In an unprecedented selection, three Chilean filmmakers have been invited to participate in the official lineup of the 50th anniversary edition of the New York Film Festival (NYFF) presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Films by Pablo Larráin, Valeria Sarmiento, and the late Raúl Ruiz, will be participating in this year's festival which runs September 28 through October14.
From universally acclaimed to promising newcomers, Selection Committee Chair and Program Director Richard Peña has stated, “The films making up the main slate of this year's NYFF, have in common a general quality of fearlessness" that unites otherwise very disparate works.”
Pablo Larraín will present his most recent feature No (pictured), starring Mexican actor Gael García Bernal. The film tells the story of ad-man Rene Saavedra has spent his life pushing soft drinks and soap and suddenly sets out to sell Chileans on democracy and freedom during Pinochet’s reign.
With the loss of director Raúl Ruiz lies emerges his last cherished masterpiece, La Noche de enfrente / Night Across the Street. A moving mediation on one man’s mortality as he narrates several tales from his childhood, guiding the audience through tales of private and public, historical and mythic, the here and beyond, is also a brilliant summation of this illustrious director’s career.
Valeria Sarmiento, the wife of the late Ruiz, will be presenting the intimate epic Lines of Wellington / Linhas de Wellington (pictured right), a French-Portuguese co-production. Passionate romance, brutal treachery, and selfless nobility are set against the background of Napoleon's invasion of Portugal in Sarmiento's most recent film starring John Malkovich, Mathieu Amalric and Marisa Paredes.
The New York Film Festival will also feature the winner of the Grand Prize at this year’s Critics Week in Cannes, Antonio Esparza’s Aquí y Allá / Here and There. This is the story about a man who returns home to Mexico after years of working in the U.S., finding the adjustment exceedingly difficult. The distance between he and his daughters, scarce job opportunities and the temptation of heading back to the U.S. make this a film that goes way beyond cliché and stereotype.
Completing the Latino participation at this year's festival is the Spanish-Argentinean film The Dead Man and Being Happy / El muerto y ser feliz by Javier Rebollp. The playful and unexpectedly moving reverie on love, death and the open road follows a dying hitman and a mysterious femme fatale set off on an oddball journey through Argentina's interior.