AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE ANNOUNCES
2015 AFI LATIN AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL LINEUP
Opens with SAND DOLLARS; Closes with TRASH
Twenty-sixth Edition of Festival Runs September 17–October 7 with
Over 40 Films From 20 Countries
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — Silver Spring, Maryland, September 3, 2015 — The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today the complete slate of films for the 2015 AFI Latin American Film Festival which will take place September 17–October 7 at the historic AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring, Maryland. The festival, now celebrating its 26th edition, showcases the best in filmmaking from Latin America and, with the inclusion of films from Spain and Portugal, celebrates Ibero-American cultural connections. This year’s selection of more than 40 films ranges from international festival favorites and award winners, to local box office hits and debut works from gifted new talents. Additionally, a number of the filmmakers and actors will present their films in person at this year’s screenings, and several of the festival’s Special Presentations selections will include post-screening receptions.
The Opening Night film, SAND DOLLARS, the fourth film by directors Laura Amelia Guzmán and Israel Cárdenas (COCOCHI, JEAN GENTIL), stars Geraldine Chaplin (DOCTOR ZHIVAGO, THE ORPHANAGE) as a wealthy foreign tourist who is head over heels for a much-younger local woman. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Laura Amelia Guzmán and author Jean-Noël Pancrazi and will also include a post-screening reception sponsored by the Embassy of the Dominican Republic.
The Closing Night film, TRASH, directed by Stephen Daldry (BILLY ELLIOT, THE HOURS) and written by Richard Curtis (LOVE ACTUALLY, WAR HORSE), follows three trash-picking boys from Rio de Janeiro who team up with two American missionaries, Martin Sheen (THE WEST WING) and Rooney Mara (THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO, THE SOCIAL NETWORK), to uncover political corruption.
Additional highlights include: Kristen Wiig (BRIDESMAIDS) in NASTY BABY, a Brooklyn-set dark comedy from Chilean filmmaker Sebastián Silva (THE MAID, CRYSTAL FAIRY AND THE MAGIC CACTUS); THE CLUB, filmmaker Pablo Larraín’s follow-up to his Academy Award®-nominated NO, an exacting critique of the Catholic church which won the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Berlin International Film Festival; IXCANUL, a stunning debut from Guatemala’s Jayro Bustamante, winning top awards at the Berlin, Guadalajara and Cartagena film festivals; and Spanish thriller MARSHLAND directed by Alberto Rodríguez (UNIT 7, 7 VIRGINS), winner of 10 Goya Awards.
The festival will also feature the U.S. premiere of the beautiful Guatemalan fable THE GREATEST HOUSE IN THE WORLD, with first-time director/screenwriter/producer Ana Bojorquez in attendance for a discussion; the North American premiere of Brazilian soccer drama HOPEFULS with first-time filmmaker Ives Rosenfeld in attendance; WITHOUT WINGS, the first American production since 1959 to be shot entirely in Cuba, with filmmaker Ben Chace (LA MITAD) in attendance; and the Almodovar-esque comedy ELVIRA, I’D GIVE YOU MY LIFE BUT I’M USING IT, with filmmaker Manolo Caro (LOVE OF MY LOVES) in attendance.
Other festival highlights include the U.S. premiere of HORIZONS, a poetically observed documentary following three generations of Cuban ballerinas, with filmmaker Eileen Hofer (C’ETAIT UN GEANT AUX YEUX BRUNS) in attendance, presented in partnership with the Festival del Film Locarno and the Washington Ballet; and Javier Fuentes-León’s (UNDERTOW) noir-tinged whodunit, THE VANISHED ELEPHANT, followed by a post-screening reception sponsored by the Embassy of Peru.
Additional festival guests include filmmaker Tito Molina (PANIHIDA) with Ecuador’s 2014 Oscar® Selection, SILENCE IN DREAMLAND; Matías Piñeiro (VIOLA) with his latest sprightly Shakespeare adaptation THE PRINCESS OF FRANCE; Leonardo Lacca (ELA MORAVA NA FRENTE DO CINEMA) with the U.S. premiere of his relationship drama COFFEE STAINS; and Gador Manzano, first-time producer of the omnibus film THE EMPTY CLASSROOM, a kaleidoscopic portrait of education in Latin American education, organized by the Inter-American Development Bank and director/producer/actor Gael García Bernal (MOZART IN THE JUNGLE, Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN).
Further highlights include the U.S. premiere of the Cannes Film Festival movie, ALIAS MARÍA by director Jose Luis Rugeles (EL LABERINTO), the story of a pregnant, underage guerrilla; the scandalous bio-pic of pop star Gloria Trevi, GLORIA, the debut from filmmaker Christian Keller; COOKING UP A TRIBUTE, by directors Andrea Gómez and Luis González, an alluring food documentary about El Celler de Can Roca, voted the best restaurant in the world; NARROW NORTH, a Washington, DC,-set immigration drama by first-time director Omar L. Villarroel; TEA TIME, directed by Maite Alberdi (THE LIFEGUARD), a sweet documentary about five women who have shared tea and gossip for 60 years; VIAJE, directed by Paz Fábrega (COLD WATER OF THE SEA), a charming romantic comedy from Costa Rica; and LIVEFOREVER, directed by Carlos Moreno (DOG EAT DOG, ALL YOUR DEAD ONES), the sultry adaptation of cult novel “¡Que viva la música!”.
For updated information and tickets, go to AFI.com/Silver/LAFF.
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
AFI is America’s promise to preserve the heritage of the motion picture, to honor the artists and their work and to educate the next generation of storytellers. AFI programs include the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and the AFI Archive, which preserve film heritage for future generations; the AFI Life Achievement Award, the highest honor for a career in film; AFI AWARDS, honoring the most outstanding motion pictures and television programs of the year; AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movies television events and movie reference lists, which have introduced and reintroduced classic American movies to millions of film lovers; year-round and special event exhibition through AFI FEST presented by Audi, AFI DOCS and the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center; and educating the next generation of storytellers at the world-renowned AFI Conservatory. For more information about AFI, visit AFI.com or connect with AFI at twitter.com/AmericanFilm, facebook.com/AmericanFilmInstitute and youtube.com/AFI.
