Latin America, known both for the power of her music as well as for her life dedicated to music, art, and love. Violeta’s vivid and fervent life comes alive onscreen with perceptive delicacy and nuance. Wood’s non-chronological approach to Violeta’s extraordinary biography moves from her early days travelling in the Andes, to time spent in Poland and France, chasing love and artistic greatness. Played with precision by Francisca Gavilán, the[…]
Juan Carlos Maneglia and Tana Schémbori
In person: producer Estefanía Ortiz Putting Paraguay on the cinematic map, 7 Boxes brings an inventive ingenuity to the traditional crime thriller. The setting is the country’s capital Asunción, a boiling urban hub that houses the infamous "municipal marketplaces”: a chaotic maze of vendors’ stalls hawking everything from produce and garments to pirated DVDs and cell phones. The film centers on Hollywood-obsessed wheelbarrow carter Victor (Celso Franco) whose greatest wish is for a camera cell phone to make a film.[…]
Due to the subject matter addressed in this film, there are scenes with intense content that may not be appropriate for more sensitive audience members. After her mother Lucía dies, teenager Ale (Tessa Ia) leaves the familiarity of Puerto Vallarta to accompany her father Roberto (Hernán Mendoza) for a new start in Mexico City. As Roberto immerses himself in opening his new restaurant, Ale settles in at a posh new school. She quickly makes friends, but a cell phone recording[…]
William Vega’s first feature travels to a fascinating, little-known area of Colombia—the remote, sparsely populated highlands of the Andes. The film chronicles how the destructive effects of Colombia’s long-standing civil war extend to this far-flung corner of the country through the story of nineteen-year-old Alicia. When her family is murdered and her village destroyed, she flees to her only surviving relative, Uncle Don Oscar, a taciturn man living in isolation and reluctant to take her in. Don Oscar lives in[…]
Zombies have overtaken the streets of Cuba’s capital city and Juan (Alexis Díaz de Villegas) doesn’t quite believe the newscasts that they are dissidents sent by the American government. This hilarious and totally unexpected Cuban comedy blends humor, horror, zombie lore, and the idiosyncrasies of being an isolated Communist outpost in the Caribbean. When friends Juan and Lazaro happen to spot (and slay) a zombie, they are nonchalant about the episode. But when they realize that this is not a[…]
Skype Q&A with filmmaker Marcelo Gomes follows the screening Fresh from medical school, Verônica (Hermila Guedes) is given a residency at a busy Recife hospital. What promises to be a fulfilling new career fails to provide the satisfaction and sense of purpose she had envisioned. As her patients come and go, all seemingly afflicted with psychosomatic maladies or physical manifestations of melancholy, Verônica’s mind flees to her own, unexplained ailment. With her life seemingly falling into place both professionally and[…]
In person: director Carlos Sorin Middle-aged Buenos Aires native Marcos Tucci (Alejandro Awada) is a recovering alcoholic on his way to Patagonia to try his hand at fishing for shark. Bonding with a number of offbeat strangers, Marcos’s true intentions begin to emerge: he longs to reconnect with his estranged daughter Ana (Victoria Almeida), who has settled with her husband and infant son in the nearby town of Jaramillo. Filmed on location on the glorious Patagonian coastline, and employing a[…]
In Person: Actor Victor Prada A mysterious epidemic has Lima’s citizens dropping like flies. Forensic cleaner Eusebio’s (Victor Prada) job is to disinfect the homes of the recently dead. During a routine sterilization of what he believes to be an empty apartment, he is surprised to discover young Joaquin (Adrian Du Bois) hiding in the closet. When the city’s overcrowded orphanages refuse Joaquin, Eusebio decides to look after the boy himself. What ensues is a poignant and moving story of[…]
While filming in a small town in the southwest of Brazil, director Julia Murat stumbled upon a strange fact: the local cemetery had closed, and when the inhabitants died, their bodies had to be sent on a seven-hour boat ride to another city for burial. Combining her documentary work on the province of Mato Grosso—once the richest region in Brazil, now a decadent shell of its past glory—with this stranger-than-fiction story of the cemetery, Murat wrote and filmed Found Memories,[…]
Actress Katerina D’Onofrio in attendance An amazing debut from Rosario García-Montero—named one of the “25 New Faces of Independent Film” by Filmmaker Magazine—Las Malas Intenciones is a truly original coming-of-age story. Cayetana, played with startling naturalism by Fatima Buntix, is a nine-year-old girl from a wealthy family living outside the city of Lima whose life is about to be turned upside down. Both sweet and dark—imagine an underplayed Wednesday Addams with a delicate voice—Cayetana spends her days floating between the[…]
Based on the simplest of premises—if you could dig straight through to the other side of the Earth, where would you end up?—¡Vivan las Antípodas! may be the most visually ravishing film you will ever see. The film screened at this year's SXSW film festival. Director/cameraman/editor Victor Kossakovsky presents an unforgettable film portrait of Earth, exploring four pairs of antipodes (places that are on the exact opposite side of the planet from each other). While a pair of toll collectors talks geopolitics and women by[…]
Filmmaker Carlos Osuna in attendance Antonio—the fat, bald, and short man of the title—is a functionary in a notary office in Bogota, Colombia, a middle-aged virgin whose life has become a pitiable routine. As alone as a character in an Edward Hopper painting, Antonio suffers the indifference of society and the abusive, macho humor of his co-workers, until the day a new executive director comes to run the office. Señor Enriquez is as short, fat, and bald as Antonio, but clearly[…]
Filmmaker Cristián Jiménez in attendance Chilean director Cristián Jiménez pulls off a delicately beautiful high-wire act with his second feature film, Bonsái. He opens by letting us know the ending—“Emilia dies but Julio doesn’t. The rest is all fiction.”—compelling us to watch as he gracefully unfolds the tragic romance of a young man whose past is catching up with him. Julio and Emilia meet and fall in love, tenderly and awkwardly, as students of literature at the university. Eight years[…]
Following its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, Miss Bala became the most talked-about Mexican film of the past year. It tells the story of Laura (model/actress Stephanie Sigman), a Tijuana beauty pageant contestant who is delivered into the hands of a gang that is terrorizing northern Mexico. Although Laura succeeds in winning the crown, her experiences as an unwilling participant in Mexico’s violent war leave her shaken and transformed. Inspired by a true story, Miss Bala avoids docudrama[…]
Filmmaker Santiago Mitre in attendance Hands down the most brilliant discovery of last year’s Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival (BAFICI), Santiago Mitre’s debut feature is a taut, fast-moving drama about the intriguing world of Argentine university politics. Bright and good-looking Roque (Esteban Lamothe) arrives from a small town to study social sciences in the big city of Buenos Aires. But he stumbles upon his calling when he falls for one of the leaders of a campus political group, a striking[…]
Winner of both the Camera d’Or and the Young Critics’ Award, Las Acacias was truly the crown jewel of the 2011 Cannes Film Festival selections. Rubén (Germán de Silva)—an unshaven, middle-aged truck driver for lumber companies—keeps to himself. He agrees to take a young woman, Jacinta (Hebe Duarte), along on his route from Paraguay to Buenos Aires but is dismayed when she arrives with her 5-month-old baby. Less than happy with the situation but unable to escape his obligation, he begins the[…]
Celebrated Chilean director Pablo Larraín offers a powerful follow up to his highly acclaimed Tony Manero with Post mortem. Larraín, a master of creating atmosphere, again transports us to 1970s Chile and the territory of Pinochet’s dictatorship, while frequent collaborator Alfredo Castro delivers another commanding portrayal of a deeply disturbing character. But this time, Larraín finds an undeniably unique perspective from which to observe history. The film takes place during one of the most tragically iconic moments in 20th-century Latin[…]
Dedicated housewife and mother María del Carmen receives a strange yet compelling gift for her 50th birthday: a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle of the bust of Nefertiti. So taken is María with the image of the queen of ancient Egypt that she spends the whole night putting the puzzle together, and in doing so discovers a great talent and passion that brings her to question how she wants to live the rest of her life. Considered by many to be the[…]
Filmmaker Gustavo Pizzi in attendance With the expressiveness of a golden-age Hollywood star, Karine Teles gives a tour-de-force performance as a talented actress who struggles through life with small, humiliating jobs to make ends meet, until she gets what may be her big break. Director Gustavo Pizzi, who co-wrote the script with Teles (his real-life wife), says that Craft is a film about “searching for the sky that is melting outside while we are sweeping the floor.” Pizzi portrays the[…]
Pedro Peirano and Sebastián Silva
Filmmaker Pedro Peirano in attendance Sebastián Silva—best known for his sophomore work, The Maid (Latin Wave 2009), which won Sundance’s World Cinema Competition in 2009—has returned with a film that masterfully moves from farce to black comedy to melodrama. Co-directed with his writing partner Pedro Peirano, Old Cats portrays a seriously dysfunctional relationship between an octogenarian mother (played by master actor Belgica Castro, who turns 90 this year) who is free-falling into senility and her greedy, drug-addicted daughter who wants[…]
Daniel and Diego Vega
Following the success and international recognition of The Milk of Sorrow and Undertow, October is yet another marker of a very exciting, creative time for Peruvian cinema. Brothers Daniel and Diego Vega austerely frame this absurd and charming tale of two misfits who come together around a rather strange circumstance. Clemente, a taciturn, lower-middle-class money lender, has his world turned upside down when a prostitute he frequented leaves a baby in a basket at his door. But for neighbor Sofia,[…]
Iria Gómez Concheiro
Filmmaker Iria Gómez in attendance Negus, Chale, Sapo, and Chata are four typical, bored, apathetic teenagers from one of the most dangerous areas in the Cuauhtémoc borough of Mexico’s Colonia Guerrero. But unlike most teens, they have decided to do something about their situation: hold up a megaplex cinema. First-time filmmaker Iria Gómez Concheiro moves the film forward beautifully—from establishing the aimless day-to-day lives of the main characters, through the planning of the heist, to the actual crime—with confident and[…]
Filmmaker Carlos Moreno in attendance Carlos Moreno follows his powerful debut Dog Eat Dog (which premiered in 2008 at Sundance) with this scathing satire about impunity in Colombia. After discovering of a pile of dead bodies, a naive farmer—ironically named Salvador—becomes ensnared in a sinister plot of corrupt politicians, abusive police, and worthless bureaucrats. Salvador’s simple reporting of the dead bodies draws him into an absurd and frightening waiting game as the mayor figures out how to handle the situation[…]
Carlos César Arbeláez
With a remarkable group of child actors, first-time writer/director Carlos César Arbeláez narrates a beautiful tale of lost innocence set in the guerilla-military conflict of Colombia. Nine-year-old Manuel (Hernán Maricio Ocampo) lives in a remote farming village and dreams of becoming a great soccer player. When he receives the treasured gift of a new soccer ball, his dreams seem closer than ever—until he and his friends accidentally kick the ball into a mine field. Arbeláez expertly weaves the humor and[…]