BLIFF 2016 Schedule

*Click on a movie for more information
*Purchasing tickets will be available soon!

This year's movies

120 Days: Undocumented in America - New England Premiere
Documentary, 79 mins, Ted Roach, USA, 2014
120 DaysFamily man Miguel Cortes could be forced to leave the country in four months as a result of his immigration status. In exchange for Miguel agreeing to leave the country voluntarily and paying a $5,000 bond, a North Carolina immigration judge offers him 120 days to get his affairs in order before leaving his wife and two daughters in the United States to continue their education. Miguel has 120 Days to work hard, save money and weigh his options about returning to Mexico alone, or risk changing his name and disappearing back into another U.S. city illegally to keep his family together.
Q&A with director Ted Roach
  • Winner, Best Documentary – 2015 Palm Beach International Film Festival
  • Winner, Audience Award & Special Recognition Award – (In)Justice for All Film Festival 2015
09/30 @3:30 pm - Tsai Auditorium @David Rockefeller for Latin American Studies, Harvard University
Amir - New England Premiere
Narrative, 90 mins, José Paredes, Mexico, 2015
AmirAmir, an aspiring musician, finds himself drawn to Jeanette, a beautiful singer he meets during a night out on the town with his friends. The attraction complicates his relationship with his current girlfriend, Elizabeth, who is expecting his child. Amir will attempt to work out his feelings towards his newfound love interest, music and maturity, as adulthood forces him to make some challenging choices along the way.
09/29 @7:30 pm - Tsai Auditorium @David Rockefeller for Latin American Studies, Harvard University
10/01 @2:30 pm - Northeastern University
Crave: The Fast Life
Narrative, 104 mins, Joel Gonzales, USA, 2016
CraveMax’s troubled past sparked by the abandonment by his father Tony creates a deep-rooted hunger for success, which fuels him down the dark and ruthless path of anger, greed, and self-destruction in the glitzy world of the Los Angeles nightclub industry. Wanting it all, and wanting to prove to his estranged father that he alone can provide for his mother and his sister, Max puts all his trust and loyalty in to Dominic, a wealthy nightclub owner that promises him a kingdom of power and fortune. Soon after achieving all the success and wealth he ever wanted, life seems to get even better when Max runs into his lost love. He feels that he is on top of the world, but things begin to rapidly deconstruct as his home life and his fast life begin to clash. In the end, can Max find the peace and forgiveness he needs in order to not lose his family, his true love and above all… his soul?
Q&A with Writer/Director Joaquin F. Palma and Producer Joel Gonzales
10/01 @12:15 pm - Northeastern University
East of Salinas
Documentary, 72 mins, Jackie Mow & Laura Pacheco, USA, 2016
East of SalinasCo-presented by Latino Public Broadcasting
EAST OF SALINAS is a story of a bright boy and his dedicated teacher – both sons of migrant farm workers. With parents who are busy working long hours in the fields, third grader Jose Ansaldo often turns to his teacher, Oscar Ramos, for guidance. But Jose was born in Mexico. And he's on the cusp of understanding what that means for his future. For Jose and many migrant children like him, EAST OF SALINAS asks: What is lost when kids like Jose are denied opportunities?
Q&A with directors Jackie Mow and Laura Pacheco
09/30 @5:30 pm - Tsai Auditorium @David Rockefeller for Latin American Studies, Harvard University
Reviews: PRI, NPR, Upworthy
El Clan (The Clan)
Narrative, 101 mins, Pablo Trapero, Argentina, 2016
The ClanCo-presented by the Independent Film Festival of Boston and ArtsEmerson
Old habits die hard: The “disappearances” that marked the Videla regime in Argentina continued after the dictator’s fall in 1981, but the motive changed from politics to money. Arquimedes Puccio – a former intelligence worker for the Videla regime – kidnapped wealthy men and women and held them for ransom in his home, using domineering control over his family and – for a time – the tacit protection of police to do it. And even when the ransoms were ponied up, Puccio's victims were never seen again. Puccio's son, Alejandro, who was sometimes used as bait in the kidnapping of children, eventually attempted to break away, but his terrifyingly controlling father pulled him back in. This is the story of how one man worked above the law and manipulated his family into complicity with his crimes for years, until the Puccios were finally arrested by the city's Kidnappings Investigations Department. Viewer discretion advised; content may not be suitable for children under 17.
