The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced this week the lineup for this year's edition of Latinbeat, its 10-day celebration of Latin American cinema in New York City. Featuring U.S. and New York premieres, the 2013 festival opens with La Paz (pictured below right), directed by prolific Argentine filmmaker Santiago Loza, who is also an influential playwright in the indie theater scene of Buenos Aires.
The North American premiere of La Paz tells the story of Liso, a young man who emerges from a psychiatric institution and tries to re-adapt to daily life in the universe of his middle class family and neighborhood.
“The notion of Latin American cinema is changing rapidly, as is Latin America itself; co-productions amongst countries within the region now abound, as support from outside countries continues,” says Film Society of Lincoln Center Programmer, Marcela Goglio. “It is exciting to see that as a group, Latin American films express more of a sense of identity beyond national borders, and more of a sense of interconnectedness than in the past, reflecting what is occurring in political/social/economic arenas. I hope this year's lineup provides an opportunity to witness some of this change in the region as it unfolds.”
Four films from Mexico have been selected for Latinbeat: Emiliano Altuna, Carlos Rossini, and Diego Enrique Osorno's debut feature film, The Mayor / El Alcalde (pictured above left) capturing the fascinating contradictions in Mayor Mauricio Fernández Garza's personality as it reflects the complex situation of Mexico's drug wars—a mix of violence, modern Mexican politics, strong economic interests, and a bold discredit of the political class.
The Mexican-Guatemalan co-production film Magical Words (Breaking a Spell) / Palabras mágicas (Para romper un encantamiento) uses Lake Managua as a metaphor to paint a picture of what director Mercedes Moncada believes her beloved Nicaragua has gone through, and has become, since this pivotal and promising moment in moment in the country's history. Enrique Rivero's Never Die /Mai Morire follows Chayo, a woman who must return to her hometown of Xochimilco after she learns that the death of her mother is near.
Pablo Delgados Sánchez's impressive debut feature Las lágrimas / The Tears is about a camping trip in the woods that becomes a painful but ultimately healing rite of passage for two brothers who are struggling to cope with their disturbing family environment.
The US premiere of the Uruguayan-Colombian animation film AninA (pictured right) by Alfredo Soderguit, narrates the story of the palindromically named Anina Yatay Salas that lives in Montevideo and attends elementary school where her classmates make fun of her because of her name. A withdrawn and foul tempered father has been waiting for the return of his son, who disappeared during the 70s dictatorship Michale Wahrmann's Brazilian film Avanti Popolo.
Latinbeat will also present the New York premiere of the Chilean film The Future / Il futuro (pictured above left), the third feature film by Alicia Scherson (Play, Turistas), which is the first of Roberto Bolaño's literary works to be adapted for cinema. The film tells the story of Bianca and her brother Tomas, two suddenly orphaned Chilean teenagers who, in the dark midst of their mourning slowly descend into an underworld of B-movies, cheap novels and derelict characters in the margins of their adopted city, Rome.
What can be worse than being 14 and going on vacation with your father? Taking your children on vacation and not being able to go out because of the rain. That's the central premise in the Uruguayan film Tanta agua / So Much Water, the directing debut by Ana Guevara & Leticia Jorge, which will also have its New York premiere.
Chilean director Ernesto Díaz Espinoza's The Machine Gun Woman / Traiganme la cabeza de la mujer metralleta (pictured left) is an action film about a naive and nerdy DJ who lives with his mother in Santiago and spends his days on his Playstation and gets into trouble with a dangerous Argentine gangster. Belated / Deshora, directed by Barbara Sarasola-Day, captures and evaluates Helena and Ernesto's already rocky marriage when a quiet and mysterious cousin arrives from Colombia to complete his rehab in the couple's Argentinean isolated wilderness home. Argentinean director Gustavo Fernandez Trivino's From Tuesday to Tuesday / De Martes a Martes narrates the story of a bodybuilder, Juan Benitez and the conflict he faces between following his dreams of opening his own gym and supporting his family.
As it was previously announced, this year's edition of Latinbeat will also features a retrospective of acclaimed Argentine filmmaker Matias Piñeiro, presenting The Stolen Man / El Hombre Robado, a film that follows a capricious young woman as she carefully interweaves friends and lovers into an intricate web of secretive yet often unexpectedly compassionate games.
In They All Lie / Todos Mienten, Piñeiro unleashes eight strong-willed characters into a clandestine plot involving art forgery, an unfinished novel, and Sarmiento's U.S. journals, resulting in a giddy kaleidoscope of different meaning that playfully channels the high postmodernism of William Gaddis. Piñeiro's most recent film Viola (pictured right) will have a one-week release playing with Rosalinda.
The Latinbeat festival will run from July 12 - 21, 2013, with the attendance of some of the featured filmmakers. Scheduled appearances include: Barbara Sarasola-Day (Belated), Lina Rodriguez (Señoritas), Mercedes Moncada (Magical Words), Emiliano Altuna and Carlos Federico Rossini (The Mayor), Leticia Jorge (So Much Water), Santiago Loza (La Paz), Ernesto Diaz Espinoza (Bring Me The Head of the Machine Gun Woman), Michael Wahrman (Avanti Poppolo), and Matías Piñeiro (Viola).