Whether it’s through food, music, dance or film, the energy of Latin American culture is all pervasive. Here at World Movies, we’re big fans of Latino film, so we were particularly happy with the news that the Sydney Latin American Film Festival is returning for its ninth year this September.
This year’s line-up promises to explore the music, dark humour, drama and hopes of the region, all through a contemporary Latin American lens. Kicking off on September 3, the festival will include an impressive selection of features, documentaries and short films from Cuba, Costa Rica, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Haiti, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Peru, USA, Uruguay, Venezuela, and Australia.
You can expect the unexpected with the program aiming to showcase bold, dark, quirky and unique stories from young, emerging directors.
To help you devise a plan-of-attack for the festival, we’ve pulled together some of our favourites from the stellar films on offer – we even have some double passes up for grabs for a lucky few.
FIVE FILMS YOU SHOULD SEE AT SYDNEY LATIN AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL
Wolf at the Door
Think Fatal Attraction with a Brazilian twist. The film opens with a mother arriving to pick up her young daughter from school, only to learn that the girl was already collected by another woman. Brazilian filmmaker Fernando Coimbra’s thriller debut delves into the events that led up to the girl’s mysterious kidnapping, soon unravelling a web of deceit and forbidden desires. This intense and memorable film makes for a suspenseful journey, and highlights the way in which the truth can be presented in different layers.
World Movies favourite Gael Garc√≠a Bernal not only stars but also produced this intriguing take on the western genre. This ‚Äòmachete Western’ is evocatively set in the dense Argentinean rainforest, highlighting how certain parts of South America are as lawless today as the Wild West once was. Bernal delivers an intense performance as a mysterious stranger out to save a farmer’s daughter who has been taken by mercenaries.
This endearing and impressively layered drama centres on a complicated mother-son relationship. Yearbook pictures are coming up for nine year-old Junior, and he yearns to tame his stubbornly curly hair, wishing for it to be straight like a fashionable pop singer. Marta, his weary single mother, soon becomes concerned that Junior’s distinct tastes and preoccupation with his appearance are signs of homosexuality. This bold and intelligently presented film has been critically acclaimed since its release and certainly packs a powerful punch.
All About the Feathers
Sometimes there’s nothing more endearing than a good old fashioned bromance – even if it does happen to be between a man and a bird. We were impressed to learn that this subtle Costa Rican black comedy was funded via crowdsourcing and stars mostly amateur actors. It focuses on a hapless security guard in a sleepy town who one day acquires the fighting rooster of his dreams. An unlikely companionship soon develops, resulting in some hilarious observational humour.
This insightful look into contemporary Cuba with all its complexities was a smash hit at the Cuban box office. The story focuses on streetwise eleven year-old Chala, portrayed superbly by the untrained Valdes Freire, and the rapport between him and his supportive and open-minded school teacher. The film has been taking the international film festival circuit by storm, with many hailing it as the most notable film to come out of Cuba in the past decade.
SYDNEY LATIN AMERICA FILM FESTIVAL
Wednesday 3 September – Wednesday 10 September
For more information, venue details and to purchase tickets visit HERE.
If that got you all excited, we have three double passes to giveaway to the Sydney Latin American Film Festival screening of ALL ABOUT THE FEATHERS on Friday 5 September 6pm, valued at $37 each.
For your chance to win, simply complete the form below and tell us in 25 words or less which film you’re most excited about in this year’s line-up and why?
Competition closes 3pm Monday 25 August. Entry open to NSW residents only.