Schedule for London Latin American Film Festival

By - 05 November, 2010

November brings the London Latin America Film Festival to the capital for its 20th edition. The festival, which showcases the best of Latin American cinema, has particular focus this year on Cuba and Mexico with films such as the highly-anticipated animated feature Chico and Rita. Of more interest to Sounds and Colours though are the South American films on show, which include Argentina’s Felicitas, Claudia and El Bosque, Chile’s The Burn, Voice of the Mapuche and Ultramar, Peru’s The River and Requecho, Bolivia’s La Chirola, Ecuador’s Impulso, Brazil’s Rio Breaks and two collaborations, between Haiti and Brazil for The Day Brazil Was Here and Colombia, UK and Germany for My Kidnapper. The festival runs from Wednesday 17th November until Sunday 28th November, screenings will be at Riverside Studios, Phoenix Cinema, Casa Ecuatoriana London, Bolívar Hall and Duke of York’s Picturehouse.

Opening Night
Wednesday 17th November

Chico and Rita (Animated Feature) 7:00pm
Spain / Cuba 2010. Dir. Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal.
An unmissable treat: a sumptuous animated feature with an original soundtrack by the legendary Cuban bandleader and composer Bebo Valdés. The story follows the tempestuous love affair between Chico, a talented piano player, and gorgeous, honey-voiced chanteuse Rita, as they pursue each other from the steamy nightclubs of pre-revolutionary Havana, through the Mambo and Jazz haunts of Harlem, to the glamorous world of Forties Hollywood and, finally, to a seedy motel in Las Vegas. The artwork, directed by the brilliant Valencian artist Javier Mariscal, displays the beautiful detail of line and tonality of a top graphic novel, punctuated by stunning chiaroscuro compositions animated to swing along to a soundtrack, which evokes a unique moment in American music. Maestro Valdés effortlessly evokes the New York heyday of greats such as Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente and Chano Pozo.A visual and musical feast, topped off with an epic love story that spans half a century. What more could you ask for?
Bolivar Hall

Friday 19th November

Memories of My Soul (15) De mi alma recuerdos 6.30pm
Cuba, 2001
Lively documentary examining the roots of the radical ‘Nueva Trova’ music movement of Cuba in the 60s and 70s.
Riverside Studios

Felicitas (15) 8.00pm
Argentina, 2009
Teresa Costantini’s luminous historical extravaganza brings the real life tragedy of young lovers Felicitas and Guerrero to the screen.
Riverside Studios

The Annunciation / La Anunciación 7.30pm
Cuba, 2009. Dir. Enrique Pineda Barnet.
Pineda Barnet is the multiple award-winning director of La Bella del Alhambra, (Oscar nominated, and one of the most important Cuban films of recent years).His latest feature, set in Havana , is an overwhelmingly powerful evocation of a Cuban family’s tumultuous history, centring around the reading of a will by widowed, spiritualist matriarch Amalia. It is a brilliant and visceral cinematic study of inter-generational turmoil as the family members fall victim to the tyranny of memory, tortured by the turmoil which marked their past lives.
Bolívar Hall

Saturday 20th November

Vanilla Chip (15) 1.30pm
Cuba, 2009
A poignant and intimate portrait of life in contemporary Cuba.
Duke of York’s Picturehouse

Two Times Ana / Dos veces Ana
USA, 2010.  Dir. Sergio Giral.
The story of two mixed race women who inhabit very different worlds that, somehow, seem to run parallel and overlap. One is a cashier at a market in Miami ‘s Little Havana. The other Ana is an actress who plays an African slave in a TV soap opera and is on the road to Hollywood . The two Ana’s live in parallel realities, (or perhaps one Ana’s reality is the other’s illusion). Fantasy, reality, success and deception blend in a brilliant comic drama that bends racial and social boundaries and where nothing is as it seems.
Duke of York’s Picturehouse

The Crab, the Crocodile and Love in Cuba (15) 2.00pm
Cuba/UK, 2009
Documentary about an exuberant Cuban community with world famous ceramics artist, Fuster, at its centre.
Riverside Studios