2015 AFI LATIN AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL PROGRAM
September 17–October 7
THE FIVE [El Cinco aka El 5 de Talleres]
Sun, Oct. 4, 5:30 p.m.; Wed, Oct. 7, 5:15 p.m.
At 35, Páton (Esteban Lamothe) has made a decent life for himself as captain of the Division C soccer team, Talleres de Escalada. But after receiving a red card and an eight-game ban, he realizes he is reaching the end of his career. Having never completed school, he’s looking at limited career opportunities beyond the walls of the stadium. So with the support of his adoring wife (Lamothe’s real-life spouse Julieta Zylberberg, WILD TALES), he embarks on the next phase of his life: adulthood. This romantic dramedy from filmmaker Adrián Biniez (GIGANTE, 2009 AFI Latin American Film Festival) is filled with humor, heart and wit. Official Selection, 2014 Venice Film Festival; 2015 Tribeca, Karlovy Vary, Melbourne Film Festivals. DIR/SCR Adrián Biniez; PROD Agustina Chiarino, Fernando Epstein. Argentina/Uruguay/France/Germany/Netherlands, 2014, color, 100 min, DCP. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
HOW TO WIN ENEMIES [Cómo ganar enemigos]
Q&A with filmmaker Gabriel Lichtmann, followed by a reception sponsored by the Embassy of Argentina on Sept. 29
Tue, Sept. 29, 7:15 p.m.; Thu, Oct. 1, 5:15 p.m.
Presented in cooperation with the Washington Jewish Film Festival
When Lucas, a shy young lawyer, meets the beautiful Bárbara by chance at a café, it seems too good to be true. And it is — he wakes the next day to find she has robbed him blind. A great fan of detective novels, Lucas is convinced he was set up and begins to investigate the case like one of the heroes in his beloved books. With no shortage of suspects but just a few clues, Lucas must rely on his wits to crack the case. A crowd-pleasing comic caper from filmmaker Gabriel Lichtmann (JEWS IN SPACE). Official Selection, 2015 BAFICI, Montreal Film Festivals. DIR/SCR Gabriel Lichtmann; SCR Viviana Vexlir; PROD Pepe Salvia, Laura Tablón. Argentina, 2015, color, 78 min, DCP. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
THE PRINCESS OF FRANCE [La princesa de Francia]
Q&A with filmmaker Matías Piñeiro
Sat, Oct. 3, 2:30 p.m.
After a year away, Victor returns to Buenos Aires to produce a radio play of “Love’s Labour’s Lost” with his old theatre troupe. Soon, romance is reignited with the women he left behind — his girlfriend Paula, his ex Natalia and his sometime-lover Ana. As the cast of characters couples and intermingles, their reality becomes increasingly enmeshed with the fiction they’re reworking. This effervescent pleasure is the latest entry in Argentine auteur Matías Piñeiro’s series of idiosyncratic Shakespeare adaptations (VIOLA, ROSALINDA). Best Argentine Film, 2015 BAFICI Film Festival; Official Selection, 2014 Locarno, Toronto, London, Chicago, New York Film Festivals. DIR/SCR Matías Piñeiro; PROD Melanie Schapiro. Argentina, 2014, color, 67 min, DCP. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
NARROW NORTH [Norte Estrecho]
Sat, Oct. 3, 6:30 p.m.
Q&A with co-writer Juan Cristobal Rios Violand
In the suburbs of Washington, DC, Bolivian immigrant Jorge (Luis Bredow, EVEN THE RAIN) is the owner of a successful video-conferencing center where immigrants can stay connected to the loved ones they left behind. An Argentine couple arranges romantic virtual dates; a Bolivian man tries to be a good father for his young daughter; and a Mexican woman puts on a brave face for the son she is putting through college. But when Jorge is arrested for driving without a license, he must deal with the authorities, putting his fellow immigrants’ lifelines on hold. Best Latin American Film, 2015 Sunscreen Film Festival; Official Selection, 2015 Guadalajara Film Festival. DIR/SCR/PROD Omar L. Villarroel; SCR Juan Cristobal Rios Violand. Bolivia/US/Argentina/Mexico, 2014, color, 108 min, Blu-ray. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
AUGUST WINDS [Ventos de Agosto]
Fri, Sept. 18, 5:15 p.m.; Sat, Sept. 19, 3:30 p.m.
The narrative debut of documentary filmmaker Gabriel Mascaro (HIGH-RISE, 2009 AFI Latin American Film Festival) stunningly explores life and death in a small coastal village in Brazil. Sent to look after her grandmother in the countryside, Shirley supports her family by working at a local plantation, often sneaking away to hook up with her boyfriend Jeison amongst the coconuts. When Jeison finds a skull at sea, followed by a body washing ashore, their youthful vision of paradise begins to fade, and harsh realities come into focus. Special Mention, 2014 Locarno Film Festival; Official Selection, 2014 AFI FEST, London, Chicago Film Festivals. DIR/SCR Gabriel Mascaro; SCR/PROD Rachel Ellis. Brazil, 2014, color, 77 min, DCP. In Portuguese with English subtitles. NOT RATED
COFFEE STAINS [Permanência]
Q&A with filmmaker Leonardo Lacca at both shows
Sun, Oct. 4, 3:00 p.m.; Tue, Oct. 6, 9:15 p.m.
Traveling to his first solo exhibit in São Paulo, photographer Ivo (Irandhir Santos, ELITE SQUAD: THE ENEMY WITHIN, NEIGHBORING SOUNDS) decides to eschew his comped hotel room in favor of staying with his old flame Rita (Rita Carelli) and her husband Mauro (Sílvio Restiffe). While there is an initial awkwardness to their interactions as they fumble around memories of the past, the two exes easily slip into old habits and feelings reignite. A tantalizing love triangle emerges in this wonderfully crafted dramedy from first-time filmmaker Leonardo Lacca. Official Selection, 2014 São Paulo, Rio Film Festivals; 2015 Munich Film Festival. DIR/SCR Leonardo Lacca; PROD Emilie Lesclaux. Brazil, 2014, color, 90 min, DCP. In Portuguese with English subtitles. NOT RATED
North American Premiere
Sat, Sept. 26, 5:15 p.m.; Sun, Sept. 27, 5:15 p.m.
Q&A with filmmaker Ives Rosenfeld at both shows
Playing for a top amateur soccer team, Junior is a young Brazilian athlete with big dreams. Having recently gotten his girlfriend pregnant, he pins their hopes for a better life on his going pro. But Junior isn’t the only one with dreams of sporting glory — his best friend Bento has caught the eye of big-league scouts, and, with the competition to get ahead fiercer than ever, a new rivalry comes between the friends, with consequences both on and off the pitch. This energetic debut film from Ives Rosenfeld sizzles with the raw passion of youth. Official Selection, 2015 Karlovy Vary Film Festival. DIR/SCR/PROD Ives Rosenfeld; SCR Pedro Freire; PROD Luiz Alberto Gentile. Brazil, 2015, color, 71 min, DCP. In Portuguese with English subtitles. NOT RATED
THE LAST DRIVE-IN THEATER (2014) [O Último Cine Drive-in]
Sat, Sept. 26, 1:00 p.m.; Sun, Sept. 27, 11:10 a.m.
Returning to the city of his youth when his mother falls ill, Marlombrando turns to his long-absent father, Almeida, for assistance. Almeida runs a drive-in movie theater which has seen better days. When the drive-in comes under the threat of the wrecking ball, Marlombrando and Almeida must reconcile their differences to save the family and the drive-in. The debut film from Iberê Carvalho is a warmhearted tale full of bittersweet moments of joy and sadness. Best Supporting Actress (Fernanda Rocha), 2014 Rio Film Festival. Audience Award, 2015 Cine Las American Film Festival; Best Film, Best Actor (Breno Nina), 2015 Punta del Este Film Festival. DIR/SCR/PROD Iberê Carvalho; PROD Marcus Ligocki. Brazil, 2014, color, 100 min, DCP. In Portuguese with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Wed, Oct. 7, 7:15 p.m.
In a Rio favela, three best friends spend their days sorting through trash at the local landfill. One day, they find a wallet flush with cash, and so begins an extraordinary adventure, as the teens are thrown into a dangerous world of political corruption. With help from two American missionaries — disillusioned Father Juilliard (Martin Sheen) and NGO worker Olivia (Rooney Mara) — the trio discovers that the wallet’s owner (Wagner Moura, ELITE SQUAD) was on the verge of uncovering a trail of corruption, and now they must continue his quest while evading the police. Directed with style and verve by Stephen Daldry (THE HOURS, BILLY ELLIOT) with a script by Richard Curtis (LOVE ACTUALLY, WAR HORSE). Audience Award, 2014 Rome Film Festival. DIR Stephen Daldry; SCR Richard Curtis, from the novel by Andy Mulligan; PROD Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Kris Thykier. Brazil/UK, 2015, color, 114 min, DCP. In English and Portuguese with English subtitles. RATED R
THE CLUB [El Club]
Post-screening reception sponsored by the Embassy of Chile
Fri, Oct. 2, 7:15 p.m.
On the Chilean coast, four exiled priests live together in a small house, atoning for their past indiscretions. Under the watchful eye of a lone nun, they fill their days with innocuous pastimes and prayer, strictly forbidden from interacting with the outside world. Their main preoccupation — training their pet greyhound for the racing circuit. When a newcomer arrives to join their not-so-happy household, their tranquil existence is upended, with long-buried secrets coming to the fore. Following his Oscar®-nominated NO, filmmaker Pablo Larraín returns with this exacting critique of the Catholic church, which won the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Berlin Film Festival. DIR/SCR/PROD Pablo Larraín; SCR Guillermo Calderón, Daniel Villalobos; PROD Juan de Dios Larraín. Chile, 2015, color, 98 min, DCP. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Sat, Sept. 26, 10:00 p.m.; Mon, Sept. 28, 9:00 p.m.
Brooklyn couple Freddy (filmmaker Sebastián Silva) and Mo (TV On The Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe) want to have a baby, and enlist their best friend Polly (Kristen Wiig) to be the mother. But domestic problems arise when they have trouble conceiving, and a run-in with their neighborhood nuisance, The Bishop (Reg E. Cathey, HOUSE OF CARDS), escalates into a major hassle. Chilean filmmaker Silva (THE MAID, CRYSTAL FAIRY & THE MAGICAL CACTUS) transplants his provocative satire and arch sense of humor to the U.S. bohemian bourgeoisie, with results both sly and shocking. Teddy Award, 2015 Berlin Film Festival; Official Selection, 2015 Sundance Film Festival. DIR/SCR Sebastián Silva; PROD Charlie Dibe, David Hinojosa, Juan de Dios Larraín, Pablo Larraín, Julia Oh. Chile/US, 2015, color, 100 min, DCP. In English and Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
TEA TIME [La once]
Sun, Sept. 20, 3:45 p.m.; Wed, Sept. 23, 5:15 p.m.
This sweet documentary tells the story of five childhood friends who have gathered once a month for the last 60 years to share tea, cakes and gossip. Discussing everything from divorce to modern fashion, these feisty ladies have opinions and are not afraid to share them. Despite occasional disagreements, they remain the fiercest of friends. Filmmaker Maite Alberdi attended the monthly meet-ups over four years to capture the totality of these bold personalities. Best Documentary, 2015 Guadalajara, Cartagena, Miami Film Festivals; Official Selection, 2015 Seattle, Melbourne, BAFICI, Sydney, True/False Film Festivals. DIR/SCR Maite Alberdi; PROD Clara Taricco. Chile, 2014, color, 70 min, DCP. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
VOICE OVER [La voz en off]
Sun, Sept. 20, 9:30 p.m.; Tue, Sept. 22, 7:00 p.m.
