Las acacias (2011) - News Poster



Kenneth Lonergan, Vanessa Redgrave, Claude Lelouch to Attend Mar del Plata Film Festival

Madrid — The 38th Mar del Plata Film Festival opens on Nov. 17 with Serge Bozon’s farce “Mrs. Hyde,” starring Isabelle Huppert, and inevitable speculation about how Peter Scarlet’s appointment as artistic director will re-set Argentina’s most august film event. Kogonada’s “Columbus” is one of the films in the main international feature competition.

In broad terms, his influence can be seen in several ways. First, festival titles have been pared back from 420 to 320. That may still be too many, Scarlet said, but is a step in the right direction. “I believe festivals are about quality of films rather than quantity. I’m trying to go in that direction.”

Second, Mar del Plata’s masterclasses, a fixture at the Atlantic Coast event, have multiplied in heavyweight name attendance, while morphing into conversations, reflecting Scarlet’s pulling power after nearly 30 years directing the San Francisco (1983-2001), Tribeca (2003-09) and Abu Dhabi (2009-13) film festivals. “Manchester By the Sea’s” [link
See full article at Variety - Film News »

San Sebastián: Film Factory Entertainment Acquires ‘Black is Beltza’ (Exclusive)

San Sebastian — Spain’s Film Factory has acquired international rights to Fermin Muguruza’s adult animation feature debut “Black is Beltza.”

The project will be offered to buyers at the Berlinale’s next European Film Market, Film Factory CEO Vicente Canales told Variety. A teaser will be screened at Berlin, where Muguruza has promised a “noteworthy” musical landing, as well.

“’Black is Beltza’ is very different for the Spanish adult animation scene so far, and originality is exactly what the market is demanding,” Canales said, adding that the project is perfectly suited for combining international theatrical releases with launches on digital platforms and VOD services.

Co-produced by Basque country Talka Records & Film and Catalonia’s Setmagic, “Beltza” will offer a colorful canvas of the 60’s counterculture era, kicking off in October 1965 when a group of giants and carnival heads –inspired by Pamplona’s 17th century parades– is invited to march down New York’s 5th Avenue on
See full article at Variety - Film News »

The Many Facets of New Argentine Cinema

  • MUBI
Mubi's retrospective New Argentine Cinema is playing from August 7 - September 28, 2017 in most countries around the world. La CiénagaBeginning in the mid-1990s, young directors, the majority of whom had graduated from one of many film schools in Argentina, began producing low-budget, independent films in a style that earned this group the classification of the New Independent Argentine Cinema.Part of this upsurge had to do with a small grants program that was initiated by the National Film Institute (Incaa) in the mid-1990s. These recent graduates have made short films (cortometrajes), and then have gone on to raise funds through co-production funding (Hubert Bals Fund at the Rotterdam film festival, the Visions Sud Est program from Switzerland, among others). They have relied on their own networks of like-minded young people rather than depend on the traditional film sector structure (the film union, established director’s associations, and the few
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Venice Film Review: ‘Invisible’

Venice Film Review: ‘Invisible’
Ely, the unhappily pregnant, perpetually sidelined 17-year-old heroine of “Invisible,” may not quite live up to the title’s description just yet, but you sense she’s heartbreakingly close to slipping from the world’s view. That danger makes Argentinian director Pablo Giorgelli’s sympathetic camera cling all the more insistently to her in this no-frills, no-tricks, no-mercy exercise in close-up social realism: Played with marked insight and silent resilience by Mora Arenillas, she’s in practically every frame of the film, her subtle expressive range tested and expanded with every emotional trial thrown at her character.

For Giorgelli, who swept an armful of major festival prizes including the Cannes Camera d’Or for his minimalist 2011 debut “Las Acacias,” his follow-up’s similarly spartan humanism doesn’t represent a significant step forward, but it’s accomplished and affecting on its contained terms. With its bleaker psychological outlook and more overcast visual style, “Invisible
See full article at Variety - Film News »

'Invisible': Film Review | Venice 2017

'Invisible': Film Review | Venice 2017
Pablo Giorgelli’s abortion drama Invisible, his highly anticipated follow-up to his much-acclaimed, multiple award-winning debut Las Acacias, does not disappoint. A stylistic follow-up from its predecessor, Invisible tells the stripped-back tale of a doubt-wracked pregnant teenager via long takes, forensic close-ups and unmitigated intensity — but it’s her intriguing inner narrative that the film is really about. It's a quiet heartbreaker of a story that Mora Arenillas powerfully and affectingly brings to life. Festivals and art house audiences should respond warmly to a film of rare purity and purpose in which all the non-essentials have been excised at the service...
See full article at The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News »

Venice: Film Factory Acquires Pablo Giorgelli’s ‘Las Acacias’ Follow-Up ‘Invisible’ (Exclusive)

Venice: Film Factory Acquires Pablo Giorgelli’s ‘Las Acacias’ Follow-Up ‘Invisible’ (Exclusive)
Madrid — Increasing its presence in Argentina, a country which has given it some of its biggest hits, Vicente CanalesFilm Factory Entertainment has acquired world sales rights to “Invisible,” the second feature by Pablo Giorgelli whose debut, the restrainedly romantic road movie “Las Acacias,” swept five prizes at Cannes in 2011, including its Camara d’Or for best first feature.

