SXSW Unveils Latino Films for its 2018 Edition


SXSW has announced the lineup for the 25th anniversary edition of its film festival, which will present 132 feature films, many of them from Latin America including Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Panama.

The Global section of the festival will screen the U.S. premiere of Rush Hour by Argentine-born Mexican director Luciana Kaplan. The film, shot in Mexico, Turkey, and the United States, is an intimate approach to personal stories of three commuters who spend hours of their lives going from home to work and back, reflection a common reality shared by billions of people.

Argentine artist Lola Arias will present Theatre of War, an essay on how to represent war, performed by former enemies. British and Argentinian veterans of the Falklands war come together to discuss, rehearse and re-enact their memories 35 years after the conflict.

Screening in Global is also Santiago Caicedo's Virus Tropical from Colombia. The animated film follows  Paola, born in a not-so-conventional family, grows up between Ecuador and Colombia and finds herself unable to fit in any mold. With a unique feminine vision of the world, she will have to fight against prejudice and struggle for her independence.

Panamanian filmmaker Abner Benaim (Invasión) is having the world premiere of his biopic documentary Ruben Blades Is Not My Name in the 24 Beats Per Second section of the festival. The film portrays one of Latin America´s most beloved singer-songwriters in a journey across his 50-year career. In an intimate way, the film gives the audience a chance to get to know the artist, his music, and the stories behind them.

Making its world premiere in the Documentary Feature Competition is Jenny Murray's ¡Las Sandinistas!, which uncovers the disappearing stories of women who shattered barriers to lead combat and social reform during Nicaragua’s 1979 Sandinista Revolution, and who continue to lead Nicaragua’s current struggle for democracy and equality.

The Narrative Spotlight section will see the North American Premiere of the Brazilian film Neurotic Quest for Serenity by Paulinho Caruso, Teodoro Poppovic. The film follows Kika, a famous actress, who's going through a lot. She has millions of fans, is about to star in a post apocalyptic soap opera, and she has obsessive compulsive disorder.

The Documentary Spotlight will premiere the Mexico/US coproduction Agave: The Spirit of a Nation by Nicholas Kovacic and Matthew Riggieri, about how one delicate plant has carried the weight of a nation and the people trying to protect it. In Mexico, families have passed down the tradition of distilling agave for generations and now, this once obscure Mexican drink is everywhere. 

Also having its world premiere in this section is Jeff and Michael Zimbalist's Nossa Chape, which tracks the rebuilding of the Chapecoense football club in Brazil after an airplane carrying the team crashed on November 28th, 2016, and left all but three of the players dead.

The Venezuelan-born director Sebastián Gutiérrez will have the world premiere of his latest film Elizabeth Harvest in the Visions section. A science fiction film that reimagines of the French folktale of Bluebeard, in which a violent nobleman in the habit of murdering his wives is confronted by a new wife trying to avoid the fate of her predecessors. 

And also making its world premiere in Episodic—SXSW's section dedicated to innovative new work aimed squarely at the small screen—is Vida, directed by Mexican filmmaker Alonso Ruizpalacios and So Yong Kim, about two estranged Mexican-American sisters from the Eastside of Los Angeles who couldn’t be more different. Circumstances force them to return home where they are confronted by the past and surprising truth about their mother’s identity.