Film at Lincoln Center and Cinema Tropical Announce 'Neighboring Scenes: New Latin American Cinema,'

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New York, New York

03/31/2021 — 04/12/2021

Film Festivals

Hosted by Cinema Tropical

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Film at Lincoln Center and Cinema Tropical announce the sixth edition of Neighboring Scenes, the annual wide-ranging showcase of contemporary Latin American cinema featuring established filmmakers as well as fresh talent from the international festival scene, scheduled for March 31 – April 12 in the FLC Virtual Cinema, available to stream for the first time to audiences nationwide.

Neighboring Scenes exhibits the breadth of styles, techniques, and approaches employed by Latin American filmmakers today, and spans a wide geographic range, highlighting impressive recent productions from nine different countries across the region. This year’s edition of the festival kicks off a series of events to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Cinema Tropical, the leading presenter of Latin American cinema in the U.S., with a special screening of a new restoration of Silvia Prieto, the landmark film by Argentine director Martín Rejtman.

The Opening Night selection is Caetano Gotardo and Marco Dutra’s All the Dead Ones. Set in 19th-century Brazil following the abolition of slavery, the film examines issues of race, class, and gender through the intersecting paths of wealthy white aristocrats and the formerly enslaved. Neighboring Scenes showcases a number of debut features, including Sebastián Lojo’s Los Fantasmas, about a tour guide who moonlights as a thief in Guatemala City; Diego Mondaca’s Chaco, an atmospheric meditation on the absurdity of war; Carolina Moscoso’s harrowing and personal documentary Night Shot, which won the Cinema Tropical Award for Best First Film; and Mauricio Franco Tosso’s stunning black-and-white feature Samichay: In Search of Happiness, a moving portrait of an indigenous family in the Andes mountains.

Additional highlights of the lineup include Clarisa Navas’s queer coming-of-age story One in a Thousand; Irene Gutiérrez’s Between Dog and Wolf, in which three Cuban veterans reflect on their experiences in the Angolan Civil War; and several hybrid films that test the boundaries of narrative and nonfiction: Neighboring Scenes and New Directors/New Films alum Julio Hernández Cordón’s The Howls, a fantastical family portrait in which the filmmaker revisits the landscapes and memories of his hometown in Mexico with his daughter; and Ana Elena Tejera’s debut film Panquiaco, about a fisherman whose mind wanders through his past and the history of his home country of Panama.

Organized by Carlos A. Gutiérrez and Cecilia Barrionuevo.

Co-presented by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) at New York University,

Tickets are $12; tickets for the 20th-anniversary restoration screening of Silvia Prieto are $10. A discounted festival All-Access Pass will also be available for $80 (more than 30% savings!). FLC members and Cinema Tropical subscribers receive an additional 20% discount on all film rentals and pass purchases.

Special thanks Sofía Bordenave, Paola Buontempo, Daniella Schestatzky, Raúl Camargo, Corey Sabourin, Mary Jane Marcasiano, Pilar Garrett, Juan Pablo Medina, and Marina Mendes Gandour.


For tickets and more information visit
https://virtual.filmlinc.org/page/neighboring-scenes/

For additional information, to request screeners for review, or to schedule an interview with the programers or guest filmmakers, please contact
Pilar D. Garrett, Cinema Tropical, at press@cinematropical.com



FILMS & DESCRIPTIONS

Opening Night:
All the Dead Ones / Todos os Mortos
(Caetano Gotardo and Marco Dutra, 2020, Brazil/France, 120 min. In Portuguese with English subtitles)
The class struggle permeates every time period, and in each political and social era it is reconfigured in new ways—though never not cruelly. This reality is at the root of All the Dead Ones, which had its world premiere in the official competition of the 2020 Berlinale. In this impressive film, Marco Dutra (Good Manners) and Caetano Gotardo (The Moving Creatures) join creative forces to offer a strong female-driven historical drama, which unfolds at the edges of the stories of two clans: a white aristocratic family and a formerly enslaved Black family. The film makes clear how the abolition of slavery has not meant the destruction of racism and social discrimination. The past never ends—it always catches up to us, no matter where we are.

Between Dog and Wolf / Entre perro y lobo
(Irene Gutiérrez, 2020, Cuba/Spain/Colombia, 75 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)
Even though its frame of reference is the Angolan Civil War, Irene Gutiérrez’s film is not a story of battle but of abiding faith. As it meticulously revisits the experiences of Estebita, Miguel, and Alberto, three former Cuban soldiers who fought in Africa, that faith in certain ideals that have endured across decades and in spite of reality comes under examination. Premiered at the Forum section of the 2020 Berlinale, this second film from Gutiérrez (Hotel Nueva Isla) depicts the three veterans re-enacting war games and playing out the theatricality of past glories in the jungles of Cuba’s Sierra Maestra.

