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Directors' Bios Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck-Jovenes Rebeldes

Directors' Bios

ANNA BODEN (Director)

Anna Boden moved from her hometown of Newton, Massachusetts to New York City in 1997 to study cinema and English at Columbia University. On a short hiatus from school, Anna helped develop a filmmaking course for students in the Talent Search program, a program for first-generation college-bound youth.

RYAN FLECK (Director)

Ryan Fleck moved from Oakland, California to New York in 1997 to study filmmaking at NYU.  His student film Struggle, detailing a racial confrontation on the set of a film about the life of former Black Panther Assata Shakur, received the Carl Lerner Award for Social & Humanitarian Significance and also screened in the 2003 Sundance Film Festival. 

Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck began their artistic collaboration in 2002 on documentary short Have You Seen This Man?  The short won several festival awards, premiered on PBS in 2003, and airs regularly on the Independent Film Channel.

Their most recent short film, Gowanus, Brooklyn, premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, where it was awarded the grand jury prize in short filmmaking.  It also screened at New Directors/New Films in 2004.  Gowanus, Brooklyn was based on the feature-length script, Half Nelson, which Anna and Ryan co-wrote and developed at the Sundance Screenwriters’.  It will go into production over the Summer of 2005. Filmmaker Magazine recently named Ryan and Anna two of the 25 New Faces of Indie Film for 2004.

Jóvenes Rebeldes (Young Rebels) is Anna and Ryan’s first feature-length project.


 





HERMANAS

 

  

HERMANAS
A film by Julia Solomonoff
Argentina/Spain, 2005, 88 min. In Spanish with English subtitles.

Subjects: Anthropology, Indigenous Studies, Latin American Studies, Mexico, Cultural Studies, Human Rights, Film Studies. 

 
Natalia and Elena Levin, two sisters forced to separate as teenagers in 1975, right after Natalia’s militant boyfriend Martin was disappeared by the military dictatorship, reunite in 1984 in a country foreign to both of them. Natalia, who has been living in exile in Spain, travels to visit Elena, who has just moved to suburban Texas with her husband and son.

It’s been nine years since they’ve seen each other and Natalia arrives eager to rebuild the ties of family love that she has missed so much. When she finds out that Elena has brought along the manuscript of their deceased father’s last novel, Natalia reads it with anticipation that soon becomes trepidation – the unpublished novel unveils the story of their family during the dictatorship. Despite her painful memories of Argentina, she starts asking herself and everybody around her more and more questions about the past – and about Martin. Who betrayed him? What really happened to him?

Unresolved questions and troubling memories force tension between the sisters as they attempt to face the truth about their past. Exploring the secrets and silences of a family and a society that lived under a decade of fear, complicity with the dictatorship and concealment, Solomonoff debuts with a compelling story in a film that shines with exceptional performances by Valeria Bertuccelli and Ingrid Rubio.

REVIEWS:

"A perceptive and beautifully acted drama." — The New York Times

"A beautiful feature debut! A vibrant portrait of two antithetical sisters torn apart by secrets and politics" — Time Out New York

 

DIRECTOR'S BIO:

Julia Solomonoff is a graduate of the Centro de Experimentación y Realización Cinematográfica in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and a Fulbright graduate of Columbia University’s MFA program.  Prior to Hermanas, Solomonoff worked as an assistant director, most notably on Walter Salles’s The Motorcycle Diaries (2004) and has directed the short films Octavo 51 (1992), A Day with Angela (1993), Siesta (1998), Scratch (2001), and Ahora (2003). Hermanas, her first feature film, was a 2006 Toronto Film Festival Selection, and the original script was selected by the Sundance Lab, the Paris Seminary of Scriptwriters, and the Berlinale Talent Campus.  


LINKS:
Interview with Julia Solomonoff

TRAILER:

 

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DEL OLVIDO AL NO ME ACUERDO

 

DEL OLVIDO AL NO ME ACUERDO / I FORGOT, I DON'T REMEMBER
A film by Juan Carlos Rulfo
Mexico, 1998, 75 min. In Spanish with English subtitles

Subjects: Anthropology, Latin American Studies, Mexico, Cultural Studies, Literature.

Made by the son of famed Mexican writer, Juan Rulfo, purports to be the son’s search for his father among the people who knew him. But as their memory betrays them, the film becomes a brooding reverie on love, memory, death, and old age. Despite the universality of its themes, the film is unequivocally based in Mexico – its people and its land – and it puts forward a model of a particularly Latin American avant-garde influenced by local tradition.

The film moves from the harsh and vertiginous beauty of the Mexican desert to the craggy faces of its elderly protagonists. Their meditations on life, love and death, their lovelorn old songs, dirty jokes and pronouncements on the madness of today’s youth and the power of the Virgin of Guadalupe, their half-forgotten memories of run-ins with the Devil, flying saucers and even Juan Rulfo provide the film’s thematic and philosophical center of gravity. But Rulfo does not merely recount or represent the memory loss of old age, his film recreates and in a certain way induces it in the viewer as narrative logic gives way to a more impressionistic flow of images and stories that blur past and present, country and city, natural and artificial, youth and age, reworking our consciousness of time and providing an unsettling yet tender look at the nature of consciousness at the twilight of life.

AWARDS & FESTIVALS:

OCIC Award - Special Mention - Guadalajara Mexican Film Festival 1999
Grand Coral- Third Prize - Havana Film Festival 1999
Montréal First Film Prize - Montréal World Film Festival 1999
Silver Ariel for Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best First Work, Best Sound - Ariel Awards, Mexico 2000
Nominated for Golden Ariel and Silver Ariel for Best Direction and Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen - Ariel Awards, Mexico 2000
Nominated for Goya Best Spanish Language Foreign Film - Goya Awards 2000
Golden Gate Award - San Francisco International Film Festival 2001
Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema 2000 - Official Selection


REVIEWS:

"Del Olvido Al No Me Acuerdo marked a turning point in Latin American documentary in 1999, and paved the way for a much more fluid and hybrid form of documentary filmmaking in Mexico. Ostensibly a documentary on the life of renowned Mexican author (and the filmmaker's father) Juan Rulfo, the stunningly photographed and seamlessly edited film by Juan Carlos Rulfo examines the construction of narrative and memory. In tracking down a village's elderly residents in search of first-hand memories of his father, the filmmaker instead captures the hopes, regrets, humor and resilience of these individuals, and interweaves them with the rich countryside of Jalisco, creating a lush landscape of memory." – Maria Christina Villaseñor, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum

“This inspiring documentary full of humorous reminiscences and surprising revelations, is a mesmerizing investigation of identity and memory.” – Tate Modern, UK

 

TRAILER:


 

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MÁS ALLÁ DEL MAR

MÁS ALLÁ DEL MAR/ BEYOND THE SEA
A film by Lisandro Pérez-Rey.
USA/Cuba, 2003, 80 min. In Spanish with English subtitles

Subjects: Latin American Studies, Latino Studies, American Studies, Cuba, Migration, Political Studies.

 

It began with a bus crashing through the gates of an embassy in Havana and unraveled into one of the most dramatic episodes in the history of human migrations. As Fidel Castro briefly allowed Cubans to leave the island, nearly 130,000 of them left their homeland in an unrelenting stream of vessels bound for America. 25 years later, the personal stories surrounding the Mariel Boatlift continue to resonate with an energy that can only be described as surreal and powerful.

Weaving together these riveting stories along with rare historical images and footage from present-day Cuba, this film recreates this "explosion of 1980," a crisis that shook the very foundations of Cuban as well as American society. With unprecedented access to archival material, and numerous interviews to “murielitos,” Pérez-Rey constructs the most complete work to date on the infamous Mariel Boatlift.