Maria in No Man’s Land (15) Maria en Tierra de Nadie 4.00pm
Mexico, 2010
A gripping, terrifying documentary following three women from Central America trying to cross Mexico in their desperation to reach the USA.
Riverside Studios

The River (15) El Rio 6.15pm
Peru, 2009
An exquisite piece of cinema encapsulating the conflicting emotions evoked by the end of an affair, and leading to the most painful of conclusions.
Riverside Studios

The Second Choice (15) 6.25pm
USA, 2009
Ana is trying to raise her son in the right way, but the life of a poor immigrant is often unforgiving. A touching and poignant short drama.
Riverside Studios

Revolution (15) 6.35pm
Cuba, 2010
Expect a high octane feast of music and imagery in this powerful documentary on hip-hop group Los Aldeanos whose angry, acidic lyrics have got the Cuban authorities worried.
Riverside Studios

Impulse / Impulso 7.30pm
Ecuador, 2009. Dir: Mateo Herrera.
Running from her busy city life, Jessica encounters dark family secrets amidst her country cousins in this compulsive Ecuadorion thriller.
Casa Ecuatoriana London

Rio Breaks (15) 8.15pm
Brazil, 2009
There’s a new twist on Rio in this documentary about the surfer community where two young boys come to catch big waves, escape the poverty of their favela homes and (just maybe) make the big time.
Riverside Studios

Sunday 21st November
Memories of My Soul (15) De mi alma recuerdos 2.00pm
Cuba, 2001
Lively documentary examining the roots of the radical ‘Nueva Trova’ music movement of Cuba in the 60s and 70s.
Riverside Studios

Vainilla Chip (15) 4.15pm
Cuba, 2009
A poignant and intimate portrait of life in contemporary Cuba.
Riverside Studios

Chasing Che (15) 4.30pm
Iran, 2010
Fascinated by the legend of Che Guevara, Iranian businessman Alireza Rofougaran spent four years in Latin America following Che’s footsteps, armed with a handicam.
Riverside Studios

The Day Brazil Was Here (15) 6.30pm
Haiti/Brazil, 2005
Haiti’s obsession with Brazilian football creates a euphoria which helps the people forget the poverty, hunger and civil unrest which surrounds them.
Riverside Studios

My Kidnapper (15) 8.15pm
UK/Colombia/Germany, 2010
After being held hostage by guerrillas in Colombia, Mark Henderson began a remarkable five year email correspondence with one of his former captors.
Riverside Studios

Monday 22nd November

Little Wings (15) Alitas 6.30pm
Mexico, 2009
A touching short drama portraying the tenderness lavished on two young motherless girls by a community in small town Mexico, in contrast to the harshness of the work they have to do to survive.
Riverside Studios

Hail Mary (15) Ave Maria 6.45pm
Cuba/Portugal, 2009
A community near Santiago de Cuba, built around a now defunct copper mine, today makes a living from pilgrims to the nearby shrine to the Madonna.
Riverside Studios

City in Red 7.30pm
Cuba, 2009. Dir. Rebeca Chavez.
Beautifully filmed, “City in Red” perfectly evokes the look and atmosphere of Cuba in the late 1950’s and, especially, the fight for freedom by the people of Santiago de Cuba and the price they had to pay for victory. Springing crisply from the pages of Jose Soler Puig’s novel “Bertillón 166”, the film explores the cost in young lives and the permanent psychological and emotional scars left on ordinary people who are forced to take up arms. It eloquently explores the struggle to return to equanimity and a sense of self- worth after one has stepped over the line to become a killer; a struggle that many Cubans live with to this day. A highlight of the Festival.
Bolívar Hall

Memories of Overdevelopment (15) Memorias del Desarrollo 8.00pm
Cuba/USA, 2010
Coyula’s towering, brooding masterpiece is filled with challenging, open and thought-provoking imagery as it tussles with themes of cynicism and exhaustion in the 21st century.
Riverside Studios