Lead-produced by Juan Pablo Miller and Ariel Rotter – a distinguished director in his own right – at Buenos Aires’ Tarea Fina and AireCine (“Las Acacias,” “Natural Sciences,” “Incident Light”), “Invisible” brings out a theme – or sentiment – coursing through “Las Acacias”: Solitude.

Here, however, he sufferer is Ely (Mora Arenillas), a normal school girl who works a few extra hours in a pet shop. Then she learns she is pregnant and her whole world implodes. She tries to carry on as usual. But she’s afraid, upset, know that there will be no turning back from whatever decision she
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Laniakea Capital Launches with TV Drama ‘Strange Fishing Days’ (Exclusive)

Leveraging the Basque Country’s advantageous tax regime, Laniakea Capital, a new Bilbao-based film and TV label run by Eduardo Carneros (“Timecrimes”) and Alejandro Miranda (“Buried”), is making its producing debut with sci-fi TV drama “Strange Fishing Days.”

The project has been selected to be pitched at Conecta Fiction, the new Latin America-Europe TV drama forum which runs June 20-23 in Galicia’s Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

“Strange Fishing Days,” a social allegory, weighs in as low-fi sci-fi embodying multiverse theory.

The series follows Alejo Caminos, an astrophysics teacher, who suffers a deep existential crisis. He constructs a machine that allows him to experience other versions of himself in multiple alternative realities which could have been his life, if his decisions and circumstances had been otherwise.

Created by Javier Echániz (“Tiempo si aire”), Asier Guerricaechebarria (“Tinguaro: The Sun Lizards”) and María Maestre (“Las Acacias”), each series’ episode will focus
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Cannes: Telecinco Cinema Boards Gracia Querejeta’s Basque Country-Set Comedy ‘Crime Wave’ (Exclusive)

In one of Spain’s biggest box office bets for 2018, Telecinco Cinema, the film production arm of broadcaster Mediaset España, has boarded Basque Country-set, Maribel Verdú-starrer black comedy “Crime Wave.”

Directed by Gracia Querejeta (“15 Years in One Day”), film is scheduled to roll Oct.-Nov. in flagship locations in the Basque Country’s Bilbao and Biscay province. It is also produced by Bilbao’s Historias del Tío Luis and Santiago Segura’s Bowfinger International Pictures.

In “Crime Wave,” Verdú, whose credits include ”Pan’s Labyrinth,” “And Your Mother Too” and “Snow White,” plays a wealthy divorced housewife living in Bilbao’s Neguri suburb who finds out that her teenager son has killed his father. Trying to protect him against all odds, she will cause a riotous crime wave in the city.

Telecinco Cinema’s Ghislain Barrois and Alvaro Augustín, Bowfinger’s María Luisa Gutiérrez and Historias del Tío Luis
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Women to Watch: Veronica Cura at FICG30 with 'Death in Buenos Aires'

Here at the Guadalajara Film Festival (Ficg), Verónica Cura is presenting her latest film, "Death in Buenos Aires" ("Muerte en Buenos Aires"), an Argentine policier. She is also meeting with her international sales agent, Film Factory, the Mexican distributor and the director, first-timer Natalia Meta. The film stars Demian Bichir, Chino Darin , Monica Antonopulos , Carlos Casella , Hugo Arana, Jorgelina Aruzzi , Emilio Disi, Fabián Arenillas, Humberto Tortonese, Gino Renni , Wullich Martin and Luisa Kuliok.

After one month in release in Argentina, it has racked up admissions which is astonishing for a first feature with no TV backing. Its returns were greater than 2014 and first semester 2015’s hit by Daniel Burman, " The Mystery of Happiness" ("El misterio de la felicidad”) .

One of Argentina’s top producers, Verónica Cura ’s opinions on the business and on the importance of education are crucial to understanding what is happening in Latin American production today. Not only does she teach about film production from an artistic and organizational perspective, starting from the moment the idea takes hold, to project development, to shooting and all the way to theatrical exhibition, but her productions are seminal to the cinema of Argentina.

Vero started working in 1992 as a director and head of production. In 2001 she began producing her own films. From 2007 to 2009 she was President of the Association of Independent Producers and Vice President of the Chamber of Film Producers from 2009 to 2011. Veronica has been Vice President of the Argentina Productions Companies Union from 2011 to 2013 .

She was the line producer on 2009’s U.S.- Spain coproduction "There Be Dragons" directed by Roland Joffe. Her credits go as far back as the 1995 film “Moebius" and the 1993 documentary "Radio Olmos," both directed by Gustavo Mosquera. She has been involved in films such as "The Headless Woman" ("La Mujer Sin Cabeza") by Lucrecia Martel (Cannes Competition), "The Other" by Ariel Rotter (Berlinale winner of two Silver Bears and the Jury Grand Prize).

She was executive producer on "Las Acacias" by Pablo Giogelli (Camera D’Or, Cannes 2011), an Argentina–Spain coproduction, as well as "Whisky Romeo Zulu" … and many many more including "One Love" ("Un Amor") by Paula Hernandez in 2011, "In the Eyes Abides the Heart" by Mary Sweeney, a short for Turner Classics Channel, all directed by women, which is something of importance in today’s world. She also produced "Live-in Maid" by Jorge Gaggero (Sundance Special Jury Prize), "Torrent 3" by Santiago Segura, "The Dead and Being Happy" by Javier Rebolla and "The Game Maker" by John Paul Buscarini, among others.

She was the Academic Coordinator for Production at Enerc and teaches in different labs and schools throughout Latin America. She is also a former student of La Fuc. Most recently she spent 1 1/2 weeks in Cuba at the International Film School (Eictv) giving a week's seminar and working with a director and two writers on scripts as part of a new Doctorate program for screenwriters.

"Regarding The film business today, as in every part of the world, cinema in Argentina is facing new challenges. Only about 20% of the theaters remain Un-digitized. Producers must be thinking about budgets, distribution and new forms of exhibition."
See full article at SydneysBuzz »

Basque Country Preps International Production Tax Credits

San Sebastian – Basque Government is advancing on plans to open up its advantageous tax regime to international productions, its culture authorities confirmed Saturday at the San Sebastian Festival.

Coming as, for the first time ever, a Basque-language movie, “Loreak” (Flowers) plays in the main competition at the San Sebastian Festival, the highest-profile event in the Spanish-speaking world, the confirmation forms part of a larger push to encourage private sector finance to enter the Basque film industry and to internationalize its structures, without abandoning direct subsidies, Joxean Muñoz Otaegi, the Basque deputy councillor for Culture, Youth and Sports, told Variety.

Currently, the Basque Government offers 30% tax breaks to its local industry. Spanish mainland tax breaks for the film industry run at 18%.

Channelled through a Agrupacion de Interés Económico (Aie) tax scheme, these have just been used for the first time ever via an Aie on Luis Marias’ “Fuego,” said Basque Treasury
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Dispatch from Panama

What pleasures await in Panama! As part of the invited press corps, I attended the first ever Premios Platino del Cine Iberoamericano where I met numerous journalists from all over the world, though most particularly from Latin America.

As part of the expanded International Film Festival of Panama, running April 3 to 9, 2014, the Platinum Awards Ceremony was held in the huge Convention Center Theater just across from the Sheraton where we were given four days.

Watch this compendium of Iberoamerican cinema on You Tube: (or

The old city of Panama is undergoing extensive modernization and gentrification. When finished, it may look a beautiful as Cartagena…both are Colonial styles, but there is unbearable traffic in the Panama streets which was not the case in Cartagena. The city not only reveals layers and layers of history, from the indigenous days to the Spanish days of conquest and colonialism where it was the starting point of the quest to conquer the Incas, to the days when all the gold and silver of Latin America passed through the isthmus here on its way to Spain, to the first 80 years of independence from Spain as a part of Colombia, from its independence from Colombia with the aid of the U.S., to the days when the French attempted to build the Panama Canal followed by the early 20th Century when U.S. succeeded, to those days of Noriega which U.S. terminated by invading Panama in Operation Just Cause under Commander in Chief George W. Bush in 1989, to today when you can see the capital of the world pouring into the economy, building massive sky scrapers and restoring the old town to its colonial and later French splendor.

What struck me most after the horrible traffic, were the fabulous artisanal goods, of embroidery, straw weaving, bone carvings, gourds, panama hats! This picture of a Guna woman is an example of one of many selling their wares in rich markets. I could spend a lot of money here if and when I return!

