Nov 24, 2010

Could You Please Pinch Me?

Note: This post has a Spanish version below.
Nota: Este artículo tiene una versión en español abajo.

Yes, I know, it's just a tweet, it's only 119 characters. Yes, this story may end up with hundreds of authors... but I'm one of them! Yesterday I read the news about Tim Burton (Big Fish, Batman, Corpse Bride, etc.) inviting the Twitter world to co-write a story through tweets. And there I am; Part 21 was my idea:

“...began to bubble. The air got dense and hot. Stainboy closed his eyes and held on to the chandelier as hard as he could."

Tim Burton is one of the filmmaker that I admire the most. I can't tell you how happy I am for collaborating in this project. Now it's your time. Go to BurtonStory, and share your ideas. I have no doubt this literary experiment will turn into a marvelous story. Like any of Burton's.

Sí, ya lo sé, es sólo un tweet, son sólo 119 caracteres. Sí, puede que esta historia termine teniendo cientos de autores... ¡pero yo soy uno de ellos! Ayer leí una noticia sobre Tim Burton (El Gran Pez, Batman, El Cadáver de la Novia, etc.) invitando al mundo Twitter a co-escribir una historia a través de tweets. Y ahí estoy; la Parte 21 fue mi idea:

“...comenzó a burbujear. El aire se hizo denso y caliente. Stainboy cerró sus ojos y se agarró al candelabro tan fuerte como pudo.”

Tim Burton es uno de los cineastas a los que más admiro. No puedo decirles cuán feliz estoy de colaborar en este proyecto. Ahora es su turno. Vayan a BurtonStory, y compartan sus ideas. No tengo dudas que este experimento literario se convertirá en una historia maravillosa. Como cualquiera de Burton.

Artwork above:
Tim Burton's Stainboy
© Tim Burton

Nov 18, 2010

Amazon Studios: The End of Submission Fees

Yes, it's too good to be true. But it's true... 

Amazon.com is today not only the biggest shopping mall in the world, but also a case-study of the most accurate e-commerce model—with the best customer service. They revolutionized the world of retail since their beginnings, and revolutionized the world of e-books a couple of years ago with Kindle. But this wasn't enough, because they realized that they could make money and help artists, so they defied publishing and record companies offering much better deals through their self-publishing venture CreateSpace. And on November 16, they took a new step, this time for screenwriters and filmmakers.  

Amazon Studios will award filmmakers and screenwriters $2.7 million with the purpose of developing movies under a first-look deal with Warner Bros. This new deal has three amazing features:

1) They will give $20,000 monthly awards to the best scripts submitted, and $100,000 for movies. That's more than most international film funds offer.
2) They will provide feedback! It's not clear yet how this will be instrumented, but it's usually a service that many screenwriting contests or script doctors provide for a fee.
3) They are opening the doors to the film industry for unknown artists—you know how difficult is to step foot if you're unknown, even to work as a production assistant.

My main question is, how commercial your script should be to be considered. And that's not a minor point, especially if you believe in independent cinema. But let's leave that for later. Now get writing, go out and shoot your film, and forget, at least for a couple of months, about the tons of film festivals and contests that promise fame, awards and feedback... for $$$, of course. 

Following, the original press release:

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) today launched Amazon Studios (http://studios.amazon.com), a new online business that invites filmmakers and screenwriters around the world to submit full-length movies and scripts to make money, get discovered and get their movie made. Through the monthly and annual Amazon Studios Awards, Amazon Studios will offer a total of $2.7 million to the top submissions received by Dec. 31, 2011, and will seek to develop the top Amazon Studio projects as commercial feature films under its first-look deal with Warner Bros. Pictures.

Writers are invited to add scripts to Amazon Studios. Filmmakers are invited to add full-length test movies to Amazon Studios. Test movies may be made from your own original script or from any script submitted to Amazon Studios. Test movies must be full length (more than 70 minutes), but they don't have to be "full budget." While test movies must include imaginative stories with great acting and sound they don't need to have theatrical-quality production values. Film fans can review Amazon Studios scripts and test movies, or even upload alternate, revised versions. Full-length test movies will introduce public test screenings to the earliest, formative stages of the movie development process; the Amazon Studios test movie process is intended to guide a film's development and assess its potential. Amazon Studios has produced five test movie samples, in different styles and genres, which can be found on its Getting Started page (http://studios.amazon.com/getting-started).

