Elliot Loves (2012) - News Poster

(2012)

News

20 Latin Americans Making a Difference for American Independent Film Today

  • Indiewire
Latin American filmmakers have done well in the Oscar race over the last three years: Awards have gone to two Mexican directors, while films from Colombia and Chile have landed nominations. Meanwhile, revered auteurs from these region have maintained their positions on the world stage, and American-based Latino filmmakers and actors have become outspoken advocates for the need of inclusion and opportunity. But many others receive far less attention even as they toil away on the sidelines to make sure these artists receive the attention they deserve.

The unsung heroes of Latin American cinema’s success work in film journalism, distribution companies, film-oriented nonprofits, festivals, and even major studios. Behind the scenes, Latinos are paving the way for filmmakers and others who are fighting to be heard, seen, and understood. This crowd of influencers includes U.S Latinos, Latin Americans and Hispanics, all of whom are represented in the following overview.
See full article at Indiewire »

LatinoBuzz: Shipwrecked Latino Filmmakers

We asked a few LatinoBuzz amigos to get their Robinson Crusoe on and pick a film, an album, a book and a companion from the movies to join them in their shenanigans were they to be stuck on a deserted island (and before anyone nitpicks, filmmakers are resourceful, so of course they built solar powered entertainment centers made from bamboos, coconuts and grass to watch movies and listen to baby making slow jams). We figured we'd start with the narrative filmmakers since they probably sit around thinking about this kinda stuff anyway.

Film: Choosing desert island items may mean sacrificing taste and/or reason, thinking about those items that you wouldn’t forgive yourself for not bringing them as your company, it´s like choosing the woman of your life. Here it goes: Hiroshima Mon Amour; there might be others I fancy as much as or more than (La Dolce Vita, Vertigo, M , some Lubitsch or Preminger), but I can think of no other as unique. I wouldn’t be able to choose any other without feeling Hiroshima’s absence - the best love film, the best movie about war, the best motion picture regarding the memory and its consequences. I can spend my whole life learning about film and the world because of Hiroshima...'.

Album: “Los Preludios de Debussy” by Claudio Arrau. These were so important to my life (I'm referring to my childhood of course) and I think no one does it better than Arrau. Same thing: it is endless. I think I could never tire of this and I could still wake up each and every morning amazed by it.

Book: “Sentimental Education”, by Flaubert. Similar to “Hiroshima”, a book that changed my outlook on literature and the world and I am certain it will keep transforming it forever.

Companion: Susie Diamond (Michelle Pfeiffer in 'The fabulous Baker Boys'). Since I saw the film (which I liked very much!) in the provincial movie theater of my childhood, I felt as Jack Baker´s relative and I loved Susie. If we had a piano, it would all be all be perfect. - Santiago Palavecino (Algunas chicas/Some Girls)

Film: This is a tricky question. I've always said that on a deserted island you should bring some porn. You could use that more than regular movies. But since I've got to pick a film I guess it'd be Jaws. Why? Because it's one of my favorites (I could also go with The Good, the Bad and the Ugly). But being on a deserted island, Jaws will remind me all the time what'll happen to me for sure if I try to get away!

Album: “ Appetite for Destruction” (Guns N' Roses). Hey, I was 13 when this came out. I listen to it every day while I work, anyways. My favorite, by far.

A Book: I'm going to cheat on this one: 'The Complete Works' by Jorge Luis Borges. The best writer, and enough labyrinths to get lost on endless nights.

Companion: Sherlock Holmes. He's always been my favorite, and also, since my guess is he'll be pretty useless in a deserted island, every time we fail to get out because of him I can get to tell him "Is that the best you can do, Sherlock? - Alejandro Brugués (Juan of the Dead)

Film: Los Olvidados- this is punk rock and Pachuco. Mexico City style before the bombed out bunkers of Sid & Nancy. Bunuel is a hero and I wanna buy Jaibo a beer and milk for the old poetic man!

Album: The Blade Runner album. I can play it over and over, get cranked up or mellow with Blade Runner Blues and the constant rain.

Book: '20 years of Joda' - poems of Jose Montoya, my pop. Epic stuff! 'Ran with Miguel Pinero in the Lower Eastside!”

