New York Latino Film Festival: ‘Habla Now’, ‘Charm City Kings’, ‘Critical Thinking’ And More Set For Hybrid Edition Of Fest

Dino-Ray Ramos
·32 min read

The New York Latino Film Festival (NYLFF) has set their lineup for their forthcoming hybrid edition of its fest which will take place September 14-20.

In the wake of the pandemic, many festivals have either canceled or pivoted to an entirely virtual program. NYLFF is one of the Latinx-based film fests that have continued with plans for their annual fest — with the appropriate changes. The 21st edition will be a combination of virtual events and in-person, drive-in screenings that celebrates Latinx creators. The fest will also host the first Latino drive-in experience to take place both in New York and in The Bronx.

This year’s festival features nearly 75 films representing more than 10 countries, spanning all genres including features, shorts, documentaries, web series and experimental films.

“Inspired by the resilience of the Latino community, NYLFF is proud to return with a fresh format featuring our first-ever drive-in experiences,” said Calixto Chinchilla, Founder of NYLFF. “We are proud to serve as an important platform for Latino creatives to share culturally relevant stories about intersectionality, diversity, and lived experiences in this country. Gracias to our sponsors for continuing to support our community of content creators and movie-goers. While there’s much learned this year, one thing we can all agree, the culture continues!”

The fifteenth edition of the HBO series Habla Now will serve as the fest’s opener, giving personal and relatable stories from well-known Latino personalities such as Dominican Singer/Actress/Activist Amara La Negra, Mexican American Environmental Activist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, Puerto Rican Olympian Laurie Hernandez, Colombian Actress Diane Guerrero, among others.

In addition, Angel Manuel Soto’s Charm City Kings will have its New York premiere at the fest. Produced by Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith and James Lassiter, with a story by Oscar winner Barry Jenkins, Charm City Kings marks the feature directorial debut follows the journey of 14-year-old Mouse who desperately wants to join the Midnight Clique, an infamous group of Baltimore dirt-bike riders who rule the summertime streets.

John Leguizamo’s Critical Thinking will also make its New York premiere. The pic tells the true story of five Latinx and Black teenagers from Miami Jackson Senior High School who fight their way into the National Chess Championship under the guidance of their unconventional but inspirational teacher.

Read the complete lineup for NYLFF below.

OPENING NIGHT

HABLA NOW
Presented by: HBO Latino
Documentary Special | U.S.A. | 60 min | Wednesday, September 16th | 8:00 PM

The 2020 New York Latino Film Festival (NYLFF) kicks off with Habla Now, the fifteenth installment of HBO Latino’s award-winning “Habla” series. This one-hour documentary special features testimonials from US Latinos –celebrities, recognized professionals, and everyday Latinos – who share honest stories about being Latino in the U.S. The storytellers include Arturo Castro, Nelly Galan, Amara La Negra, Cristina Jimenez, Ozzie Areu, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, Edgardo Miranda Rodriguez, Mark Hugo Lopez, Mariana Atencio, Laurie Hernandez, Justina Machado, Diane Guerrero, Carmen Carrera, José Andrés, and many more.

Sometimes funny, often poignant, always truthful, “Habla” is an award-winning series on HBO Latino that has put the faces and voices of US Latinos on the screen like no other show before it. The stories told have an educational and cultural impact not only on the fast-growing American Latino community, but also with a broader audience. This hit series is not just the chance for US Latinos to stand up and be heard, but also an opportunity to bridge cultural gaps… and it’s a bridge that goes in both directions.

SHOWCASE PREMIERES

CHARM CITY KINGS
U.S.A. | 125 min
Directed by: Angel Manuel Soto
Writers: Screenplay by Sherman Payne, Story by Barry Jenkins, Kirk Sullivan, Christopher M. Boyd
Produced by: Caleeb Pinkett, Clarence Hammond, Marc Bienstock
Cast: Jahi Di’Allo Winston, Meek Mill, Will Catlett, Teyonah Parris, Donielle Tremaine Hansley, Kezii Curtis

A Baltimore teen has to choose between preparing for a future as a veterinarian and “getting money” in a dirt bike gang’s drug operation in this electric feature from Puerto Rican director Angel Manuel Soto. Pulsing with teen gusto, thumping hip-hop, and amazing bike tricks, Charm City Kings won the hearts of audience and critics alike at its world premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, taking home the Special Jury Award.

