Cinema Tropical Festival

Cinema Tropical, in partnership with Museum of the Moving Image, is proud to present the 2015 edition of the Cinema Tropical Festival celebrating the year's best Latin American film productions. The Cinema Tropical Festival will feature the winners of the 5th Cinema Tropical Awards that were announced at a special ceremony at The New York Times Company headquarters few days ago.

These winning films represent the vitality and the artistic excellence of contemporary Latin American cinema, and the festival offers a great platform for local audiences to discover the renewed and exciting world of the film production coming out from the region.

Special thanks to Alex García and Sandro Fiorin, FiGa Films; Richard Matson, Matson Films; Pascale Ramonda; Paulina Portela and Pablo Mazzola, OBRA Cine.

All screenings at:
36-01 35 Avenue, Astoria, NY
(718) 777-6888 /


Friday, February 6, 7pm | Buy Tickets

(Manuel Nieto Zas, Uruguay/Argentina, 120 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)
Winner – Best Latin American Film of the Year

Co-produced by acclaimed Argentinean filmmaker Lisandro Alonso (Jauja), the second feature film by Uruguayan director Manuel Nieto Zas is "a powerful and thought-provoking film" (The Hollywood Reporter) and a poignant meditation on legacy. The film tells the story of Ariel (played by non-professional actor Felipe Dieste), a university student involved in militant leftist activism who is faced with some difficult decisions when his father suddenly dies, leaving him in charge of their troubled ranch and forcing him to take on the role of a middle class bourgeois. Set in 2002 –the year of a major financial crisis in the small South American nation– The Militant is “a cinematic essay on the grasp and the limits of activism” (Howard Feinstein, Screen Daily).

Saturday, February 7, 3pm | Buy Tickets
A film by Rodrigo Reyes (
US/Mexico, 2013, 86 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)
– Best U.S. Latino Film (ex aequo)

Hailed as an “exquisitely crafted film with poetic overtones and a wide sweeping vision” by documentary filmmaker Alan Berliner, Rodrigo Reyes’ provocative essay film reimagines the U.S./Mexico border as a mythical place comparable to Dante’s purgatory, and leaving politics aside, he takes a fresh look at the brutal beauty of the border and the people caught in its spell. By capturing a stunning mosaic of compelling characters and broken landscapes that live on the both sides of the border, Reyes –one of Filmmaker Magazine’s New Faces of Independent Cinema– reflects on the flaws of human nature and the powerful absurdities of the modern world. An unusual border film in the auteur tradition of caméra-stylo, Purgatorio ultimately becomes a fable of humanity, an epic and visceral experience with powerful and lingering images.

Saturday, February 7, 6pm | Buy Tickets
A film by
Cristina Ibarra (US, 68 min. In Spanish and English with English subtitles)
Winner – Best U.S. Latino Film (ex aequo)
Q&A with filmmaker Cristina Ibarra

The annual debutante ball in Laredo, Texas is unlike any other in the country. In 1939, the Society of Martha Washington was founded to usher each year's debutantes (called "Marthas") into proper society at the Colonial Pageant and Ball. The girls' attendants also dress as figures from America's colonial history and participate in traditional ceremonies. The centerpiece of the festivities is the Martha Washington Pageant and Ball, when the girls are presented in elaborate dresses that take up to a year to create. Celebrated as “a striking alternative portrait of border-town life” (New York Times), Cristina Ibarra’s Las Marthas, follows two Mexican American girls carrying this gilded tradition on their shoulders during a time of economic uncertainty and tension over immigration.

Tuesday, February 25, 9pm | Buy Tickets
(Sebastián Sepúlveda, Chile/France/Argentina, 2013, 80 min. In Spanish with English subtitles).
Winner - Best First Film

“In the remote, almost primeval world of a nearly isolated Chilean mountainscape in 1974, three goat-herding sisters survive, somewhat rootlessly after the death of a fourth sister. Pinochet’s rise to power is a distant echo, and the new dictator’s edict against herding threatens their meager livelihood. The aging matriarch, Justa, is suspicious of the clothing salesman who visits occasionally; the youngest sister, Luciana, holds on to her romantic desires. Using a mix of actors (including Catalina Saavedra from The Maid) and non-actors, including Digna Quispe, the real sisters’ niece, this mesmerizing film, based on a true and tragic story, tells an intimate tale against a stark yet magnificent landscape. The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival as part of Critics’ Week.” – First Look

Tuesday, February 25, 9pm | Buy Tickets
(Gustavo Fontán, Argentina, 2013, 64 min. In Spanish with English subtitles). New York Premiere.
Winner – Best Director, Fiction Film

Directed by Gustavo Fontán –an accomplished Argentine filmmaker whose work is little known in this country– The Face is a lyrical and personal film shot in stunning black and white, where past and present, fiction and non-fiction mix together. A man who sails alone approaches an island on the Paraná River. Once he lands, he’s no longer alone. He shares a meal with another man –his father. There will also be a woman. And some kids. And nature, in the form of birds, plants, and the river, which is always present through its quietness and constant flowing. Fontán’s elegant and enigmatic feature film, was a selection of the Rome Film Festival, and was awarded the Best Director prize at the Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival (BAFICI).



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Cinema Tropical is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. All donations are tax deductible.

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