Sprawling Latin American Selection at Toronto


The Toronto Film Festival announced yesterday the last batch for this year's lineup which includes films from Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil, Peru and Dominican Republic to its Contemporary World Cinema section. The Latino selections feature work by experienced filmmakers such as Fernando Eimbcke, Mariana Rondón, and Diego and Daniel Vega, along with newcomers such as Brazilian directors Fernando Coimbra and René Sampaio, and the sophomore production by Dominican filmmaker Leticia Tonos.

From Venezuela, Maria Rondon's Bad Hair / Pelo malo, (pictured below right) which was recently announced as part of the San Sebastian Film Festival, deals with a nine-year-old's obsession with straightening his hair, elicits a wave of homophobic panic in his widowed mother. The Brazilian film A Wolf at the Door / O lobo atrás da porta, the debut feature film by Fernando Coimbra deals is a nerve-rattling tale of a kidnapped child and the distraught parents left behind. El mudo / The Mute a Peruvian production directed by Diego and Daniel Vega and which just had its world premiere at the Locarno Film Festival, is an offbeat black comedy in which someone is out to get Constantino Zegarra, a judge with an impressive conviction rate.

A rarity, the festival will also feature a film from the Dominican Republic, Cristo Rey, directed by Leticia Tonos Paniagua which chronicles the love between a kind-hearted teenager ostracized for his mixed Haitian-Dominican descent, and the beautiful sister of a local drug kingpin he's hired to protect. Club Sándwich (pictured top left) which will also be presented at the San Sebastian Film Festival, is Fernando Eimbecke's story of a mother's separation anxiety as her teenage son experiences his first encounters with love and sexuality.

The Brazilian film, Brazilian Western / Faroesete Cabocio, is director René Sampaio's debut following a young man from the provinces who decides to try his luck in the capital, and falls for a senator's daughter. The section will also be featuring shorts including the Puerto Rican film, Old Moon / Luna vieja, directed by Raisa Bonnet, an almost wordless tale of the relationship ebtweeen a young girl and her grandmother.

The Toronto International Film Festival will be held from September 5-15, 2013 in Canada.