The renegade style of Argentinean filmmaker Eduardo Williams

Is this crap or brilliant? This is the question I ask myself after watching The Human Surge, Eduardo “Teddy” Williams’ indescriptible first feature film. Structured in three segments shot in Argentina, Mozambique, and the Philippines, it follows young subjects engaged in clueless conversations and contains a strange mixture of realism, fantasy, and poetry, while delving into the experimental.

Image result for the human surge posterPraised by critics and festival goers, this 30-year-old Argentinian filmmaker, who studied at Universidad del Cine in Buenos Aires, has four previous short films—Tan atentos (2011), Could See a Puma (2011), The Sound of the Stars Dazes Me (2012), Que je tombe tout le temps? (2013) and I Forgot! (2014)—shot in Argentina, France, Sierra Leone, and Vietnam. The Human Surge brings to mind Alex Rivera‘s cult sci-fi classic Sleep Dealer, Peruvian Juan Daniel F. Molero’s Videofilia, Bertrand Bonello’s Nocturama, and the films of Mexican enfant terrible master of naturalism Nicolás Pereda.

We talked with Teddy at the 60th San Francisco International Film Festival about his travels, inspiration, creative process, mix of fantasy and realism, and viewpoint that “form and content are one” while “dialogues are openings to different windows.”

How was the idea of ​​The Human Surge born?
It is a development of my short films. Not the dramatic continuation of a story, but the development of what I learned or wanted to do differently or new in each short. In Sierra Leone I discovered that I really liked filming in a country unknown to me. It put me in a very useful state of mind for the film. And in Vietnam I discovered that not understanding the language was something I liked when shooting film.

Did it represent a challenge or inspire you?
I like the clear and simple feeling of that moment when you hear people saying things that make sense to them but none for you. It allows you to see other things, and not get stuck with words generating images in your head. In a new place everything is beyond me, forcing me to do stuff other than what I’d do if I had more control over things.

So you decided to shoot your first feature in the Philippines and Mozambique, besides your homeland Argentina. Did the script specify those countries?
It was not specific for any country. The script I had was very open, I adapted as I got to know new people and places. It would have been very strange to bring something set in stone to a place I never went to. The idea was to learn about the place once there to include it in the film.

So the script was like a skeleton…
It had a structure: the beginning, the connections between countries, the end, and some specific scenes I wanted. The part that takes place in Argentina was a bit more precise because it is much easier for me to imagine scenes there. For the other countries, I had dialogues and scenes written in the script, but they changed when I arrived. And some scenes are totally improvised.

So you also use improvisation while you are on the set?
A lot of the work with the actors consisted on spending time together doing “nothing” in order to build trust. Then at the time of filming I would tell them to talk about something we talked about earlier, to say a specific sentence I had jotted down. I would tell them “talk about what you want but at some point say this and that,” or I would simply follow them with the camera without understanding what they were saying, not until someone translated it to me when I was editing the footage. There was plenty of trust and freedom. I tried not to have a fixed idea that a certain thing had to be done. It was important to explain to the actors that anything they thought they forgot or got wrong was not bad, that what they had done could have been even better than what I wanted them to do initially, that they needed to trust me in not having any problem with that.

The Human Surge is a difficult film to explain to people. It has no clear story line and the dialogue do not always make much sense…
It is not something that moves forward, that develops. Many people think they do not, but for me they make a lot of sense. What I notice in the response of audiences is that it is not about paying specific attention to the connection between one line of dialogue to the next, but about a certain line of dialogue that catches your attention because it touches a specific topic that you associate it with another…You begin to make connections. Dialogues are openings to different windows. Characters can talk about very different things, but then a bigger texture of all the different intertwined themes takes shape gradually.

