Boston Latino International Film Festival

September 27-30, 2018

TICKETS & INFO

ABOUT BLIFF


Since its inception in 2001, the Boston Latino International Film Festival has been committed to using the power of film to break stereotypes, bring cultures and communities together and reveal the complex issues that affect the Latino community in the United States and other Spanish-speaking countries.

4

VENUES

28

FILMS

4

DAYS

Schedule


Thursday, September 27 – Emerson & Harvard
5:00-6:30pm
OPENING RECEPTION
Venue: Urban Arts at Emerson College, 25 Avery Street

Free and open to the public; light hors d’oeuvres, cash bar.

7:00-9:30pm
ESTIU 1993
Narrative, 97 mins, Carla Simón, Spain, 2017 - Co-presented by Bright Lights Series
Venue: Emerson Paramount Center, Bright Family Screening Room

Six-year-old Frida looks on in silence as the last objects from her recently deceased mother's apartment in Barcelona are placed in boxes. Although her aunt, uncle and younger cousin welcome her with open arms, Frida finds it hard to forget her mother and adapt to her new home in the Catalan countryside.

7:30-9:30pm
NUYORICAN BÁSQUET
Documentary, 108 mins, Ricardo Olivero Lora, Julio César Torres, Puerto Rico, 2017
Venue: Harvard University, Tsai Auditorium, David Rockefeller for Latin American Studies

The dramatic story of Puerto Rico's 1979 National Basketball Team, whose players were mainly born or raised in New York.

Friday, September 28 – Emerson, Harvard & Brandeis
12:30-2:00pm
SER GRANDE (WHEN I GROW UP)
Documentary, 86 mins, Karen Rossi, Puerto Rico, 2018
Venue: Brandeis University, Wasserman Cinematheque

The daily life of Juan, Rushian and Ivianyd, three Puerto Rican teenagers, is challenged when they decide to participate in a series of workshops to discover their vocational aspirations and overcome personal limitations. The support of new mentors provokes awareness but moving forward is not so simple. Social, emotional and sexual identity obstacles are part of this choral portrait on the margins of Caribbean society.

2:30-4:30pm
EXTRATERRESTRES
Narrative, 97 mins, Carla Cavina, Puerto Rico, 2018 - Co-presented by the Wicked Queer Film Festival & the Theatre Offensive
Venue: Brandeis University, Wasserman Cinematheque

Astrophysicist Teresa is going to get married, so she goes back to her family in Puerto Rico who run a successful chicken farm. Only, the fact she is marrying another woman is not the easiest thing to tell, and her secret starts unraveling all the other family secrets. It will take some galactic perspective to bring them all together again in this gorgeously filmed drama.

5:00-7:00pm
THE REST I MAKE UP
Documentary, 79 mins, Michelle Memran, USA, 2018
Venue: Brandeis University, Wasserman Cinematheque

Maria Irene Fornes is “America's Great Unknown Playwright.” When she stops writing due to dementia, a friendship with a young writer reignites her visionary creative spirit, triggering a film collaboration that picks up where the pen left off. COR DE PELE will precede this film. “Cor de Pele” is a sensitive documentary about the life of Kauan, an 11-year-old albino boy. Born to black parents, Kauan describes in a playful, spontaneous way his day-to-day routine with his atypical family, as he has five siblings: two albino ones and three black ones. Even with his condition’s limitations, he breaks barriers and inserts himself in the abundant black local culture of his home town. Q&A with the director.

COR DE PELE
Doc, 15 mins, Livia Perini, Brazil, 2018 - (precedes "The Rest I Make Up")
Venue: Brandeis University, Wasserman Cinematheque

“Cor de Pele” is a sensitive documentary about the life of Kauan, an 11-year-old albino boy. Born to black parents, Kauan describes in a playful, spontaneous way his day-to-day routine with his atypical family, as he has five siblings: two albino ones and three black ones. Even with his condition’s limitations, he breaks barriers and inserts himself in the abundant black local culture of his home town.

