The Museum of Modern Art has announced the lineup for Documentary Fortnight 2015: MoMA’s International Festival of Nonfiction Film and Media, which will feature three Latin American films, from Mexico, Cuba and Brazil. MoMA's 14th annual showcase of recent documentary film will host the U.S. premiere of Hatuey Viveros' Café: Cantos de humo / Coffee: Chants of Smoke (pictured left) from Mexico; the New York premiere of Irene Gutiérrez Torres's Hotel Nueva Isla from Cuba; and the North American premiere of Eryk Rocha's Campo de Jogo / Sunday Ball from Brazil.
This year’s festival includes an international selection of 21 feature films and seven short films, a lecture performance, an archival film program, and a flat-screen installation. Many of the directors, including the three Latin American filmmakers, will be present at the screenings and will participate in discussions following the films. Documentary Fortnight 2015 is organized by Sally Berger, Assistant Curator, Department of Film, with Jesus Hernandez Bach, Festival Liaison. The selection committee consists of Sally Berger; Chi-hui Yang, independent curator; and Kimi Takesue, filmmaker.
Vivero's Coffee tells the story of promising Nahuatl Mexican student Jorge who, following the death of his father, struggles against difficult odds to become the first lawyer to represent the people from the mountains of Puebla. During their intimate conversations—while she cleans and roasts coffee beans—Jorge's mother encourages him to prevail against their loss. When his 16-year-old sister reveals that she is pregnant, their mother counsels her to make her own decisions despite her age and a ne'er-do-well boyfriend. A Cinema Tropical Award winner for Best Latin American Documentary of the Year.
First-time director Gutiérrez and cinematographer Javier Labrador have created a compelling portrait of the mysterious Jorge de los Rios, a retired clerk who lives in Old Havana's Hotel Nueva Isla, a former luxury hotel that became a shelter for homeless people in the wake of the Cuban Revolution. Slowly digging his way through debris and ripping off parts of the building, Jorge has encounters with a few other inhabitants—his lover, La Flaca, and a young itinerant, Waldo. Influenced by the work of Portuguese filmmaker Pedro Costa, the film speaks to a lost generation that fought in the Cuban Revolution and dreamed of a better society.
In Rocha's Sunday Ball (pictured left), at an ordinary football field in Rio de Janeiro's Sampaio neighborhood—close to the Maracana Stadium, where the grand final of the 2014 World Cup 2014 was held—a somewhat smaller match occurs every Sunday. This passionate expression of Brazilian culture is captured with great intimacy and joy, as the cinematographer follows the enthusiasm of the cheering crowds and the precision of the players' movements. The annual "favela" football league has 14 teams, with each representing the colors and specific aspects of their community. The final contest, between Geração and Juventude, draws football-fans into the fervid action of this imaginary game representing the symbolism and community of Brazilian culture.
Documentary Fortnight 2015: MoMA’s International Festival of Nonfiction Film and Media will take place February 13-27, in New York City.