Chaco
(Diego Mondaca, 2020, Bolivia/Argentina, 77 min. In Aymara, Quechua, and Spanish with English subtitles)
Set in 1934, during the Chaco War fought between Bolivia and Paraguay over territorial disputes, this spare historical drama follows a small regiment made up mostly of Aymara and Quechua indigenous soldiers commanded by a retired, gruff German officer fighting for the Bolivian Army. The troop is in a limbo, looking fruitlessly for the enemy, and wandering through the hostile, semi-arid lowlands in extreme weather. Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, director Diego Mondaca’s debut feature is a powerful meditation on the futility and absurdity of war.

The Howls / Se escuchan aullidos
(Julio Hernández Cordón, 2020, Mexico, 68 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)
Julio Hernández Cordón (Buy Me a Gun, I Promise You Anarchy), one of the most original and prolific directors of his generation, returns in his latest film to Texcoco, the town on the outskirts of Mexico City where he grew up, and recently the site of a canceled new international airport. Accompanied by his teenage daughter, Fabiana, and the actor Francisco Barreiro—who plays nine different characters—the director creates a whimsical, subversive, and genre-bending family portrait in which father and daughter tour the playground of his childhood while in search of a vanished lake, Aztec rulers, and werewolves.

Los fantasmas
(Sebastián Lojo, 2020, Guatemala/Argentina, 75 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)
The auspicious debut feature by Guatemalan director Sebastián Lojo is a vigorous character study that follows Koki, a young, attractive, and charismatic man who makes a living in Guatemala City as a thief by proxy. During the day he works as a tourist guide, and at night he seduces men in bars, leading them to a hotel where they are robbed by the owner, Carlos. When the tables are turned and Koki is betrayed by Carlos, he finds himself pushed even further into society’s margins, forced to witness the violent effects of his actions from an almost disembodied perspective.

Night Shot / Visión nocturna
(Carolina Moscoso, 2020, Chile, 80 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)
Stories about acts of extreme violence often end up fixated on the perpetrators. Not so with Night Vision. Provoking the viewer with a sustained and risky aesthetic, Carolina Moscoso takes on highly personal material, showing the universe of complicities and contradictions that swirl around the difficult topic of rape. In Night Shot—winner of the Grand Prix at last year’s FIDMarseille and the Cinema Tropical Award for Best First Film—the transitions of light and chiaroscuro accompany the courage, honesty, and even delicacy with which a harrowing event is excavated.

One in a Thousand / Las mil y una
(Clarisa Navas, 2020, Argentina/Germany, 120 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)
Winner of the Best Picture Award at the 2020 Jeonju International Film Festival, Clarisa Navas’s potent queer drama is set in a housing project in the northeastern Argentine city of Corrientes. The film follows Iris, a basketball-loving 17-year-old teenager who falls for Renata, a woman who is a few years older than her and has a mysterious past. Iris slowly realizes that she will have to overcome her fears and struggle with her insecurities in order to experience first love. One in a Thousand is a story of tenderness in a hostile environment, where desire takes many forms in the darkness and gossip can turn into a weapon.

Panquiaco
(Ana Elena Tejera, 2020, Panama, 80 min. In Portuguese and Dulegaya with English subtitles)
Returning from Portugal to Panama, the land that brims with promise, Cebaldo revisits his hometown with the familiar eyes of someone who grew up there but also the alienation of someone who left. Ana Elena Tejera's poetic debut feature moves freely between fiction and documentary, as a story about myths, rituals, memory, and identity unfolds. A record of the history of Panama and the encounters and disagreements between the protagonist’s past and present show us that the most painful exile is the exile from whom we once were—and the things that made us what we now are.

Samichay: In Search of Happiness / Samichay: En busca de la felicidad
(Mauricio Franco Tosso, 2020, Peru/Spain, 87 min. In Quechua and Spanish with English subtitles)
Samichay, which means "in search of happiness" in Quechua, is the aptly named cow in this debut feature by Mauricio Franco Tosso. High up in the Andes mountains, in a landscape both hostile and profoundly beautiful, a beleaguered family tries to scrape by. Shot in striking black and white, the film presents a moving story that puts at stake the viability of certain traditional lifestyles in rural and urban environments. At the heart of the film is the indigenous protagonist Celestino’s tender and heartbreaking relationship with Samichay, who is his only source of income and hope for a better future.

Cinema Tropical 20th Anniversary screening:
Silvia Prieto
(Martín Rejtman, 1999, Argentina, 92 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)
Silvia Prieto sells soap to passersby in busy city squares, pores over phone books to find women who share her name, and refuses to settle down with either of the two boyish men in her orbit. Rejtman’s radiant second feature, which follows Silvia (played by the singer Rosario Bléfari) for a short stretch of her life in Buenos Aires, is a comedy of details—like the statue that supposedly resembles Silvia and passes from owner to owner; the blazer Silvia permanently borrows from a wealthy male admirer; the chicken she buys every night—and occasional, quiet epiphanies. Silvia Prieto is one of the jewels of recent Argentine cinema, and one of Rejtman’s most perfectly realized films. Restored by Museo del Cine de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires and Constanza Sanz Palacios, in collaboration with Eye Institute Amsterdam, and supported by Mecenazgo de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires.