The Boston Latino International Film Festival (BLIFF) focuses on alternative films with social content from Latin America and Spain, and on films dealing with Latino issues in the United States. Categories include feature films, documentaries, and shorts. The festival will host over eighty films in nine days, presenting socially relevant and contemporary themes such as the predicament of the thriving Jewish community in Cuba. As in the past, the festival will host a series of Latino gay-themed films, and, this year, will also feature a series of Brazilian films exploring the political and social climate in South America’s largest country. A highlight of this year's festival is a larger sampling of contemporary dramatic films from Spain. The festival will also include films from the United States, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Mexico, and more than a dozen other countries from the Caribbean and Central and South America. Many of these films are film festival award winners and will be making their Boston area premieres. BLIFF is committed to breaking stereotypes and building communities, using the medium of film to strengthen inter-cultural understanding and promote the work of independent filmmakers.
For more information please visit www.bliff.org.
October 20 (Friday) 7 pm
Directed by Juan Carlos Cremata Malbertí
Cuba 2005, 35mm, color, 80 min.
In this charming Romeo and Juliet-like road trip, two ten-year-old runaways travel the length of Cuba, trying to avoid their forced separation. Director Juan Carlos Cremata Malbertí (Nada Más) fills the journey with humor and adventure while revealing a Cuban landscape seldom seen. The film is Cuba’s entry for the Academy Awards (Oscars) and won the Best Children’s Film at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival.
Directed by Xavi Salas
Spain 2005, 35mm, color, 10 min.
Fatima, a 13-year-old teen, stands up to her teacher because of she doesn’t want to take
off her Islamic veil. Best Short, 2006 Goya Awards, Spain.
October 20 (Friday) 8:45 pm
Directed by Diego Briceño-Orduz
Canada 2005, video, color, 70 min.
Souvenir Kids takes us to the streets of Acapulco, a paradise for foreign pedophiles. This film is about giving a voice to those who don't have one, about shining a spotlight on those who are often forgotten.
Directed by Max Zunino
Mexico 2005, 35mm, color, 3 min.
This short recreates a child’s first contact with the sea. It is one he will never forget. A delicate exercise in simplicity, the entire film takes place in one, long shot, demonstrating the impact that a single image can have.
Mexico 2005, 35mm, color, 12 min.
Directed by Carlos Dávila Yeo
Bajo los escombros shows us how tenuous and fragile our existence can seem in the wake of a 1985 Mexico City earthquake.
PLEASE NOTE TIME CHANGE
October 21 (Saturday) 2:15 pm
Directed by Myléne Moreno
USA 2006, video, color, 58 min.
Once regarded as a wealthy, white, conservative enclave, California's Orange County is becoming less predictable, less tidy, more diverse, more interesting. In a word: Mexican. Filmmaker Moreno reflects on her youth there and returns to discover a fierce battle within the Latino community over what it means to be an American.
Directed by Kevin Lopez
Cuba 2005, video, color, 30 min.
This controversial piece is a Miramax Minority Scholarship Fund documentary about the social effects of tourism in Socialist Cuba, portraying the delinquency, prostitution and drug addiction that were imported to Cuba after the invasion of the dollar.
PLEASE NOTE TIME CHANGE
October 21 (Saturday) 4 pm
This program includes 9 short films by as many directors. For more information please visit www.bliff.org.
October 21 (Saturday) 6:00 pm
Directed by Roberto Hernandez
Mexico 2006, video, color, 27 min.
In Mexico, the prison and the courts are connected by a tunnel. Innocent people are locked up, while the real criminals walk the streets. Meet the real legal thriller: the Mexican criminal justice system.
Directed by Ernesto Livon-Grosman, Appearing in Person
Argentina 2006, video, color, 61 min.
Cartoneros is a documentary committed to exposing the way in which thousands of unemployed workers come daily into the city of Buenos Aires in order to sort and classify the garbage that neighbors leave behind every evening on their doorsteps. The movie, which took two years to film, shows the process of sorting and selling the trash collected by cartoneros that work independently as well as by those who have created co-ops in order to protect themselves from abusive middle management. The documentary follows the trash through the whole process: from the neighborhood’s sidewalk all the way to the paper mill. Among the many stages of garbage, the film also offers a reflection on the relation between garbage and art. This hour-long film unveils the complexity of informal recycling and its social, political and cultural implications.
October 21 (Saturday) 8:00 pm
Directed by Gustavo Loza
Mexico/Cuba/Spain 2005, 35mm, color, 90 min.
