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LatinoBuzz: The Third Annual Filadelfia Latin American Film Festival

SydneysBuzz By Juan Caceres | SydneysBuzz April 23, 2014 at 8:30AM

This Friday April 25th The Filadelfia celebrates its third annual edition with an impressive line up of the best of Latino film from Mexico to Chile to Colombia, The US and even a film made with the youth of Philly. Opening night film will be the super 1943 classic ‘Maria Candelaria’ starring Dolores Del Rio.
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Third Annual Filadelfia Latin American Film Festival
Third Annual Filadelfia Latin American Film Festival

This Friday April 25th The Filadelfia celebrates its third annual edition with an impressive line up of the best of Latino film from Mexico to Chile to Colombia, The US and even a film made with the youth of Philly. Opening night film will be the super 1943 classic ‘Maria Candelaria’ starring Dolores Del Rio. For those near the city of brotherly amor we’ve done ya homework and listed their films below!

OPENING NIGHT: MARIA CANDELARIA (Mexico)

Starring Dolores del Rio and Pedro Armendáriz, Maria Candelaria was the first Mexican film to be screened at the Cannes International Film Festival, and the first Latin American film awarded the Gran Prix. Gabriel Figueroa, the film’s cinematographer, was nominated for an Academy Award for The Night of the Iguana, and is often referred to as “the Fourth Muralist” of Mexico.

A young journalist presses an old artist (Alberto Galán ) to show a portrait of a naked indigenous woman that he has in his study. The body of the movie is a flashback to Xochimilco, Mexico, in 1909. The film is set right before the Mexican Revolution, and Xochimilco is an area with beautiful landscapes inhabited mostly by indigenous people.

The woman in the painting is María Candelaria (Dolores del Rio), a young Indian woman who is constantly rejected by her own people for being the daughter of a prostitute. She and her lover, Lorenzo Rafael (Pedro Armendariz), face constant struggles throughout the film. They are honest and hardworking, yet nothing ever goes right for them. Don Damian (Miguel Inclán), a jealous Mestizo store owner who wants María for himself, prevents them from getting married. He kills a piglet that María and Lorenzo plan to sell for profit and he refuses to buy vegetables from them. When María falls ill with malaria, Don Damian refuses to give the couple the quinine medicine necessary to fight the disease. Lorenzo breaks into his shop to steal the medicine, and he also takes a wedding dress for María. Lorenzo goes to prison for stealing, and María agrees to model for the painter to pay for his release. The artist begins painting a portrait of María, but when he asks her to pose nude she refuses.

The artist finishes the painting with the nude body of another woman. When the people of Xochimilco see the painting, they assume it is María Candelaria and stone her to death.Finally, Lorenzo escapes from prison )to carry María's lifeless body through Xochimilco's canal of the dead.


BAD HAIR/PELO MALO (Venezuela)

The third film from the filmmaker and plastic artist Mariana Rondón, Pelo Malo stars Junior, a 9 year-old with "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.


TO KILL A MAN/MATAR A UN HOMBRE (Chile)

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Read the Interview with Dir. Alejandro Fernandez Almendras

A thriller about a hardworking family man Jorge who is just barely making ends meet. When he gets mugged by Kalule, a neighborhood delinquent, Jorge's son decides to confront Kalule, only to get himself shot in the process. Sentenced to a scant 2 years in prison for the offense, Kalule, released and now intent on revenge, goes on the warpath, terrorizing Jorge's family. With his wife, son and daughter at the mercy of a thug, Jorge has no choice but to take justice into his own hands, and live with the emotional and psychological consequences.

Lines of class and masculinity ignite friction in this rugged thriller, adeptly shot with a discerning eye. Director Alejandro Fernández Almendras elevates raw grit to a new level with a tone that is both elemental and prophetic. Rife with unnerving tension, To Kill a Man is ultimately a surprising exploration of the heavy burden of what it takes to do what the title suggests.


ANINA (Colombia)

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Anina Yatay Salas is a ten-year-old girl. All her names form palindromes, making her the butt of her classmates’ jokes, and especially of Yisel’s, who Anina sees as an “elephant.” One day, fed up with all the taunting, Anina starts a fight with Yisel during recess. The incident ends with the principal penalizing the girls and calling their parents.Anina receives her punishment inside a sealed black envelope, which she is told not to open until she meets with the principal again a week later.She is also forbidden to tell anyone about the envelope. Her classmates pressure her to find out what the punishment will be, while they imagine cruel physical torture.

Anina, in her anxiousness to find out what horrible punishment awaits her in the mysterious black envelope, will get mixed up in a series of troubles, involving secret loves, confessed hatreds, close friendships, dreadful enemies, some loving teachers, and also some evil teachers.Without her realizing it, Anina’s efforts to understand the content of the envelope turn into an attempt to understand the world and her place in it.


THE DEVIL’S MUSIC (USA)

When the new sound of jazz first spread across America in the early twentieth-century, it left delight – and controversy – in its wake.As jazz's popularity grew, so did campaigns to censor "the devil's music." This documentary classic has been hailed by the New York Times as a documentary that "addressing the complex interaction of race and class… engages viewers in a conversation as vigorous as the art it chronicles,” featuring timeless performances by artists such as Louis Armstrong and vocalist Rachelle Ferrelle, plus interviews with giants of social and musical criticism such as Albert Murray, Marian MacPartland, Studs Terkel, and Michael Eric Dyson. The Devil's Music is Written, Produced and Directed by Maria Agui Carter and Calvin A. Lindsay Jr., and Narrated by Dion Graham.


