Festival’s 29th Edition Runs September 13–October 3
at AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring, MD

Opens With Colombia’s 2018 Oscar® Selection BIRDS OF PASSAGE,

Features 43 Films From 22 Countries,
Including Nine North American and U.S. Premieres

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — Silver Spring, MD, August 28, 2018 — The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today the full slate of films for the 2018 AFI Latin American Film Festival, which will take place September 13–October 3 at the historic AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring, MD.  Now celebrating its 29th edition, the festival showcases Latin America’s prolific and varied filmmaking talent and, with the inclusion of films from Spain and Portugal, celebrates Ibero-American cultural connections during National Hispanic Heritage Month.  This year’s diverse selection of 43 films range from international festival favorites and award winners to local box-office hits and exciting debuts from a new generation of Latin American filmmakers.

The festival opens with the acclaimed crime saga BIRDS OF PASSAGE, the latest from Colombia’s Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra (2015’s Oscar®-nominated EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT).  A unique take on the mafia epic, the film explores the burgeoning Colombian drug trade of the 1970s, as told through the story of an indigenous Wayúu family.  Earlier this year, the film became the first Latin American production ever to open the prestigious Directors’ Fortnight sidebar at the Cannes Film Festival.  The film is also the first fiction production shot in the Wayuunaiki language, which is spoken by the Wayúu people on the Guajira Peninsula in northeastern Colombia and northwestern Venezuela.

The Closing Night film, RUBEN BLADES IS NOT MY NAME, is Panamanian director Abner Benaim’s intimate look at the life and musical legacy of living Latin American legend Rubén Blades, who spearheaded the New York Salsa revolution in the 1970s, advancing Latinx identity, unity and empowerment on the international stage with his socially conscious interpretation of the art form.  The film received the Audience Award in the 24 Beats Per Second section of this year’s SXSW Film Festival and was selected to open the 2018 New York Latino Film Festival earlier this month.

Additional Festival Highlights

Additional festival highlights include MUSEO, Mexican filmmaker Alonso Ruizpalacios’ acclaimed heist comedy starring Gael García Bernal; the Pedro Almodóvar-produced thriller THE ANGEL, starring newcomer Lorenzo Ferro as famed Argentinian serial killer Carlos Robledo Puch and Chino Darín as his partner in crime; celebrated Brazilian werewolf romance GOOD MANNERS, 2017 Locarno Special Jury Prize winner; critical favorite THE HEIRESSES, the narrative debut of Paraguayan filmmaker Marcelo Martinessi and winner of the Silver Bear for Best Actress (Ana Brun) at the 2018 Berlinale; SXSW Audience Award winner VIRUS TROPICAL, an animated coming-of-age tale based on the graphic novel by Colombian-Ecuadorian artist Power Paola; and TIME SHARE, one of several Sundance favorites playing at the festival, with director Sebastián Hofmann in attendance and a post-screening reception sponsored by the Mexican Cultural Institute.

The festival will also feature the U.S. premiere of WIÑAYPACHA, the debut of Aymaran filmmaker Óscar Catacora and the first Peruvian film shot in the indigenous Aymara language; THE WANDERING SOAP OPERA, the final work by the late Chilean filmmaker Raúl Ruiz posthumously completed by his widow and longtime collaborator Valeria Sarmiento; the U.S. premiere of Bolivian feminist dramedy EUGENIA, with director Martín Boulocq in attendance; and Chilean stop-motion experimental horror-fantasy THE WOLF HOUSE, winner of the Caligari Film Prize at the 2018 Berlinale, with co-director Cristóbal León in attendance and a post-screening reception sponsored by the Embassy of Chile.

Other highlights include the U.S. premieres of Julio Hernández Cordón’s Cannes-debuted dystopian fable BUY ME A GUN and Argentine dramedy THE SNATCH THIEF, winner of the Best Picture Award at the 2018 Santiago International Film Festival; Uruguay’s 2018 Oscar® selection ANOTHER STORY OF THE WORLD; Peruvian drama RETABLO, winner of the Crystal Bear and Teddy Jury Award for Best Feature Film at the 2018 Berlinale; the U.S. premiere of historical epic MORAZÁN, Honduras’ first official Oscar® submission, with director Hispano Durón in attendance; and father-son chase thriller LA FAMILIA, the first Venezuelan film to be included in Cannes Critics’ Week.

Documentary selections highlight several powerful female-centered stories and include the North American premiere of FLORA’S LIFE IS NO PICNIC, Argentine documentarian Iair Said’s unconventional tribute to his eccentric 90-year-old great-aunt; SEÑORITA MARÍA, LA FALDA DE LA MONTAÑA, an intimate portrait of Maria Luisa Fuentes, a trans woman living in the mountains of a conservative town in Colombia; HEIRESS OF THE WIND, filmmaker Gloria Carrión Fonseca’s highly personal account of growing up during the Sandinista Revolution (1979-1989) in Nicaragua; the U.S. premiere of AWAY FROM MEANING, a poignant exploration of mental illness from Mexican cinematographer Olivia Luengas; and AGAVE: THE SPIRIT OF A NATION, a look at Mexico’s deep connection to the agave plant, with co-director Nicholas Kovacic in attendance.

A complete slate of all festival screenings is below.  For photos, contact Abbie Algar at [email protected].  For updated information, tickets and all-access passes, visit AFI.com/Silver/LAFF.

September 13–October 3


Fri, Sept 14, 5:15 p.m.; Tue, Sept 18, 5:15 p.m.; Wed, Sept 19, 9:45 p.m.
In 1982, Argentina and the UK fought the Malvinas/Falklands War, a bloody conflict that ended in a British victory and took nearly 1,000 lives. THEATRE OF WAR follows six veterans — three British, three Argentinean — as they come together to make a film almost 35 years after hostilities ended. They spend months together discussing their war memories and then rehearsing their re-enactment. Lola Arias’ genre-bending documentary feels both authentic and artificial as it playfully switches between reality and fiction, observing as the former soldiers transform into actors. Winner, C.I.C.A.E. Award, 2018 Berlin International Film Festival; Official Selection, 2018 SXSW, CPH:DOX and Jerusalem film festivals. DIR/SCR Lola Arias; PROD Alejandra Grinschpun, Gema Juárez Allen. Argentina/Spain/Germany, 2018, color, 81 min. In English and Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Special Presentation
Fri, Sept 14, 7:15 p.m.*; Sun, Sept 16, 1:00 p.m.
*Post-screening reception sponsored by the Embassy of Argentina on Sept 14
On the precipice of debuting her one-woman show, the charming and mercurial Robertina (co-director Valeria Bertuccelli) finds herself in a constant state of anxiety, putting off rehearsals to chase distractions that help her cope with the unexplained disappearance of her husband. Despite being one of her country’s most celebrated actors, Robertina’s apprehension slowly takes over, until she learns that an estranged friend in Denmark has fallen ill. When she drops everything to go and take care of him, their bittersweet reunion forces Robertina to re-examine everything. Winner, Special Jury Award for Acting (Valeria Bertuccelli), World Cinema Dramatic Section, 2018 Sundance Film Festival; Special Jury Award and Best Actress (Bertuccelli), 2018 Málaga Film Festival. DIR/SCR Valeria Bertuccelli; DIR Fabiana Tiscornia; PROD Benjamín Doménech, Christian Faillace, Santiago Gallelli, Juan Pablo Galli, Matias Roveda, Juan Vera. Argentina/Denmark, 2018, color, 107 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED

North American Premiere
Sat, Sept 15, 11:30 a.m.; Sun, Sept 16, 11:30 a.m.; Wed, Sept 19, 5:10 p.m.
Ninety-year-old Flora Schvartzman lives alone in her two-bedroom apartment and has been estranged from her family for more than 15 years. Ever the eccentric, Flora has been “ready to die since the day she was born.” Out of the blue, her great-nephew, the 25-year-old documentarian Iair Said, resurfaces to become a fixture in her life, hoping to inherit the apartment that she has promised to the Weizmann Institute of Science upon her death. Official Selection, 2018 Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema.
DIR/SCR/PROD Iair Said; PROD Eugenia Campos Guevara, Flor Efrón. Argentina, 2018, color, 64 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED

North American Premiere
Fri, Sept 28, 9:45 p.m.; Tue, Oct 2, 9:15 p.m.
Petty thief Miguel supports himself by stealing purses from the elderly, but when his latest victim, Elena, suffers an amnesia-causing blow to the head, he becomes plagued by guilt. Scheming his way into Elena’s life, Miguel’s plan is to help her heal. But Elena’s growing suspicion and Miguel’s dark past begin to threaten their coexistence. Agustín Toscano’s (THE OWNERS) second feature is a provocative mix of tragicomedy and psychological thriller, which astutely tackles questions of family, class and morality in contemporary Argentina. Official Selection, 2018 Cannes Directors’ Fortnight, Munich and Midnight Sun film festivals. DIR/SCR Agustín Toscano; PROD Georgina Baisch, Natacha Cervi, Hernán Musaluppi, Cecilia Salim. Argentina/Uruguay, 2018, color, 93 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Special Presentation
Sat, Sept 29, 7:15 p.m.; Sun, Sept 30, 8:00 p.m.
Produced by Pedro Almodóvar, Luis Ortega’s stylish, pop-infused, true-crime thriller traces the rise of one of Argentina’s most notorious serial killers — Carlos Robledo Puch, the longest-serving prisoner in Argentine history. It’s 1971 and Carlitos (Lorenzo Ferro) is an angel-faced Buenos Aires teen — and a successful small-time thief. When he meets the handsome and hard-as-nails Ramón (Chino Darín) at his new school, the pair are instantly drawn to one another and soon embark on an escalating journey of violent criminality. Official Selection, 2018 Cannes, New Zealand and Toronto film festivals. DIR/SCR Luis Ortega; SCR Sergio Olguín, Rodolfo Palacios; PROD Agustín Almodóvar, Pedro Almodóvar, Leticia Cristi, Pablo Culell, Esther García, Axel Kuschevatzky, Matías Mosteirín, Sebastián Ortega, Hugo Sigman. Argentina/Spain, color, 2018, 126 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED


Sun, Sept 16, 9:45 p.m.; Thurs, Sept 20, 5:15 p.m.
Abraham Bojórquez — Ukamau y Ké — pioneered hip-hop in the Aymara language, shaking up early 21st-century Latin American society with his rebellious lyrics. On the same day he finished recording his second record, at the peak of his career, he suffered an unceremonious and violent death. Years later, his friend, Ecuadorian rapper and documentarian Andrés Ramírez, returns to Bolivia to uncover the reasons for his untimely demise and seek his spirit. In this surreal journey, Ukamau y Ké is revived through archival footage and testimonials, and in dreams. Official Selection, 2018 Cine Las Americas International Film Festival. DIR/SCR/PROD Andrés Ramírez; SCR Xiana Yago, Miko Meloni; PROD Esteban Coloma, Amanda Robalino, Fabián Bolivar. Bolivia/Ecuador, 2017, color, 86 min. In Spanish and Aymara with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Special Presentation
U.S. Premiere
EUGENIA (2017)
Sat, Sept 22, 3:00 p.m.*; Tue, Sept 25, 9:20 p.m.
*Q&A with director Martín Boulocq and actress/producer Andrea Camponovo on Sept 22
Having decided to separate from her husband, Eugenia quits her job, leaves her small Bolivian town and moves in with her fathe’s family in another city, where she plans to take culinary lessons. Eager for new experiences — and short on cash — Eugenia accepts job as a makeup artist and then the role of a famed guerrilla fighter in an independent biopic. In this sharply observed, subtly comic look at one woman’s path to empowerment, Eugenia navigates a masculine universe to find a space in which she can finally be herself. Official Selection, 2018 Mar del Plata and Guadalajara film festivals. DIR/SCR Martín Boulocq; PROD Andrea Camponovo, Rolando Lora. Bolivia, 2017, b&w, 82 min. In Spanish with English Subtitles. NOT RATED


Sat, Sept 15, 9:45 p.m.; Wed, Sept 19, 6:30 p.m.
When Clara, a lonely nurse from the outskirts of the São Paulo, is hired by the mysterious and wealthy Ana to be the nanny of her soon-to-be-born child, the two develop a strong bond. But a fateful night marked by a full moon changes their plans. With powerful visuals and impeccable cinematography (by ZAMA’s Rui Poças), GOOD MANNERS is Disney meets Jacques Tourneur — an unexpected and wild werewolf movie which skillfully integrates art-house and genre cinema to create a thrilling and dark gothic fable with sharp social commentary. (Note adapted from Distrib Films.) Winner, Special Jury Prize, 2017 Locarno International Film Festival; Special Mention, Best Picture, 2018 Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema (BAFICI); Official Selection, 2017 London, Vancouver and Busan film festivals; 2018 Palm Springs, Cleveland, Istanbul and Cartagena film festivals. DIR/SCR Marco Dutra, Juliana Rojas; PROD Frédéric Corvez, Clément Duboin, Sara Silveira. Brazil/France/Germany, 2017, color, 135 min. In Portuguese with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Fri, Sept 21, 5:15 p.m.; Thurs, Sept 27, 9:20 p.m.
Andre is a regular teenager living in an industrial town in Brazil near an old aluminum plant. When local factory worker Cristiano suffers an accident, Andre is asked to go to Cristiano’s house to pick up clothes and documents. There he stumbles on a notebook, and it’s here that ARABY begins — or, rather, transforms. As Andre reads from the journal entries, Cristiano’s story comes to life, and the tales of his wanderings, adventures and loves form a fable-like road movie about a young man’s 10-year journey in search of a better life. (Note adapted from Grasshopper Films.) Winner, Special Mention, 2017 Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema (BAFICI); Best Feature, 2017 Golden Apricot Yerevan International Film Festival; Honorable Mention and Special Jury Award, 2017 IndieLisboa International Independent Film Festival; Special Mention, 2017 Ljubljana International Film Festival; Official Selection, 2017 San Sebastián, Rotterdam, London, New Directors/New Films, Hamburg and Cartagena film festivals.DIR/SCR João Dumans, Affonso Uchôa; PROD Vitor Graize. Brazil, 2017, color, 97 min. In Portuguese with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Fri, Sept 21, 9:30 p.m.; Wed, Sept 26, 7:15 p.m.
High schoolers Tati and Renet are instantly drawn to each other at a late-night party, but when cellphone footage of their romantic encounter is leaked to the whole class, Tati must fight to maintain her dignity in the halls of the school. A thriller for the smartphone generation, RUST deftly comments on the pitfalls of social media and the digital wildfires that can spread and ruin young lives. Winner, Ibero American Competition Jury Award, 2018 Seattle International Film Festival; Official Selection, 2018 Sundance and Galway film festivals. DIR/SCR Aly Muritiba; SCR Jessica Candal; PROD Antônio Junior. Brazil, 2018, color, 100 min. In Portuguese with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Sat, Sept 29, 12:50 p.m.; Wed, Oct 3, 9:20 p.m.
Fellipe Barbosa’s (CASA GRANDE) richly textured road movie retraces the final days of his former classmate Gabriel Buchmann (João Pedro Zappa, DISPAROS), an idealistic, open-hearted young man determined to discover the world with nothing more than his backpack and $2 a day. Barbosa lovingly recreates Buchmann’s ill-fated journey through Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia, until he reaches the top of Mount Mulanje, Malawi, his last destination. Winner, Critics Award, 2017 São Paulo International Film Festival; Official Selection, 2017 Cannes Critics’ Week, Busan and Vancouver film festivals; 2018 Buenos Aires, True/False and Rotterdam film festivals. DIR/SCR Fellipe Barbosa; SCR Kirill Mikhanovsky, Lucas Paraizo; PROD Roberto Berliner, Yohann Cornu, Rodrigo Letier, Clara Linhart. Brazil/France, 2017, color, 127 min. In English, Portuguese, Swahili, Chichewa and French with English subtitles. NOT RATED


Sat, Sept 22, 11:00 a.m.; Sun, Sept 23, 9:30 p.m.; Wed, Sept 26, 5:30 p.m.
Drifting beautifully between science and spirituality, CIELO is a love letter to the night sky as experienced in Chile’s Atacama Desert, one of the best places on the planet to explore and contemplate its splendor. Planet hunters in the Atacama’s astronomical observatories and the desert dwellers who work the land and sea share their evocative visions of the stars and planets, their mythical stories and existential queries with remarkable openness and a contagious sense of wonder. Winner, Award for Cinematography, 2018 Salem Film Fest; Official Selection, 2017 New York Film Festival, 2018 Karlovy Vary, Full Frame and DOXA film festivals. DIR/SCR/PROD Alison McAlpine. Chile/Canada, 2017, color, 77 min. In English, Spanish, French and German with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Sat, Sept 22, 12:45 p.m.; Mon, Sept 24, 9:10 p.m.
In this female-driven, comedic take on the road-movie, former pop-star Martina (Antonella Costa) — once a big deal in her native Argentina and across South America — has hit rock bottom after a nasty break-up. Doubting her ability to sing and, even worse, having lost her sex drive, Martina feels revived when she meets the eye-catching ex-boyfriend of a Chilean fangirl who claims to be her long lost-sister. When Martina follows her young lover back to Chile, she ends up gaining an unexpected new lease on life. Official Selection, 2018 Buenos Aires and Tribeca film festivals. DIR/SCR Che Sandoval; PROD Natacha Cervi, Gregorio González, Florencia Larrea, Hernán Musaluppi. Chile/Argentina, 2018, color, 95 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Special Presentation
Fri, Sept 28, 7:30 p.m.*; Sat, Sept 29, 10:00 p.m.
*Q&A with co-director Cristóbal León, plus post-screening wine reception sponsored by the Embassy of Chile on Sept 28
Picture David Lynch’s ERASERHEAD reimagined by stop-motion, avant-garde filmmakers The Brothers Quay, and you have a good place to start wrapping your head around the gonzo fairytale that is THE WOLF HOUSE. On the run from a German cult, holed up in a shack in the Chilean woods, Maria takes refuge with her two pigs as the spirit of the house slowly drives her insane. This beautiful nightmare of a film was initially conceived as a series of traveling exhibitions that spanned various studios to show the public a work in constant flux. Winner, Caligari Film Prize, 2018 Berlin International Film Festival; Jury Distinction, 2018 Annecy International Animation Film Festival; Official Selection, 2018 Cartagena, Hong Kong and Fantastic Fest film festivals.
DIR/SCR Joaquín Cociña, Cristóbal León; SCR Alejandra Moffat; PROD Niles Atallah, Catalina Vergara. Chile/Germany, 2018, color, 75 min. In Spanish and German with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Sun, Sept 30, 11:00 a.m.; Mon, Oct 1, 9:20 p.m.
In 1990, the late Raúl Ruiz (1941–2011) conducted six days of acting workshops in his native Chile, yielding a small wealth of 16mm footage that was never edited together until Valeria Sarmiento, Ruiz’s wife and chief collaborator, returned to it nearly six years after Ruiz’s death. The result is a wildly inventive, episodic work of political satire born of Ruiz and Sarmiento’s vision of “Chilean reality” as a grand pastiche of soap-opera tropes — in other words, that the best way to understand the political and economic realities Chileans face is to view their situation through the sublime and ridiculous prism of the telenovela. (Note courtesy of Film Society at Lincoln Center.) Winner, Special Mention, Best Latin-American Film, 2017 Mar del Plata Film Festival; Official Selection, 2017 Locarno Film Festival, 2018 Rotterdam Film Festival.
DIR/SCR/PROD Raúl Ruiz; DIR Valeria Sarmiento; SCR Pía Rey; PROD Leo Kocking, Andrés Racz. Chile, 2017, color, 80 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED


Opening Night
Opening Night: Thurs, Sept 13, 7:30 p.m.; also screening Sat, Sept 15, 7:15 p.m.
Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra, the creative team behind 2015’s Oscar®-nominated EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT, return with this inspired mob epic for the ages — a completely fresh take on the origins of the Colombian drug trade, as told through the story of an indigenous Wayúu family. In the 1970s, as an American-fueled marijuana boom hits Colombia, farmers quickly turn into seasoned businessmen and, in the Guajira desert, one Wayúu clan takes a leading role. But as greed, passion and honor blend together over the decades, the family’s unity, their lives and their ancestral traditions are all put at stake. Official Selection, 2018 Cannes Directors’ Fortnight, Karlovy Vary, New Zealand, Locarno and Toronto film festivals. DIR/PROD Cristina Gallego, Ciro Guerra; SCR Maria Camila Arias, Jacques Toulemonde Vidal; PROD Katrin Pors. Colombia/Denmark, 2018, color, 125 min. In English, Spanish and Wayúu with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Fri, Sept 14, 9:45 p.m.; Wed, Sept 19, 9:00 p.m.
In Laura Mora Ortega’s intensely beautiful, semi-autobiographical debut, 22-year-old Paula embarks on a revenge mission after witnessing the murder of her father. When Paula recognizes her father’s killer at a nightclub, he turns out to be a young man from the slums named Jesus. Feigning romantic interest, Paula vengefully seeks out Jesus. But as they spend time together, Paula begins to lose her resolve. Close, realistic camera work allows us to enter Paula’s anxious and confused frame of mind as she grapples with her difficult choice. (Note adapted from Toronto International Film Festival.) Winner, FIPRESCI Prize, Best Director, 2017 Cairo International Film Festival; Roger Ebert Award, 2017 Chicago International Film Festival; Grand Jury Prize, 2018 Gasparilla International Film Festival; Cine Latino Award, 2018 Palm Springs International Film Festival; Official Selection, 2017 Toronto and San Sebastian film festivals; 2018 Seattle, Cartagena and Galway film festivals. DIR/SCR Laura Mora Ortega; SCR Alonso Torres; PROD Juan Pablo García, Diego F. Ramírez, Ignacio Rey, Maja Zimmermann, Alex Zito. Colombia, 2017, color, 95 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Special Presentation
Sat, Sept 15, 5:05 p.m.; Sun, Sept 16, 3:15 p.m.
Winner of this year’s SXSW Audience Award, this tender and funny animated feature is based on the autobiographical graphic novel by Colombian-Ecuadorian cartoonist Power Paola about a young woman’s experiences — from conception to young adulthood — as she fumbles her way through dysfunctional family life, friendships, new schools and awkward romances. Scrappy DIY black-and-white animation and a lo-fi Latin indie score lend a lovingly idiosyncratic charm to a film that brings forth a unique and utterly refreshing female point of view. (Note adapted from Seattle International Film Festival.) Winner, Audience Award, 2018 SXSW Film Festival; Official Selection, 2018 Berlin, Seattle, New Zealand, Buenos Aires, Annecy and Galway film festivals. DIR/PROD Santiago Caicedo; SCR Enrique Lozano, from the graphic novel by Power Paola. Colombia/Ecuador, 2017, color, 97 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Sun, Sept 23, 1:00 p.m.; Mon, Sept 24, 5:15 p.m.
María Luisa lives in a conservative Catholic village in rural Colombia. Designated male at birth and shunned by her family, she has found enough love in her god and in herself to keep going despite it all. Through extensive interviews with María and her friends and acquaintances, we come to discover her difficult past and the promise for her future. This touching documentary is a portrait of resilience brimming with humanity. (Note adapted from Museum of Modern Art.) Winner, Best Colombian Director, 2018 Cartagena International Film Festival; Official Selection, 2017 Locarno Film Festival, 2018 Edinburgh International Film Festival and Doc Fortnight. DIR/SCR/PROD Rubén Mendoza; PROD Amanda Sarmiento. Colombia, 2017, color, 90 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Costa Rica

Sun, Sept 23, 3:00 p.m.; Mon, Sept 24, 7:15 p.m.
Recently divorced, 72-year-old Violeta lives alone in her childhood home, tending to her lush tropical garden and making plans to turn her property into a boarding house. She even takes in her swim instructor as a tenant to get the process started. But when she discovers the bank is about to seize her property, Violeta breaks all the rules to hold onto her home and her freedom. (Note adapted from Habanero Film Sales.) Official Selection, 2017 Busan, Ventana Sur, Mar del Plata, Costa Rica and Havana film festivals; 2018 Guadalajara and Los Angeles Latino film festivals. DIR/SCR Hilda Hidalgo; PROD Laura Imperiale. Costa Rica/Mexico, 2017, color, 87 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED


Sat, Sept 15, 3:05 p.m.; Sun, Sept 16, 12:30 p.m.
As the trade embargo reaches its peak in 1994 Havana, the world of elderly musicians Candelaria and Víctor Hugo slowly moves along while they care for their quintuplet of chickens, work tirelessly and make it through each day. But the monotony is broken when the discovery of an illegally smuggled video camera turns their lives upside down. This camera, a foreign object to both of them, begins to reignite the couple’s joy for life, as they learn to use it to film themselves dancing, kissing and making love. When the camera is stolen, the pair faces an interesting dilemma. Winner, Best Film, 2017 Venice Days; Official Selection, 2017 Cine Latino Film Festival, 2018 Miami Film Festival.
DIR/SCR/PROD Jhonny Hendrix; SCR Maria Camila Arias, Abel Arcos Soto, Carlos Quintela; PROD Claudia Calviño, Federico Eibuszyc, Barbara Sarasola-Day, Juan Diego Villegas. Cuba/Colombia/Germany/Norway/Argentina, 2017, color, 87 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Fri, Sept 28, 5:15 p.m.; Sun, Sept 30, 12:30 p.m.
In 1989 Havana, Russian literature professor Malin gets a mysterious note at the university with orders from the government sending him to a local hospital, where he is expected to act as translator between the Cuban doctors and the families of young patients from the Chernobyl disaster. Initially reluctant to continue, Malin becomes deeply devoted to his patients, though his relationship with his pregnant wife and young son suffers. This emotionally rich drama is rooted in historical facts — 20,000 Chernobyl victims were eventually treated in Cuba. (Note adapted from Sundance Film Festival.) Winner, Best Director Award, 2018 Shanghai International Film Festival; Official Selection, 2018 Sundance, Guadalajara and San Francisco film festivals. DIR Rodrigo Barriuso; DIR/PROD Sebastián Barriuso; SCR/PROD Lindsay Gossling. Cuba/Canada, 2018, color, 107 min. In Spanish and Russian with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Dominican Republic

Sun, Sept 30, 9:20 p.m.; Tue, Oct 2, 7:05 p.m.
A rapturous crime fable set in the Dominican Republic, COCOTE follows Alberto, a kind-hearted gardener returning home to attend his father’s funeral. When he discovers that a powerful local figure is responsible for his father’s death, Alberto realizes that he’s been summoned by his family to avenge the murder. Questions of faith, tradition and honor course through this electrifying film, which, seemingly at the speed of thought itself, jumps between film formats, colors and aspect ratios, radically envisioning a community torn asunder by senseless violence. (Note adapted from Grasshopper Film.) Winner, Best Film, Signs of Life Section, 2018 Locarno International Film Festival; Official Selection, 2017 San Sebastián and Toronto International film festivals. DIR/SCR Nelson Carlo de Los Santos Arias; PROD Fernando Santos Diaz, Lukas Valenta Rinner. Dominican Republic/Argentina/Germany/Qatar, 2018, color/b&w, 106 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED


U.S. Premiere
Sun, Sept 23, 7:20 p.m.; Wed, Sept 26, 9:20 p.m.
Víctor is a 30-year-old novelist living the dream life when the news that he is a father-to-be throws his world upside down. Taking it rather poorly, he spirals into a second adolescence and begins spending way too much time with Valentina, the bright but defiant 16-year-old girl who lives next door. As his pregnant wife’s belly grows, so does the distance between the young couple, but Víctor just can’t help digging himself deeper. Official Selection, 2018 Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema. DIR/SCR Diego Araujo; SCR/PROD Hanne-Lovise Skartveit. Ecuador/Dominican Republic, 2018, b&w, 102 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED

El Salvador

Special Presentation
Sun, Sept 16, 7:20 p.m.*; Mon, Sept 17, 7:20 p.m.
*Post-screening cocktail reception sponsored by the Embassy of El Salvador on Sept 16
In this noir-tinged take on William Shakespeare’s “Othello,” director Arturo Menendez (MALACRIANZA) dives into the disturbed psyche of Pablo, the spoiled son of a well-known lawyer involved in a case of corruption, who becomes disgusted by and envious of his father’s relationship with a much younger woman. As Pablo resolves to end the romance, his web of lies leads to jealousy, revenge and a maelstrom that could ultimately destroy the family. Official Selection, 2018 Chicago Latino and New York Latino film festivals. DIR/SCR/PROD Arturo Menendez; PROD Chad Barager, Carlos Figueroa, Alfonso Quijada. El Salvador/Canada/Colombia/Mexico, 2018, color, 84 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED


Sat, Sept 29, 11:00 a.m.; Sun, Sept 30, 3:15 p.m.
Based on a true story, Spanish director Chema Rodríguez’s second feature is a powerful drama about survival and hope in 1980s Guatemala. At the height of a ruthless civil war targeting the country’s indigenous communities, nine-year-old Andrés is one of the few survivors of a massacre in his village. Adopted by one of the perpetrators of the violence, the little boy lives in fear with his adopted mother María, but the unexpected arrival of his biological sister will change everything. Official Selection, 2017 Rome Film Festival, 2018 Seville, Guadalajara, Punta del Este and Chicago Latino film festivals. DIR/SCR/PROD Chema Rodríguez; SCR León Siminiani, Francisco Vargas; PROD Elías Jiménez Trachtenberg, José Nolla, Rafael Rosal, Jorge Sánchez Gallo, Chema Álvarez. Guatemala/Spain, 2017, color, 82 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED


Special Presentation
U.S. Premiere; 2018 Oscar® Selection, Honduras
Thurs, Sept 20, 7:10 p.m.
Q&A with director Hispano Durón
It is 1842, and José Francisco Morazán Quezada is on a mission of unification for the Central American Republic. With his small band of loyal soldiers at his side, he faces his final battle, willing to give up his life for the cause. This epic biopic is a snapshot in the life of a key figure in Central American history that cements his legacy as one of its most important political and military leaders, and marks the first official Oscar® submission for Honduras. DIR/SCR Hispano Duron; SCR/PROD José Dagoberto Martínez. Honduras, 2017, color, 115 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED


Special Presentation
Tue, Sept 18, 7:30 p.m.
Advance Screening; MUSEO opens at AFI Silver on Fri, Sept 21
In Alonso Ruizpalacios’ (GÜEROS) expertly crafted heist comedy, Gael García Bernal and Leonardo Ortizgris star as two 30-something slackers living with their parents in the suburbs of Mexico City. When the pair decide it’s time to shake up their dead-end lives, they come up with a plan to execute the most infamous museum heist in Mexican history. Blundering through their ill-conceived scheme, they leave everything behind and set off on a journey that takes them from the Mayan ruins of Palenque to the decadent underworld of Acapulco Bay. Winner, Best Screenplay, 2018 Berlin International Film Festival; Official Selection, 2018 Karlovy Vary and Toronto film festivals. DIR/SCR Alonso Ruizpalacios; SCR/PROD Manuel Alcalá; PROD Gerardo Gatica, Alberto Muffelmann, Ramiro Ruiz. Mexico/U.S./Canada, 2018, color, 128 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Special Presentation
Fri, Sept 21, 7:15 p.m.*; Tue, Sept 25, 5:30 p.m.
*Q&A with director Nick Kovacic on Sept 21
In Mexico, families have been passing down the tradition of distilling agave for generations. Discover how this once-obscure Mexican drink has evolved into the fastest growing spirit in the world, as we follow three producers in a bio-diverse landscape, from the alluring red highlands of Jalisco to the rugged mountains of Oaxaca. This expressive documentary takes viewers beyond the spirit to discover how one delicate plant can carry the weight of a nation and the people trying to protect it. (Note adapted from Digital Cave Media.) Official Selection, 2018 Guadalajara and SXSW film festivals. DIR/SCR/PROD Nick Kovacic, Matthew Riggieri. U.S./Mexico, 2018, color, 79 min. In English and Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Special Presentation
Sat, Sept 22, 7:30 p.m.*; Tue, Sept 25, 7:15 p.m.
*Q&A with filmmaker Sebastián Hofmann, plus post-screening reception sponsored by the Mexican Cultural Institute on Sept 22
Pedro and his family are stuck sharing their dream getaway in a tropical resort with Abel and his strange brood due to a clerical error. While each man is offered a suspicious compensation package, only Abel accepts, and the two families soon bond — much to Pedro’s chagrin. A terrible tennis court accident leads to a discovery that has Pedro convinced dark forces are at play with Abel and the hotel management in this dark comedy that ratchets up the weird to an oddball crescendo. Winner, Best Supporting Actor and Best Actor in a Minor Role, 2018 Ariel Awards Mexico; Best Actor, 2018 Guadalajara International Film Festival; Special Jury Prize for Screenwriting, 2018 Sundance Film Festival. DIR/SCR Sebastian Hofmann; SCR/PROD Julio Chavezmontes. Mexico/Netherlands, 2018, color, 96 min. In English and Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED

U.S. Premiere
Sun, Sept 30, 5:15 p.m.; Tue, Oct 2, 7:15 p.m.
After contacting a virus at the age of three, Liliana was later diagnosed with mental illness, and has lived most of her life with borderline personally disorder. She has been in and out of treatment centers but finds solace in her family and her “only friend” Carlos, who is living with schizophrenia. In her feature directorial debut, cinematographer Olivia Luengas turns the camera on her sister for an intimate and personal story that is both harrowing and heartfelt. Official Selection, 2018 Guadalajara International Film Festival. DIR/SCR/PROD Olivia Lenguas; PROD Odín Acosta Ascencio. Mexico, 2018, color, 90 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED

U.S. Premiere
Sun, Sept 30, 7:30 p.m.; Mon, Oct 1, 7:05 p.m.
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD meets THE FLORIDA PROJECT in Julio Hernández Cordón’s (ATRÁS HAY RELÁMPAGOS, I PROMISE YOU ANARCHY) stunning dystopian coming-of-age tale. In a future Mexico, in which the kidnapping of women is commonplace and the drug cartels rule the roost, Huck lives with her father, the caretaker of an abandoned baseball camp where local gangsters gather to play. Afraid for her life, Huck is forced to hide her gender and joins with a group of lost boys to try to defeat the local capo. Winner, Outside the Box Award, 2018 Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival; Official Selection, 2018 Cannes Film Festival, Directors’ Fortnight. DIR/SCR/PROD Julio Hernández Cordón; PROD Maria Jose Cordova, Rodrigo Sebastian Gonzalez, Rafael Ley. Mexico/Colombia, 2018, color, 84 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED


Sun, Sept 23, 11:05 a.m.; Thurs, Sept 27, 5:15 p.m.
Director Gloria Carrión Fonseca was born during the Sandinista Revolution (1979–1989) and grew up living in fear of and fascination with the war and the military might of the U.S. Her parents fell in love amid the struggle against the Somocista dictatorship. With them, she experienced the rise and fall of the revolutionary dream. Now, 36 years later, Fonseca begins a search of that past through a kaleidoscope of memories that will challenge the myth of the revolution, redeeming the pain caused by collective amnesia. (Note courtesy of Caja de Luz.) Official Selection, 2018 Guadalajara and Buenos Aires film festivals. DIR/SCR/PROD Gloria Carrión Fonseca. Nicaragua, 2017, color, 88 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED


Closing Night
Wed, Oct 3, 7:30 p.m.
Post-screening party and DJ, sponsored by Kesta Happening DC
Latin American icon Rubén Blades was at the center of the New York Salsa revolution in the 1970s. His socially charged lyrics and explosive rhythms brought Salsa music to an international audience. He has won 17 Grammys®, acted in Hollywood, earned a law degree from Harvard and even run for president of his native Panama. Winner of the Audience Award in the 24 Beats Per Second section of the 2018 SXSW Film Festival, this revealing portrait takes us on a journey through Ruben’s incredible 50-year career and his struggle to come to terms with his legacy. (Note adapted from SXSW Film Festival.) Winner, Audience Award, 24 Beats Per Second, 2018 SXSW Film Festival; Official Selection, 2018 Buenos Aires, Guadalajara, Panama and Seattle film festivals. DIR/SCR/PROD Abner Benaim; PROD Gema Juarez Allen. Panama/Argentina/Colombia, 2018, color, 84 min. In English and Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED


Special Presentation
Sat, Sept 15, 1:00 p.m.; Sun, Sept 16, 5:20 p.m.; Mon, Sept 17, 5:20 p.m.
Winner of the FIPRESCI Prize, the Silver Bear for Best Actress (Ana Brun) at the 2018 Berlinale, Marcelo Martinessi’s debut feature centers on a longtime couple tested by financial strain and a dramatic change in circumstance. Chela (Brun) and Chiquita (Margarita Irun) are both descended from Paraguay’s upper crust, but after 30 years together, their financial situation is at an all-time low. When Chiquita is imprisoned on fraud charges, Chela begins chauffeuring wealthy older ladies around town to make ends meet and encounters the much younger Angy, suddenly finding herself in the throes of self-renewal. Winner, FIPRESCI Prize, Silver Bear for Best Actress and Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize, 2018 Berlin International Film Festival; Best Director and FIPRESCI Prize, 2018 Cartagena Film Festival; Grand Prize, 2018 Jeonju Film Festival; Grand Jury Prize – Special Mention, 2018 Seattle International Film Festival; Best Film, 2018 Sydney Film Festival; Official Selection, 2018 Edinburgh, Galway and New Zealand film festivals. DIR/SCR/PROD Marcelo Martinessi; PROD Sebastián Peña Escobar. Paraguay/Germany/Uruguay/Brazil/Norway/France, 2018, color, 95 min. In Spanish and Guarani with English subtitles. NOT RATED


Special Presentation
U.S. Premiere
Thurs, Sept 27, 7:15 p.m.
Post-screening reception sponsored by the Embassy of Peru
The first Peruvian film shot in the indigenous language of Aymara, WIÑAYPACHA tells the story of an elderly couple, Willka (Sun) and Phaxsi (Moon), struggling to survive in a remote part of the Andes as they wait in vain for the return of their son Antuco (Star) from the city. Taking inspiration from the experiences of his grandparents, filmmaker Oscar Catacora blends acute attention to mundane daily details with stunning, sublime cinematography to capture a snapshot of the protagonists’ hopes, dreams and struggles, alongside the indifferent, sometimes harsh beauty of their surrounding environment. Winner, Best First Film and Best Cinematography, Ibero-American Competition, 2018 Guadalajara Film Festival; Official Selection, 2018 Lima and Mar del Plata film festivals. DIR/SCR Oscar Catacora; PROD Tito Catacora. Peru, 2017, color, 86 min. In Aymara with English subtitles. NOT RATED

RETABLO (2017)
Sat, Sept 29, 5:15 p.m.; Wed, Oct 3, 5:15 p.m.
Fourteen-year-old Segundo is set to follow in his father Noe’s footsteps as a master crafter of retablos, colorful and richly detailed story-boxes that fetch high prices at their local marketplace and are in high demand within the family’s small, isolated Quechua village in Peru. But while on his way to a celebration in the Andes, Segundo accidentally discovers his troubled father’s secret, and the young artist’s world is quickly turned inside out, his life transformed into a simmering storm of anger, confusion and a growing disillusionment with his village’s often provincial way of thinking. (Note adapted from Seattle International Film Festival.) Winner, Crystal Bear, Best Feature Film and Teddy Jury Award for Best First Feature Film, 2018 Berlin International Film Festival; Jury Prize for Best Film and Best First Feature Film, 2018 Frameline San Francisco International LGBTQ Film Festival; Best Peruvian Feature Film, 2018 Lima Film Festival; Official Selection, 2018 Seattle and Galway film festivals. DIR/SCR/PROD Alvaro Delgado Aparicio; SCR Héctor Gálvez; PROD Enid Campos. Peru/Germany/Norway, 2017, color, 95 min. In Quechua and Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED


Mon, Sept 17, 9:45 p.m.; Thurs, Sept 20, 10:00 p.m.
Documentarians João Miller Guerra and Filipa Reis turn the subject of their 2010 film LI KE TERRA into the central character of their debut fiction work. A Cape Verdean in Portugal, Miguel Moreira, also known as Djon África, travels back home to look for his biological father. This hopefully soul-searching journey quickly gets derailed as he comes across beautiful women, colorful parties and the local liquor, known as grogue. Written by Pedro Pinho (THE NOTHING FACTORY), this woozily intoxicating road movie is as youthful, charming and adventurous as its title character. (Note courtesy of New Directors/New Films.) Official Selection, 2018 Rotterdam, Buenos Aires, San Francisco and New Directors/New Films film festivals. DIR/SCR/PROD João Miller Guerra; DIR Filipa Reis; SCR/PROD Pedro Pinho. Portugal/Brazil/Cape Verde, 2018, color, 95 min. In Portuguese with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Puerto Rico

Sat, Sept 22, 11:20 a.m.; Mon, Sept 24, 7:05 p.m.
Ari Maniel Cruz follows his acclaimed 2016 hit BEFORE THE ROOSTER CROWS with this uncompromising look at the political and personal effects of Alzheimer’s disease. While health secretary Dr. Eduardo Suárez vehemently opposes the new health reform proposed by the governor, his wife is beginning to show signs of early-onset Alzheimer’s. Forced to resign from his post, Suárez takes care of his wife and watches from the sidelines while an investigation into government corruption threatens to bring down the current administration. Official Selection, 2017 New York Latino Film Festival; 2018 Panama and Chicago Latino film festivals. DIR/SCR Ari Maniel Cruz; PROD Esteban Lima. Puerto Rico, 2017, color, 98 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED.

U.S. Premiere
Sat, Sept 29, 3:25 p.m.; Tue, Oct 2, 5:15 p.m.
Álvaro Aponte Centeno impresses with this assured debut feature, a powerful drama of loss and hope which tackles the global immigration crisis from a highly personal and unexpected perspective. Rafael has no time to mourn the death of his sister Carmen. He is part of a human trafficking network that brings an endless stream of migrants from the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico. Balancing caring for his mother and teenage daughter with his illicit activities, Rafael begins to reach a crisis point. Winner, Special Jury Award, 2017 Mar del Plata Film Festival; Official Selection, 2018 San Sebastian, Lima and Munich film festivals. DIR/SCR Álvaro Aponte Centeno; PROD Maite Rivera Carbonell. Puerto Rico/Dominican Republic/France, 2018, color, 85 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED


Special Presentation
Sat, Sept 22, 5:30 p.m.; Sun, Sept 23, 5:00 p.m.
Tristán reunites with his longtime friend and former lover, retired singer Lucía, when he books her a small concert tour — her first shows since starting a family six years prior. Seeing straight through his pretense, Lucía agrees to play the concerts to escape her life of domesticity and catch up after 20 years. The pair fill each other in on the two decades they have spent apart and talk about old times, as they travel from gig to gig in this sophisticated road movie with striking similarities to Richard Linklater’s dialogue-driven BEFORE trilogy. Winner, Special Jury Award, 2018 Málaga Spanish Film Festival. DIR/SCR/PROD David Trueba. Spain, 2018, color, 83 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED


2018 Oscar® Selection, Uruguay
Sun, Sept 30, 1:00 p.m.; Mon, Oct 1, 5:15 p.m.
It is the 1980s, and prankish political activism is alive and well in rural Uruguay. When a new military governor is installed in the town of Mosquitos, best friends Milo and Esmail protest by broadcasting their discontent on the radio and purloining garden gnomes. When the governor imprisons Milo, Esmail launches a propaganda campaign that seeks justice for his buddy — and offers an alternative history of his nation. Guillermo Casanova (SEAWARDS JOURNEY) has crafted a biting political satire for the ages. (Note adapted from Miami Film Festival.) Winner, Best Performance (César Troncoso), 2018 Miami Film Festival; Official Selection, Chicago Latino Film Festival. DIR/SCR Guillermo Casanova; SCR Inés Bortagaray; PROD Hugo Castro Fau, Kristina Konrad, Natacha López, Isabel Mártinez. Argentina/Uruguay, 2017, color, 105 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED


Sat, Sept 29, 4:00 p.m.; Mon, Oct 1, 7:30 p.m.
The first Venezuelan film to be included in Cannes Critics’ Week, Gustavo Rondón Córdova’s pulse-pounding debut follows a father and son as they flee the violence of their Caracas neighborhood. After 12-year-old Pedro (Reggie Reyes) seriously injures another boy in a skirmish, his father Andrés (Giovanni García, EL AMPARO) decides they must escape to save Pedro from violent retribution. Córdova, who edited 2016 AFI Latin American Film Festival opener EL AMPARO, expertly steers this unconventional chase film to its dramatic and moving conclusion. Winner, Best Film, 2018 Miami Film Festival and 2017 Lima Latin American Film Festival; Official Selection, 2017 Cannes, Karlovy Vary, San Sebastián, Munich and Chicago film festivals. DIR/SCR/PROD Gustavo Rondón Córdova; PROD Rodolfo Cova, Marianela Illas, Natalia Machado, Rubén Sierra Salles. Venezuela/Chile/Norway, 2017, color, 84 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED

About the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center
The AFI Silver and Cultural Center is one of the nation’s premier film theatres, building an appreciation of the art and artists through exploring and celebrating new and classic films and filmmakers from around the globe.  AFI Silver offers a year-round program of the best in American and international cinema, featuring a dynamic mix of retrospectives, special events, tributes, on-stage guest appearances, specialty first-run movies, festivals, premieres and education and community-based programs in a theatrical setting of the highest standards.  Anchored by the stunningly restored 1938 Silver Theatre, the three-screen AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center is a state-of-the-art film and digital media exhibition venue that serves as a national model for preserving and honoring our shared film and film-going heritage.

About the American Film Institute
The American Film Institute was established by presidential proclamation in the White House Rose Garden, and launched its national mandate on June 5, 1967 — to preserve the heritage of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work and to educate the next generation of storytellers.  AFI’s founding Trustees included Chairman Gregory Peck, Vice Chairman Sidney Poitier, Francis Ford Coppola, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., Jack Valenti and George Stevens, Jr., as Director.



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