Otawa Latin America Film Festival films come alive with Latin flair

25/03/2010 at 8:17 pm Leave a comment

Latin Film Fest opens Wednesday –

What: Latin American Film Festival

When and Where: March 24 to April 1, Library and Archives Canada

Tickets: $10 general, $6 for Canadian Film Institute members and seniors.

Information: www.cfi-icf.ca

An Oscar-nominated Peruvian film, a Uruguayan comedy about a papal visit and a documentary about child labourers in a Bolivian silver mine are among the films in the annual Latin American Film Festival, opening Wednesday and running to April 1 at Library and Archives Canada.

Presented by the Canadian Film Institute, the 14th annual festival will present 15 films from 15 countries, all of them Ottawa premieres and all presented with English subtitles.

Among the countries represented are Argentina, Cuba, Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Mexico. Many of the films have won prizes at international festivals.

“I am thrilled at what we have in this year’s festival,” says Film Institute Director Tom McSorley.

“There are films I’ve been trying to bring for a few years, such as Mexico’s astonishing The Desert Within, Ecuador’s moving How Much Further and the Uruguayan comedic marvel, The Pope’s Toilet.

Here are descriptions of a few of the films:

The Devil’s Miner (March 24, 9 p.m.):

A 2005 Bolivian film described as a heart-wrenching and harrowing documentary about two young brothers (one 14 and one aged 12) who work in the Bolivian silver mines of Cerro Rico. Directed by Kief Davidson and Richard Ladkani, it won an award for best documentary at the Chicago Film Festival.

The Milk of Sorrow (March 25, 7 p.m.):

This 2009 Peruvian film by director Claudia Llosa was nominated this year in the best foreign film category of the Academy Awards. It also won top prize at the Berlin Film Festival. Set in a depressed suburb of Lima, the film is about the lingering trauma suffered by a young woman whose mother was raped by terrorists.

How Much Further (March 30, 9 p.m.):

From Ecuador, this 2006 film won the Silver Zenith prize for best first feature at Montreal’s World Film Festival. Written and directed by Tania Hermida, it tells the story of two young women on a road trip across the mountains and along the coast of Ecuador. “The film probes into the culture and politics of a country in a period of change,” the festival summary says.

The Desert Within (March 31, 9 p.m.):

This 2008 Mexican film tells the story of a man who, seeking forgiveness for sin, dedicates himself to building a church in a remote area of the Mexican desert. The film uses animation to suggest the character’s visions of God. Director Rodrigo Pla‘s “intriguing use of art and animation to punctuate the drama makes this film a rare jewel,” wrote a Seattle International Film Festival programmer.

The Pope’s Toilet (April 1, 9 p.m.):

Set in the late 1980s in a Uruguayan village near the border of Brazil, this comedy tells the story of an impending visit by Pope John Paul II that prompts village residents to hatch plans on how they can make some money from the expected crowds. One longtime struggling resident in the impoverished area comes up with a plan to construct pay toilets. Directed by César Charlone and Enrique Fernández, the film won the international jury award at the 2007 Sao Paulo Film Festival and was praised by a critic for Reel Talk as “a celebration of hope, humour and resilience among the humble and only secondarily a dig at media distortion and the disconnect between the Church and the poor who are always with us.”

More information: http://www.cfi-icf.ca

Source: http://www.ottawacitizen.com


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