Sofia (Ingrid Isensee) is an aspiring voiceover actress and mother of two who decides to start fresh after Sept.arating from her husband, swearing off cell phones and e-mail. Moving back in with her mother (Paulina García, GLORIA), she soon learns that her father (Cristián Campos) is planning to walk out on their family, inspired by her own divorce. To understand why her parents’ marriage is coming to an end, Sofia must confront the truth behind her father’s past indiscretions. AFI Latin American Film Festival alum Cristián Jiménez (OPTICAL ILLUSIONS, BONSAI) returns with his wryly observed third feature, an examination of a crumbling family. Official Selection, 2014 Toronto, San Sebastian, Rio Film Festivals; 2015 Film Comment Selects, Miami, BAFICI Film Festivals. DIR/SCR/PROD Cristián Jiménez; SCR Daniel Castro; PROD Bruno Bettati, Nicolas Comeau, Julie Gayet, Augusto Matte, Nadia Turincev. Chile/France, 2014, color, 96 min, DCP. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Introduced by Gimena Sanchez-Garzoli, Senior Associate for the Andes at the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) on Sept. 26
Sat, Sept. 26, 11:00 a.m.; Tue, Sept. 29, 9:30 p.m.
Presented in partnership with the Washington Office on Latin America
Teenaged guerrilla soldier María is ordered to bring her commander’s newborn baby to safety, but no one knows the secret she is hiding — she’s pregnant herself. Having a child is forbidden amongst the lower-ranked guerrillas; all pregnant comrades are forced to have abortions so they can continue fighting. Refusing to follow that fate, María runs away, inspired by the life growing inside her. With the threat of danger constantly lurking, this unusual war film explores the devastating personal costs to those caught up in Colombia’s armed conflict. Official Selection, 2015 Cannes Film Festival; Opening Night Film, 2015 Cartagena Film Festival. DIR José Luis Rugeles; SCR Diego Vivanco; PROD Federico Durán. Colombia/Argentina/France, 2015, color, 91 min, DCP. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
GABO: THE CREATION OF GABRIEL GARCÍA MÁRQUEZ [Gabo, la magia de lo real]
Fri, Oct. 2, 5:15 p.m.; Sun, Oct. 4, 1:00 p.m.
Screenings supported by WETA
The incredible story of “Gabo,” or, as most of the world knows him, Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez, comes to life in this wonderful documentary. Born in a small town on the Caribbean coast of Colombia amid poverty and violence, García Márquez rose above his circumstances to author the acclaimed masterpieces “100 Years of Solitude,” “The Autumn of the Patriarch” and “Love in the Time of Cholera.” García Márquez became involved with major political struggles during the ‘70s and ‘80s, lending support by way of his fame, his influence and his writing. Filmmaker Justin Webster blends archival footage, excerpts from Gabo’s writing and personal interviews to weave the intricate tale of this extraordinary man. Official Selection, 2015 Cartagena, Lima Film Festivals. DIR/SCR Justin Webster; SCR/PROD Kate Horne. Spain, 2015, color, 90 min, digital presentation. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
LIVEFOREVER [Qué viva la música]
Sat, Oct. 3, 9:15 p.m.; Mon, Oct. 5, 9:15 p.m.
Screenings supported by Telemundo Washington – holaciudad.com
Disillusioned with society and her well-to-do upbringing, party girl María is intent on giving in to the music and movement of Cali. Exploring everything the night has to offer, she dives headfirst into a wave of self-destruction, saying yes to all the sex, drugs and salsa dancing that come her way. Infused with youthful energy and a pulsating soundtrack, filmmaker Carlos Moreno (DOG EAT DOG, ALL YOUR DEAD ONES) took inspiration from Andrés Caicedo’s best-selling cult novel for this vibrant tribute to youthful hedonism. Official Selection, 2015 Sundance Film Festival; Best Cinematography, 2015 Guadalajara Film Festival. DIR/SCR Carlos Moreno; SCR Alberto Ferreras, Alonso Torres; PROD Rodrigo Guerrero, Andrés Calderón, Alex Garcia. Colombia/Mexico, 2015, color, 102 min, DCP. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Fri, Oct. 2, 10:00 p.m.; Sun, Oct. 4, 7:30 p.m.
Stealing a few cans of paint after being fired from his construction gig, graffiti artist Ras is now free to skateboard the streets of Cali and tag the city walls. Along with his pal Calvin, a fine arts student, the two brainstorm a mural inspired by YouTube videos of the Arab Spring uprising. A scrappy tale of friendship, the second feature from Oscar Ruiz Navia (CRAB TRAP, 2010 AFI Latin American Film Festival) finds the filmmaker combining memories of his own youth with the realities and dreams of Cali’s street artists. Special Jury Prize, Filmmakers of the Present, 2014 Locarno Film Festival; Dioraphte Award Winner, 2015 Rotterdam Film Festival; Official Selection, 2015 New Directors/New Films, Miami Film Festivals. DIR/SCR Oscar Ruiz Navia; SCR César Augusto Acevedo. Colombia/France/Argentina/Germany, 2014, color, 103 min, DCP. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Fri, Sept. 25, 5:15 p.m.; Sun, Sept. 27, 1:15 p.m.
A random encounter at a costume party leads to instant romance for mischievous millennials Luciana and Pedro. Looking to divert from their peers’ path of marriage and kids, they take a spontaneous trip together to the Rincón de la Vieja volcano. With an infectious chemistry, they flirt their way through the lush jungle, climbing trees, skinny-dipping and getting to know each other better. But when the adrenaline fades and talk turns to the realities of the outside world, they’ll have to reexamine their relationship. Filmmaker Paz Fábrega (COLD WATER OF THE SEA, 2010 AFI Latin American Film Festival) has crafted a charming romantic comedy, lensed in picturesque black and white. Official Selection, 2015 Tribeca, Karlovy Vary Film Festivals. DIR/SCR/PROD Paz Fábrega; SCR Kattia González; PROD Kattia González. Costa Rica, 2015, b&w, 71 min, DCP. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
HORIZONS (2015) [Horizontes]
Q&A with filmmaker Eileen Hofer and Septime Webre, Artistic Director of The Washington Ballet, plus-post screening reception sponsored by the Embassy of Switzerland
Tue, Oct. 6, 7:00 p.m.