The Panamanian economy has been among the fastest growing and best managed in Latin America. Latin Business Chronicle had previously predicted that Panama would be the fastest growing economy in Latin America in the five-year period of 2010–14, matching Brazil's 10% rate. This was obvious from our tour. The expansion project of the Panama Canal, combined with the conclusion of a free trade agreement with the United States, is expected to boost and extend economic expansion for some time.

The Panama Canal during an empty moment, as shot by me from the terrace. We saw ships going through as well. In 2014, 100 years after its establishment, a new canal will allow larger container ships to transport goods between the two largest oceans in the world. This literally positions Panama as the trade crossroads of the world and it is experiencing an investment surge which astounds the first time visitor (like me!)

After our tour of Panama City and the night we were feted after taking another tour of the Panama Canal, we had dinner and a Festival party on the terrace overlooking it.

Panama’s film history is null, but it is quickly being rectified by Jose Pacheco, the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Industry and Commerce and also the President of the Panama Film Commission, along with his one-woman band, Arianne Marie Benedetti who has taken maternity leave for the moment.

They are responsible for instigating the new film law, for the four year old film festival, coproduction meetings, and hiring Toronto Latina programmer Diana Sanchez to program their festival and now the first Iberoamerican Platinum Awards, and much more.

The workshops at this event are outstanding. I wish I were able to hear all they have to say!

Jonathan Jakubobiwz , the producer of the $17 million Hands of Stone (Isa: Lotus) which tells the story of the Panamanian boxer Roberto “Mano de Piedra” Durán, spoke about how this production used 15,000 extras, was shot in over 140 locations. All was filmed and produced in Panama where the producers took advantage of a 15% cash rebate and a $2.8 million advance from the Panamanian government, the latter expressly offered to make sure they lensed the story about their national hero Roberto Durán in his native land.

“They gave us full support, dozens of free locations and a level of hospitality that made everyone feel at home,” said Jonathan Jakubowicz (Secuestro Express). With 15,000 extras and a stellar international cast led by Robert De Niro, Édgar Ramírez, Ellen Barkin, John Turturro and Usher Raymond, Hands of Stone recreated four cities and four decades in Panama. “The footage is a million times better than even I expected,” Jakubowicz said.

Another workshop was given by one of Argentina’s top producers, Verónica Cura. Thirty-five filmmakers, mostly from Panama took part. Vero spoke about film production from an artistic and organizational perspective, starting from the moment the idea takes hold, to project development ,to shooting and all the way to theatrical exhibition. Vero started working in 1992 as a director and head of production. In 2001 she began producing her own films. From 2007 to 2009 she was President of the Association of Independent Producers and Vice President of the Chamber of Film Producers from 2009 to 2011. She has been involved in films such as The Headless Woman by Lucrecia Martel (Cannes Competition), The Other by Ariel Rotter (Berlinale, 2 Silver Bears and the Jury Grand Prize), Las Acacias by Pablo Giogelli (Camera d’or, Cannes 2011), Live-in Maid by Jorge Gaggero (Sundance Special Jury Prize), There Be Dragons by Roland Joffe, Torrente 3 by Santiago Segura, The Dead and Being Happy by Javier Rebolla, One Love by Paula Hernandez and The Game Maker by John Paul Buscarini, among others.

Panel – Producing in Central America

The panel that reads like a Who’s Who of Central America discussed producing in Latin America. These active figures in current Central American production, shared their experiences on film production in the region. Moderated by Pituka Ortega (Iff -Panamá), the speakers included

Pablo Schverdfinger (Argentina )

After his film studies in Argentina, in Avellaneda Film School and then at the Universidad del Cine, Pablo began working with the filming of Highlander II and from there he developed his career as director of photography . In 2010 he founded Dragon Films and began directing commercials and documentaries for the local market in Panama. The 2012 he started Mangrove Films, a more ambitious bid to expand its services to the local Panamanian market with prestigious directors representation opening the doors to international markets by adding the alliance with Argentina Concrete Films.

Ileana Novas (Argentina)

Ileana Nova studied Social Communication at the Universidad del Salvador in Argentina . She worked many years in production at Flehner Films and Sorin Cine, for many local productions and especially in the international department providing production services abroad. Post Production Coordinator : The Other ( Ariel Rotter - Silver Bear at Berlin Intl Film Festival 2007 ) , Hide ( Canadian Production of KCBascombe - 2007), The Headless Woman (Lucrecia Martel, co-produced by France, Italy, Spain and nominated in the Cannes Film Festival 2008 ). Then , while working on The Acacias (Pablo Giorgelli won three awards at Cannes Film Festival 2011) , the idea arose to establish herself in Panama . Her previous work experience in Panama in 1999 encouraged her to decide to move there in 2010 where she set up Mangrove Films.