Companion: Michael Corleone cause he's Mack in my book! Jaibo gets an honorable mention. - Richard Montoya (Water & Power )

Film: I´d choose Misery because a year can go by and I can watch it again eagerly. It's simple and the director (Rob Reiner) and Stephen King are both masters of suspense.

Album: I know this may be considered cheating but it would have to be 'The Best of David Bowie'. That way I have 2 CD's with nearly 40 songs!

Companion: There's many great people who I would to live with but on a deserted Island? It would have to be Mary Poppins for obvious reasons.

Book: And finally the book would be 'Blood Meridian' by Cormac McCarthy because it's one I haven't read yet. Analeine Cal y Mayor - (The Boy Who Smells Like Fish)

Film: I would say White Chicks. I’m going to need some humor! White Chicks is the movie that I put on when I need a good laugh. It does it for me every time. I grew up with characters like that; and admittedly, I can regress back to a few of them myself when no one is looking.

Album: ' Songs From the Capeman' - Paul Simon. I can’t get enough of that album. It instantly takes me to that world and electrifies that side of me that’s determined to make a change for Latinos. I want to keep that feeling with me alive eternally…wherever I’m at.”

Book: There are many but 'Anatomy of the Spirit' by Caroline Myss has been my compass. It taught me how to take control of my destiny by listening to my intuition and body. I stand by her quote: “Your biography becomes your biology.

Companion: The first person that came to mind when I read the question was silly Clarence from “It’s a Wonderful Life”. I guess I’m going to need an angel with me, and he’s perfect. He has a pure childlike spirit that would help me find gratitude in the most unlikely moments… even on a deserted island! That right there is the meaning of life. - Carmen Marron (Endgame)

Film: There are so many brilliant, groundbreaking favorite films that have influenced me (The 400 Blows; Jules and Jim ; Law of Desire; et al) but I wouldn't bring any of them. If I'm stuck on a deserted island, I'm bringing Neil Simon's Murder by Death so I can laugh my ass off. Not a great film at all, it's true, but it's a classic comedy.

Album: Oh, this is easy: Madonna's "Ray of Light." I am no Madonna fanatic, but "deserted island, " means beach + summer weather + Fire Island-like atmosphere. So somewhere nearby there's got to be gay guys partying and I will use Madonna to lure them to me so I can be rescued.

One Book: Varga Llosa's "Feast of the Goat" ("La Fiesta del Chivo") -- it's action-packed historical fiction. It will keep me occupied. One of my favorite novels.

Companion: Huckleberry Finn. He will be a great companion: not only will he tell great stories, but undoubtedly, the ever-resourceful Huck Finn will figure out how to build a raft and get us out off that island! - Terracino (Elliot Loves )

Film: Whenever anyone asks me this I always think of what use these items would serve practically on a deserted island, so I answered this in that respect. Tokyo Story - Yasujiro Ozu. This would be a great film to take on a deserted island because it's really about the unavoidable suffering of the cycle of life, which I'm sure you'd relate to if you were stuck on an island. I really could watch this film a million times over and notice something new every time. Watching most Ozu films is not unlike participating in a Zen meditation practice. It's patience and slowness and trying to empty your mind of thought until your left with the basics of existence. Kind of like sitting on a deserted island alone. I can watch the scene where Kyoto says “Life is disappointing, isn't it?” and Noriko smiles and says “Yes it is.” I can watch that endlessly and cry every time. It's so true.

Album: ' Tusk' - Fleetwood Mac. I could also deal with 'Rumours' but I picked 'Tusk' because it's longer and denser; probably better for an island. 'Sara' is maybe my favorite song in the world and so it would be nice to have that with me. I think channeling the powerful witchy energy of Stevie Nicks would be a real asset on an island. This album has so much strange material on - you wouldn't get bored too easily with it. It's also got a range of emotions so if you get too depressed on the island you can just put on 'Never Forget' and feel better. And 'Sisters of the Moon' would be good around a fire at night. Even though you're stuck on an island, it's good to create an ambiance to remind you that life is worth living.

Book: ' In Search of Lost Time' - Marcel Proust. I've only read 'Swann's Way' which is first part of this. My analyst recommend it to me when I was totally heartbroken after someone broke up with me. It really did the trick. This would be a good long epic read that has enough complex ideas in it to keep you occupied for a life time. Probably a good book (or set of books) to get back to nature with.

Companion: I'll say Terry Malloy from “On the Waterfront”. He'd be strong and good to have around to cut down trees and hunt and stuff. He's also easy on the eyes and someone that could do with a little lonely contemplation away from the loading docks. That doesn't sound half bad...stuck on like a tropical island with a young, cute Marlon Brando, watching Ozu, reading Proust and listening to Fleetwood Mac all day. Sign me up! - Joshua Sanchez (Four)

Film: My film would have to be Luis Buñuel's Los Olvidados. I have been a movie watcher since I was a child. Raised on mainstream American films and Wuxia flicks, it wasn't until I was a late teen that I took my first film class and was introduced to the work of Buñuel. Los Olvidados literally changed my perception of the world, both socially and visually. It was also the gateway for me to progress from movie watcher to film student.

Album: Music is my religion and I belong to the church of Robert Nesta Marley. I would prefer the whole anthology, but if I had to choose one album it would be “Exodus”. When on an island listen to island music.

Book: Right around the time I discovered the work of Buñuel, I was gifted Jose Montoya's 'In Formation: 20 years of Joda'. The book is a treasure of epic poems, sketches, and corridos. All testaments to the beauty and strength of Chicana/o culture. 20 years later I pay homage to both of these Maestros in my debut feature film, “Cry Now”. The film's protagonist is nicknamed 'Ojitos' during the course of the narrative, a reference to one of the characters in Los Olvidados. The late great Lupe Ontiveros playing the role of a sage loosely recites Montoya's mantra 'La Locura Cura' (In madness you find truth) while she councils our protagonist.

Companion: To bring it all full circle my fictitious character would have to be a Wuxia hero. As a child I was awe inspired by these bigger than life martial artists. As an adult, Ang Lee's “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” did the same. I know all would be as it should if Yu Shu Lien was on that island with me. - Alberto Barboza (Cry Now )

Film: Nothing But a Man (1964) It's a film that does an incredible job balancing a character-driven story within a politically charged context. It's a film I'm finding myself inspired by as I continue to write Los Valientes.

Album: I'm not a fan of albums, but if I had to choose one I guess I would have to go with any of Prince's albums. His music always puts me in a trance.

Book: My dream journal so I can look back look for signs of what is to become of my future.

Companion: Who better than TV's MacGyver. I'd put his ass to work on getting me off the island! -Aurora Guerrero (Mosquita y Mari)

Film: Hell in the Pacific so that I can be reminded that even in paradise there is a duality.

Album: “La Scala: Concert” by Ludovico Einaudi – I've listened to it a thousand times and each time I feel or discover something new.

Book: “ Voces Reunidas” by Antonio Porchia. Each time I read one of his poems I learn something new and I'm deeply moved.

Companion: Barbarella, so I could never be lonely and I could enjoy this planet-island – Diego Quemada-Díez (La jaula de oro/The Golden Dream)

Written by Juan Caceres . 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 [At]LatinoBuzz on Twitter and Facebook
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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.
See full article at SydneysBuzz »

Two Oscar Winners as Elderly Lesbian Lovers: Indianapolis Lgbt Film Festival Awards

Gay romantic comedy tops Indianapolis Lgbt Film Festival The Indianapolis Lgbt Film Festival screened a handful of features and about two dozen shorts over the November 9-11 weekend. Earlier today, the jury winners were announced on the festival’s Facebook page. Elliot Loves, a romantic (and mother-son) comedy by first-time feature-film writer-director Terracino, and Douglas Horn’s Coffee & Pie, a comedy short in which a jilted woman discovers that revenge is sweeter when pies are involved, were the festival’s top movies. (Photo: Jermaine Montell, Fabio Costaprado [...]
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Tugg Pacts With Tla Releasing to Bring Lgbt Films to Local Theaters on Demand

  • Indiewire
Crowdsourced theatrical distribution platform Tugg continues to add content to its library. The company has now partnered with Tla Releasing to bring its Lgbt films to regional theaters around the country, according to Jeremy Kay at Screen International. Oliver Hermanus’ “Beauty” and Terracino’s “Elliot Loves” are the first two movies that will tour as part of the new agreement. Read More: Could Tugg Become the Kickstarter for Indie Exhibition? “This is an important step for queer cinema as the ever-changing film distribution landscape brings challenges,” said Tla Releasing president Derek Curl. “Tugg brings solutions with its ability to help us move forward in bringing our films to a wider audience, who will be able to demand the films they want to see in theaters.” Tla plans to partner with organizations and festivals such as Out On Film and FilmOut to drum up awareness for films as they become available.
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LatinoBuzz: Interview with Aurora Guerrero

Mosquita Y Mari (Isa: The Film Collaborative) by Aurora Guerrero, a San Fran raised xicana, is an absolutely lovely film about discoveries of oneself and each other. It’s full of moments that are sweet, tender and real. Sometimes they are fleeting and sometimes they linger. Aurora paints her community – immigrant, youth and queer - with such affection and passion that you feel that someone like Aurora will herald a new era in Latino filmmaking. Mosquita Y Mari opens in NYC at Cinema Village August 3rd.

LatinoBuzz: How important was making Mosquita y Mari to you?

Aurora:I spent over 7 years of my life working on this film. It meant alot! I think that ultimately I wanted to tell a love story but in my own way. I wanted to put out there a story that felt familiar to people across sexualities and communities but that also incorporated the layers that can be specific to class and gender and immigration status. It’s 2012 and we had yet to see this love story told within this world and between these two girls. I just felt very profoundly that it was a story I had to share with others. It was time to put out a story like this. And in the process I got to immortalize a time in my life that was special.

LatinoBuzz:With Mosquita Y Mari, Elliot Loves, Four, Joven Y Alocado making the festival circuit and finding success do you think it will give Latinos the courage to continue to represent the gay community in film?

Aurora:Most definitely. I find myself totally inspired by all these films and filmmakers. If you were to watch them back to back you’d realize how they all have something different to share with their audiences. I think this sends a strong message to other filmmakers to aspire to be their own filmmaker. To not only be bold in telling stories with queer storylines but to do it in bold ways. That’s why these films are getting recognized. At least that’s how I see it.

LatinoBuzz:Tell us a horror story making a film…

Aurora:No horror stories, thankfully!

LatinoBuzz:You’re primarily influenced by writers. What do you want your words to do?

Aurora:I hope my visual language inspires others to tell their stories and challenges people’s thinking.

LatinoBuzz:You brought out radiant performances from Fenessa Pineda & Venecia Troncoso. What was that process?

Aurora:It was a wonderful experience working with them. From the very beginning I was intent on studying them very closely. Making sure I had a handle on when they were telling me the truth as actors/people and when they were lying. I was very upfront with them about this. I told them that I was basically going to be their bullshit detector. And if I thought what they were giving me Bs during a scene I would call them out on it. They, in turn, could also call me out on any Bs with regards to the writing. If they felt it forced or wrong then they could talk to me about it and together we’d make changes to it. That was our pact! Looking back there were very, very few times I had to say “Bullshit.” They were extremely invested in their characters and the moments they shared between them. I was blown away by their chemistry. Basically, I just had to make sure I just didn’t get in the way of it.

LatinoBuzz:You end the film on an ambiguous yet perfect note. Who do Mosquita Y Mari grow up to be as realized individuals?

Aurora:Oh, this is a cheating question. That’s not for me to say. That’s for each audience member to imagine. I mean I have my own ideas of who they go on to be but obviously it wasn’t important for me to state that in the film. I think it was more important for me to leave the audience feeling that these girls have gone through a shift in their person, a change. They aren’t the same people they met at the beginning of the film when they first set eyes on each other across the street. Their journey together has definitely made an impact on them, opened them up to something different. I think it was enough to leave audience in that

place. The rest is up to ya’ll to imagine!

LatinoBuzz:Your Bing commercial was hella dope. It’s one of the first times I’ve seen a Latina in a commercial and she wasn’t dancing up a storm with fruit on her head to a conga beat with some suave guy in a ruffled shirt. When is the breakthrough going to come where we are looked at different in the mainstream?

Aurora:I don’t know if it’s going to come via one person “breaking through” or a current of artists staying true to themselves at all times in their career. I think we’re starting to really see that now. Maybe it’s because so many of us, and that includes non-people of color too, are really tired of seeing the Latino stereotypes. I know it has inspired me to be myself without a doubt in my mind. I call myself a queer Xicana at home, in the streets...why not call myself that when I’m being interviewed. It’s who I am and its definitely part of what informs the stories I tell. People have an issue with that then that’s on them. I’m just being

me in this whole process.

LatinoBuzz:You’re an activist - whose Biopic would you make and who is in it?

Aurora:Oh man! So many amazing people to choose from. I would have to say Chavela Vargas cuz she’s fierce, a wonderful vocalist, out queer, and from an era in Mexico that I’m fascinated by.

LatinoBuzz:What was the moment you made your parents the most proud?

Aurora:I wonder what they wouldsay if you asked them. If I had to choose for them I think it would probably be when they saw me on stage at Sundance introducing its world premiere. As I have been paving my career as a filmmaker my parents have been there for me every step of them way. They have believed in my dreams despite how steep the mountain has been. So when Sundance came around they totally got it. I think for them it was like I was finally being announced to the world as a filmmaker.

For more on Mym, Email MosquitayMari@Gmail.comor visit mosquitaymari.com
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LatinoBuzz: Latino Lgbt Films Shine on the Festival Circuit

There are thousands of film festivals all over the world. Some are prestigious and well known--taking place in large cities across Europe and the U.S.--others in out-of-the-way towns that no one has ever heard of. These festivals show all kinds of films--from a range countries, on various topics and of many genres.

Often the films tend to be heavy on stories from the U.S.and Europe--focusing on the developed world and centering on mainstream populations. Generally speaking, they showcase films directed by men and about people who are White, straight, and well-off. As a result there are countless specialty festivals--Latino, Asian, African, and others--whose objective is to feature the talents of marginalized filmmakers. But even at a niche festival there are groups which continue to be underrepresented. At a Latino film festival it’s not always easy to find films that are Jewish, gay, indigenous, Afro-Latino or about Latin American immigrants from unexpected countries like Japan or Germany. Granted there aren’t as many movies made about these populations but--on the bright side--this year has proven to be a bountiful one for Latino Lgbt films. They have played renowned mainstream festivals like Sundance and Berlin and are making the rounds at gay festivals. It’s about time.

Mosquita y Mari (Isa: The Film Collaborative)

Aurora Guerrero

USA, 2011, 85 min

“This Sundance favorite is a sweet and genuine film about two Chicana high schoolers, Yolanda, a shy, straight-a student, and Mari, her “bad girl” classmate. Yolanda offers to tutor the feisty and hot troublemaker. As she and Mari study and share their intimate thoughts in an abandoned auto body shop, their feelings inevitably get deeper, furtive glances grow longer, and Yolanda starts to come into her own. Aurora Guerrero’s debut feature takes a tender look at what it’s like to discover yourself and fall in love for the first time.”

Olhe Pra Mim de Novo (LookatMeAgain) (Isa:FiGa Films)

Kiko Goifman, Claudia Priscilla

Brazil, 2011, 72 min

trailer: http://www.moma.org/explore/multimedia/videos/221/1116

“Syllvio Luccio, born a girl, grew to identify as a lesbian then finally a man, embarks on a road trip through Northeastern Brazil, a region characterized by rigid ideas rooted in evangelical religion and machismo. Syllvio engages with outsiders of different backgrounds on the road, including Lgbt youth, a man whose paternity is questioned by his family and a group of adults afflicted with a genetic disease. Directors Kiko Goifman and Claudia Priscilla draw candid testimony from their subjects to construct a moving portrait of an individual and exploration of outsider culture.”

Elliot Loves (Isa: Tla Releasing)

Terracino

USA, 2011, 92 min

trailer: http://vimeo.com/38051803

“Finding love in the big city is never easy. But it’s always entertaining in this bouncy romantic comedy from first time feature director Terracino. Elliot is an earnest twenty-one year-old Dominican American looking for love in all the wrong places. The juxtaposition of Elliot’s past and present paints a sweet, complex character study of a young gay man trying to find love and meaning in the big city. Wild visual nuances, surprising fantasy interludes and a non-traditional approach to just about every aspect of filmmaking make this a must see for connoisseurs of brave new cinema.”

Joven y Alocada (Young& Wild) (Isa: Elle Driver)

Marialy Rivas

Chile, 2012, 96 min

“Seventeen-year-old Daniela is obsessed with sex. But her self-proclaimed “pussy in flames” is in direct conflict with her well-to-do, strict evangelical family in Santiago, Chile. She finds an outlet by detailing her naughty ruminations and exploits on her blog Young & Wild to her eager online followers. Marialy Rivas masterfully directs her first feature, which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and picked up the World Cinema Screenwriting Award. Rooted in a fearless and unforgettable performance by Alicia Rodríguez, Young & Wild is a stunning, energetic look at family and youth culture in contemporary Chile.”

Four

Joshua Sanchez

USA, 2012, 75 min

“An adaptation of Pulitzer prize finalist Christopher Shinn's first play of the same name, Four is both an emotional and urgent glimpse into the lives of four troubled and fascinating individuals. As the world around them celebrates the 4th of July with fireworks and festivity, a closeted married man, his young daughter, a gay teen, and a minor drug dealer haltingly negotiate one-night affairs. Filmmaker, author and artist Joshua Sanchez opens typical expectations of race and gender, reading Shinn’s drama with an intensity, candor, and carnality.”

Film Synopses taken from Frameline: The San Francisco International Lgbt Festival and OutFest: The Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival.

Written by Juan Caceres and Vanessa Erazo, LatinoBuzz is a weekly feature on SydneysBuzzthat highlights emerging and established Latino indie talent and upcoming trends in Latino film with the specific objective of presenting a broad range of Latino voices. Follow @LatinoBuzzon twitter.
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LatinoBuzz Q & A: Terracino, 'Elliot Loves'

'Elliot Loves' (Isa:tla Releasing) by Gary Terracino is a true American independent, made completely outside of any system, largely self financed, crowd funded, sponsored even, you name it - by any means necessary. It's a story that anyone from any walk of life can relate to; ultimately when love sucks, it F-in sucks. But when it's beautiful...

'Elliot Loves' had distribution offers on the table by the Friday before it's Sunday world premiere at 2012 The Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival where it would go on to win the Audience Award for Best Feature and Tla would announce worldwide rights to 'Elliot Loves' at Cannes. With screenings lined up across the States and Europe, this is merely the beginning of an illustrious career for Terracino. I had the pleasure (and anxiety attacks) to take the journey with Terracino. So I thought I'd catch up with him as he takes the film globally.

LatinoBuzz:Who introduced you to your earliest memory of film?

Gary Terracino:When I was four years old, my mother saw "Jaws" without taking me (and my two sisters) with her. Even at that age, I can remember being pissed at her. Well, the movie terrified her and for the rest of that summer she would not take us to the beach! Whenever we begged her she said, "But you'll be eaten by sharks!" I distinctly recall a neighbor saying to her, "Rhina, you're crazy! It's only a movie. There are no sharks swimming off of Coney Island!"

So my first memory of a movie is, naturally,of one I wasn't allowed to see!

LatinoBuzz:You are an independent filmmaker in it's truest form, making Elliot Loves by hook and crook - what's the most beautiful moment you took away from making the film in this manner?

Gary Terracino: My producing partner (Juan Caceres) and I had tried to make "Elliot Loves" for Six years: companies optioned our rights -- then went under (happened twice); experienced producers lectured us that "Elliot" was too complicated and too ambitious to ever happen; and various production companies dangled large budgets in front of me if only I made huge compromises -- as in, shoot in La, not New York; make it less Latino -- a little more white; lose the scenes of violence with the child; make it less gay; make it gayer... On our very first day of shooting, we were shooting the scene when 11 year-old Quentin Davis Araujo (playing 9-year-old "Elliot") is sitting in a bubble bath with a cigarette in his mouth and a turban on his head as he talks to the camera and narrates his life. Standing there, holding the cigarette and turban, I froze. I thought, "He's never going to do this; he'll panic and flip out." All of a sudden, Quentin reached out from the tub, grabbed the cig and the turban from me and said, "Let's get started. I'm ready and this water is cold!" At that moment, I knew from there on in, we'd be fine. And might I add that at 11 years old, Quentin Davis Araujo had bigger balls and greater vision than all the "experienced" producers and production companies who failed to come though for us?!

LatinoBuzz:The film that closely resembles the world you would like to live in?

Gary Terracino:I would marry "The Wizard of Oz" with "The 400 Blows." If I were God, I would mandate that all films be made in black and white -- and in French! And have one Technicolor flying sequence. That's what my ideal world looks and sounds like.

Time Machines are on sale at Sears next to the AC's; as a Director, If you could bring two actors together to make the perfect love story who are they? Who wrote the screenplay? What's the plot and who's the Dp? (everyone has to be dead)

Marilyn Monroe is the girl from the wrong side of the tracks. She falls for rich, dashing Cary Grant. Her brother is a young, starving artist played by River Phoenix. He's in love with a painter, played by Johnny Sheffield ("Boy" from the 1930's "Tarzan" films). Their wacky and overbearing mother is played by Ruth Gordan. Marilyn's best friend is a showgirl, played by Lucille Ball. River's sidekick is wisecracking Eve Arden. The script is written by Francois Truffaut, Madelyn Davis and Bob Caroll, Jr. Nestor Almendros is the Dp. It's in black and white but there is one Technicolor dream sequence in which River Phoenix and Johnny Sheffield fly in the sky and speak French. The ending is sad yet uplifting. May I add that Pauline Kael comes back from the dead and gives it a rave review?

LatinoBuzz:If you were given a song to write the screenplay to; which song is it?

Gary Terracino:The day I first heard Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Under The bridge" I started to scribble notes for "Elliot Loves." There you have it!

LatinoBuzz:  What are the most striking differences between American Latinos and Latin American filmmakers for you?

Gary Terracino: Latin American filmmakers tend to have greater resources, whereas American Latino filmmakers have to be scrappier. Latin American filmmakers, however, work with a greater scope and vision; they're less self-absorbed and more expansive in their subject matter.

LatinoBuzz:Anything you deplore in filmmaker?

Gary Terracino:Dishonesty of any kind, on or off screen.

Follow 'Elliot Loves' at on.fb.me/MxsZRg for screenings, reviews and news!
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Tla picks up Elliot Loves

Tla Releasing has acquired worldwide distribution rights to Terracino's dramedy Elliot Loves, starring Elena Goode, Robin de Jesus, Erin Fogel and Elaine del Valle. Helmed and scripted by Terracino, the film tells of a Dominican-American - first as a nine year-old and best pal to his single mother, and later at 21 years old as he searches for romance in New York City. Variety reports that the announcement was made by Tla today at the Cannes Film Festival for the film produced by Elizabeth Gardner and Terracino. "Tla Releasing was so passionate and enthusiastic about Elliot Loves,...
See full article at Upcoming-Movies.com »

Tla picks up Elliot Loves

Tla Releasing has acquired worldwide distribution rights to Terracino's dramedy Elliot Loves, starring Elena Goode, Robin de Jesus, Erin Fogel and Elaine del Valle. Helmed and scripted by Terracino, the film tells of a Dominican-American - first as a nine year-old and best pal to his single mother, and later at 21 years old as he searches for romance in New York City. Variety reports that the announcement was made by Tla today at the Cannes Film Festival for the film produced by Elizabeth Gardner and Terracino. "Tla Releasing was so passionate and enthusiastic about Elliot Loves,...
See full article at Upcoming-Movies.com »

Introducing the Riviera Maya Film Festival and our new blogger, Juan Caceres

I am happy to announce a great addition to SydneysBuzz. Juan Caceres will be writing about his discoveries and thoughts on the Latino Film Circuit. Juan is an independent film producer whose latest credit is Elliot Loves, a feature film that will reach the festival circuit in 2012 and was funded entirely independently. He has also written and directed the award winning short film Hero The Great and is currently adapting a young adult novel into a screenplay that he hopes will be his feature directing debut. Juan's greatest pride is being a founding member and Director of Programming for the HBO New York International Latino International Film Festival. He is also a programming associate for Tribeca All Access, an initiative of the Tribeca Film Festival that aids and supports undeserved minorities in the film industry. He has recently started subjecting his filmmaker friends to his craziness in his blog, 'the science of fresh'. Juan currently lives in an Empire State of Mind.

Being part of the cognoscenti of festivals, his opinion of the inaugural Riviera Maya Film Festival in Mexico is particularly well-informed. So read on!

The Riviera Maya Film Festival concluded its inaugural year on Sunday March 25th after 5 days of screening over 60 films of which half were Mexican premieres. Given that it's in its first year, that is impressive and no easy feat. The ideals of Rmff is to consolidate a connection between the love of cinema, the environment and support for local tourism. The festival solidified that commitment by paying tribute to actress Susan Sarandon, a frequent visitor to the area, with an award for her commitment to global, political and environmental issues.

The programming at Rmff, not without a few missteps, was highly respectable and even exciting. In some ways it made a statement that this is its own film festival and that it is determined to make a mark on the Mexican and international cinema landscape. A festival is always only as good as its film selection and the core reason for the success of Rmff was bringing in Michel Lipkes, who used to program the influential festival Ficco in Mexico City.

Undeterred by being on the heels of Guadalajara International Film Festival (a decision I'm curious about), Rmff boasted a roster of award winning films from across the globe, including a bitter sweet screening of This Is Not A Film (Isa: Wide) by Jafar Panahi and a treat of Wim Wenders' Pina (Isa: HanWay).

The Mexican showcase here was incredibly strong and I found Lipkes' reputation carried such weight that several filmmakers told me that their decision to participate in a first year film festival was solely because of programming team. This included Gabriel Mariño, director of the subtle yet affecting Un Mundo Secreto (Isa: Shoreline), who said that after playing festivals worldwide he never hesitated the offer to screen at Rmff, "As soon as I knew who the programmers were, there was no question I wanted to be a part of the festival" says Mariño. This is factor that will be key to Rmff's future: having a team which is headed by festival director Paula Chaurand and which filmmakers acknowledge and respect. Filmmakers want to know that their 'baby' is in the right hands.

I found the selection eclectic enough to warrant attention in future editions from filmmakers and industry alike -- if it irons out a few kinks. In all fairness, festivals in their first few years are always going to have kinks and quirks, no question about that.

One of the most exciting initiatives presented at Rmff was the RivieraLab, a co-production market and works-in-progress showcase. It screened projects from established, burgeoning and underserved film markets and generated excitement among those in attendance. Look forward to Reimon by Rodrigo Moreno (Argentina/Colombia), Nueva Espana by Raya Martin (Phillipines) & Tormentero by Ruben Imaz (Mexico) to make an impression on the festival circuit in the near future. The RivieraLab is a bold program to take on for most festivals and Rmff was committed enough to connect all the dots and make it a success and something that will eventually draw the eyes of the industry as a trusted place to discover exciting talent.

One thing that I was trying to put my finger on at Rmff was, who is the audience for this festival. By and large it was attended by young locals, an under 40 crowd, which in part was by design making the festival 'inclusive' and not another festival that takes up residence in an unsuspecting town like say, Park City, and turning it into something locals will resent. It's a beautiful gesture that must be connected with industry and cinephiles equally in attendance. At some of the galas I found very few people still left watching the film as the credits rolled which left for an awkward moment for the filmmakers, festival directors and any hope for a post screening Q&A. Fault did not rest on the quality of the film in any case but rather with an audience that perhaps is not used to film festival etiquette - if there is such a thing - and instead were anxious to experience the after party. I can't complain about the beautiful idyllic beach surroundings of the screenings but I'm sure it didn't help. You are planting people in paradise and asking them for two hours of pure focus. Again, not a personal complaint, just an observation.

Important attention will have to be given in identifying who exactly is the festival audience as it seeks to further the benefits to the filmmakers in attendance.

Location wise, Rmff was spread over several towns covering approximate 80 miles which, as far as press goes, can be a logistical problem. It is not ideal when one film alone can consume a large amount of time just in travelling to get to it. This may be another area of Rmff to reconsider: How to consolidate in order to maximize press and audience attendance.

I was incredibly impressed with Rmff as an organization. They were efficient in getting people from location to location and screenings started on time for the most part. The staff was cordial and attentive to attendees, press and filmmakers even if they weren't considered "V.I.P". Judging by all who participated from the “V.I.Ps” down to the volunteers, I left with the feeling that this festival is a film lover’s festival. I'm convinced Rmff will find its own voice and separate itself from any comparisons and be competive with any other festival in Mexico because it has the talent and passion to do so. I think we will be hearing Rmff make even more noise next year. Rmff gave us some of the best Mexico has to offer - Wonderful cinema and wonderful people.
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