5:00-7:00pm
COCOTE
Narrative, 106 mins, Nelson Carlo de Los Santos Arias, Dominican Republic, 2017 - Co-presented by Roxbury International Film Festival and the Boston Underground Film Festival
Venue: Emerson Paramount Center, Bright Family Screening Room

A rapturous crime fable set in the Dominican Republic, Nelson Carlo De Los Santos Arias’ Cocote follows Alberto, a kind-hearted gardener returning home to attend his father’s funeral. When he discovers that a powerful local figure is responsible for his father’s death, Alberto realizes that he’s been summoned by his family to avenge the murder. It’s an unthinkable act — especially for him, an Evangelical Christian. But as pressure mounts, he sees few ways out. Questions of faith, tradition and honor course through this electrifying film, which, seemingly at the speed of thought itself, jumps between film formats, colors, and aspect ratios, radically envisioning a community torn asunder by senseless violence.

6:00-6:30pm
BACK OF THE HOUSE
Doc, 22 mins, Lia Kornmehl, USA, 2017
Venue: Harvard University, Tsai Auditorium, David Rockefeller for Latin American Studies

Back of the House is a short documentary film about the vital and undervalued role immigrants play in the restaurant industry. The film explores the strength of five Hispanic immigrants and tells their stories coming to and working in the United States. In addition to the personal narratives, three leaders in immigration law and policy: Susan Church, Vincent Rougeau, and Brian Lang, bring a unique perspective on how immigration has affected them. Q & A with the director.

6:30-7:00pm
EL DESAPARECIDO
Narrative, 12 mins, Margarita Martinez, USA, 2018
Venue: Harvard University, Tsai Auditorium, David Rockefeller for Latin American Studies

Set in 1950s Puerto Rico, a 16-year-old boy's physical altercation inadvertently leads to the disappearance of his employer and mentor. Q&A with the director.

7:30-9:00pm
VOICES OF THE SEA
Documentary, 93 mins, Kim Hopkins, Cuba/UK, 2018 - Co-presented by Latino Public Broadcasting, IFFBoston, and the Arlington International Film Festival
Venue: Harvard University, Tsai Auditorium, David Rockefeller for Latin American Studies

Revealing stark realities for the poorest of rural Cubans with unique access and empathy, this is the story of a 30-something mother of four longing for a better life. The tension between wife and aging husband - one desperate to leave, the other content to stay - builds into a high stakes family drama after her brother and the couple’s neighbors escape.

7:30-9:30pm
LA FAMILIA
Narrative, 82 mins, Gustavo Rondón Córdova, Venezuela, 2017 - Co-presented by IFFBoston
Venue: Brandeis University, Wasserman Cinematheque

Twelve-year-old Pedro roams the streets with his friends, raised by the violent urban atmosphere around him in a working class district of Caracas. After Pedro seriously injures another boy in a rough game of play, single father Andrés decides they must flee to hide. Andrés will realize he is a father incapable of controlling his own teenage son, but their situation will bring them closer than they have ever been.

8:00-10:00pm
LOS VIEJOS
Documentary, 93 mins, Rosana Matecki, Cuba/Venezuela, 2018 - Co-presented by IFFBOSTON
Venue: Emerson Paramount Center, Bright Family Screening Room

A timeless look at art, love and beauty. Los Viejos follows three elderly Cuban musicians as they tell their stories of struggle and reveal their eternal passion for life. Q&A with the director. Q&A with the director. EL AGUACATE will precede this film. Narr, 11 mins, Darwin Serink, USA, 2018 After several unsuccessful attempts, Raul finally gets the courage to ask his co-worker, Rosa, out on a date. To his surprise, she says yes, but when the anticipated day arrives, Raul is met with an unforeseen event that changes his life forever.

EL AGUACATE
Narr, 11 mins, Darwin Serink, USA, 2018 - (precedes "Los Viejos")
Venue: Emerson Paramount Center, Bright Family Screening Room

After several unsuccessful attempts, Raul finally gets the courage to ask his co-worker, Rosa, out on a date. To his surprise, she says yes, but when the anticipated day arrives, Raul is met with an unforeseen event that changes his life forever.

After Party
Sponsored by La Fábrica Central
Venue: 450 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

15 % off food for badge holders only.