I, UNDOCUMENTED/YO, INDOCUMENTADA (Venezuela)

Yo Indocumentada (I, Undocumented) , exposes the struggles of transgender people in Venezuela. The film, Andrea Baranenko’s first feature-length production, tells the story of three Venezuelan women fighting for their right to have an identity.

Tamara Adrián, 58, is a lawyer; Desirée Pérez, 46, is a hairdresser; and Victoria González, 27, has been a visual arts student since 2009. These women share more than their nationality: they all carry identifications with masculine names that do not correspond to their actual identities. They are transgender women, who long ago assumed their gender and now defend it in a homophobic and transphobic society.


THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT (USA )

Jack Maldonado is an ambitious Latino man who fueled by misguided nostalgia, buys a small apartment building in the Bronx and moves his family into the apartments to live rent-free. His parents, Carlos and Martha, sister Nadia, brother Richie and his wife Rosa, Grandmother/Abuela and cousins Hector and Manny, all under one roof. Tension builds quickly as Jack imposes his views on everyone around him, including his fiancée, Lily. All the while, he hides the fact that his corner store is a front for selling marijuana but soon has to deal with new unwanted competitive forces. It's only a matter of time before Jack's family and 'business' lives collide in tragic fashion.


AQUI Y ALLA CROSSING BORDERS (USA)

The “Aquí y Allá’ transnational public art project explored the impact of immigration in the lives of Mexican immigrant youth in Philadelphia in connection with youth in Chihuahua, Mexico. The documentary highlights the testimonials of the youth on both sides of the border working towards the creation of a collaborative mural in South Philadelphia.


CESAR’S LAST FAST (USA)

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In 1988, Cesar Chavez embarked on what would be his last act of protest in his remarkable life. Driven in part to pay penance for feeling he had not done enough, Chavez began his “Fast for Life,” a 36-day water-only hunger strike, to draw attention to the horrific effects of unfettered pesticide use on farm workers, their families, and their communities.

Using never-before-seen footage of Chavez during his fast and testimony from those closest to him, directors Richard Ray Perez and Lorena Parlee weave together the larger story of Chavez’s life, vision, and legacy. A deeply religious man, Chavez’s moral clarity in organizing and standing with farm workers at risk of his own life humbled his family, friends, and the world. Cesar’s Last Fast is a moving and definitive portrait of the leader of a people who became an American icon of struggle and freedom.


LA CAMIONETA (Guantemala)

Every day dozens of decommissioned school buses leave the United States on a southward migration that carries them to Guatemala, where they are repaired, repainted, and resurrected as the brightly-colored camionetas that bring the vast majority of Guatemalans to work each day. La Camioneta follows one such bus on its transformative journey: a journey between North and South, between life and death, and through an unfolding collection of moments, people, and places that serve to quietly remind us of the interconnected worlds in which we live.


FORBIDDEN LOVERS MEANT TO BE (USA)

Working with talented high school students from North Philadelphia at Taller Puertorriqueño’s Youth Artist Program, filmmakers Joanna Siegel, Melissa Beatriz Skolnick, and Kate Zambon sought to capture the personal and artistic journeys of the youth through film. While facilitating collaborative film workshops with the students, themes of race/ethnicity, cultures, language, and identity emerged. Throughout this process of engaging in story development and visual representation, the students created a video of their own, while the filmmakers documented the process using metafilm techniques. The students' short film, Forbidden Lovers Meant to Be, highlights the talent and creativity of these youth. Forbidden Lovers Meant to Be was created by the spring 2012 Youth Artist Program participants: Amy Lee Flores, Ricardo Lopez, Michael Mendez, Zayris Rivera, Tashyra Suarez, Nestor Tamayo, Yoeni Torres, Karina Ureña Vargas, and Kara Williams. (Amy Lee Flores, Ricardo Lopez, Michael Mendez)

TIRE DIE (Argentina)

The first film of the first Latin American documentary film school (The Escuela Documental de Santa Fe), this documentary focuses on the children in the neighborhood known as Tire Dié in the city of Santa Fe, Argentina, who wait daily for the passing train to ask for money from the passengers, shouting “Tire dié!” (Toss me a dime!).

Dubbed as the father of the New Latin American Cinema, Fernando Birriwas one of the first filmmakers to document poverty and underdevelopment. Tire Dié was part of the exhibition, Latin American Visions, produced by International House, 1989-1991.

THE ILLITERATES/LAS ANALFABETAS (Chile)

Ximena, played by the incomparable Paulina García (Gloria) is an illiterate woman in her fifties, who has learned to live on her own to keep her illiteracy a secret. Jackeline, is a young unemployed elementary school teacher, who tries to convince Ximena to take reading classes. Persuading her proves to be an almost impossible task, till one day, Jackeline finds something Ximena has been keeping as her only treasure since she was a child: a letter Ximena’s father left when he abandoned her many years before. Thus, the two women embark on a learning journey where they discover that there are many ways of being illiterate, and that not knowing how to read is just one of them.


For the schedule please visit: http://flaff.org/

Written by Juan Caceres . LatinoBuzz is a weekly feature on SydneysBuzz that highlights Latino indie talent and upcoming trends in Latino film with the specific objective of presenting a broad range of Latino voices. Follow [AT]LatinoBuzz on Twitter and Facebook


This article is related to: Third Annual Filadelfia Latin American Film Festival , Latino, LatinoBuzz, Latin American Films, To Kill a Man, Alejandro Fernández Almendras, Anina , Bad Hair , Cesar's Last Fast , Richard Ray Perez, Paulina Garcia, International Film Market, International Film Festival, International Sales Agent, International, International Film Business

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