"We are excited to introduce writers, filmmakers and movie lovers to Amazon Studios," said Roy Price, Director of Digital Product Development. "Full-length test movies will show stories up on their feet and attract helpful feedback at an early stage. We hope that Amazon Studios will help filmmakers experiment and collaborate and we look forward to developing hit movies."

It is the goal of Amazon Studios to produce new, full-budget theatrical films based on the best projects and it will give Warner Bros. Pictures first access to the projects Amazon Studios wishes to produce in cooperation with an outside studio. Under the Amazon Studios development agreement, if a filmmaker or screenwriter creates a project with an original script and it is released by Amazon Studios as a theatrical feature film, the submitter will receive a rights payment of $200,000; if the movie makes over $60 million at the U.S. box office, the original filmmaker or screenwriter will receive a $400,000 bonus. If Warner Bros. Pictures is not inclined to develop a particular project, Amazon Studios can then produce the project in cooperation with another studio.

Winning screenplays and full-length test movies will be selected on the basis of commercial viability, which will include consideration of premise, story, character, dialogue, emotion and other elements of great movies. The first Amazon Studios industry panelists will include: screenwriter and chair, Writing Division of the USC School of Cinematic Arts, Jack Epps, Jr. ("Top Gun," "Dick Tracy"), producer Mark Gill (former president of Miramax and Warner Independent Pictures), screenwriter Mike Werb ("Lara Croft: Tomb Raider," "Curious George," "Face/Off," "The Mask") and producer and chair, Production Division of the USC School of Cinematic Arts, Michael Taylor ("Bottle Rocket," "The Pursuit of D.B. Cooper").

"Amazon Studios is a great idea. Getting feedback is essential for creative artists to improve their work," said Jack Epps, writing chair for USC School of Cinematic Arts. "By letting anyone submit a movie or screenplay to be considered for a major motion picture, Amazon Studios is really opening the doors to Hollywood."

In the 2011 Annual Awards, Amazon Studios will award $100,000 to the best script and $1 million to the best movie submitted by December 31, 2011. To be eligible for the first monthly awards, test movies and scripts must be uploaded by January 31, 2011. Winners for the first monthly awards will be announced near the end of February 2011-- $100,000 for the best full-length test movie and $20,000 each for the two best scripts. The rights payments associated with releasing a full-budget commercial film (the $200,000 referred to above) are separate from and come on top of any money awarded to top submissions through the monthly and annual Amazon Studios Awards.

To learn more about Amazon Studios, check out our video at http://studios.amazon.com.

Oct 27, 2010

Cinema Tropical Awards

On Friday night I was lucky enough to participate in a little piece of history for Latin American films in New York. Cinema Tropical held a fantastic awards ceremony in the Times Center: The 10 Best Latin American Films of the Decade. Filmmakers Lucrecia Martel, Carlos Reygadas, and Felipe Lacerda were among the stars of the night that wouldn't be possible without the tireless work of Carlos Gutierrez and Monika Wagenberg, founders of Cinema Tropical. Even Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed a proclamation in the name of the City of New York for the "Cinema Tropical Award Day in New York"!

Cinema Tropical is a non-profit organization dedicated to the distribution, programming and promotion of Latin American Cinema in the United States. Since its creation in 2001, Cinema Tropical has become the country's premier purveyor of Latin American films by establishing screening programs in 12 venues in North America, having built a library of over 35 titles, and providing marketing and promotional campaigns for various film releases, programs and festivals in the U.S.

It was an honor for me to have been a writer and interviewer for them in the past. Thanks to Carlos Gutierrez I met amazing filmmakers like Francisco Vargas Quevedo (The Violin), Jorge Gaggero (Live-In Maid), and Camila Guzmán Urzúa (The Sugar Courtain). Of course, I also had the chance to discover those jewels among many other hand-picked independent films. My congratulations to them, and I hope this great event marks a before and after for them, and for Latin American films in New York and the United States.

Sep 10, 2010

El Alpedornauta

Es un honor y placer compartir con ustedes el blog de un gran amigo, pensador, escritor, y por sobre todas las cosas, un tipo que está al pedo. ¡Y cómo influencia!

Este artículo de su blog es una gran muestra:

El Posmodernismo y el Fin de los Grandes Relatos

Y ya que el Alpedornauta la cita, aquí también tienen la entrevista a Ágnes Heller en la Revista Ñ. Disfruten y reflexionen...

