Latin American Film Festival opens in New York
The inaugural edition of the Latin American Film Festival at New York University kicked off Thursday with a screening of the Mexican feature “Cochochi,” produced by a company owned by Mexican actors Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna.
“The goal of this festival is to bring attention to independent and innovative films that have come out of Latin America and frequently haven’t even been screened in the United States,” NYU professor Juan de Dios Vazquez, who organized the festival with colleague Alexandra Falek.
NYU’s King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center is the venue for the free-admission event.
Vazquez, who said the idea is for the festival to become an annual event, stressed the importance of making the public aware of “the quality of Latin American films that opt for an independent path.”
“In recent years, there’s been a very abrupt change, resulting in cinema with greater resources and quality, yet innovative at the same time. A cinema that asks what Latin American identity is and who makes up the communities that inhabit the hemisphere,” he added.In that sense, Vazquez said it is significant that the 2007 film “Cochochi,” which is directed by the husband-and-wife team of Israel Cardenas and Laura Guzman and delves into the reality of Mexico’s indigenous population, opens the event.
The feature, which has already been screened in numerous high-profile venues – including the Venice Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival – was shot using 16 mm film with dialogue in the indigenous Tarahumara language.
It tells the story of two indigenous brothers from the Tarahumara Mountains of the northern Mexican state of Chihuahua who lose their horse while on a trip to deliver medicine to a faraway community.
Featuring a pair of non-professional actors who are siblings in real life, Antonio and Evaristo Lerma, the film shows two boys with different attitudes about the future and their place in Mexican society.
“It’s an example of cinema that portrays the reality of indigenous people, that shows their languages in an attempt to reflect Latin American identity,” Vazquez said.
Another film that features Mexican Indians as protagonists and will be screened at the NYU festival is a 2009 documentary about a Mazahua woman who returns to her indigenous roots after living in Mexico City for 40 years.
After she returns home, her native community faces a devastating water shortage that threatens its survival.
Ten other films from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Uruguay will also be screened during the festival, which runs through March 2.
Source: Latino Fox News
Entry filed under: LATIN AMERICAN FILM. Tags: Alexandra Falek, Cochochi, diego luna, Gael Garcia-Bernal, Israel Cardenas, Juan de Dios Vazquez, Latin American Film Festival at New York University, Laura Guzman.