10/01/2012 at 10:41 am Leave a comment

A year goes by and we have all finished as usual with the same feeling: Which was the best film we saw this year? Well, it is quite hard to say.
If there was one Latin film in 2011 that marked the year for Latin American Cinema, it is with no doubt Las Acacias from Argentina, directed by Pablo Giorgelli. After premiering at the Critics’ Week at Cannes and winning the award for best first film, Las Acacias went on to win the award for best film at Biarritz, Horizons award in San Sebastian, best first film in London, and many, many other awards and selections in a large number of film festivals.
After the success of Las Acacias, there were many other Latin films selected at the main festivals such as Toronto, Berlin, Rotterdam, Venice or San Sebastian, and it would not be fair to name just a few. But what can certainly be said, is that without a doubt first time directors from Latin America presented amazing films that marked a great year, showing once again the vitality of Latin cinema from the up and coming young filmmakers.

After an outstanding year for Latin American films, it would be very hard to say which have been the most successful films of 2011. What we can do is to ask some of the professionals in the field to tell us which are their Top-10 Latin Films of the year, and we have done so!

(Some of the films shown in this list were produced in 2010, but in some countries were distributed in 2011).

Lucile de Calan
Lucile is from France and is currently the head programmer at the Biarritz Film Festival. She also works for the Festival du Film de Sarlat. Lucile is a great connaisseuse of Latin Cinema and is working on her second year as the programmer at the Biarritz Festival.

1. Las Acacias (Pablo Giorgelli) Argentina
2. Historias que so existem quando lembradas (Julia Murat) Brazil
3. Transeunte (Eryk Rocha) Brazil
4. Todos tus muertos (Carlos Moreno) Colombia
5. Porfirio (Alejandro Landes) Colombia
6. El premio (Paula Markovitch) Mexico
7. Miss Bala (Gerardo Naranjo) Mexico
8. La vida util (Federico Veiroj) Uruguay
9. Lucia (Niles Attalah) Chile
10. La demora (Rodrigo Plá) Mexico

Sandro Fiorin
Sandro is originally from Brazil and is based in Los Angeles where along with Alex Garcia, he founded FiGa Films, a sales agent and distribution company specializing in finding the best contemporary films from Latin and Ibero America. Even though FiGa films has in its catalogue some of the most groundbreaking Latin films such as Los Ultimos Cristeros, Zoologico, Los Viejos or Ausente, to be fair, Sandro decided not to include them in his Top-10.  Sandro told our festival that he wasn’t able to watch El Premio (Paula Markovitch) and Verano (Jose Torres Leiva). According to him, two films should be part of his list but he saw them in 2010: Octubre (Daniel and Diego Vega) and Nostalgia de la Luz (Patricio Guzmán). Sandro’s Top-Ten is ordered by country:

Abrir Puertas y Ventanas (Milagros Mumenthaler), Argentina
Las Acacias (Pablo Giorgelli), Argentina
El Estudiante (Santiago Mitre), Argentina
Girimunho (Helvecio Marins Jr. & Clarissa Campolina), Brazil
Trabalhar Cansa (Juliana Rojas & Marco Dutra), Brazil
El Año del Tigre (Sebastian Lelio), Chile
Bonsai (Cristian Jimenez), Chile
Porfirio (Alejandro Landes), Colombia
El Velador (Natalia Almada), Mexico
Las Malas Intenciones (Rosario Garcia Montero), Peru.

Hebe Tabachnik
Hebe is originally from Argentina and living in the US. For more than 10 years she has worked in programming. Hebe is currently the World Cinema Programmer at Los Angeles and Palm Springs Film Festivals, she is also the Short Film Programmer at Los Angeles Festival; she is a Member of the Screening Committee of the International Documentary Association (IDA) Awards and a Member of the Board of Directors of Dance Camera West.

1. Nostalgia de la Luz (Patricio Guzmán) Chile
2. Todos tus muertos (Carlos Moreno) Colombia
3. Tropa de Elite 2 – O Inimigo Agora É Outro (José Padilha) Brazil
4. Las Acacias (Pablo Giorgelli) Argentina
5. El Lugar mas pequeño (Tatiana Huezo) Mexico
6. El Estudiante (Santiago Mitre) Argentina
7. Sudoeste (Eduardo Nunes) Brazil
8. El Premio (Paula Markovitch) Mexico
9. Sentados frente al fuego (Alejandro Fernandez Almendras) Chile
10. Los colores de la montaña (Carlos César Arbeláez) Colombia

Ciro Guerra
Ciro is a Colombian filmmaker. He has directed two films, La Sombra del Caminante and Los Viajes del Viento; this last film was selected at Un Certain Regard at Cannes Film Festival in 2009. Ciro was recently a Jury member for best first film at the Havana Film Festival. Ciro told our festival that he was not able to see most of the Latin films produced in 2011.

1. Nostalgia de la Luz (Patricio Guzmán) Chile
2. Miss Bala  (Gerardo Naranjo) México
3. Distancia (Sergio Ramírez) Guatemala
4. Girimunho (Clarissa Campolina & Helvecio Marins Jr) Brazil
5. Post Mortem (Pablo Larraín) Chile
6. Abrir Puertas y Ventanas (Milagros Mumenthaler) Argentina
7. Trabajar Cansa (Marco Dutra & Juliana Rojas) Brazil
8. Sudoeste (Eduardo Nunes ) Brazil
9. Todos tus Muertos (Carlos Moreno) Colombia
10. Lucía (Niles Atallah) Chile

Ray Figueroa
Ray is originally from Puerto Rico. He lives in Guatemala City where he has directed two films: Toque de Queda (co-directed with Elias Jimenez) and La Bodega. In Guatemala he is the programmer of ICARO, a Central American Film Festival. Ray is part of Casa Comal, a film school that is active in bringing film production to Central America. Ray’s Top-10 is ordered by country.

Las Acacias (Pablo Giorgelli) Argentina
El Gato Desaparece (Carlos Sorin) Argentina
Post Mortem (Pablo Larraín) Chile
Juan de los Muertos (Alejandro Brugues) Cuba
Distancia (Sergio Ramirez) Guatemala
Nos vemos papa (Lucia Carreras) Mexico
El Infierno (Luis Estrada) Mexico
Miss Bala (Gerardo Naranjo) Mexico
Octubre (Daniel & Diego Vega) Peru
Under my nails (Ari Maniel Cruz) Puerto Rico

Matias Meyer
Matias is a French-Mexican filmmaker. His feature films are Wadley, El Calambre, and Los Ultimos Cristeros; this last one had its world premiere at the Toronto Film Festival and at the recent Havana Festival, the film won the SIGNIS award. Matias’ list is ordered by country:

Abrir Puertas y Ventanas (Milagros Mumenthaler), Argentina
Historias que so existem quando lembradas (Julia Murat) Brazil
As hipermulheres (Carlos Fausto, Leonardo Sette, Takumã Kuikuro) Brazil
Post Mortem (Pablo Larraín) Chile
Jean Gentil (Laura Amelia Guzman & Israel Cardenas) Dominican Republic
Miss Bala (Gerardo Naranjo) Mexico
Verano de Goliath (Nicolas Pereda) Mexico
Malaventura (Michel Lipkes) Mexico
Las Razones del Corazon (Arturon Ripstein) Mexico
Octubre (Daniel & Diego Vega) Peru

Christian Sida-Valenzuela
Christian is from Mexico and living in Canada. He is the Executive Director of the Vancouver Latin American Film Festival; the head programmer at the Latin Film Week at the University of Victoria and the Vancouver correspondent for the Spanish services of Radio Canada International.

1. Nostalgia de la Luz (Patricio Guzmán) Chile
2. Post Mortem (Pablo Larraín) Chile
3. José Martí: El Ojo del Canario (Fernando Pérez) Cuba
4. Porfirio (Alejandro Landes) Colombia
5. Heleno (Jose Henrique Fonseca) Brazil
6. Todos tus muertos (Carlos Moreno) Colombia
7. Verano de Goliath (Nicolás Pereda) Mexico
8. Agnus Dei, Cordero de Dios (Alejandra Sánchez) Mexico
9. Distancia (Sergio Ramirez) Guatemala
10. Transeunte (Eryk Rocha) Brazil

Source: Vancouver Latin American Film Festival

Entry filed under: INDUSTRY NEWS, LATIN AMERICAN FILM. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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