Rafael González (Guatemala )

Rafael worked on The Wagon (TV) and The Comal House in Guatemala as a producer and screenwriter. He has been looking back on the history of his country for the last 15 years, and he created Back to Home in which he addresses the issue of Guatemalan refugees in Mexico. He was a sound technician and producer on the documentary La Camioneta selected for the Festival of Guadalajara 2013. Currently he is directing and producing the documentary Flight of Azacuán , a coproduction with Doctv Latin America.

Neto Villalobos (Costa Rica )

Neto graduated with a BA in Sociology from the University of Costa Rica and later graduated in film direction at the Centre d 'Estudis Cinema de Catalunya in Barcelona. His first feature film All About the Feathers was selected for the International Film Festival in Toronto and then in the International Film Festival of San Sebastian. All About the Feathers was also at other international festivals such as Rotterdam, Miami , Buenos Aires, Toulouse, Vancouver, Stockholm, Havana, Prague, Geneva, Kerala, Cleveland and won Best American Film and Best Director at the Icarus Film Festival of Guatemala. Neto is working on his second feature film called Majijo

Luis Rafael Gonzalez (Santo Domingo )

With extensive experience in various branches of the film industry, founding member of the International Film Festival of Santo Domingo, Deputy Director of Programming and Broadcasting (2004-2006) and CEO (2007-2011) of the Dominican Cinematheque, Representative of the Dominican Republic in the Congress of the International Federation of Film Archives (Fiaf) , the International Federation of Film Clubs ( Ficc ) and the First Latin American Congress of Culture dedicated to Cinema and Audiovisual, Luis Rafael has also participated in developing the law on the Promotion of Film Activity in the Dominican Republic. He won the top prize for a script at Les Films de L' Astre, 2011 with his Gods without Twilight. He is also part of the Dominican Film Selection Committee to select the Dominican film for Oscars and other international awards. He serves as Vice President of Acquisitions and Distribution for Palmera International, a distributor which operates in the territories of the United States, Central America and the Caribbean.

María Lourdes Cortés (Costa Rica )

Costa Rican and Central American historian, professor at the University of Costa Rica, a researcher at the Foundation of New Latin American Cinema and director at Cinergia, Maria Lourdes was also director of the first School of Cinema and Television founded in Costa Rica (Universidad Veritas) and the Costa Rican Film Production Center. She has won the Joaquín García Monge Prize in cultural diffusion and twice the Essay Prize Achilles J. Echeverría for the books Love and Treachery, Film and Literature in Latin America (1999), and The Broken Screen. One Hundred Years of Cinema in Central America (2005). For this last book, she received the honorary award Ezequiel Martínez Estrada by the Casa de las Americas (Cuba ) for the best essay published in that year (2005). She is currently preparing research on Gabriel García Márquez and film and on the textual work of Silvio Rodriguez. She has been jury in film festivals in France, Holland, Cuba and Mexico where she has also given talks and workshops. The Government of the Republic of France awarded her with the rank of Knight of the Order with the Merit of Honor (2005).

Another workshop featured Cameron Bailey, the Artistic Director of the Toronto International Film Festival, one of the most important festivals in the world and one of the largest in North America, discussed how Tiff’s position has been achieved and the importance for the Latin American industry of participating in this event. Cameron is also part of the School Advisory Council at the University of Western Arts and Humanities and the School of Cinema Institute of Haiti. He lectures on programming and preservation at the University of Toronto and is also a member of the Board of Tourism Toronto and the former co-chair of the Working Group Arts and Culture Civic Action Toronto. Former board member of the Ontario Film Development Corporation and member of the Advisory Board of the Institute of the Royal Ontarios Museum for Contemporary Culture, in 2007 he was part of the delegation accompanying the General Governor of Canada, Michaelle Jean on her state visit to Brazil.
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Antonio Méndez Esparza, Pablo Giorgelli and Guy Édoin Among Selected 15 for Cinéfondation’s Atelier

In its first year, Cannes’ Cinéfondation’s Atelier invited projects from relative filmmaker unknowns such as Gerardo Naranjo (I’m Gonna Explode), Lisandro Alonso (Liverpool) and Aida Begic (Snow). Celebrating year number 10, this year’s group of fifteen that will benefit from Croisette meetings and future coin include the likes of Quebecer Guy Édoin (Marécages), Cannes Critics’ Week winner for Aquí y allá in filmmaker Antonio Méndez Esparza, and 2011 Camera d’Or winner Pablo Giorgelli (pictured above) who broke out with Las Acacias (review).