With Carmen Maura, Vanessa Bauche, Héctor Suárez
Al otro lado (On the Other Side) tells the interspersed stories of three children – one Mexican, one Cuban, one Moroccan – whose fathers have crossed to the other side following family members. Official Entry for Mexico in the 2005 AnnualAcademy Awards (Oscars).
October 21 (Saturday) 9:40 pm
Directed by Juan Carlos Rulfo
Mexico 2006, video, color, 84 min.
Several work crews battle to give a traffic-bogged, over-smogged Mexico City freeway an upper level in this earthy documentary from Juan Carlos Rulfo. Showcasing the jokes, curses and philosophizing of a little-seen underclass of the upper deck, the film fashions a tribute to those who keep progress moving, one brick and mortar at a time. His 1997 homage to his father, Juan, I Forgot, I Don’t Remember, garnered praise in festivals around the world. This cinematic eye into the daily lives of construction workers building the second deck of Mexico City’s “Periferico” Freeway was nominated for the 2005 Sundance World Cinema Competition; Best Documentary Feature, Miami International Film Festival.
October 22 (Sunday) 1 pm
Directed by Bruno Vianna
Brazil2005, 35mm, color, 93 min.
A young couple of different social origins try to live their relationship in the chaos and comfort of Rio de Janeiro.
October 22 (Sunday) 3 pm
Directed by Leslie Iwerks
Guatemala 2006, video, color & b/w, 40 min.
An inside look at Central America’s largest landfill, the Guatemala City Garbage Dump, where thousands of people have been living over the last sixty years.
Directed by Andrea Campbell
Nicaragua/El Salvador/Honduras 2003, video, color, 50 min.
For the children living on the streets of Central American cities, the reality of their daily struggle to survive has them continually searching for a way out. In fact, most Central American urban areas contain subcultures of street kids fighting to survive and escaping only temporarily by using cheap drugs. Children in a Jar is a dramatic snapshot of how these children survive each day, as young boys and girls relate how they steal and beg for food and money to buy glue, and how they have been raped and witnesses to murders. Even in this desperation, the uncertain future of these young addicts holds promise beyond the bottom of their glue jar.
October 22 (Sunday) 4:45 pm
Directed by Gabriel Del Rio
USA 2006, video, color, 100 min.
Juan dreams of being a stand-up comedian, but he suffers from
stage fright and speaks with a thick Hispanic accent. His world is turned upside-down when he learns that he has to perform before an audience in a few weeks. Complicating matters, he falls in love with a dysfunctional girl who is engaged to a motivational speaker.
Directed by David Hudacek, Appearing in Person
USA 2005, video, color, 20 min.
Los traviesos (The Troublemakers) tells the story of a fatherless six-year-old Latino boy, David, and his fourteen-year-old sister, Ramona. As Ramona balances along the perilous bridge between childhood and adulthood, David’s point of view is still very much that of a six-year-old boy, fixated on toys and fantasies of his father, a mysterious figure known only as “The Colombian.”
October 22 (Sunday) 7 pm
Directed by Hector Cruz Sandoval
USA 2005, video, color, 92 min.
Alberto Diaz Korda is the man behind one of the most powerful images of the 20th century: the iconic photograph of Che Guevara, reproduced worldwide for decades. Korda’s work reflected Cuba’s soul of the 1950s and ‘60s: Fashion, Rum and The Revolution. Director Hector Cruz Sandoval reunites Korda, Raul Corrales, Liborio Noval and Roberto Salas with President Fidel Castro for an extraordinary conversation on photography, the power of images and the Cuban Revolution. Best Documentary, San Francisco International Latino Film Festival.
Directed by David Wendelman
USA 2006, 35mm, color and b/w, 15 min.
Battered by years of fights and haunted by the memory of his father who died a broken man, small time boxer Luis Morales is pressured to leave the ring and face his own mortality – the one opponent he cannot beat.
October 22 (Sunday) 9 pm
Directed by Tim Dirdamal
USA/Mexico 2005, video, color, 82 min.
While many have justifiably discussed and debated the plight of migrants crossing into the United States in search of employment and a better life, much less is known of what happens to Central Americans who must first journey through Mexico on their way to the United States. Frequently, they are tortured, raped, robbed or even killed by any one of several groups including Mexico’s corrupt police, gangs, and railroad employees. This is the unforgettable story of Honduran migrant Maria, and what she endured in her struggle for a better life. Winner Audience Award World Cinema Documentary, 2006 Sundance Film Festival; Winner Silver Ariel Best Feature Length Documentary, 2006 Ariel Awards, Mexico.
Directed by Jose Antonio Ocegueda
USA/Mexico 2005, video, color, 24 min.
This low-budget yet compelling documentary tells the story of a group of immigrants crossing the Mexico-Arizona border.