NewFest, New York City's LGBT film festival, has announced its lineup for its 28th annual edition, which includes five Latino titles: Plaza de la Soledad by Maya Goded from Mexico, Rara by Pepa San Martín from Chile, Esteros by Papu Curotto from Argentina, Don't Call Me Son by Anna Muylaert from Brazil, and the U.S. production Forbidden: Queer And Undocumented In Rural America by Tiffany Rhynard.
Winner of the Grand Prix Jury Award at the Berlinale, Pepa San Martín’s debut feature is an endearing and autobiographical family drama about two young sisters being raised by lesbian parents that their biological father, and the law, want to tear them away from. Achingly tender and clear-eyed, Rara is told from the point of view of Sara, a 13-year-old who is beginning to see her worldview and the comfort of her familial unit dissolve as she grows older. As custody battles loom, Martín’s sure-handed direction never turns melodramatic, instead keeping the film subtle and light-hearted, yet still unmistakably moving.
Photographer-turned-filmmaker Maya Goded invites us into the bedrooms of aging female sex workers in La Merced, Mexico with Plaza de la Soledad, a beautifully shot ode to female strength and perseverance. A portrait of women ranging from 50-80 years old who still work the streets of the Plaza with vigor and zest, the documentary film never shies from capturing their raw realities and candid commentary. As the wry and wise women tell their histories, fears and pain—ingrained from years of prostitution—Goded shares with us the poignant intimacies among female companions who find comfort in the only job they know.
Anna Muylaert's Don't Call Me Son follows garage-band-playing bisexual Pierre (Naomi Nero), who at seventeen is presented with a jarring, life-changing piece of information: he was stolen from the maternity ward as a child by the woman he’s called mother his whole life. His real name is Felipe, and his beloved younger sister is from another family entirely, as well. Now Pierre’s wealthy biological family wants him back and he is forced to adjust to living them as certain aspects of his personality become difficult to ignore. Anna Muylaert’s brilliantly droll film, which won the Männer Reader Jury Award at Berlinale, features an incredible performance by the gorgeously androgynous Naomi Nero and is part social-economic satire, part opera of teen angst
Sexy and heartfelt, the handsome drama Esteros explores a second chance at love as childhood friends Matías and Jerónimo reunite in their hometown of Paso de los Libres, Argentina, on the banks of the Uruguay River. The summer before high school, the teens’ close friendship transformed into something deeper, but their mutual attraction never came to fruition. More than a decade later they meet again, and the chemistry between them is palpable, but now Matías has a girlfriend who has traveled to his hometown for Carnival. Seeing his old friend, now so comfortable and confident in his skin, reawakens Matías’ feelings. A powerful film that elicits feelings of nostalgia for our own adolescence and for the long-forgotten romances from our past, Esteros offers a satisfying glimpse into what might have been (and what might still be).
Growing up in North Carolina as an undocumented gay man, Mexican-born Moises Serrano shares his story and advocates for justice and equality in the timely, inspiring documentary Forbidden: Queer And Undocumented In Rural America,. When Moises Serrano was a baby, his parents risked everything to flee Mexico in search of the American Dream. The 24-year-old Serrano spent 22 years in the rural South, and yet is still forbidden to live and love in the country he calls home. Serrano sees only one option—to fight for justice and equality while activating a national movement. Driven by a deep love for his family, who have come to accept being treated as invisible, the impassioned, eloquent Serrano is proof of how one person can change the world.