  • Winner of five 2015 Argentinean Academy Awards
  • Winner, Silver Lion at the 72nd Venice International Film Festival
  • Official Selection of the 2015 Toronto Film Festival
  • Best Spanish Language Foreign Film at the 30th annual Goya Awards
09/30 @8:45 pm - Bright Family Screening Room at the Emerson Paramount Center
La Buena Vida (The Good Life) - New England Premiere
Documentary, 98 mins, Jens Schanze, Germany/Switzerland/Colombia, 2015
La Buena VidaCo-presented by the Arlington International Film Festival & the Consulate General of Colombia in Boston
The village of Tamaquito lies in the forests of Colombia. Here, nature provides the people with everything they need. But the Wayúu community’s way of life is being destroyed by the vast and rapidly growing El Cerrejón coal mine. Determined to save his community from forced resettlement, young and charismatic leader Jairo Fuentes sets out to negotiate with the mine’s operators. They’re backed by powerful global resources companies such as Glencore, Anglo American and BHP Billiton and communicating with their representatives isn’t easy. The villagers are promised the blessings of progress, but the Wayúu place no value on modern, electrified houses – on the so-called “better life.” Instead, they embark on a fight to save their life in the forest, which soon becomes a fight to survive. “La Buena Vida” (The Good Life) is the story of the Wayúu community, set against a global backdrop of rising energy consumption being driven by the pursuit of growth and affluence.
10/01 @Northeastern: Q&A with Avi Chomsky, Professor of History and Coordinator of Latin American, Latino, and Caribbean Studies at Salem State University
  • Official Selection of Berlinale 2015 (Berlin International Film Festival)
09/29 @5:45pm - Tsai Auditorium @David Rockefeller for Latin American Studies, Harvard University
10/01 @4:15 pm - Northeastern University
La Delgada Línea Amarilla (The Thin Yellow Line)
Narrative, 95 mins, Celso Garcia, Mexico, 2015
The Thin Yellow LineThe Thin Yellow Line is the journey of five men who are hired to paint the median line of a road that connects two villages in Mexico. On board of and old truck, they do the job: more than 200 kilometers that they have to complete in less than fifteen days under a burning sun. Five solitary men that will acknowledge that there is a thin line between right and wrong; between laughter and crying; between life and death.
  • Nominated for 8 Ariel Awards, including Best Picture (Mexico’s Oscar)
  • Best Screenplay, Special Jury Prize, Audience Award, and Mexican Film Critics Award at the 2015 Guadalajara Film Festival
  • Best Latin American Film at the 2015 Montreal Film Festival
  • Grand Newcomer Award at the 2015 Mannheim-Heidelberg Film Festival
10/01 @6:30 pm - Northeastern University
10/02 @6:00 pm – Northeastern University
Reviews: Variety
Pelo Malo (Bad Hair)
Narrative, 93 mins, Mariana Rondón, Venezuela/Spain, 2013
Pelo MaloJUNIOR is nine years old and has “bad hair.” He wants to have it straightened for his yearbook picture, like a fashionable pop singer. This puts him at odds with his mother MARTA. The more JUNIOR tries to look sharp and make his mother love him, the more she rejects him, until he is cornered, face to face with a painful decision.Viewer discretion advised; content may not be suitable for children under 17.