Foto: Ágnes Heller (el alpedornauta no tiene rostro)

Aug 24, 2010

SANFIC 6 entregó premios

SANFIC (Santiago Festival Internacional de Cine), es, según sus organizadores, "una plataforma cinematográfica, cultural, artística, industrial, educativa y un símbolo privilegiado de la ciudad y el país." En la sexta versión del festival, SANFIC6, el festival propuso dos competencias de largometrajes: una internacional y otra de cine chileno. A continuación los galardonados:

Competencia Internacional

Jurado: Isabel Coixet, Abel Ferrara y Robert Koehler.

Mejor película y mejor director: Ex aequo
Alamar (México), de Pedro González-Rubio.
Putty Hill (Estados Unidos), de Matt Porterfield.

Competencia de Cine Chileno

Jurado: Rodrigo Bellott, Mike Maggiore y Nuno Sena.

Mejor película:
Manuel de Ribera, de Christopher Murray y Pablo Carrera

Mejor director:
René Ballesteros, por La Quemadura

Más información:

Jul 28, 2010

Just One Kiss

July 16 was the release date for two very different movies: Inception (Christopher Nolan) and Kisses (Lance Daly). They differ in a few ways:

1) Nolan is an accomplished filmmaker known world wide, and Daly, an up and coming filmmaker based in Ireland, but not well known in America.
2) Nolan's film is a sci-fi with a budget of $160M. Daly's film is a drama about two kids that run away from home in Dublin, and the films' budget is probably one hundred times smaller than Nolan's.
3) Inception's cast has Leonardo Di Caprio. Kisses' cast is based on a couple of first time actors chosen from local schools.
5) One of them is an American film, and the other one is foreign (luckily for them, in English.)
4) The amount of theaters where they open: 3,792 vs. 3 (guess which film is opening in three theaters...)

So, what do you do, as a foreign filmmaker, to try to catch attention, when you compete against such a tremendous blockbuster machine? Let me say that Nolan is amazing, probably one of the most creative filmmakers out there. Every one of his films is great, including his first film Following (1998). There are some blockbusters that are better to forget, but we're talking about Nolan, you know his film has a high chance of being a great one... that makes it even more difficult to compete. I imagine all the expectations, opening in the theaters in New York, Los Angeles, and suddenly somebody calls you: "Hey, Lance, Inception is opening the same day..."

We could say that's the life of an independent filmmaker. If not, ask Todd Solondz. On July 23, his new film Life During Wartime opened in one theater. Yes, read it again: one. Why? No idea. Remember Todd Solondz? Happiness (1998), Storytelling (2001), Palindromes (2004). Yes, he's that great writer/director with a unique way to tell stories about dysfunctional characters. One theater... it's just a crime. Well, probably I went too far saying that's a crime. Because blockbuster machines bombard you with marketing, posters and trailers, but in the end you choose which movie you'll see. I just hope more people could find out about small films that are actually bigger than blockbusters in their own way. Because some of these films not only reach hearts, but also they are like those special kisses.


Update (November 15):

Inception' domestic gross: $291,851,666
Life During Wartime' domestic gross: $281,447
Kisses' domestic gross: $81,680

Source for gross: Box Office Mojo

Photo: From Kisses, Kelly O'Neill & Shane Curry

Jun 27, 2010

El Secreto de Campanella

El escritor/director de cine y televisión Juan José Campanella logró la fama internacional al ganar a comienzos del año el Oscar a mejor película extranjera con El Secreto de Sus Ojos. Pero para muchos, él ya gozaba de merecida fama por películas como Luna de Avellaneda (2004) y El Hijo de la Novia (2001), esta última también nominada al Oscar a mejor película extranjera. Por si esto fuera poco, también ha trabajado en importantes series de televisión de los Estados Unidos (Dr. House, Law & Order, 30 Rock y Six Degrees.)

En el año 2006 le fue concedida la nacionalidad española por "carta de naturaleza" —concesión especial del Reino de España a personas de particulares méritos—. Hace pocos días fue declarado en Buenos Aires "Personalidad destacada de la Ciudad" por su gran desempeño en la cultura nacional y por representar el arte argentino en el mundo.