Invisible (Pablo Giorgelli, Argentina)

Territoria (Nora Martirosyan, Armenia)

Tabija (Igor Drljača, Bosnia)

Saudade (Antonio Méndez Esparza, Brazil)

Ville-Marie (Guy Édoin, Canada)

In the Shade of the Trees (Matías Rojas Valencia, Chile)

Ce sentiment de l’été (Mikhaël Hers, France)

Aliyushka (Adilkhan Yerzhanov, Kazakhstan)

The Darkness (Daniel Castro Zimbrón, Mexico)

White Sun (Deepak Rauniyar, Nepal)

To All Naked Men (Bassam Chekhes, Netherlands/Syria)

Oil on Water (Newton I. Aduaka,
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Ventana Sur boosts Cannes' LatAm presence

  • ScreenDaily
Ventana Sur boosts Cannes' LatAm presence
The presence of Latin America films in Cannes has grown by 40% since 2009, when Ventana Sur was created by Incaa (Argentina’s film institute) and Marché du Film/Festival de Cannes.

This is one of the achievements of the film market that, now in its 5th edition (Dec 3-6) in Buenos Aires, has become the biggest gathering of its kind for Latin America’s titles.

“Ventana Sur has been instrumental in growing the Latin American presence in Cannes,” said Jérome Paillard, who shares the executive direction of Ventana Sur with Bernardo Bergeret.

Pablo Giorgelli’s Las Acacias and Michael Rowe’s Año Bisiesto, which started their careers in Buenos Aires, won the Cannes Camera d’Or in 2011 and 2010, respectively.”

Bergeret added: “Other examples of films that had international recognition and started here are Paraisos Artificiales (Mexico), El Tunel de los Huesos (Argentina), Jardín de Amapolas (Colombia), De Martes a Martes (Argentina), Solo (Uruguay), Ausente (Argentina), Los insolitos peces gato
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LatinoBuzz Asks Programmers: What is Your Top 5 Latino Films of 2012?

A look back at 2012 reveals an undeniable fact, it has been a great year for Latino film. Sundance started the year off strong with films like Aurora Guerrero’s sweet and tender Mosquita y Mari and Marialy Rivas’ rambunctious Joven y Alocada (Young & Wild). Gina Rodriguez broke out in Filly Brown, as a rapper who needs to make it big so she can raise money to get her mom out of jail. In the film, Jenni Rivera played the part of Filly’s mom in her first, and sadly last, movie role.

There was also a strong Latin American presence at Cannes this past summer, boasting films from Mexico, Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina. It might as well have been called Mexi-Cannes, with Mexican films winning awards across all main sections of the festival. Carlos Reygadas was honored as the Best Director for his controversial film Post Tenebras Lux, despite having received boos at its premiere screening. The prize for the Critics’ Week section went to Aquí y Allá (Here and There) and Después de Lucía (After Lucia) won the top prize for Un Certain Regard.

It’s been an especially favorable year for Chilean cinema. The New York Film Festival, in its 50th edition this past Fall, included three highly anticipated films by Pablo Larraín, Valeria Sarmiento, and the late Raúl Ruiz. And Chile continued to outshine the rest of the region by winning two top spots at the Festival Internacional de Nuevo Cine Latino de La Habana (the Havana Film Festival) just a few days ago. Pablo Larraín’s No, starring Gael Garcia Bernal, won the First Coral Prize. It’s a brilliant take on the real life story of an advertising campaign that ousted General Pinochet from power during a shining moment in Chilean politics. Violeta se fue a los cielos (Violeta Went To Heaven), a biopic about internationally famous Violeta de la Parra, a Chilean singer, songwriter, and poet won the Second Prize.

Whether it was at Cannes, Sundance, or countless other festivals, Latino films were winning award after award this year and even getting distribution (albeit usually in limited release). With the flurry of activity surrounding the region’s filmmaking, it can be hard to keep up with it all. Thankfully, there are professionals who get paid to keep track of what movies are receiving accolades, have the most buzz, and got picked up for distribution. LatinoBuzz went straight to the experts, film programmers, to ask, “What’s your top 5 Latino films of 2012?”

Carlos Gutierrez, Co-Founder and Director of Cinema Tropical

In no particular order, a list of five Latin American films that made it to Us screens in the past year (some of them are a couple of years old), which I highly recommend.

De Jueves a Domingo (Thursday Till Sunday), Director: Dominga Sotomayor, Chile

O Som ao Redor (Neighboring Sounds), Director: Kleber Mendonça Filho, Brazil

El Estudiante, Director: Santiago Mitre, Argentina

El Velador, Director: Natalia Almada, Mexico

El Lugar Más Pequeño (The Tiniest Place), Director: Tatiana Huezo, Mexico/El Salvador

Juan Caceres, Director of Programming at the New York International Latino Film Festival

Mosquita y Mari is a gorgeous film full of heart. Marialy Rivas (Director of Joven y Alocada) is an incredibly exciting new voice in Latin American cinema. She's fearless and full of love. I'm a huge fan of Lucy Mulloy (Director of Una Noche). She draws these wonderful performances from non-professional actors. A natural at using the lens to tell a story. In Las Malas Intenciones Fatima Buntinx plays the lead perfectly. Andres Wood made a beautiful film called 'Machuca', that captured the soul of Chile in the 70's and he does the same with a bio-pic of Violeta Parra, a folk singer who was a part of 'La Nueva Canción Chilena'.