  • Concha de Oro, Festival de San Sebastían 2013
  • Official selection of the 2013 Toronto Internat'l Film festival
  • Offical selection of the BFI London Film Festival 2013
09/30 @7:30 pm - Tsai Auditorium @David Rockefeller for Latin American Studies, Harvard University
Playing Lecuona - New England Premiere
Documentary, 111 mins, Pavel Giroud & Juan Manuel Villar, Cuba/Spain/USA, 2015
Playing LecuonaCo-presented by ArtsEmerson
A journey through the work and living spaces of pianist and composer Ernesto Lecuona, considered the most universal of Latin American pianists. Three outstanding Latin Jazz piano players will guide us in this odyssey: CHUCHO VALDES in Lecuona’s native Havana fuses jazz with Afro-Cuban rhythms; MICHEL CAMILO in New York, creates elegant soundscapes; in Seville, the heart of Andalucia, GONZALO RUBALCABA, fuses Latin Jazz with Flamenco.
  • Winner Best Documentary Film Award – Montreal International Film Festival 2015
09/30 @6:15 pm - Bright Family Screening Room at the Emerson Paramount Center*
10/02 @1:45 pm - Northeastern University**
Rosa Chumbe - US Premiere
Narrative, 73 mins, Jonatan Relayze Chiang, Peru, 2015
Rosa ChumbeIn partnership with Bright Lights Series at Emerson College**
Free and open to the public. Reservations required.
Rosa is a mature police officer who Is forced to take care of her grandson after her daughter steal her savings. Everything takes a wrong turn one night. Only a miracle can save her.
Q&A afterwards with the director and principal actor, Liliana Trujillo** Moderated by Cristina Kotz Cornejo, Associate Chair/Department of Visual and Media Arts, Emerson College
**09/29 @7:00 pm - Bright Family Screening Room at the Emerson Paramount Center (Q&A only at this screening)
09/30 @2:00 pm - Tsai Auditorium @David Rockefeller for Latin American Studies, Harvard University
Sands of Silence: Waves of Courage - US Premiere
Documentary, 86 mins, Chelo Alvarez-Stehle, USA/Spain, 2016
Sand of Silence: Waves of CourageCo-presented by Intercultural Productions
A fifteen-year quest to expose the underworld of sexual exploitation and trafficking from Asia to the Americas leads world reporter Chelo Alvarez-Stehle back to the windswept beach in Spain where her childhood ended and family secrets began. As Chelo documents the transformation of sex trafficking survivors, she meets Virginia Isaias, a Mexican woman whose life is engulfed in a cycle of sexual exploitation. Escaping with her six-month-old daughter from a sex trafficking ring in Mexico, Virginia crosses the US border in search of freedom. After years of hard work, Virginia rebuilds her life and becomes a prominent advocate for sexual violence survivors in the Latino community in Southern California. Inspired by Virginia’s courage, Chelo is moved to explore her unyielding desire for seeking out these types of stories in what becomes a parallel journey of introspection that shatters the silence around abuse in her own family and in her own life.
  • Málaga Film Festival, First Prize and Biznaga de Plata – Asserting Women’s Rights Section
Q&A with director Chelo Alvarez-Stehle
10/02 @3:45 pm - Northeastern University
Reviews: Forbes, El Mundo
Shorts Program
  • Revoltoso (Narrative, 29 mins, Arturo Ambriz, Mexico, 2016) Revoltoso is a stop-motion short film that tells the story of a little one-eyed boar who lives in Don Gonzalo’s hacienda during the Mexican Revolution in 1913. Don Gonzalo, an avid follower of the recent exiled president, Porfirio Díaz, uses the strength of his wild boars to enforce his will. A photographer is hired to film and document his regime. The Revolutionary Army attacks the hacienda in order to reclaim the land to the workers. In the midst of this battle, the little boar is brought closer to the film camera and must decide what to do with it.
  • Blodimery (Narrative, 10 mins, Francisco Denis, Venezuela, 2016) In a Restaurant`s fridge, a Chef keep some bodies, pieces of meat, flesh and bones. He operates a factory of domesticated animals humanized for the restaurant service.