AWARDS & FESTIVALS:
Award of Merit in Film by the Latin American Studies Association
Made in Miami Film and Video Festival 2003 - Audience Award, Best Doc Feature
San Diego Latino Film Festival 2003
Providence Latin American Film Festival 2004
One World Film Festival (Czech Republic) 2004

REVIEWS:
“Impressive both for effectively documenting the scope of the exodus and for capturing its participants’ disparate tales, “Beyond the Sea” manages to be at once historically elucidating and personally compelling.” — Lael Loewenstein, Variety
 
“The film is most powerful when it allows its subjects to talk about the oppressive regime they fled... the survivors' hopes, dreams and emotions always remain in focus.” — Raven Snook, Time Out New York
 
“Beyond the Sea grants a quiet dignity to its subjects without sanctifying them. And the less-than-ideal outcome of many of their lives rings all the more powerfully for being so plainly presented.” — David Ng, Village Voice
 
“Lisandro Pérez-Rey's excellent documentary is a riveting account of one of the most extraordinary events in U.S. immigration history... Perez-Rey's succinct documentary does a superb job of shedding light on circumstances that, for a variety of reasons, have been misrepresented and badly misunderstood.” — Ken Fox, TV Guide


DIRECTOR'S BIO:

Lisandro Pérez-Rey (Director): As an independent producer and director, Lisandro Perez-Rey has completed several short films and documentaries, many of which deal with Cuban-Americans in Miami. Lisandro is the 2003 recipient of the prestigious Oscar B. Cintas Foundation Fellowship for artists of Cuban descent. Más Allá del Mar (Beyond the Sea) is his first feature-length endeavor and may represent the most complete work to date on the infamous Mariel Boatlift of 1980. It involved extensive research at moving picture archives around the world, filming in Cuba, and months of collecting oral history from subjects around the United States. His second documentary— LA Fabri K (The Cuban Hip Hop Factory) follows a group of Cuban rappers from their humble homes in Havana through their groundbreaking concert tour of the United States.

 

TRAILER:



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TORO NEGRO

 

 

TORO NEGRO
A film by Pedro González-Rubio and Carlos Armella
Mexico, 2005, 87 min. In English with Spanish subtitles.

Subjects: Anthropology, Indigenous Studies, Latin American Studies, Mexico, Cultural Studies, Human Rights, Film Studies.

 
Toro Negro gives deep insight into the life of Fernando Pacheco, a bullfighter in the Mayan Region in southeast Mexico. Fernando is heart-warming and honest, but also an alcoholic, violent and impulsive. Pedro González-Rubio and Carlos Armella follow, almost from the character’s inside, and sometimes with a disturbing closeness, Fernando Pacheco, a.k.a El Suicida (The Suicide), a young bullfighter who fights not in big arenas but at popular parties of small Mayan communities in the Yucatán Peninsula.

Both his private life and his bullfighting are insane. Toro Negro achieves moments of extreme realism that are both fascinating and extremely tense. The scenes of domestic violence between El Suicida and his wife are suffused with a crude intimacy. Toro Negro is a documentary that shows human passions and conflicts with rawness and humor, as we see that sometimes reality is more suspenseful and captivating than any fiction.

FESTIVALS & AWARDS
Winner, Best Film, Horizontes Section, San Sebastian Film Festival 2005
Best Film, Morelia Film Festival 2005
Audience Award, Nantes “3 Continents” Film Festival 2005
Best Documentary, Havana International Film Festival 2005
Special Mention for Best Documentary, Nantes “3 Continents” Film Festival


REVIEWS

"Harsh, intense, yet artfully shaped filmmaking that continually takes you one step further than you thought you'd go." - Stuart Klawans, The Nation.

“Radically human and touching.” M. Paco Prieto, Reforma Newspaper

“I was profoundly impressed; the impact was 100% emotional.”  Alejandro González Iñéarritu

“A documentary with a proper fiction structure.” Sebastián Russo, Miradas de Cine

“Amazing closeness and disturbing at times. Javier Porta Fous, El Amante.com

DIRECTOR'S BIOS

PEDRO GONZALEZ-RUBIO (Co-Director)
Pedro González-Rubio is a Mexican filmmaker born in Brussels. His initiation to visual arts came at the age of 16 while living in New Delhi. He studied media in Mexico before attending the London Film School. He worked as a cinematographer on the film Nacido sin / Born Without (2007) by Eva Norvind. His directorial debut, Toro Negro (2005, co-director), received several awards. His solo directorial debut Alamar (2009) was awarded more than 15 prizes worldwide including the VPRO Tiger Award at the Rotterdam International Film Festival. Inori, his new feature film, was produced as part of the NARAtive Project 2012 and was awarded the Golden Leopard at the Locarno Film Festival.