Saturday, September 29 – Brandeis, Emerson & Northeastern
12:30-2:00pm
NI TU NI YO (Both of Us)
Narrative, 97 mins, Noé Santillán-López, Mexico, 2018
Venue: Emerson Paramount Center, Bright Family Screening Room

Guadalupe, “El Halcón Negro”, was the best wrestler in the country and his daughter’s hero. His brother Gabino took his career to the highest when he started. Both have been distanced due to Gabino’s addictions. El Halcon becomes the national joke after losing the most important fight of his life. When all seems to be lost, Miranda, the owner of independent wrestling circles, offers them a new opportunity; despite their differences, Guadalupe and Gabino must work together as a team to recover their fame and identity. They will realize that family is the only that they’ve got, forget the past and reappraise the meaning of happiness.

1:30-3:30pm
O SOM DOS SINOS (The Sound of Bells)
By Marcia Mansur & Marina Thomé - Co-presented by Documentary Educational Resources
Venue: Brandeis University, Wasserman Cinematheque

In Minas Gerais, Brazil, bell sounds set the pace of life of the residents of the historic cities, announcing the time for working, resting, prayer, and celebrations. The bell ringers, characters from the top of the towers, also learn how to inform deaths, births, fires, masses and time. The documentary is a poetic and visual representation of religious experience in everyday life and seeks to communicate the symbolic universe of individuals’ intimate faith and native cities, where the sound of bells is still reverberating. Q&A will follow.

MENINAS FORMICIDA
Narr, 12 mins, João Paulo Miranda Maria, Brazil, 2017 - (precedes "O Som Dos Sinos")
Venue: Brandeis University, Wasserman Cinematheque

In a small Brazilian town, a teenage girl works everyday in a eucalyptus forest where she chases ants away with pesticides. Yet, her inner struggle turns out to be the real fight.

2:30-4:30pm
THE PUSHOUTS
Documentary, 60 mins, Katie Galloway, Dawn Valadez, USA, 2018 - Co-presented by Latino Public Broadcasting and Youthbuild Boston
Venue: Northeastern University, West Village F, Room 020

“I was in prison before I was even born.” So begins the story of Dr. Victor Rios who, by 15, was a high school dropout and gang member with multiple felony convictions and a death wish. But when a teacher’s quiet persistence, a mentor’s moral conviction and his best friend’s murder converge, Rios’ path takes an unexpected turn. Through Rios’ personal lens and its interplay with the stories of the young people of Yo!Watts, the Pushouts interrogates crucial questions of race, class, and power – and the promise and perils of education – at a particularly urgent time. Q&A will follow.

CERULIA
Animation, 13 mins, Sodía Carrillo, Mexico, 2018 - (precedes "The Pushouts")
Venue: Northeastern University, West Village F, Room 020

Cerulia comes back home to bid her final farewell, but her childhood memories and grandparents presence would not let her go.

3:00-5:15pm
ESTIU 1993 (SUMMER 1993)
Narrative, 97 mins, Carla Simón, Spain, 2017
Venue: Emerson Paramount Center, Bright Family Screening Room

Six-year-old Frida looks on in silence as the last objects from her recently deceased mother's apartment in Barcelona are placed in boxes. Although her aunt, uncle and younger cousin welcome her with open arms, Frida finds it hard to forget her mother and adapt to her new home in the Catalan countryside.

CERULIA
Animation, 13 mins, Sodía Carrillo, Mexico, 2018 - (precedes "Estiu 1993")
Venue: Emerson Paramount Center, Bright Family Screening Room

Cerulia comes back home to bid her final farewell, but her childhood memories and grandparents presence would not let her go.

4:00-6:30pm
COCOTE
Narrative, 106 mins, Nelson Carlo de Los Santos Arias, Dominican Republic, 2017
Venue: Brandeis University, Wasserman Cinematheque

A rapturous crime fable set in the Dominican Republic, Nelson Carlo De Los Santos Arias’ Cocote follows Alberto, a kind-hearted gardener returning home to attend his father’s funeral. When he discovers that a powerful local figure is responsible for his father’s death, Alberto realizes that he’s been summoned by his family to avenge the murder. It’s an unthinkable act — especially for him, an Evangelical Christian. But as pressure mounts, he sees few ways out. Questions of faith, tradition and honor course through this electrifying film, which, seemingly at the speed of thought itself, jumps between film formats, colors, and aspect ratios, radically envisioning a community torn asunder by senseless violence.

