Margaret Mead Film Fest Announces Latin American Titles


The Margaret Mead Film Festival has announced the lineup for its 2014 edition which will feature several Latin American titles. Making their U.S. premiere is the Bolivian film The Corral and the Wind / El Corral y el viento (pictured) in which director Miguel Hilari documents his return to his father’s Andean village, Santiago de Okola that he visited briefly as a child and where his only remaining relative is his uncle. The resulting film is a subtle and deeply personal meditation on the regrets of exile and the fading of culture.

Having their New York premiere are Mexican documentary films Elevator / Elevador (pictured right) by Adrian Ortiz Maciel and José Cohen and Lorenzo Hagerman's H2O MX. In Elevator, director Ortiz Maciel takes us on a poetic trek up and down a historic Latin American high rise, capturing the ebb and flow of tenants entering and leaving.

An unsettling but beautiful watch, and a persuasive one, H20 MX focus on how Mexico City’s 22 million residents are faced with myriad geographical, economic and political obstacles to a consistent water source. The film investigates the daily issues that the megalopolis faces, from dangerous detergent buildup in the clouds to farmers in Mezquital living off wastewater irrigation to Chalco citizens fending off perennial floods.

Also having its New York premiere is Tiago Campos' Master and Divino / O mestre e o Divino which follows Adalberto, an eccentric German missionary with a passion for film, and Divino (Xavante) who is a young indigenous Amazonian filmmaker in his Brazilian village, where Adalberto has lived for over 50 years. Both have been devoted to filming everyday life among the Xavante; the film reveals their congenial and sometimes fractious relationship, shaped by humor, competition, criticism, and ultimately mutual affection. It’s the story of a dynamic duo with different histories and equally different personalities, with lives brought together in this Amazonian village, all captured by yet a third filmmaker, Tiago Campos, who works with the well-known film collective Video nas Aldeias along with Divino.

In addition, the Margaret Mead Film Festival will also showcase the short films Flor de Toloache by Jenny Schweitzer; the US-Colombian short Santa Cruz del Islote by Luke Lorentzen; Gabriela Bortolamedi's Neither Here Nor There / Ni aquí, ni allá; and Living Quechua by Christine Mladic Janney.

Presented by the American Museum of Natural History, the 2014 edition of the Margaret Mead Film Festival will take place October 23-26 in New York City, and it several of the featured filmmakers will be in attendance.