Presented in cooperation with Festival del film Locarno in Washington, DC, and The Washington Ballet
The Grand Theatre of Havana may be run down, but passion for ballet still runs strong in Swiss filmmaker Eileen Hofer’s poetically observed documentary. Legendary Cuban ballerina Alicia Alonso still looms large over the dance scene in Havana, even at age 93. Living in her shadow are Viengsay, a veteran dancer at the National Ballet of Cuba, and Amanda, an ambitious young ballet student who dreams of following in the great Alonso’s footsteps. Official Selection, 2015 Visions du Réel, Karlovy Vary Film Festivals. DIR/PROD Eileen Hofer; PROD Aline Schmid. Switzerland/Cuba, 2015, color, 70 min, DCP. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
WITHOUT WINGS [Sin alas]
Q&A with filmmaker Ben Chace and composer Aruán Ortiz
Thu, Oct. 1, 7:00 p.m.
When 70-year-old Luis Vargas learns of the death of Isabela Muñoz, a renowned modern dancer and former lover, he is haunted by the memories of their brief but significant affair. His mind drifts to 1967 and to a portion of a melody to which she danced. Hoping to complete the gaps in his memory, he hits the streets of Havana with a guitar, but only drifts deeper into the past, beginning to see parallels in the marriage of his young neighbors with that of his own lost love. Filmmaker Ben Chace shot the film on Super 16mm, the film grain bringing a sensual and ethereal quality to the first U.S. feature to be shot entirely in Cuba since 1959. Official Selection, 2015 Los Angeles Film Festival. DIR/SCR Ben Chace; PROD Sean T. Lamb. Cuba/US, 2015, color/b&w, 90 min, DCP. In Spanish with English subtiles. NOT RATED
THE PROJECT OF THE CENTURY [La obra del siglo]
Thu, Sept. 17, 10:00 p.m.; Mon, Sept. 21, 9:30 p.m.
Twenty years after the collapse of the USSR, a Soviet-funded nuclear city in Cuba sits abandoned, never completed. After breaking up with his girlfriend, 30-year-old Leo returns to the ghost city to live with his father, grandfather and pet fish. As the London Olympic games play on TV, the three generations of sad sacks ponder their fates. Filmmaker Carlos Quintela (THE SWIMMING POOL, 2013 AFI Latin American Film Festival) brings this drolly surreal film to life in images of stark black and white, with fascinating archival footage from Cuban television. Tiger Award, 2015 Rotterdam Film Festival; Official Selection, 2015 Miami, Sydney, BAFICI, Jerusalem Film Festivals. DIR/SCR Carlos Quintela; SCR Abel Arcos; PROD Natacha Cervi, Hernán Musaluppi, Pablo Chernov. Cuba/Argentina/Germany/Switzerland, 2015, b&w, 100 min, DCP. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
SAND DOLLARS [Dólares de arena]
Q&A with filmmaker Laura Amelia Guzmán and author Jean-Noël Pancrazi; post-screening reception sponsored by the Embassy of the Dominican Republic
Sept. 17, 7:30 p.m.
In the picturesque seaside town of Las Terrenas, French expat Anne (Geraldine Chaplin) has fallen in love with the much younger local, Noeli (Yanet Mojica). But the feeling isn’t exactly mutual — Noeli makes a living scamming off the kindness of tourists. She shares her earnings with her boyfriend, whom she passes off to Anne as her brother. Things become complicated when Anne promises to take Noeli back to France with her. Chaplin gives an emotionally riveting performance in the latest film from Laura Amelia Guzmán and Israel Cárdenas (COCHOCHI, JEAN GENTIL). Official Selection, 2014 Toronto, Chicago, Rome Film Festivals; 2015 Miami, Palm Springs, San Francisco, Jerusalem Film Festivals. DIR/SCR/PROD Laura Amelia Guzmán, Israel Cárdenas; SCR from the novel by Jean-Noël Pancrazi. Dominican Republic/Argentina/Mexico, 2014, color, 80 min, DCP. In English, French and Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
2014 Oscar® Selection, Ecuador
SILENCE IN DREAMLAND [Silencio en la tierra de los sueños]
Q&A with filmmaker Tito Molina, plus post-screening reception sponsored by the Embassy of Ecuador
Thu, Sept. 24, 7:00 p.m.
A lonely 84-year-old widow goes about her daily routine. Isolated from the outside world, she retreats to a dream world where she lives by the sea. An adorable street dog arrives at her door and momentarily breaks up her solitary existence. Soon, he, too, will make the journey to her dream world in this lyrical debut feature from filmmaker Tito Molina. Special Jury Mention, 2014 Guadalajara Film Festival; Best Film, 2015 Ecuadorian Film Festival in New York; Official Selection, 2014 BAFICI, Montreal World Film Festivals. DIR/SCR Tito Molina; SCR Ana Felicia Scutelnicu; PROD Miguel Salazar, Jakob Weydemann, Jonas Weydemann. Ecuador/Germany, 2013, color, 94 min, DCP. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
FOUR CARDINAL POINTS [Cuatro puntos cardinales]
Post-screening reception sponsored by the Embassy of El Salvador
Mon, Oct. 5, 7:15 p.m.