CARLOS ARMELLA (Director)
Born in Mexico City in 1978. Studied script writing at the Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica (CCC), and then studied filmmaking at the London Film School where he made the short film A Dead End Story. He was chosen to participate in the 2003 Venice Film Festival with another short film called POEM. After his return to Mexico, his wounded heart drove him to the Yucatán peninsula were he got involved with Toro Negro. 


Links

Slant Magazine Review 

 


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YOUNG REBELS

 

YOUNG REBELS / JÓVENES REBELDES

A film by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck
USA/Cuba, 2005, 70 min. In Spanish with English subtitles.

Subjects: Latin American Studies, Latino Studies, Cuba, Political Studies, Music, Cultural Studies, Hip-hop


From the acclaimed filmmakers of the feature films Half Nelson and Sugar, Young Rebels follows five Cuban hip-hop groups and two producers over the course of a Havana summer. Battling onstage or at home, the characters’ personal travels collide in a summer of explosive concerts, intense debate, unbearable heat and rising tensions as government agencies begin to institutionalize hip-hop’s street roots.



 

 

FESTIVALS: Official Selection New Directors/New Films 2005

San Jose Cinequest Film Festival 2005

IDFA Flies Tropics (Suriname) 2006

Tekfestival (Roome, Italy) 2006

Madrid's Hip Hop Festival 2006

REVIEWS:
“Young Rebels is essential viewing for anyone interested in rap music, free speech issues or the youth culture of contemporary Cuba.” – Dana Stevens, The New York Times

“Affably ambling pic is particularly strong in examining the economics of rap.” – Richard Scheib, Variety

“Young Rebels is at least as sharp as Buena Vista Social Club” – Robert Christgau, The Village Voice

“A labor of love, Young Rebels is essential viewing for anyone who wants to stay ahead of the hip-hop curve.” – V.A. Musetto, New York Post

“Fascinating” – indieWIRE

“As young Cuban musicians with few hopes of commercial success embrace rap music, they look at American hip-hop with a mixture of pride (in the purity of their own political and social messages) and envy (at the wealth and fame achieved by American rappers). This informative doc introduces us to a number of these earnest young pop messengers, who barely have the resources to make a CD... but have the wherewithal to organize a rap festival.” – Stephen Holden, The New York Times

 
“An eye-opening movie, both socially and politically.” – David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor

DIRECTORS BIOS:

Anna Boden (Co-Director): Anna Boden moved from her hometown of Newton, Massachusetts to New York City in 1997 to study cinema and English at Columbia University. On a short hiatus from school, Anna helped develop a filmmaking course for students in the Talent Search program, a program for first-generation college-bound youth.

Ryan Fleck (Co-Director): Ryan Fleck moved from Oakland, California to New York in 1997 to study filmmaking at NYU.  His student film Struggle, detailing a racial confrontation on the set of a film about the life of former Black Panther Assata Shakur, received the Carl Lerner Award for Social & Humanitarian Significance and also screened in the 2003 Sundance Film Festival. 

Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck began their artistic collaboration in 2002 on documentary short Have You Seen This Man? The short won several festival awards, premiered on PBS in 2003, and airs regularly on the Independent Film Channel.  Their most recent short film, Gowanus, Brooklyn, premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, where it was awarded the grand jury prize in short filmmaking.  It also screened at New Directors/New Films in 2004.  Gowanus, Brooklyn was based on the feature-length script, Half Nelson, which Anna and Ryan co-wrote and developed at the Sundance Screenwriters’. Filmmaker Magazine recently named Ryan and Anna two of the 25 New Faces of Indie Film for 2004. Jóvenes Rebeldes (Young Rebels) was Anna and Ryan’s first feature-length project.

LINKS:

Interview with Filmmakers

 

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