[It is] my way of seeing films, even the most classic ones. I may not be able to tell you what a movie is about. I retain certain things that interest me and that’s it. As if there was a not very clear cloud-like structure, but you gradually compose your own…

I would describe you movie as dark and grainy. The aesthetics can be quite ugly…
For me it is very pretty. The idea was to make the texture of the image change by using a different camera for each part. In Argentina it was filmed in Super 16mm. The segment in the Philippines was shot with a Red Scarlet [camera]. And in Mozambique I shot it myself with a smaller camera, a Blackmagic Pocket, [which is] easier for me to use, and after editing the footage, I shot it again in Super 16mm off the computer screen. At the same time, each camera allowed me to have different ways of working a scene in the same movie. When you work with film in a low budget movie you have very little material and you can only repeat most of the scenes twice, which gives you a different energy than when shooting video as I did in Mozambique, where I was able to repeat the scenes more times. And having a big camera, you grab people’s attention on the street more than with a small camera, when I was able to film as being part of the normal life of the street. These differences have an impact on what we see beyond the texture of the image. That ugliness that you say, or let’s say that non-perfection.

There are several scenes in which the camera seems to be lagging behind the characters…
It gives you the feeling that people are not posing for you, that everything is not at the service of the spectator, that they are doing their lives and you are trying to get a hold of it, that something beyond the camera is happening. The scenes are fiction and obviously everything was set up, but it gives you a sense of documentary realism that collides with other parts of the film that belong to planes of strangeness. Being that the camera and the lighting are imperfect, the images look real but they also look quite strange, and there are moments when everything is quite false as well. That conjunction between reality and falsehood, fantasy and realism is something very important in the film. I express that feeling through the camerawork and type of lighting.

Who inspires you in your work as a filmmaker?
I have some rejection to the fact that since your first short everyone wants to associate you with someone. I want to think about how I can communicate using cinema. To think about other directors is not useful for me. Those associations can be made by other people if they feel like it. Literature could be what connects me the most with cinema, it allows me to create my own images. The fact that images generate in my head rather than seeing them. I also borrow things from songs—I played trumpet at school. I believe that communication with rhythm and musicality helps me a lot to think about the development of a structure. For me, the film has a certain musical structure.

Are you working in a new project?
I’m at the stage when I’m thinking about small elements for a film. As we said earlier, the film has this cloud-like form before it takes shape. The first thing I think about are details: dialogues, elements, places, movements…Small things that at first mean nothing but make sense all together when I find them a structure.

Tell us a couple of those details.
Islands. A lot of water, a lot of wind, a lot of rain. Some special places I visited.

(Originally published by FandorWatch The Human Surge on Fandor)

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Interview with Luis Ayhllón, director of ‘Nocturno’

With a strong auteur’s imprint, exquisite artistic design and intriguing plot with just the right theatrical and gore ratio, playwright and short story writer Luis Ayhllón’s Nocturno narrates the uncomfortable relationship of two lonely souls: a nurse who watches him an older man.

After one short, Instrucciones para acabar con la neurosis (2009), and the features Dodo (2014) and La extinción de los dinosaurios (2014), this is the third feature film by this director based in Mexico City, who in addition to writing his own scripts has written Caja Negra and Familia Gang.

We talked with Ayhllón after the successful premiere of Nocturno as part of the 32nd Guadalajara Film Festival; about his inspiration, how he chose the visuals, and the solid acting and bright dialogues.

What was your inspiration to make Nocturno?
On the one hand, making a film that was accessible in terms of production. On the other, making a film in aesthetic terms with strong characters that had resonance in the viewer. With Alex Argüelles, the photographer, we discussed a lot the aesthetics of the film, agreeing that we wanted to make a nightmarish photography that makes you part of the universe of these characters who are wrecked on the inside.

It was then more of a formal inspiration than content thematic…
You could say so, yes.

Are the drawings that appear in the film yours? That animated section is captivating…
We designed them with the photographer who is also an animator. We wanted to make a very artisan animation that had a lot to do with the personality of Ana, the protagonist. They are like extracted from her notebooks, her notes.

Which were your cinematographic inspirations? Your film brings to mind Ingmar Bergman’s Persona and the Chilean La nana by Sebastián Silva.
I do not know if as referents… Persona, absolutely. Bergman is an author that interests me very much, especially because he uses the closeup in a very interesting way. Persona was one of the references that we had in mind at the time of making this film. However, Nocturno is hundred percent Mexican.


The movie feels very auteur. It gives the impression that you had a lot of control over its feel and look. Tell us a little more about your work with the cinematographer Alex Argüelles.
Yes, it was very well thought out, with a very clear concept and as you say, I was on top of every shot, making sure that the film reached the viewer. The dialogue we established with Alex Argüelles was very profoundin terms of references to be able to establish the look of the film. We saw many movies to reach that aesthetic.

And how did you work on the script? Because to happen the whole movie in the same space could have been very stifling.
Although it is a script that establishes a very slow rhythm, it was very important that each part had a dynamism so that the viewer does not get bored. And that’s why you feel that history evolves. Then, although it is a very dark script, it has mood breaks.

And you could have chosen the way to make a bloody movie, but no.
Yes, I love the subject of violence, and for that reason I wanted to give it a specific treatment because it is very much treated in Mexican cinema and I wanted the most violent scene of the film to be in the mind of the spectator. In the animation … Completely abstract.

Talk about the work with the actors and the casting. How did you choose Irela de Villers for the leading role and the other actors?
I’m interested in working with theater actors, because I come from the theater and it saves a lot of time and effort, because we share a common language and that makes it easier. Especially since we only had three weeks to record. In the case of Irela, we had already worked together on theater projects in Mexico City and we wanted to experiment in a film project.

How big was the film crew?
Very small. It is an intimate film in all aspects.

The dialogues, especially those of her, feel like monologues. How did you work the dialogues of the movie?
As a dramatist, I use a lot of theatrical dialogue resources to tell the story. That is why I have a special fascination for the use of dialogue. There is a lot of violence in the dialogue, more than in the images. It is a resource that used to establish communications between the characters.

How is the film doing? The audience applauded a lot yesterday …
The premiere yesterday was incredible. It is a completely independent film that we did without the support of any institution. And it’s reaching the public. We have just won the best film award at the UK Film Festival in London and we are very happy to be able to release it here in Guadalajara.

More information about the film:

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Entrevista con Luis Ayhllón, director de ‘Nocturno’

Con una fuerte impronta de autor, un exquisito diseño artístico y una intrigante trama con lo justo de teatral y gore, la película Nocturno del escritor de cuentos y teatro Luis Ayhllón narra la incómoda relación de dos almas solitarias: una enfermera y el señor mayor a quien cuida.

Tras el cortometraje Instrucciones para acabar con la neurosis (2009) y los largometrajes Dodo (2014) y La extinción de los dinosaurios (2014) ésta es la tercera película del cineasta radicado en la Ciudad de México, quien además de escribir sus propios guiones ha escrito los de Caja Negra y Familia Gang.

Platicamos con un desvelado Ayhllón en el marco del exitoso estreno de Nocturno en el marco del 32 Festival de Cine de Guadalajara sobre su inspiración, el aspecto visual, la sólida labor actoral y los diálogos.

¿Cuál fue tu inspiración para realizar Nocturno?
Por un lado, hacer una película que fuera accesible en términos de producción. Por otro, hacer una película en términos estéticos con personajes fuertes que tuvieran resonancia en el espectador. Con Alex Argüelles, el fotógrafo, platicamos muchísimo sobre los términos estéticos de la película y coincidimos en que queríamos hacer una fotografía pesadillesca que te involucra en el universo de estos personajes que están muy dañados en su interior.

Como que entonces fue una inspiración más formal que de contenido…
Se podría decir que sí.

¿Los dibujos que aparecen en la película son tuyos? Esa parte de la animación es cautivadora.
Los diseñamos con el fotógrafo que también es animador. Queríamos hacer una animación muy artesanal que tuviera que ver mucho con la personalidad de Ana, la protagonista. Son como extraídos de sus libretas, de sus notas.

¿Cuáles son tus inspiraciones cinematográficas? Tu película hace pensar en Persona de Ingmar Bergman y la chilena La nana de Sebastián Silva.
No sé si como referentes… Persona, absolutamente sí. Bergman es un autor que a mí me interesa muchísimo, sobre todo porque utiliza el closeup de una manera muy interesante. Persona fue uno de los referentes que tuvimos para hacer esta película. Sin embargo, Nocturno es completamente mexicana.

La peli se siente muy de autor. Da la impresión de que tuviste un gran control sobre cómo se siente y se ve.  Háblanos un poco más sobre tu trabajo con el cinematógrafo Argüelles.
Sí, fue muy bien pensada, con un concepto muy claro y como dices, me interesaba muchísimo controlar cada plano, que se viera como una propuesta que llegara al espectador. El diálogo que establecimos con Alex Argüelles fue muy profundo en términos de referencias para poder establecer el look de la película. Vimos muchas películas para llegar a esa estética.

¿Y cómo trabajasteis el guión? Porque al suceder toda la película en un mismo espacio podría haber resultado muy asfixiante.
Aunque es un guión que establece un ritmo muy lento, era muy importante que cada parte tuviera un dinamismo para que el espectador no se aburra. Y por eso se siente que la historia evoluciona. Entonces, aunque es un guión muy oscuro, tiene rompimientos de humor.

Y también podrías haber optado por la vía de hacer una película sangrienta, pero no.
Sí, a mí me encanta el tema de la violencia, y por lo mismo quise darle un tratamiento específico porque está muy sobre tratado en el cine mexicano y yo quería que la escena más violenta de la película fuera en la mente del espectador. En la animación… Completamente abstracto.

Habla sobre el trabajo con los actores y el casting. ¿Cómo elegiste a Irela de Villers para el papel protagónico y a los demás actores?
Me interesa trabajar con actores de teatro, porque yo vengo del teatro y se ahorra mucho tiempo y esfuerzo, porque compartimos un lenguaje en común y eso facilita. Sobre todo porque tuvimos tan solo tres semanas para grabar. En el caso de Irela, ya habíamos trabajado juntos en proyectos de teatro en la Ciudad de México y teníamos ganas de experimentar en un proyecto cinematográfico.

¿Qué tan grande fue el equipo de filmación?
Muy pequeño. Es una película íntima en todos los aspectos.

Los diálogos, sobre todo los de ella,  se sienten como monólogos. ¿Cómo trabajasteis los diálogos de la película?
Como dramaturgo utilizo muchísimos recursos del diálogo teatral para contar la historia. Es por eso que tengo especial fascinación por el uso del diálogo. Hay mucha violencia en el diálogo, más que en las imágenes. Es un recurso que utilizó para establecer comunicaciones entre los personajes.

¿Qué tal le está yendo a la peli? El público aplaudió mucho ayer…
El estreno ayer fue increíble. Es una película completamente independiente que hicimos sin apoyo de ninguna institución. Y está llegando al público. Venimos de ganar el premio a mejor película en el UK Film Festival de Londres y estamos muy contentos por poderla estrenar aquí en Guadalajara.

Más información sobre la película:

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¡Viva el cine! Latino cinema at the 40th Mill Valley Film Festival

Plenty of women filmmakers, personal tributes and musical concerts make up the 40th edition of the Mill Valley Film Festival taking place every autumn at the foothills of Mount Tamalpais in Marin County since 1978.

Our goal was to program forty percent of women-directed films for our 4oth birthday, said Zoe Elton, the festival’s director of programming. “We went beyond, it’s 44 percent across the board, in all sections.

The festival showcases 144 feature films and 86 shorts over a period of ten days, from October 5 to 15, at theaters in Corte Madera, Larkspur, Mill Valley and San Rafael, where the headquarters of the festival, the Smith Rafael Film Center, are located.

The section devoted to the new Latino cinema ‘¡Viva el Cine!’ presents films produced in Cuba, Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela, Spain and the United States this year. Half of them already had successful screenings at other festivals while the other half are novelties waiting to be discovered.

Among the novelties, Quest, first film by local filmmaker Santiago Rizzo, is a drama about a young student with problems at home who finds an ally in his physical education teacher. The film, filmed in the East Bay, is based on a real story that happened at Willard Middle School in Berkeley in 1995.

From Cuba and also focused on a young student, Estebandirected by Jonal Cosculluela and with music by Chucho Valdés, tells the charming story of a nine-year-old boy who, ashamed, sells products in the black market with his single mother, until one day he wants learn to play the piano, establishing a beautiful relationship with his sick teacher.

Also a first film and based on real events is the Venezuelan-Colombian co-production El Amparo directed by Rober Calzadilla, about the disappearance of a group fishermen near the Venezuelan-Colombian border, unleashing a drama of accusations, corruption, political maneuvering and social unrest.

One last film among the novelties is Vazante, by veteran Brazilian filmmaker Daniela Thomas [Foreign Land, 1995] set in an hacienda during the colonial era. Masterfully photographed in black and white, it tells the story of a middle-aged slave owner of waning fortunes who marries his 12-year-old niece.

Among the films premiered at festivals like Cannes, Berlin and San Sebastian and coming now to Mill Valley, we have the Argentine-Chilean coproduction The Desert Bride [La novia del desierto] directed by Cecilia Atan and Valeria Pivato, and starring Paulina García, which narrates the subtle transformation of a woman during her stay in the Cuyo region, far fromBuenos Aires.

From Chile, A Fantastic Woman [Una mujer fantástica] by Sebastián Lelio [Christmas, 2009], with an extraordinary performance by actress Daniela Vega, about the maturing process of a transgender woman who, after a tragic event, faces suspicion and rejection.

Also from Chile Los perros by Marcela Said [The Summer of Flying Fish, 2013], a thriller that touches the themes of historical memory and classism with memorable performances by Alfredo Castro and Antonia Zegers, an upper-class woman whose main concerns are her dogs, her riding lessons and satisfying her husband’s desire to have children.

From Spain and considered best opera prima in Berlin, Summer 1993 [Estiú 1993], by  Catalan director Carla Simón, an evocative autobiographical drama about a six-year-old girl who, after the death of her parents in Barcelona, ​​struggles to accept her new life in the countryside with his uncle’s family.

Outside the ‘¡Viva el Cine!’ section it is worth mentioning the screening of The Shape of Water, Mexican master of fantastic cinema Guillermo del Toro’s new film, as well as tributes to Kristin Scott Thomas, Sean Penn, Dee Rees, Holly Hunter, Todd Haynes and Richard Linklater. Numerous musical presentations including Huey Lewis and the News, Joe Satriani and The Family Stone, embellish the programming of the most glamorous film festival in the Bay Area.

The festival closes on Sunday, October 15 with the screening of Lady Bird, Greta Gerwigs film debut about a girl on her senior year at a Catholic high school in Sacramento.

For more detailed information about the films, schedules and to buy tickets please visit


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¡Viva el cine latino en el 40º Festival de Cine de Mill Valley!

Mucho cine realizado por mujeres, tributos personales y numerosos conciertos de música acaparan la cuadragésima edición del Festival de Cine de Mill Valley que desde 1978 tiene lugar cada otoño a las faldas del Monte Tamalpais en el condado de Marin.

“Nuestro objetivo era programar un cuarenta por ciento de películas dirigidas por mujeres para nuestro cuadragésimo cumpleaños”, dijo Zoe Elton, directora de programación del festival. “Y lo superamos, son un 44 por ciento, en todas y cada una de las secciones”.

El festival mostrará 144 largometrajes y 86 cortometrajes durante un período de diez días, del 5 al 15 de octubre, en cines de Corte Madera, Larkspur, Mill Valley y San Rafael, localidad donde radica la sede central del festival, el Smith Rafael Film Center.

La sección consagrada al nuevo cine latino ‘¡Viva el Cine!’ presenta este año películas producidas en Cuba, Chile, Argentina, Brasil, Colombia, Venezuela, España y Estados Unidos. La mitad vienen ya avaladas por otros festivales y la otra mitad son producciones que esperan ser descubiertas.

Entre los títulos novedosos figura Quest, primera película del cineasta local Santiago Rizzo, un drama sobre un joven estudiante con problemas en el hogar que encuentra un aliado en su maestro de educación física. La película, filmada en el Este de la Bahía, está basada en hechos reales sucedidos en la escuela Willard Middle School de Berkeley.

También en torno a un joven estudiante, Esteban, dirigida por el cubano Jonal Cosculluela y con música de Chucho Valdés, relata la encantadora historia de un niño de nueve años que, apenado, vende productos de estraperlo con su mamá, hasta que un día quiere aprender a tocar el piano y establece una bella relación con su maestro enfermo.

Primera película también y así mismo basada en hechos reales es la coproducción venezolano-colombiana El Amparo dirigida por Rober Calzadilla, en torno a la desaparición de unos pescadores en la frontera venezolano-colombiana, lo que desata un drama de acusaciones, corrupción, maniobras políticas y agitación social.

Un título también a descubrir es Vazante de la veterana cineasta brasileña Daniela Thomas [Terra Estrangeira, 1995], cinta ambientada en una hacienda durante la época colonial que cuenta la historia de un esclavista de mediana edad venido a menos que se casa con su sobrina de 12 años. Parca y magistralmente fotografiada en blanco y negro.

Entre los títulos ya avalados en festivales de renombre como los de Cannes, Berlín o San Sebastián, figura la coproducción argentino-chilena La novia del desierto dirigida por Cecilia Atan y Valeria Pivato, y protagonizada por Paulina García, que narra la sutil transformación de una mujer durante su estancia en la región de Cuyo, lejos de Buenos Aires.

De Chile, Una mujer fantástica de Sebastián Lelio [Navidad, 2009], interpretada de manera extraordinaria por la actriz Daniela Vega, sobre la maduración de una mujer transgénero que tras un suceso trágico se enfrenta a la sospecha y el rechazo.

Y también de Chile Los perros de Marcela Said [El verano de los peces voladores, 2013], un thriller que toca los temas de la memoria histórica y el clasismo con también con grandes interpretaciones de Antonia Zegers y Alfredo Castro, en torno a una mujer de buena familia cuyas principales preocupaciones son sus perros, sus lecciones de equitación y satisfacer el deseo de su marido de tener un hijo.

De España y premiada como mejor opera prima en Berlín, Estiú 1993, de la directora catalana Carla Simón, un evocador drama autobiográfico acerca de una niña de seis años que tras la muerte de sus padres en Barcelona, lucha por aceptar su nueva vida en el campo con la familia de su tío.

Ya fuera de la sección ¡Viva el cine! merece la pena mencionar la presentación de The Shape of Water, nueva producción del mexicano Guillermo del Toro, maestro del cine fantástico. Así como tributos en persona a Kristin Scott Thomas, Sean Penn, Dee Rees, Holly Hunter, Todd Haynes y Richard Linklater, y numerosas presentaciones musicales entre las que figuran Huey Lewis and the News, Joe Satriani y The Family Stone, que adornan la programación del festival de cine más glamoroso del Área de la Bahía.

El festival se cerrará el domingo 15 de octubre con la película Lady Bird, debut cinematográfico de Greta Gerwig sobre una muchacha que está terminando la secundaria en una escuela católica de Sacramento.

Para información más detallada sobre las películas, horarios y para comprar boletos visiten


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San Francisco Latino Film Festival celebrates its 9th edition

Twenty-four narrative films, ten documentaries and forty short films make up the ninth edition of the Latino film festival taking place the second half of September in the city of San Francisco.

“The purpose of the festival is to create community through film,” said festival director Lucho Ramírez. “Educating, entertaining and recognizing the work of Latin American, Spanish and U.S. Latino filmmakers who otherwise cannot be seen in San Francisco.”

The festival organized by Cine+Más begins Friday, September 15 at the New Mission Theater with the presentation Ruta Madre, a film detailing the road trip of a young man and his uncle from San Diego to Baja California, where they connect with their Mexican roots and find themselves.

Among the narrative films being presented during the festival these are the highlights: Last Days in Havana by Fernando Pérez, beautifully lit, with memorable performances and agile dialogues, kind of a continuation of Strawberry and Chocolate (1994); Treasures by talented Mexican filmmaker María Novaro [Danzón, 1991], an endearing children story filmed in a fishing community in the state of Guerrero; the Dominican Woodpeckers by José María Cabral, an engaging love triangle guided by the prison language of the hands, which received  best actor and special jury awards at the Guadalajara Film Festival; the Chilean Little White Lie by Tomás Alzamorra, a funny story about a journalist who happens to enter the fake news business; and Such is Life in the Tropics by Ecuadorian Sebastián Cordero [Cronicas, 2004], about the fight of a community in Guayaquil against their displacement.

Among the documentaries, the highlights are: The Rise and Fall of the Brown Buffalo (USA) by Phillip Rodriguez [Ruben Salazar: Man in the Middle, 2013], about the figure of Chicano activist, lawyer and author Oscar Zeta Acosta; The Third Root by Camilo Nu and Reed Rickert, a musical journey through southern Spain and North Africa in search of the roots of Son Jarocho; Visitor’s Day by Nicole Opper, local filmmaker who filmed at a foster home for children in Atlixco, México; and the heartbreaking Voices Beyond the Wall: Twelve Poems from the Murder Capital of the World by Brad Coley, filmed at an orphanage in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, and built with voice over and beautiful images.

Special mention also deserves the program Divas of the Golden Era, a series that examines three Mexican actresses who contributed significantly to the seventh art during the golden age of Mexican cinema: María Félix in Doña diabla (1950), Katy Jurado in High Noon (1952) and Lupe Vélez in Mexican Spitfire Sees a Ghost (1942).

As every year, the festival bets high on young filmmakers beginning their film career with short films. Among the 40 short films to be screened at the festival the ‘Made in Califas’ program made up of films by California and Bay Area filmmakers stands out particularly, with local San Francisco shorts: Alma Herrera-Pazmiño’s Loss, Deal, Christian Reyes’ Dirty Hands, Leopoldo Rivera’s San Francisco Live, Melina Tupa’s The Search, and Kristin Tieche’s Velo Visionaries: Alicia Tapia. Also worth mentioning is the short film The Swan by Daniel Chávez Ontiveros, the story of a trans woman who emigrated to the U.S. after suffering discrimination in México.For two weeks, the 9th San Francisco Latino Film Festival will take over the screens at the Opera Plaza Cinema and Roxie Theater with films from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, Spain, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Peru and the Dominican Republic. A few presentations will take place at the Museum of the African Diaspora, de Young Museum, and the Main Library.

In addition to San Francisco, the festival will close with screenings at La Peña Cultural Center in Berkeley, East Side Cultural Center in Oakland and San Rafael’s Pickleweed Park Community Center.

For detailed information on films, schedules and tickets visit:

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El festival de cine latino en San Francisco celebra su novena edición

Veinticuatro largometrajes de ficción, diez documentales y cuarenta cortometrajes conforman la novena edición del festival de cine latino que tendrá lugar la segunda quincena de septiembre en la ciudad de San Francisco.

“El propósito del festival es crear comunidad a través del cine”, dijo el director del festival Lucho Ramírez. “Educando, entreteniendo y reconociendo el trabajo de cineastas latinoamericanos, españoles y estadounidenses latinos que de otra manera no se pueden ver en San Francisco”.

El festival organizado por Cine+Más dará inicio el viernes 15 de septiembre en el New Mission Theater con la presentación Ruta Madre, película que detalla el road trip de un joven y su tío de San Diego a Baja California, donde conectan con sus raíces mexicanas y se encuentra a sí mismos.

Entre las películas de ficción destacan la cubana Últimos días en La Habana de Fernando Pérez, bellamente iluminada, con actuaciones memorables y ágiles diálogos, en lo que es una especie de continuación de Fresa y chocolate (1994); Tesoros de la mexicana María Novaro [Danzón, 1991], una entrañable historia de niños filmada en una comunidad de pescadores de Guerrero, México; la dominicana Carpinteros de José María Cabral, un interesante triángulo amoroso guiado por el lenguaje carcelario de las manos, que recibió galardones a mejor actor y premio especial del jurado en el festival de Guadalajara; la chilena La mentirita blanca de Tomás Alzamorra, una película divertida centrada en un periodista que por casualidad entra en el negocio de noticias falsas; y Sin muertos no hay carnaval del ecuatoriano Sebastián Cordero [Crónicas (2004)], en torno a la lucha contra el desahucio de una comunidad en Guayaquil.

Entre los documentales, destacan The Rise and Fall of the Brown Buffalo (USA) del angeleño Phillip Rodriguez [Ruben Salazar: Man in the Middle, 2013], en torno a la figura del activista, abogado y autor chicano Oscar Zeta Acosta; La tercera raíz de Camilo Nu y Reed Rickert, un viaje musical a través del sur de España y norte de África en busca de las raíces del son jarocho; Visitor’s Day de Nicole Opper, cineasta local que filmó en un hogar de acogida para niños en Atlixco, México; y el desgarrador Voices Beyond the Wall: Twelve Poems from the Murder Capital of the World de Brad Coley, filmado en un orfanato en San Pedro Sula, Honduras, y construido con voice over y bellas imagenes.

Especial mención merece también el programa Divas of the Golden Era, una serie que examina a tres actrices mexicanas que contribuyeron de manera significativa al séptimo arte durante la edad de oro del cine mexicano: María Félix en Doña diabla (1950), Katy Jurado en High Noon (1952) y Lupe Vélez en Mexican Spitfire Sees a Ghost (1942).

Como cada año, el festival apuesta fuerte por jóvenes cineastas que comienzan su carrera cinematográfica con el formato del cortometraje. Entre los 40 cortometrajes que se mostrarán en el festival destaca el programa Made in Califas de cineastas californianos y del Área de la Bahía, con cortos locales de San Francisco: Loss, Deal de Alma Herrera-Pazmiño, Dirty Hands de Christian Reyes, San Francisco Live de Leopoldo Rivera y Velo Visionaries: Alicia Tapia de Kristin Tieche. Así mismo, merece especial mención el cortometraje El cisne de Daniel Chávez Ontiveros, la historia de una mujer trans mexicana que emigró a Estados Unidos tras sufrir discriminación en su país.

Durante dos semanas, el 9º Festival de Cine Latino en San Francisco tomará las pantallas de los cines Opera Plaza y Roxie Theater con películas de Argentina, Brasil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, El Salvador, España, Estados Unidos, Guatemala, México, Panamá, Perú y República Dominicana. También habrá presentaciones puntuales en el Museum of African Diaspora y de Young Museum, así como en la biblioteca central.

Además de en San Francisco, el festival cerrará con presentaciones en La Peña Cultural Center de Berkeley, Eastside Cultural Center de Oakland y el Pickleweed Park Community Center de San Rafael.

Para información detallada sobre películas, horarios y boletos visiten:

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