  • Sweet Talk | Conversa (Narrative, 8 mins, Luciano Arturo Glavina, Argentina/Brazil, 2015) In a café, a man sits down at a table to meet a woman. A chit-chat unfolds in a beautiful, human and a full of ironies dialogue. The short is a tribute to an Uruguayan poet and writer Mario Benedetti.
  • Faith and Patience (Documentary, 4 mins, Diego Felipe, USA/Cuba, 2016) Created under the supervision of Abbas Kiarostami and shot entirely in Cuba, a fisherman practices the daily virtues required for fishing.
  • Dead Sites (Documentary, 10 mins, Jason Outenreath, USA/Mexico, 2015) Alvaro Enciso, a conceptual artist, travels to remote regions of the Sonora Desert to lay handmade crosses at the exact coordinates where immigrants have died.
  • 100 Minutes (Student Film, 10 mins, Mariana Cadenas, Belgium/Venezuela, 2016) How do we understand time? Why as we grow older the years suddenly seem to fly by? What happens when we finally understand that time is limited? These are some of the questions hunting my mind today, months into my Cancer treatment. Seated in a cinema, I am trapped between the past and the present, between my gains and losses, and the eternal challenge of accepting my path.
  • Through the Wall (Doc, 6 mins, Tim Nackashi, USA, 2016)* A short documentary about a family divided by the US/Mexico border.
  • The Land of Exodus (Narrative, 11 mins, Skinner Myers, USA, 2015) Obed, a Mexican street kid with hopes of making it to America, leads a recently kidnapped American teenager to the Mexico/United States border.
09/29 @4:00 pm - Tsai Auditorium @David Rockefeller for Latin American Studies, Harvard University
*10/02 @12:00 pm - Northeastern University (“Through the Wall” will not be screened at this time)
Through The Wall
Short, 6 mins, Tim Nackashi, USA, 2016
Through The WallA short documentary about a family divided by the US/Mexico border. Abril is living undocumented in the United States with her two-year-old boy Julián. Julián’s father was stopped by police for a minor traffic incident and was deported back to Mexico. In order to see each other, Uriel, Abril and Julián must cross difficult terrain to reach the border fence where they spend time together through the wall.
Q&A with producer Chelo Alvarez-Stehle
10/02 @3:45 pm - Northeastern University
Tú. Yo. Baño. Sexo. Ahora. (You. Me. Bathroom. Sex. Now.)
Short, 17 mins, Francisco Lupini, USA/Spain/Venezuela 2015
Tu. Yo. Baño. Sexo. AhoraA comedy about a man who tries to forget about love in all the wrong places. Viewer discretion advised; content may not be suitable for children under 17.
Q&A with actors Puy Navarro & Miguel Belmonte
10/01 @8:00 pm - Northeastern University
Vacas con Gafas (Cows Wearing Glasses)
Narrative, 93 mins, Alex Santiago Perez, Puerto Rico, 2014
Vacas con gafas'Cows wearing glasses' is a film about the emotional awakening of a man who is nearing the end of his days. Marso, a solitary and eccentric painter and art professor, has a disease that will make him lose his sight at any time and that has forced him to rethink the relationship with his daughter, while taking stock of a life full of professional success but unsatisfactory on the personal level. With touches of humor to tell small daily humiliations, 'Cows wearing glasses' is a reflection on the position of a man facing the inevitable. An intimate story, reduced to a minimum, which shows the internal reality of a character to the brink of his circumstances.
Q&A with director Alex Santiago
10/01 @8:00 pm - Northeastern University
Reviews: Huffington Post


Opening Night Reception
Sponsored by Jose's Mexican Grill
09/29 @5:30 pm to 6:30 pm - Bright Family Screening Room at the Emerson Paramount Center
Awards Ceremony & Closing Reception
Sponsored by Jose's Mexican Grill
Awards will be announced for Best Narrative Feature, Best Documentary, Best Short and Audience Award.
Musical performance by Gian Carlo Buscaglia.
10/02 @7:30 pm - Northeastern University. The Closing Reception will be held at the John D. O’Bryant African American Institute, which is adjacent to the screening venue.