Mosquita y Mari, Director: Aurora Guerrero, USA

Joven y Alocada (Young and Wild), Director: Marialy Rivas, Chile

Una Noche, Director: Lucy Mulloy, Cuba

Violeta Se Fue A Los Cielos (Violeta Went to Heaven), Director: Andrés Wood, Chile

Las Malas Intenciones (The Bad Intentions), Director: Rosario García-Montero, Perú

Christine Davila, Programming Associate at Sundance Film Festival

There are way too many Latino films and not enough coverage on American Latino films so with that -- mine are going to be strictly American Latino films.

Los Chidos, Director: Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, USA/Mexico

Mosquita y Mari, Director: Aurora Guerrero, USA

Elliot Loves, Director: Terracino, USA

Aquí y Allá (Here and There), Director: Antonio Méndez Esparza, USA/Spain/Mexico

Love, Concord, Director: Gustavo Guardado, USA

Lisa Franek, Artistic Director at the San Diego Latino Film Festival

Just 5?? That's tough! In Filly Brown, Gina Rodriguez turns in a great performance, and I expect to see more great things from her very soon. No, I saw at Cannes, and it was fascinating, especially in contrast to Larraín's previous (amazing) films. La Hora Cero has unforgettable scenes and characters! La Mujer de Ivan has amazing acting, and I believe Maria de Los Angeles Garcia is definitely a talent to watch. Reportero is also fantastic.

La Mujer de Iván, Director: Francisca Silva, Chile

No, Director: Pablo Larraín, Chile/France/USA

La Hora Cero, Director: Diego Velasco, Venezuela

Reportero, Director: Bernardo Ruiz, USA/Mexico

Filly Brown, Directors: Youssef Delara, Michael D. Olmos, USA

Marcela Goglio, Programmer for Latinbeat at The Film Society of Lincoln Center

Las Acacias, Director: Pablo Giorgelli, Argentina

As Cançoes (Songs), Director: Eduardo Coutinho, Brazil

Unfinished Spaces, Directors: Alyssa Nahmias & Benjamin Murray, USA

O Som ao Redor (Neighboring Sounds), Director: Kleber Mendonça Filho, Brazil

Aquí y Allá (Here and There), Director: Antonio Méndez Esparza, USA/Spain/Mexico

Pepe Vargas, Executive Director of the International Latino Cultural Center and Chicago Latino Film Festival

Not an easy task to come up with 5 titles - there are so many good movies.

La Piel que Habito (The Skin I Live In)

Director: Pedro Almodóvar, Spain

Salvando al Soldado Pérez, (Saving Private Perez)

Director: Beto Gómez, Mexico

Un Cuento Chino (Chinese Take-Out)

Director: Sebastián Borensztein, Argentina/Spain

Lobos de Arga (Game of Werewolves)

Director: Juan Martínez Moreno, Spain

Mariachi Gringo

Director: Tom Gustafson, USA/Mexico

Amalia Cordova, Coordinator of the Latin American Program at the Film and Video Center of the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian

Granito, Director: Pamela Yates, USA/Guatemala/Spain

Desterro Guarani, Directors: Patricia Ferreira y Ariel Duarte Ortega, Brazil

Violeta Se Fue A Los Cielos (Violeta Went to Heaven), Director: Andrés Wood, Chile

5 x Favela – Agora por nós Mesmos (5 x Favela, Now by Ourselves), Directors: Manaíra Carneiro, Wagner Novais, Cacau Amaral, Rodrigo Felha, Luciano Vidigal, Cadu Barcelos, and Luciana Bezerra, Brazil

Un Cuento Chino (Chinese Take-Out), Director: Sebastián Borensztein, Argentina/Spain

Written by Juan Caceres and Vanessa Erazo, LatinoBuzz is a weekly feature on SydneysBuzz that highlights Latino indie talent and upcoming trends in Latino film with the specific objective of presenting a broad range of Latino voices. Follow @LatinoBuzz on twitter.
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'Clandestine Childhood' Sweeps Argentine Academy Awards