También este mes su película El Secreto de Sus Ojos arrasó con once premios Condor de Plata: mejor película, mejor director, mejor actor (Ricardo Darín), mejor actriz (Soledad Villamil), mejor actor de reparto (Guillermo Francella), revelación masculina (José Luis Gioia), guión adaptado (compartido con Eduardo Sacheri, coguionista y creador de la novela), fotografía (Félix Monti), montaje (el mismo Campanella), música (Federico Jusid), y sonido (José Luis Díaz Ouzande)

Y la gran pregunta es, ¿cuál es su secreto? Yo diría talento, originalidad, sensibilidad, y una obsesión por el cine. Pero, por sobre todas las cosas, su secreto es que tiene un secreto. Y hablando de secretos y Campanellas, el cuadro del encabezado es "El Gaucho Martín Fierro", de un maestro del surrealismo, el italiano radicado en Argentina Vito Campanella, quien en 2007 recibió El Gran Grado de Comendador de la República de Italia. Sus cuadros también esconden secretos.

May 24, 2010

¡Costó un Perú!

La película Octubre, de los hermanos peruanos Diego y Daniel Vega, ha ganado el Premio del Jurado en el super prestigioso Festival de Cannes, sección "Una Cierta Mirada". Es la primera vez que una película peruana logra semejante premio, y es un orgullo latinoamericano para toda la región, especialmente porque se trata de un film de bajísimo presupuesto ($75,000) y alta sensibilidad. En la misma sección fueron distinguidas las actrices Victoria Raposo, Eva Bianco y Adela Sánchez por su labor en Los Labios (Iván Fund y Santiago Loza.)

De esta sección había participado también el peruano Francisco Lombardi con Sin Compasión (1994). Hace muy pocos años, la película Madeinusa (2006), de Claudia Llosa, había despertado el interés por el cine peruano cuando se alzó con cinco premios internacionales, entre ellos el FIPRESCI que entregó la asociación de críticos de cine en el Festival Internacional de Rotterdam. Este año, La Teta Asustada, de la misma directora, había sido nominada a mejor película extranjera en los Oscars.

Esta es la sinopsis oficial:

"Clemente es un prestamista poco comunicativo. También es la nueva esperanza de Sofía, su vecina soltera, que cada octubre muestra su devoción al culto del Señor de los Milagros. Su relación comienza cuando Clemente descubre una pequeña niña recién nacida, fruto de su relación con una prostituta que ha desaparecido. Mientras Clemente busca a la madre de la pequeña, Sofía se ocupa del bebé y de las tareas del hogar del prestamista. Con la llegada de estos dos nuevos seres a su vida, Clemente tendrá ocasión de cuestionarse acerca de sus relaciones con los demás."


Participaron de la misma sección las siguientes películas, además de las ya mencionadas:

Adrienn Pal (Hungría-Holanda-Francia-Austria, de Agnes Kocsis)
Aurora (Rumania, de Cristi Puiu)
Blue Valentine (U.S., de Derek Cianfrance)
Chatroom (U.K., de Hideo Nakata, conocido por su film The Ring)
Chongqing Blues (China, de Wang Xiaoshuai)
The City Below (Alemania-Francia, de Christoph Hochhausler)
Film Socialisme (Suiza-Francia, del establecido Jean-Luc Godard)
Ha Ha Ha ( Corea del Sur, de Hong Sang-soo, que se llevó otro premio)
Les Amours Imaginaires (Canadá, de Xavier Dolan)
Life Above All (Francia, Oliver Schmitz)
Qu’est-il Arrive a Simon Werner? (Francia, de Fabrice Gobert)
Rebecca H. (Francia, de Lodge Kerrigan)
R U There (Taiwán, de David Verbeek)
The Strange Case of Angelica (Portugal, del centenario Manoel de Oliveira —¡aún filma!)
Tuesday, After Christmas (Rumania, de Radu Muntean)
Udaan (India, de Vikramaditya Motwane)

Imágen: Bruno Odar interpreta a Clemente.

Apr 9, 2010

From Havana to New York

Every year since 2000, the Havana Film Festival New York brings the best of Latin American cinema to the city that never sleeps. This year —the 11th in a row— the festival will be held from April 16 through 23. People will have the chance to not only see more than 40 films from most of the Latin American countries, but also to chat and ask questions to many of the guest filmmakers. In this sense, organizers and sponsors make a tremendous effort to bring the best.

For example, the unique Argentine film Historias Extraordinarias (Mariano Llinas, 245 minutes) was released in Buenos Aires in a few selected screenings (one of them in the MALBA museum), and many fans were complaining that they wanted to see it in more places. Well, now we have the chance to watch it in New York. For those interested in great independent Latin American cinema, this is probably one of the best festivals in the country.