ABUELA'S LUCK
Narrative, 9 mins, Ricky Rosario, USA, 2018 - (precedes "Cocote")
Venue: Brandeis University, Wasserman Cinematheque

A young man’s relationship with his grandmother is altered forever after a chance visit to his neighborhood Dominican bodega.

5:00-7:00pm
VOICES OF THE SEA
Documentary, 93 mins, Kim Hopkins, Cuba/UK, 2018
Venue: Northeastern University, West Village F, Room 020

Revealing stark realities for the poorest of rural Cubans with unique access and empathy, this is the story of a 30-something mother of four longing for a better life. The tension between wife and aging husband - one desperate to leave, the other content to stay - builds into a high stakes family drama after her brother and the couple’s neighbors escape.

LENA
Narr, 15 mins, Gustavo Campos, Brazil, 2018 - (precedes "Voices of The Sea")
Venue: Northeastern University, West Village F, Room 020

The story of a mother who is driven to abandon her child. “If the sin is serious, the suffering is great.” – B. Brecht

6:00-8:00pm
FIRST LADY OF THE REVOLUTION
Documentary, 71 mins, Andrea Kalin, USA, 2018
Venue: Emerson Paramount Center, Bright Family Screening Room

First Lady of the Revolution is the remarkable story of Henrietta Boggs, who fell in love with a foreign land and the man destined to transform its identity. Her marriage to José “Don Pepe” Figueres in 1941 led to a decade-long journey through activism, exile, political upheaval and, ultimately, lasting progressive reforms. First Lady of the Revolution is not only a depiction of the momentous struggle to shape Costa Rica’s democratic identity; it's also a portrayal of how a courageous woman escaped the confines of a traditional, sheltered existence to expand her horizons into a new world and live a life she never imagined.

EL DESAPARECIDO
Narrative, 12 mins, Margarita Martinez, USA, 2018 - (precedes "First Lady of The Revolution")
Venue: Emerson Paramount Center, Bright Family Screening Room

Set in 1950s Puerto Rico, a 16-year-old boy's physical altercation inadvertently leads to the disappearance of his employer and mentor. Q & A with the director

7:00-9:00pm
LOS VIEJOS
Documentary, 93 mins, Rosana Matecki, Cuba/Venezuela, 2018
Venue: Brandeis University, Wasserman Cinematheque

A timeless look at art, love and beauty. Los Viejos follows three elderly Cuban musicians as they tell their stories of struggle and reveal their eternal passion for life. Q&A with the director.

DESAYUNO CON TIFFANY (Breakfast With Tiffany)
Narr, 14 mins, Andrés Molano Moncada, Colombia, 2018 - (precedes "Los Viejos")
Venue: Brandeis University, Wasserman Cinematheque

How hard is making breakfast? Rafael and a woman sleep pleasurably until an cell alarm interrupts them. He tries to get out of bed but she traps him with her arms while still asleep. He must sneak away without waking her up to make breakfast. It’s not easy; everything seems to be against him, even his love for her.

7:30-10:00pm
NI TÚ NI YO (Both of Us)
Narrative, 97 mins, Noé Santillán-López, Mexico, 2018 - Co-presented by the Arlington International Film Festival
Venue: Northeastern University, West Village F, Room 020

Guadalupe, “El Halcón Negro”, was the best wrestler in the country and his daughter’s hero. His brother Gabino took his career to the highest when he started. Both have been distanced due to Gabino’s addictions. El Halcon becomes the national joke after losing the most important fight of his life. When all seems to be lost, Miranda, the owner of independent wrestling circles, offers them a new opportunity; despite their differences, Guadalupe and Gabino must work together as a team to recover their fame and identity. They will realize that family is the only that they’ve got, forget the past and reappraise the meaning of happiness.

LOTERIA (Bingo)
Narr, 13 mins, Jorge Curioca, Mexico, 2017 - (precedes "Ni Tú Ni Yo")
Venue: Northeastern University, West Village F, Room 020

Four Mexican Lottery cards, four social classes, four characters of four generations with crossed stories on the dark side of the current reality in Mexico.

9:00-10:30pm
RUBEN BLADES IS NOT MY NAME
Documentary, 84 mins, Abner Benaim, Panama/Argentina/Colombia, 2018 - Co-presented by IFFBOSTON
Venue: Emerson Paramount Center, Bright Family Screening Room

Ruben Blades is Not My Name takes us up close to one of Latin America's most beloved singer-songwriters, his music, and the stories behind them.

After Party
Sponsored by La Fábrica Central
Venue: 450 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139

15 % off food for badge holders only.

Sunday, September 30 – Emerson & Northeastern
1:00-3:00pm
NUYORICAN BÁSQUET
Documentary, 108 mins, Ricardo Olivero Lora, Julio César Torres, Puerto Rico, 2017
Venue: Emerson Paramount Center, Bright Family Screening Room

The dramatic story of Puerto Rico's 1979 National Basketball Team, whose players were mainly born or raised in New York.

2:00-3:30pm
LOVE & DO WHAT YOU WANT
Documentary, 71 mins, Laura Plasencia, Argentina, 2018
Venue: Northeastern University, West Village F, Room 020

Laura, 23, receives a call from Chacarita's Cemetery where she is told she must exhume her father's body who died eleven years ago. From six siblings different perspectives and beliefs and her mother who lives in the United States, they must all get together to find a resolution and overcome such a difficult catastrophe. After all these back and forth, Laura starts looking at her past. She interviews her brothers and sisters trying to answer "Where is dad?" transforming her family, unifying values and ideals in this path of love. Q&A with the producer.

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY
Narr, 2 mins, Judy Febles, USA, 2017 - (precedes "Love & Do What You Want")
Venue: Northeastern University, West Village F, Room 020

A 10-year-old girl is making a Valentine’s Day card for her crush, only for her mother to discover it's not what she thinks.

MÉDICO DE MONSTRO (DOCTOR OF A MONSTER)
Narr, 11 mins, Gustavo Teixeira, Brazil, 2017 - (precedes "Love & Do What You Want")
Venue: Northeastern University, West Village F, Room 020

Dudu has already chosen his future profession and now will have to face his fears to become a doctor of monsters.

4:00-5:00pm
LA FAMILIA
Narrative, 82 mins, Gustavo Rondón Córdova, Venezuela, 2017
Venue: Emerson Paramount Center, Bright Family Screening Room

Twelve-year-old Pedro roams the streets with his friends, raised by the violent urban atmosphere around him in a working class district of Caracas. After Pedro seriously injures another boy in a rough game of play, single father Andrés decides they must flee to hide. Andrés will realize he is a father incapable of controlling his own teenage son, but their situation will bring them closer than they have ever been.

4:00-6:00pm
RUBEN BLADES IS NOT MY NAME
Documentary, 84 mins, Abner Benaim, Panama/Argentina/Colombia, 2018
Venue: Northeastern University, West Village F, Room 020

Ruben Blades Is Not My Name takes us up close to one of Latin America's most beloved singer-songwriters, his music, and the stories behind them.

PA’LANTE
Narrative, 8 mins, Kristian Mercado Figueroa, PR, 2018 - (precedes "Ruben Blade is Not My Name")
Venue: Northeastern University, West Village F, Room 020

An estranged family tries to reconnect amid the wreckage of post-Maria Puerto Rico. Starring Mela Murder as Milagros and Kareem Savingnon as Manuel.

7:30pm
CLOSING CEREMONY
Venue: Cabral Center Northeastern University, 40 Leon St

Awards will be announced for Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary, Best Short and Audience Award. Free and open to the public.

Jurors


  • Diego Arciniegas

    Actor/Director

    Jerónimo Arellano

    Professor/Author

    Juan Mandelbaum

    Producer/Director

  • Elsa Mosquera-Sterenberg

    Director, Arts Program at IBA

    Cecilia Préstamo

    Producer/Editor

    Alex Santiago Pérez

    Writer/Director

Diego Arciniegas
Actor/Director
Diego Arciniegas is an actor, producer, director and teacher.  He served as the Artistic Director of The Publick Theatre Boston from 2001 to 2011. His productions of Tom Stoppard's Arcadiaand Bill Cain’s Nine Circlesgarnered the Eliot Norton Award for best production in their respective years. Arciniegas himself received the Norton Award for best actor for his portrayal of Wolfgang Mozart in Amadeusand “the skin head” in Steven Dietz' God's Country. Last fall, Arciniegas directed Lost Tempo, a new play by Cliff Odle about opioid addiction in the African American community in New York’s jazz scene in the 1950’s at Boston’s Playwright’s Theatre, and starredinEl Desaparecido, an independent film by Margarita Martinez about the repression of the Puerto Rican independence movement, also set in the 1950’s. In October, Arciniegas will direct Julia Cho’s The Piano Teacherat The Kitchen Theatre Company in Ithaca, New York. Lastly, but not least, Arciniegas has taught rhetoric and performance at Wellesley College for over twenty years.
Jerónimo Arellano
Professor/Author
Jerónimo Arellano is Associate Professor of Latin American Literature and Culture at Brandeis University. He is the author of Magical Realism and the History of Emotions in Latin America(2015) and the editor of a special issue of the journal Revista de Estudios Hispánicos on comparative media studies (2016). His articles on Latin American literature and screenwriting have appeared in Hispanic Review, Revista Hispánica Moderna, theLatin American Research Review, and the Journal of Screenwriting, among other venues. He chairs the Latin American and Latino Studies Program at Brandeis.
Juan Mandelbaum
Producer/Director
Juan is Creative Director at Geovision, a Boston-based multicultural communications agency. His television work has been broadcast on a variety of venues, from Independent Lens to Sesame Street and has won multiple awards, including Emmy awards and nominations. Juan’s work has been shown at the Museum of Modern Art, Centre Georges Pompidou, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Harvard Film Archive, Pacific Film Archive and Corcoran Gallery among others. At WGBH-TV, Juan was a Producer for the prime time PBS series Americas and Senior Producer on Ice Warriors, on the US Paralympic sled hockey team. His independent productions include Caetano in Bahia, Ringl and Pit, A New World of Music, and the Poetry Heaven series. His film Our Disappeared/Nuestros Desaparecidos, on people he knew who disappeared during the Argentine dictatorship in the 70s, was supported by the Sundance Institute, Latino Public Broadcasting and ITVS. It played in over thirty festivals worldwide and aired on the PBS series INDEPENDENT LENS and GLOBAL VOICES. Most recently, he was Consulting Producer on Chavela, a film on the legendary singer Chavela Vargas, which premiered at the 2017 Berlin International Film Festival.
Elsa Mosquera-Sterenberg
Director, Arts Program at IBA
Elsa Mosquera-Sterenberg heads Villa Victoria Center for the Arts, the largest Latino cultural center in New England with a 425-person capacity performance hall, an art gallery, visual arts studio, movement and dance studio and office space. She oversees IBA’s artistic programs and offerings that include programming for the gallery, performances and art studios and the main hall. She has over 20 years of experience as manager in communications and publishing and as consultant for the creative industries. Her education is in Literature and Business Administration and she holds a Professional Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Harvard University.
Cecilia Préstamo
Producer/Editor
A Cuban exile raised in Miami, Cecilia Préstamo is a Boston-based Video Editor and Producer with over 20 years of experience in documentary journalism. This year, she has partnered with Boyd Productions on several national public television documentaries, including The Toolbox of America, about the growth of American manufacturing through the lens of one small New England community, and 3 Seconds Behind the Wheel, an American Public Television documentary on distracted driving to be released by PBS International in October of 2018. Cecilia edited and co-produced MIT’s Boston/New England Regional Emmy awarded documentary Hope Regenerated, which premiered at the Boston Museum of Science. Her editing credits include The War on Terror: Coming Home, awarded the regional Edward R. Murrow for Video News Documentary and Marathon Man; a short awarded the Boston/New England Regional Emmy for sports news. She also presently works as a Script Supervisor on narrative feature films, short films and episodic TV.
Alex Santiago Pérez
Writer/Director
Born in Puerto Rico in 1970, Alex Santiago Pérez studied History at the University of Puerto Rico, where he resides. He is the writer/director of The Cows with Glasses,his first feature film, which was chosen among the best films of 2015 by Sight & Sound magazine of the British Film Institute and was in countless festivals around the world. At present, Alex is working on the script of his next feature film: Andrea Waits.

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