In the four corners of El Salvador, a musician, a coffee farmer, an artisan and a surfer are living out their dreams and following their passions. This documentary by young filmmaker Javier Kafie features four lively vignettes showcasing the rich cultural diversity of El Salvador, a country so often associated with acts of violence. Sebastian is a folk musician still very influenced by the civil war; Gloria is a fourth-generation coffee producer making a name for her family business; Karla is an artisan trying to care for her young son; and Alex is a surfer, promoting El Salvador as a top surfing destination. DIR Javier Kafie; PROD Juan Carlos Saavedra. El Salvador, 2014, color, 55 min, Blu-ray. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
THE GREATEST HOUSE IN THE WORLD [La casa más grande del mundo]
Q&A with filmmaker Ana Bojorquez at both shows
Sat, Sept. 26, 3:00 p.m.; Sun, Sept. 27, 3:00 p.m.
Rocío is a dreamy Mayan girl living with her family in the Guatemalan highlands. When her mother goes into early labor, Rocio must rise to the challenge of caring for the family’s flock of sheep on her own. Herding them across the rocky countryside, she becomes distracted and loses first a lamb, then the whole herd. Struck with panic, Rocío must face her fears and go to parts unknown to bring the flock back home. Filmmakers Ana Bojorquez and Lucía Carreras infuse this impressive fable with otherworldly atmospherics and gorgeously shot landscapes. Official Selection, 2015 Berlin, Panama Film Festivals. DIR/SCR/PROD Ana V. Bojorquez; DIR Lucía Carreras; SCR Edgar Sajcabún. Guatemala/Mexico, 2015, color, 76 min, DCP. In Spanish and Maya with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Sat, Sept. 19, 7:15 p.m.; Wed, Sept. 23, 7:00 p.m.
Seventeen-year-old María is a Kaqchikel Maya, living with her family on a coffee plantation at the foot of an active volcano. Though her parents have plans to marry her off to the plantation’s foreman, María has her sights set on Pepe, a coffee harvester with dreams of heading to the U.S. Her choices carry unexpected consequences. A riveting clash between tradition and modernity plays out in this heartwrenching debut film from Jayro Bustamante, beautifully rendered in bold colors. Alfred Bauer Prize, 2015 Berlin Film Festival; Best Ibero-American Film, Best Director, 2015 Guadalajara Film Festival; Best Film, 2015 Cartagena Film Festival. DIR/SCR/PROD Jayro Bustamante; PROD Marina Peralta, Pilar Peredo, Edgard Tenembaum. Guatemala/France, 2015, color, 95 min, DCP. In Kaqchikel and Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
ELVIRA, I’D GIVE YOU MY LIFE BUT I’M USING IT [Elvira, te daría mi vida pero la estoy usando]
Q&A with filmmaker Manolo Caro, plus post-screening reception sponsored by the Mexican Cultural Institute on Sept. 26
Sat, Sept. 26, 7:30 p.m.; Thu, Oct. 1, 9:30 p.m.
When her husband goes out for cigarettes and never comes back, fortysomething Elvira (Cecilia Suárez) is sent into a spiral of despair. Intent on finding him, she begins her own amateur investigation, unsure of what she might find out. Suárez gives a dynamite performance as a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown in filmmaker Manolo Caro’s zany Almodóvar-esque tale. DIR/SCR Manolo Caro; PROD Santiago Garcia Galvan, Alex Garcia, Rafael Ley, Carla Perez. Mexico, 2014, color, 92 min, DCP. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Fri, Sept. 25, 9:15 p.m.; Sun, Sept. 27, 7:15 p.m.
The story of controversial Mexican pop icon Gloria Trevi is brought to life in this no-holds-barred biopic. Known as the “Mexican Madonna,” Trevi wowed the Spanish-speaking world with her politically charged lyrics and unabashed sexuality. But before she was a pop superstar, she was just a teenaged girl hoping to find fame and fortune. Under the tutelage of producer Sergio Andrade, she rose to the top of the charts. Romance blossomed between the two, but Andrade became abusive and controlling. At the peak of her fame, Trevi’s career came to a screeching halt when she and Sergio were arrested, accused of running a “sex cult” of underaged girls. Official Selection, 2015 SXSW Film Festival. DIR/PROD Christian Keller; SCR Sabina Berman; PROD Matthias Ehrenberg, Barrie M. Osborne, Alan B. Curtiss. Mexico, 2014, color, 126 min, DCP. In Spanish with English subtitles. RATED R
Mon, Sept. 21, 7:10 p.m.; Wed, Sept. 30, 6:30 p.m. (Montgomery College Show)
In the middle of the Mexican countryside, a ladder miraculously dangles from the heavens, and a man appears. It’s Lucifer on his descent to the underworld, but Maria and her grandmother are convinced he is an angel. Filmed in a new circular format he named “Tondoscope,” this unique film from maverick Gust Van den Berghe has been winning awards around the globe, including Best Mexican Film at the Guanajuato Film Festival. Grand Prix, 2014 Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, New Horizons Film Festival; Official Selection, 2014 Rome Film Festival; 2015 Tribeca, Cartagena, Karlovy Vary, Munich Film Festivals. DIR/SCR Gust Van den Berghe; PROD Tomas Leyers. Mexico/Belgium, 2014, color, 110 min, DCP. In Purepecha and Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
THE NAKED SCREEN [La pantalla desnuda]
Mon, Sept. 21, 5:15 p.m.; Tue, Sept. 22, 9:00 p.m.
Alex and Esperanza are college sweethearts, madly in love and unable to keep their hands off each other. When Alex meets scholarship student Octavio, the two form a quick friendship, with Octavio becoming increasingly obsessed with Alex’s wealthy lifestyle. In the heat of passion, Alex and Esperanza record an intimate video, and their worst nightmare comes true when they learn Octavio has uploaded it to the internet. This cautionary tale from filmmaker Florence Jaugey (LA YUMA, 2010 AFI Latin American Film Festival) is a searing portrait of love in the digital age. Official Selection, 2015 Montreal, Santa Barbara, Panama Film Festivals. DIR/SCR/PROD Florence Jaugey; PROD Frank Pineda. Nicaragua, 2014, color, 93 min, DCP. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
2014 Oscar® Selection, Panama
INVASION (2014) [Invasión]
Sat, Sept. 19, 11:00 a.m.; Thu, Sept. 24, 9:30 p.m.