The following is a list of special events and panels that will run in parallel with the screenings and after-parties for the whole week:

El Museo del Barrio
1230 Fifth Avenue at 104th Street, Manhattan
Wednesday, April 7, 7:00 pm
Cine Nuevo (Free and open to the public)
Uprooted (documentary, 2009, Colombia) and El Play (2008, Dominican Republic-U.S.)
Director Pablo Medina present for Q&A.

The Bronx Museum of the Arts
1040 Grand Concourse at 165th Street, The Bronx
Friday, April 9, 6:00 pm
(Free and open to the public)
20 Años (Animation, 2009, Cuba) and Homo Erectus (Fiction, 2010, U.S.-Cuba)
Homo Erectus’ director, Alejandro Lora and producer, Alberto Gonzalez present for Q&A.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street
FREE with museum admission, membership, or festival pass
Saturday, April 17
Latin American Films for Children
In Spanish with English subtitles

Bonnie J. Sacerdote Lecture Hall.
Spanish-language gallery talks and workshops.

Tisch School of the Arts, NYU
721 Broadway at Waverly Place, Room 006, 6th Floor
Monday, April 19

King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center, NYU
53 Washington Square South (Between Thompson & Sullivan Streets)
(All events are free and open to the public)

Monday, April 19, 4:30 pm
Tribute to Enrique Pineda Barnet

Tuesday, April 20, 5:30 pm
Diary of the End, Juan Alejandro Ramirez (Peru) and Fidel Anecdotes, Estela Bravo (Cuba).

7:00 pm The Business of Filmmaking: Latin America - USA. The impact of copyright and intellectual property rights on production and distribution. Participants: Jeffrey Levy-Hinte (President of Antidote Films); Alfredo Calvino (CEO Latino Fusion); Fernando Ramirez (Entertainment Law attorney); Maria Marta Antin (Director, Talent Campus Buenos Aires, Universidad del Cine). Moderated by Sandy Lieberson (Chairman of Film London). Reception to follow. Simultaneous translation provided by LART. Co-Sponsored by Mexicana Airlines, U.S-Mexico Chambers of Commerce.

36 8th Street, Room 200
Thursday, April 22
The Extraordinary Journey of Fernando Bujones (60 min.) Israel Rodriguez. Producer Francisco Chagas Present for Q&A
The Beauty of La Alhambra. The iconic film celebrates its 20 anniversary. Director Enrique Pineda Barnet present for Q&A.

34 West 13th Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues)
Thursday, April 22, 6:00 pm
Celebrating the Bicentennial of Mexican Independence & Centennial of Mexican Revolution.

More info:

Mar 7, 2010

V-me wants you to C-it

V-me, the Spanish television network, celebrates its third anniversary in March with a new line-up of entertainment content in Spanish. With more than two dozen new series, all U.S. Hispanic premieres, V-me combines new original productions with acquisitions from world-class producers including PRISA, BBC, National Geographic, Artear, Turner Latin America, and Off-the-Fence.

"V-me brings quality and engagement with content that fills the gaps in the U.S. Hispanic TV landscape," said Carmen DiRienzo, V-me president and CEO. "Our new programs bring drama beyond novellas while feeding our viewers' hunger for broad ranging lifestyle and factual entertainment. This means new dynamic viewers to Spanish TV and more choices for those already watching Spanish TV."


Hay Alguien Ahí – (There's Someone There) Mondays – Supernatural dangers confront a family in a house filled with dark secrets. A ratings winner with young adults in Spain, this is the first paranormal drama ever offered on U.S. Spanish TV.

Tratame Bien (Be Good To Me) - Tuesdays - A couple in midlife crisis (played by international stars, Julio Chavez and Cecilia Roth) juggles difficult kids, a failing business, affairs, couples therapy and the tragicomedy of everyday life.

Amistades Peligrosas (Dangerous Friendships) - Wednesdays – Romance is laced with suspense when a group of thirty-somethings reunite ten years after the unsolved murder that shattered their friendship – and nobody is above suspicion.

Cuenta Atrás (Against Time) - Thursdays – in the tradition of 24, Chief Corso – a tough, brilliant loner with a short fuse – leads an elite crime unit in a weekly race against the clock to solve the toughest cases in this action-packed police drama.

