New York-based distribution company Film Movement has announced the U.S. theatrical premiere of Benjamín Ávila's debut feature Infancia clandestina / Clandestine Childhood (pictured), based on true events in his life and produced by acclaimed filmmaker Luis Puenzo, (director of the Academy-Award winning film, The Official Story).
Set in 1979, the film follows Juan, (12), who after years of exile, returns to Argentina with his family under fake identities. Juan's parents and his uncle Beto are members of the Montoneros Organization, who fight against the Military Junta that rules the country. Because of their political activities they are tracked down relentlessly, and the threat of capture and even death is constant.
Yet, Juan's daily life is also full of warmth and humor, and he quickly and easily integrates into his new environment. His friends at school and the girl he has a gigantic crush on, María, know him as Ernesto, a name he must not forget, since his family's survival is at stake. Juan accepts this reality and follows all of his parents' rules until one day he is told that they need to move again immediately, and leave his friends and Maria behind without any explanation.
An official selection at the Toronto, San Sebastian, Rio de Janeiro, Philadelphia, Abu Dhabi, Denver, and the upcoming Palm Springs Film Festivals, and winner of the top prize for Best Film at the Huelva Film Festival in Spain, Clandestine Childhood offers a fascinating twist to films set during the Argentinean dictatorship. Skillfully incorporating animation into the narrative, Ávila’s debut feature film focuses on the perils of a young boy living under a fake identity trying to carry on with the normal life of a preteen.
Clandestine Childhood, which premiered at Cannes' Director's Fortnight and is Argentina's official submission to the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film, will have its release at Lincoln Plaza Cinemas in New York City, starting Friday, January 11, at Laemmle Theaters in Los Angeles beginning on Friday February 8, and followed by select cities across the U.S.