Probing the collective memory of Panama, Abner Benaim’s (CHANCE) powerful documentary explores the 1989 U.S. invasion and how it has shaped the people and defined their contemporary identity. An event many would rather forget, Benaim confronts reality, creating a complex portrait of the invasion as remembered. Featuring interviews with Panamanians ranging from civilians on the street to boxer Roberto Durán, musician Rubén Blades and even former dictator Manuel Noriega himself, the people’s painful memories are transformed into poignant reenactments. Best Documentary, Audience Award, 2014 Panama Film Festival; Best Director, 2015 Miami Film Festival; Official Selection, 2015 True/False, SXSW, Cartagena Film Festivals. DIR/SCR Abner Benaim. Panama/Argentina, 2014, color, 95 min, DCP. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
CICADA MOON [Luna de cigarras]
Sun, Sept. 27, 9:45 p.m.; Tue, Sept. 29, 5:15 p.m.
American entrepreneur J.D. lands in Asunción loaded with cash and hoping to broker a deal with the local mafioso, El Brasiguayo. J.D. has his eye on a big plot of cheap land, with dreams of bountiful marijuana fields. But J.D.’s guide and new business associate Gatillo has dreams of his own — which involve J.D.’s money. Filmmaker Jorge Diaz de Bedoya spins a wild and exciting tale in his stylish debut film. Official Selection, 2015 Lima Film Festival. DIR/SCR/PROD Jorge Diaz de Bedoya; SCR/PROD Nathan Christopher Haase; PROD Hector Duarte, Enrique Hellmers. Paraguay, 2014, color, 87 min, DCP. In English, Guarani and Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
THE VANISHED ELEPHANT [El elefante desaparecido]
Post-screening reception sponsored by the Embassy of Peru on Sept. 25
Fri, Sept. 25, 7:00 p.m.; Wed, Sept. 30, 9:20 p.m.
Seven years after his fiancée’s sudden disappearance, ex-cop-turned-crime novelist Edo hasn’t given up hope that she might still be out there. A new clue promises to be the break in the case he’s been seeking, but more answers just lead to more questions. Consumed, Edo begins to lose his grip on reality and is soon the prime suspect in the very case he is trying to solve. Filmmaker Javier Fuentes-León (UNDERTOW, 2010 AFI Latin American Film Festival) nods to Jorge Luis Borges in this noir-tinged whodunit that keeps audiences guessing until the very end. Official Selection, 2014 Toronto Film Festival, 2015 Los Angeles Film Festival. DIR/SCR/PROD Javier Fuentes-León; PROD Andrés Calderón, Delia García, Michel Ruben. Peru/Colombia/Spain, 2014, color, 109 min, DCP. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Introduced by Jo-Marie Burt, Senior Fellow at the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA) and Director of Latin American Studies at George Mason University on Sept. 20
Sun, Sept. 20, 7:30 p.m.; Wed, Sept. 23, 9:00 p.m.
Presented in partnership with the Washington Office on Latin America
Fidel leads a forensic team tasked with exhuming the remains of people who “disappeared” some 25 years earlier during the years of political violence in Peru. From a recent discovery of nine bodies, one is unidentifiable, the only clue to his past life a photo of a woman found pinned to his body. A lonely widow is convinced it is her late husband, but the data just don’t add up. The mystery deepens as the stresses of the job bear down on the conflicted Fidel. Filmmaker Héctor Gálvez won the Best Director Award at the Cartagena Film Festival for this powerful, nuanced look at a country coming to terms with its past. Official Selection, 2014 Rome Film Festival; 2015 Rotterdam, San Francisco, Palm Springs, Seattle Film Festivals. DIR/SCR Héctor Gálvez; PROD Enid Campos. Peru/Colombia/France/Germany, 2014, color, 95 min, DCP. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
CATS HAVE NO VERTIGO [Os Gatos não Têm Vertigens]
Sat, Sept. 19, 1:00 p.m.; Sun, Sept. 20, 11:00 a.m.
All hope seems lost for the newly widowed Rosa. Lonely and stuck living in the past, Rosa gets a surprising new lease on life when she discovers troubled teen Jó sleeping on her balcony. Against all odds, the two strike up a life-changing friendship, pushing each other out of their comfort zones and into a better life. This heartwarming story of intergenerational friendship won nine Portuguese Academy Awards, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Screenplay. DIR António-Pedro Vasconcelos; SCR Tiago Santos; PROD Tino Navarro. Portugal, 2014, color, 124 min, DCP. In Portuguese with English subtitles. NOT RATED
COOKING UP A TRIBUTE
Sat, Oct. 3, 4:30 p.m.; Sun, Oct. 4, 11:00 a.m.; Mon, Oct. 5, 5:15 p.m.
El Cellar de Can Roca, recently voted the world’s best restaurant, made a surprising decision in the summer of 2014 — they would close for five weeks and take their three-star Michelin restaurant on the road. Visiting Mexico, Colombia and Peru, the three Roca brothers (Joan, JoSep and Jordi) absorbed the local gastronomic culture while creating 57 new dishes that would fuse their own unique style with the ingredients and traditions of Latin America. Follow these incredible chefs and their whole team over six months as they prepare for their revolutionary culinary expedition. Official Selection, 2015 Berlin, Seattle, Melbourne, San Sebastian Film Festivals. DIR/SCR Andrea Gómez, Luis González; PROD Ignacio Moliner, Manuel de Mora-Figueroa. Spain, 2015, color, 87 min, DCP. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
MARSHLAND [La isla mínima]
Fri, Sept. 18, 7:15 p.m.; Sat, Sept. 19, 9:15 p.m.