Botines (The Loot) - Fridays - Real-life heists and scams - and the criminal masterminds who planned them - come to life via dramatic recreations.

In addition to these new drama series, V-me also adds engaging new entertainment to its evening lineup:

En Pantalla (On Screen ) – (Wednesdays 8:30pm) Expanded to a regular weekly half-hour, the only weekly cinema series in Spanish features host Jack Rico with news, reviews, interviews and contests. The program leads into V-me's weekly showcase of contemporary Latin films from Europe and the Americas.

Estudio Billboard – (Tuesdays 10:00 pm) V-me's original hit music interview series hosted by Leila Cobo is back for a new season of in-depth conversation and intimate performances, featuring artists like Alejandro Sanz, Christian Castro and more.

Desafío Extremo (Extreme Challenge) – (Thursdays 10:00pm) In the style of Crocodile Hunter or Man vs. Wild, mountain climber/motorcycle racer Jesus Calleja confronts extreme nature, from the world's snowiest peaks to scorching deserts.

Ciencia Sobrenatural (Supernatural Science) (Tuesdays 9:00pm) - Some phenomena still defy rational explanation - science, experts and dramatic recreations combine in a fascinating series that explores the reality behind the myths.

About V-me: V-me, one of America's largest Spanish networks, entertains and informs Latino families in Spanish with primetime drama, music, sports, current affairs and Latin cinema, along with world class kids, food, lifestyle and nature. The 24-hour network, partnered with public television stations, is currently available in over 70% of all Hispanic homes. V-me is the first venture of the media production and distribution company, V-me Media Inc.

More info:

Feb 8, 2010

Iberoamérica viaja a Berlín

A partir del 11 de febrero el Festival Internacional de Cine de Berlín (más conocido como la Berlinale), abrirá sus puertas nuevamente, acogiendo no sólo a películas que competirán por el famoso Oso de Oro, sino también a diversas iniciativas que transcurren en paralelo al festival, como ser el Talent Campus o el Co-Production Market.

Cinco películas hispanas participarán de este mercado paralelo que ya va por su séptima edición, en búsqueda de socios, productores, financieras y hasta potenciales distribuidores. El chileno Marco Bechis (Garage Olimpo, 1999) presenta Caminos Líquidos con co-producción italiana. El argentino Eduardo Rípari por largo tiempo asistente de dirección, presentará su primer proyecto de largometraje, El Testamento. Alicia Scherson (Turistas, 2009) presenta El Futuro, una co-producción entre Chile y España. Por Brasil participará Marcos Bernstein (escritor de Estación Central, 1998, y otras), con O Meu Pé De Laranja Lima, y por Costa Rica Laura Astorga con Princesas Rojas.

En la competencia oficial, y ante glorias como Martin Scorsese, Roman Polanski y Zhang Yimou, la argentina Natalia Smirnoff, con camino parecido al de Eduardo Rípari, debutará con su ópera prima Rompecabezas, con la ilusión de llevarse a casa el Oso de Oro. Anteriormente otros argentinos lograron premios en este festival: Daniel Burman, Oso de Plata con El Abrazo Partido (2004) y Rodrigo Moreno, el Alfred Bauer por El Custodio (2006).

Smirnoff recibió en el 2009 la suma de 10.000 euros al ganar el premio de Casa de América de Ayuda a la Postproducción del Cine Latinoamericano. Todos ellos, y tantos otros que se quedaron afuera, demuestran que el cine de habla hispana sigue siendo un gran protagonista internacional, y nuevos talentos se desarrollan cada vez más.


Imágen: Victoria Onetto en Rompecabezas.

Jan 17, 2010

From Here And There

Two Latino films open this month. One of them is from the Bronx, New York. The other one is from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Although the stories are very different —even the genres—, both main characters share an important condition: the need of a change.

Falling Awake (2009), written and directed by Cuban born Agustín (El Vacilón, 2009), tells the story of a young Latino musician in the Bronx, who struggles to find his identity. It's a story about survival beyond class and condition, and the possibilities to live a life outside poverty and violence.

The Paranoids (2008), by Gabriel Medina, stars Berlin Silver Bear winner Daniel Hendler (Lost Embrace, Whisky), as a guy who works in birthday parties and writes his first feature and will engage in a conflict with a friend and his girlfriend.

Falling Awake's trailer:

The Paranoids' trailer:

Photo: Daniel Hendler, Jazmín Stuart and Walter Jakob (The Paranoids)