Tuesday 23rd November

The Bridge (15) 6.30pm
UK, 2008
This thought-provoking film deals with the obstacles faced by Latin American immigrants coming to the UK to make successful careers.
Riverside Studios

The Burn (15) La Quemadura 7.00pm
Chile/France, 2010
Through intense imagery and a taut soundtrack, Rene Ballesteros tells the story of his own disrupted childhood.
Riverside Studios

Synchronicity 7.30pm
Mexico, 2009. Dir. Jorge Ivan Morales.
Sandra and Arturo, two of the most charming screen lovers you’ll ever meet, live in the same building in Mexico City. We can see they are made for each other but, for months now, neither has made the move towards becoming more than just friends. Just when Sandra’s plan to open a shop is coming to fruition, actor Arturo lands a job abroad and the cat is suddenly among the pigeons. How do you balance a life-changing opportunity against the possibility that you have found your soul mate? Can you even bring yourself to tell them how you feel? The age-old dilemmas of young love are brought to the screen in a film of enormous warmth and wit.
Bolívar Hall

The Voice of the Mapuche / La Voz Mapuche 8.30pm
Argentina/Chile 2009. Dir: Pablo Fernández and Andrea Henríquez.
The Mapuche people now live on less than 2% of their orginal land as the legal, political and military structures of Chile and Argentina persist in favouring the interests of big business. However, the Mapuche remain focused on maintaining their identity as a people, in spite of systematic repression from the Chilean regime. This impressive documentary takes the viewer across the rivers, lakes, forests and mountains of Mapuche land. It registers the words and wisdom of Mapuche women, men, children and elders and through music, paintings, poetry and rituals presents the Mapuche vision of the world.
Dulwich Paradiso Film Society

El Puesto (15) 8.30pm
France, 2009
Marin lives alone in a hut in the wide expanse of Argentina’s heartland plateau. A meeting with a foal gives a human dimension to this wild tale.
Riverside Studios

Wednesday 24th November

Requecho. A thousand years later 7.30pm
Peru, 2009.  Dir. Humberto Saco.
In Requecho. A thousand years later, Humberto Saco tells us the story of Los Uros, the pre-Inca people who for centuries have been living on the floating islands over lake Titicaca between Peru and Bolivia and who are almost about to disappear. María is a centenary woman and the oldest settler of the community, who lives isolated from the coast and surrounded by the cold waters of the lake and flourishing landscape of totora reeds. She represents the part of the Uros that refuses contact with outsiders and prefers living with the customs of its ancient heritage. On the other hand Maria’s relatives have become part of those who have settled closer to the coast, established contact with the tourists and generally are more comfortable adapting to the outside world. Both are engaged in a bitter fight against the Peruvian State which doesn’t recognize them as owners of their land. The sound of the oar moving the water blends with the impressive images of the landscape and the bright colours of the Uros’ fabrics and crafts. The portrayal of religious syncretism and people’s spiritual relationship with nature brings up the issue of identity and the importance of its preservation.
Bolívar Hall

Ultramar 7.30pm
Chile, 2007. Dir. Piero Mancini.
Mancini’s offbeat and atmospheric feature film has become a big hit on the underground scene. Through a series of random happenings, Tomas is thrown together with Lisa and, at her bidding, they set off together across country to Curanipe and the (then) still pristine Pacific coastline which marks the end of continent and the start of the vast blue emptiness of the ocean. He does not know why they are travelling: she, perhaps, does: but it proves to be as much a passage through time as through space, a journey briging to mind the memory of Chile’s recent past.
Bolívar Hall

Thursday 25th November

Revolution (15) 6.30pm
Cuba, 2010
Expect a high octane feast of music and imagery in this powerful documentary on hip-hop group Los Aldeanos whose angry, acidic lyrics have got the Cuban authorities worried.
Riverside Studios

Neuralgia (15) 8.00pm
USA, 2010
Sumptuous, neon, neo-Noir feature in which a disparate cast of characters are drawn together from their own isolation by forces at work on a stormy night in the city.
Riverside Studios

Friday 26th November

La Chirola 6pm
Bolivia 2008. Directed by Diego Mondaca.
This is an outstanding reflection on the value of freedom and the human condition, presented through the captivating character of ‘Pedro’ on his release from prison in Bolivia.
Phoenix Cinema

Claudia 6.30pm
Argentina 2010. Directed by Marcel Gonnet.
This film is about Claudia Sobrero, a woman who has spent 26 years in prison, longer than any other woman in Argentina. In 1984 she was convicted for her part in the killing of Lino Palacio, a well known Argentine artist, and his wife. During periods of freedom ‘on licence’, she attempts to rebuild family relationships and the film questions
whether the penitentiary system in general and the re-integration of ex-convicts into society is successful.
Phoenix Cinema

Altiplano 8.30pm
Germany/Belgium 2009. Directed by Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth.
Built upon moments of trauma and loss, this film is, fundamentally, an expression of faith in the possibility of redemption. The main protagonist, Grace, is a war photographer who has lost her soul in Baghdad. She suffers further grief at the loss of her husband and is forced to evaluate her perception of reality, her conscience and her sense of worth.
Phoenix Cinema

Saturday 27th November

Little Wings (15) Alitas 1.30pm
Mexico, 2009
A touching short drama portraying the tenderness lavished on two young motherless girls by a community in small town Mexico, in contrast to the harshness of the work they have to do to survive.
Duke of York’s Picturehouse

Impulse / Impulso
Ecuador, 2009. Dir: Mateo Herrera.
Running from her busy city life, Jessica encounters dark family secrets amidst her country cousins in this compulsive Ecuadorion thriller.
Duke of York’s Picturehouse

South of the Border and Q&A with Dr Francisco Dominguez 6pm
USA 2010. Directed by Oliver Stone.
If you haven’t seen South of the Border it’s a must: there’s a revolution underway in South America, but most of the world doesn’t know it. Oliver Stone sets out on a road trip across five countries to explore the social and political movements as well as the mainstream media’s misperception of South America while interviewing seven of its elected presidents.
Phoenix Cinema

Cruzando 8.30pm
Mexico/USA 2009. Directed by Escamilla & Mando Alvarado.
This clever, funny and atmospheric feature is set in La Valle, on the Mexico/US border. A young man, Manuel, heads for the USA. However, his reasons are not typical: he is seeking his estranged father, and his friend, Diego, comes along to video the journey. With its cool, knowing soundtrack and brilliant cinematography, Cruzando avoids all the usual clichés and presents a heartfelt account of a personal quest.
Phoenix Cinema

Sunday 28th November

El Bosque 5.30pm
Argentina 2008. Directed by Pablo Siciliano and Eugenio Lasserre.
Superb cinematography and sound design combine to create a dark and eerie film following a modern day Hansel and Gretel marooned in the wild forest of northern Argentina and prey to sinister, ancient forces. On another level, it’s is a wry reflection on the Argentinean division between city and country.
Phoenix Cinema

The Belle of the Alhambra followed by closing night reception 7.30pm
Cuba 1989. Directed by Enrique Pineda Barnet.
A young and beautiful woman is single-minded in her determination to become a singer at the Alhambra, Cuba’s most notorious cabaret. Set in the 1920s, when being a cabaret star was synonymous with prostitution, Rachel is well aware that she is expected to entertain influential men with more than her stage performance. A fascinating portrait of women cabaret performers of the time.
Phoenix Cinema

Riverside Studios
Crisp Road
Hammersmith London W6 9RL
Booking line: 020 82371111
www.riversidestudios.co.uk/

Bolívar Hall
54 Grafton Way
London W1T 5DL
www.venezlon.co.uk

Phoenix Cinema
52 High Road
East Finchley N2 9PJ
Tel: 020 8444 6789
www.phoenixcinema.co.uk/

Duke Of York’s Picturehouse
Preston Circus
Brighton BN1 4NA
Tel: 0871 704 2056
www.picturehouses.co.uk

www.latinamericanfilmfestival.com/


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