'Clandestine Childhood' Sweeps Argentine Academy Awards
Buenos Aires – Clandestine Childhood, Argentina’s Oscar bid for the 2013 Foreign Oscars, was the big winner this week at the Sur Awards, the local Oscars given by the Argentine Film Academy. Armando Bo’s Sundance entry The Last Elvis came in a distant second with six statues, while Pablo Giorgelli’s festival hit and Camera D’Or winner Las Acacias, picked up only two. Benjamin Avila’s coming of age story won 10 of its 16 nominations, sweeping the main awards and leaving no chances for Pablo Trapero’s White Elephant, the other big nominee that went home empty-handed, together with Ana Piterbarg’s

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Sliff 2012 Day Five – Klown, Hipsters, Breathing, and More

Day five of the 21st Annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival promises a smorgasbord of great films and there are still 6 days to go!

Sliff’s main venues are the the Hi-Pointe Theatre, Tivoli Theatre, Plaza Frontenac Cinema, Webster University’s Winifred Moore Auditorium, Washington University’s Brown Hall Auditorium and the Wildey Theatre in Edwardsville, Il

The entire schedule for the 21st Annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival be found Here.

Here is what will be screening at The 21st Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival today, Monday, November 12th

Doc Shorts – Longevity plays at 5:00pm at the Tivoli Theatre

A quintet of shorts exploring issues of aging and persistence.

Free To Attendees 50 And Older

Bo (Kelly McCoy & Dave Schwep, U.S., 2012, 22 min.): When attorney and Playboy photographer Bo Hitchcock is diagnosed with cancer, he decides to forgo chemo and Western
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Sliff 2012 Day Two – Chained, A Late Quartet, and Much More

Last night was the kick-off with just one film, Silver Linings Playbook, but today the real meat of the fest is served with films screening all day and all evening. Sliff’s main venues are the the Hi-Pointe Theatre, Tivoli Theatre, Plaza Frontenac Cinema, Webster University’s Winifred Moore Auditorium, Washington University’s Brown Hall Auditorium and the Wildey Theatre in Edwardsville, Il

The entire schedule for the 21st Annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival be found Here.

Here is what will be screening at The 21st Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival today, Friday, November 9th

Chained plays 7:00pm at the Tivoli Theatre with director Jennifer Lynch in attendance (read the Wamg interview with Ms Lynch Here

At the end of an afternoon excursion, Sarah Fiddler and her young son step into a taxi to head home. They never get there. The cab
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Las Acacias Movie Review

  • ShockYa
Las Acacias Movie Review
Title: Las Acacias Directed by: Pablo Giorgelli Starring: German de Silva Las Acacias is an intimate portrayal of a man’s evolution; though small and unconcerned about larger issues at hand, it’s very focused on a man’s growth as a human being. Shot almost entirely inside of a lumber-hauling truck, it feels even smaller and uncomfortably claustrophobic. Ruben (German de Silva), a lumberjack and truck driver, is soft-spoken, reserved and he mostly keeps to himself. Strangely, director Pablo Giorgelli averts the archetypes that often plague films of this ilk; where they’re saccharine, over-the-top and usually provide us with an ending that tells us virtually all we will ever need to know about the [ Read More ]
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Las Acacias | Review

If There Be Thorns: A Road Trip to an Almost Imperceptible Romance in Graceful Debut

For his feature film debut, Pablo Giorgelli has created a slow burn road trip film set almost entirely within the confines of a truck cab. With limited characters and settings, and absolutely no music, Las Acacias is nearly a silent film with large chunks of time passing and nary a word uttered. But despite these absences, a deliberate and painstaking portrait of longing and love threads itself quietly between its two main characters, to realistic and moving effect.

Rubén (Germán de Silva), a lonesome truck driver is about to haul lumber from somewhere in the Paraguayan countryside to Buenos Aires. We learn he has been asked by his employer to provide passage for a woman, Jacinta (Hebe Duarte) and her daughter on this haul. With smoke rising from the scorched earth matching the fumes of Rubén’s cigarette smoke,
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The 2012 Seattle Film Festival Line-Up is the Best I've Seen in Years

I can't remember a time I went to the Seattle International Film Festival (Siff) press launch and looked over the list of films and saw so many I was interested in seeing. The claim to fame for over the years is to call it the largest and most-highly attended festival in the United States. This is a fact I've often taken issue with as I don't equate quantity with quality. Granted, there has been a large number of quality features to play the fest over the years, including Golden Space Needle (Best Film) winners such as Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985), My Life as a Dog (1987), Trainspotting (1996), Run Lola Run (1999), Whale Rider (2003) and even recent Best Director winner, Michel Hazanavicius's Oss 117: Nest of Spies in 2006. That said, looking over this year's crop of films I see a lot of films I will be doing my absolute best to see.
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