Spain, 1980. Five years after the death of Franco, two detectives from opposite sides of the political divide are brought together over the brutal murders of two sisters. Sent to the south of Spain to investigate, Juan (Javier Gutiérrez) and Pedro (Raúl Arévalo) are met with disgust by the locals and can barely contain their disdain for each other. But if they want to solve the case before the killer strikes again, they’ll have to put their differences aside. This thrilling neo-noir from filmmaker Alberto Rodríguez (UNIT 7) won 10 Goya Awards including Best Film, Best Actor, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. Official Selection, 2014 San Sebastian Film Festival; 2015 Miami, Seattle Film Festivals. DIR/SCR Alberto Rodríguez; SCR Rafael Cobos; PROD Mercedes Cantero, Juan Carlos Caro, Mercedes Gamero, Mikel Lejarza, Rosa Pérez, José Sánchez-Montes, José Torrescusa. Spain, 2014, color, 105 min, DCP. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
Sat, Sept. 19, 5:15 p.m.; Sun, Sept. 20, 5:30 p.m.
Screenings supported by Bank of America
Considered one of the greatest players in soccer history, Lionel Messi gets the big-screen treatment from Spanish filmmaker Álex de la Iglesia. Using reenactments, archival footage and interviews, the film follows Messi from his early life in Argentina to his rise to international glory playing for powerhouse FC Barcelona. Artfully mixed in are personal anecdotes from family, friends and colleagues who discuss his life and career over a long meal and plenty of wine. Soccer fans will enjoy this lively film about a man who has shied away from the spotlight during his stellar career. Official Selection, 2014 Venice Film Festival, 2015 Seattle Film Festival. DIR Álex de la Iglesia; SCR Jorge Valdano Sáenz de Ugarte; PROD Jaume Roures. Spain, 2014, color, 93 min, DCP. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
A MOONLESS NIGHT [Una noche sin luna]
Sat, Oct. 3, 12:30 p.m.; Tue, Oct. 6, 5:15 p.m.
On New Year’s Eve, three lonely souls in the middle of Uruguay crave connection in this charming debut feature from Germán Tejeira. Hoping to win back the affection of his daughter, César spends the evening with the new family of his ex-wife. Antonio is a magician on his way to perform a show when his car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, his only hope a winsome tollbooth worker. With a one-day furlough from jail, singer-songwriter Molgota prepares to perform at a New Year’s Eve gig. Best International Film, 2014 Zurich Film Festival; Official Selection, 2014 San Sebastian Film Festival; 2015 Palm Springs, Panama Film Festivals. DIR/SCR Germán Tejeira; PROD Julián Goyoaga, Juan Maristany. Uruguay/Argentina. 2014, color, 78 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
THREE BEAUTIES [3 Bellezas]
Fri, Sept. 18, 9:30 p.m.; Sun, Sept. 20, 1:30 p.m.
Perla has three children — Carolina, Estefania and Salvador. As a failed beauty queen herself, she is desperate for one of her “princesses” to win the local beauty pageant. Her obsession and desires are fully realized when both daughters end up competing against one another for the crown. Exploring Venezuela’s deep fascination with beauty pageants, this darkly comic debut feature from filmmaker Carlos Caridad-Montero will leave viewers laughing, crying and wondering how far a mother will go for her own children. Official Selection, 2014 São Paulo Film Festival; 2015 Miami Film Festival. DIR/SCR/PROD Carlos Caridad-Montero. Venezuela, 2014, color, 97 min, Blu-ray. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
EISENSTEIN IN GUANAJUATO
Sun, Oct. 4, 9:45 p.m.; Wed, Oct. 7, 9:45 p.m.
Having failed to make an impact in Hollywood following his previous successes in the USSR, BATTLESHIP POTEMKIN director Sergei Eisenstein took an eye-opening journey to Mexico to shoot his new film. Free of the constraints of both Stalin and Hollywood, Eisenstein embraced his wild side, falling for his tour guide Palomino Cañedo and diving deep into Mexican culture. While the trip only lasted ten days, it was a whirlwind experience that would leave its mark on the filmmaker forever. Taking a page from Eisenstein’s playbook, provocateur filmmaker Peter Greenaway gleefully plays with editing techniques, crafting a larger-than-life biopic with a wondrously uninhibited performance by Elmer Bäck as Eisenstein. Official Selection, 2015 Berlin, Seattle, Melbourne Film Festivals. DIR/SCR Peter Greenaway; PROD Bruno Felix, San Fu Maltha, Cristina Velasco, Femke Wolting. Netherlands/Mexico/Finland/Belgium/France, 2015, color/b&w, 105 min, DCP. In English and Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED
THE EMPTY CLASSROOM [El aula vacía]
Mon, Sept. 28, 6:30 p.m. — Free!
Co-presented with the Inter-American Development Bank
Nearly half of all young people in Latin America never finish high school. To explore this dropout crisis, Gael García Bernal gathered 11 award-winning filmmakers who have created a captivating anthology of short films, both narrative and documentary. There is no easy solution to this complex issue, and each short delves into the underlying reasons, from poverty to societal traditions, that students aren’t graduating. This omnibus features films by AFI Latin American Film Festival alumni such as Argentina’s Lucrecia Martel (THE HEADLESS WOMAN), El Salvador’s Tatiana Huezo (THE TINIEST PLACE), Mexico’s Mariana Chenillo (PARADISE), Peru’s Daniel and Diego Vega (THE MUTE) and Uruguay’s Pablo Stoll (WHISKY). Official Selection, 2015 Malaga, BAFICI, Guadalajara Film Festivals. DIR/SCR Flavia Castro, Pablo Fendrik, Carlos Gaviria, Nicolás Pereda, Eyrk Rocha, Pablo Stoll; DIR Mariana Chenillo, Tatiana Huezo, Lucrecia Martel, Daniel Vega Vidal, Diego Vega Vidal; SCR Lauren Conn, Gador Manzano, Lucas Paraizo, Juan Posada, Valentina Viso; PROD Gael García Bernal, Marta Núñez Puerto. Argentina/Brazil/Colombia/El Salvador/Mexico/Peru/US/Uruguay, 2015, color, 108 min, DCP. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED