The AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center announced today the full slate of films for the 2022 AFI Latin American Film Festival, which will take place September 22–October 12 at the historic AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring, MD. Now in its 33rd year, the Festival, which will be held in person, is one of the largest and longest-running showcases of Latin American cinema in the United States, dedicated to presenting Latin America’s prolific and versatile talent during National Hispanic Heritage Month. This year’s wide-ranging selection of 41 films from 21 countries spans international festival favorites and award winners, local box-office hits and dynamic debuts from a new generation of Latin American filmmakers, and includes eight U.S. and North American premieres.
The Festival opens with the East Coast premiere of ARGENTINA, 1985, the hotly anticipated historical drama from Santiago Mitre (THE SUMMIT), starring Ricardo Darín (THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES) and Peter Lanzani (THE CLAN). Written by Mitre and Mariano Llinás (LA FLOR), the rousing courtroom saga is inspired by the true story of prosecutor Julio Strassera (Darín, who also produces) and the young underdog legal team tasked with bringing Argentina’s brutal military junta to justice during a landmark televised trial. ARGENTINA, 1985 marks the first original Argentinian film from Amazon Studios and will have its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival where it will be in the official competition for the Golden Lion. The Festival will also host the U.S. premiere of Mitre’s dark, French-language comedy 15 WAYS TO KILL YOUR NEIGHBOR, starring Uruguayan actor Daniel Hendler (THE MONEYCHANGER) as an Argentine swept up in some surreal happenings in France.
The Festival closes with Brazilian-Portuguese co-production DRY GROUND BURNING, a genre-defying firecracker about queer oil pirates in Brasília from filmmakers Adirley Queirós (ONCE THERE WAS BRASILIA) and Joana Pimenta. The film is set to have its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival this month, after having won the Grand Prize at the Cinéma du Réel Film Festival earlier this year.
Alongside ARGENTINA, 1985, the Festival spotlights several powerful new films that reckon with Latin America’s fraught political history, including the North American premiere of CHILE 1976, the Cannes-premiered directorial debut of Chilean actress Manuela Martelli (MACHUCA), set during the early days of Augusto Pinochet’s brutal dictatorship; the U.S. premiere of El Salvador-born Spanish filmmaker Imanol Uribe’s (FAR FROM THE SEA) historical thriller WHAT LUCÍA SAW, starring Juana Acosta (CARLOS) as the lone witness to the infamous 1989 assassination of six Jesuit priests during the Salvadoran civil war; Dominican filmmaker José María Cabral’s (WOODPECKERS) searing drama PARSLEY, set amid the 1937 massacre of Haitians on Dominican soil ordered by dictator Rafael Trujillo; the North American premiere of Brazilian filmmaker Flávia Neves’ Berlin-debuted thriller FOGARÉU, starring Bárbara Colen (breakout star of Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles’ BACURAU) as a woman who returns to her rural hometown to contend with Brazil’s colonial past; and celebrated Chilean documentarian Patricio Guzmán’s (THE CORDILLERA OF DREAMS) Cannes-debuted documentary MY IMAGINARY COUNTRY, which chronicles the 2019–2021 Estallido Social in Chile, a movement that culminated in the election of the nation’s youngest-ever president in 2021 and a referendum on a new constitution, set to take place on September 4.
The Festival also features several recent favorites from the international festival circuit, including Sundance prizewinners DOS ESTACIONES, from Mexican director Juan Pablo González, and UTAMA, from Bolivian filmmaker Alejandro Loayza Grisi; Mexican filmmaker Natalia López Gallardo’s acclaimed debut ROBE OF GEMS, winner of the Silver Bear Jury Prize at this year’s Berlin Film Festival; Argentine director Leonardo Brzezicki’s self-discovery drama WANDERING HEART, featuring an award-winning performance by Leonardo Sbaraglia (WILD TALES); Tribeca prize-winning feminist body horror HUESERA, from Mexican director Michelle Garza Cervera; Sundance favorites THE COW WHO SANG A SONG INTO THE FUTURE from Chilean filmmaker Francisca Alegría and MIJA, a Disney original documentary from Mexican American filmmaker Isabel Castro; and Best International Feature Film Oscar® submissions THE GREAT MOVEMENT (Bolivia), PLAZA CATEDRAL (Panama), THE EMPLOYER AND THE EMPLOYEE (Uruguay) and LO INVISIBLE (Ecuador).
Documentary selections explore both the personal and the political, pushing the boundaries of the medium and confirming Latin America as a leader in the field. In addition to genre-bending Closing Night selection DRY GROUND BURNING, highlights include the U.S. premiere of Annecy-premiered animated documentary HOME IS SOMEWHERE ELSE from Mexican directing team Jorge Villalobos and Carlos Hagerman, with both filmmakers expected to attend; the U.S. premiere of inventive docu-fiction hybrid LA PICADA from Costa Rican filmmaker Felipe Zúñiga (producer of the recent Cannes selection DOMINGO AND THE MIST); and Guatemalan documentarian Anaïs Taracena’s award-winning THE SILENCE OF THE MOLE, a portrait of the late journalist Elías Barahona and his role in infiltrating Guatemala’s military dictatorship during the 1970s.
The Festival also kicks off AFI Silver’s new monthly After Dark program with Permanencia Voluntaria’s new restoration of Mexican director René Cardona’s THE BATWOMAN, an unofficial and underseen 1968 spin on the Batman universe starring Italian-born actress Maura Monti (ALIEN TERROR, SANTO VS. THE MARTIAN INVASION).
In line with AFI Silver’s health and safety guidelines, AFI Latin American Film Festival attendees will be required to show proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test result from within the past 72 hours to enter the theatre and participate in Festival screenings. A complete list of AFI Silver’s current health and safety policies is available here.
For updated information, tickets and festival passes, visit AFI.com/Silver/LAFF/.