Fourteen-year-old Mouse desperately wants to join the Midnight Clique, an infamous group of Baltimore dirt-bike riders who rule the summertime streets. His older brother was their top rider before his tragic death—a loss that consumes Mouse as much as his passion for bikes. Mouse’s mom and his police mentor, Detective Rivers, work overtime to help the charismatic teen reach his full potential, but when the Midnight Clique’s leader takes the boy under his wing, the lure of revving his own dirt bike skids Mouse toward a road way past the straight and narrow. Based on the documentary 12 O’Clock Boys, Charm City Kings is one boy’s unforgettable journey toward manhood.

CRITICAL THINKING
U.S.A. | 117 min
Directed by: John Leguizamo
Writer: Dito Montiel
Produced by: Jason Mandl, Scott M. Rosenfelt, Elayne Schneiderman Schmidt, Joseph Krutel
Cast: John Leguizamo, Rachel Bay Jones, Michael K. Williams, Corwin C. Tuggles, Jorge Lendeborg Jr.

Directed by John Leguizamo, Critical Thinking tells the 1998 true story of five LatinX and Black teenagers from Miami Jackson Senior High School, located in one of the toughest neighborhoods in Miami, who fight their way into the National Chess Championship under the guidance of their unconventional but inspirational teacher.

U.S. FEATURE NARRATIVE

AMARAICA
U.S.A.-Mexico | 93 min | Wednesday, September 16th | 7:00 PM
Directed by: Tim Sparks
Writer: Tim Sparks
Produced by: Tom Musca, Elpidia Carrillo, Tim Sparks, Kori Sparks, Rafaela Rodriguez Ibarra
Cast: Aldo Verastegui, Karian Lechuga, Edgar Arreola

In this emotionally charged drama ripped from the headlines, undocumented immigrant Roberto puts his plans for legal residency on hold when he becomes a new father at the onset of the US governments ‘Zero Tolerance’ child separation policy.

Roberto Hernandez seeks to obtain his papers through a fraudulent marriage but is thwarted from his goal when his ex-girlfriend Juana shows up claiming he is the father of her child. Choosing to do the right thing, he abandons his only legal path towards the American dream to embrace fatherhood. He soon discovers that all the love in the world cannot protect his daughter Amara from the newly energized immigration enforcement.

IN OTHER WORDS
U.S.A.- Mexico | 100 min | Monday, September 14th | 7:00 PM
Directed by: Patrick Perez Vidauri
Writer: Cristina Nava
Produced By: Cristina Nava and Patrick P. Vidauri
Cast: Bryan McClure, Edy Ganem, Natasha Esca

In Other Words breathes new life into the rom-com genre in this delightfully funny film about falling in love across the language barrier.

True Andrews is a tech geek who lands an investor for his matchmaking app; but when his app matches him with a beautiful girl who doesn’t speak English, he travels with his buddies to the wine country in Baja California to prove his algorithm isn’t screwy.

PRESIDENT EVIL
U.S.A. | 83 min | Friday, September 18th | 9:00 PM
Directed by: Richard Lowry
Writers: Richard Lowry, Gregory P. Wolk
Produced by: Ruben Estremera, Gregory P. Wolk, Francesca Zappitelli
Cast: Jose Rosete, Christian Hutcherson, Johanna Rae

Days before the U.S. elections, three young women of color are stalked by a deranged killer dressed as the POTUS.

A parody of John Carpenter’s horror masterpiece, President Evil sees Michael Myers disguised as Trump as he goes about suburbia, hell-bent on killing minorities. Jose Rosete (The Walking Dead : Red Machete), Christian Hutcherson (Dark) and Johanna Rae (Psychos) star in this satirical slasher flick that drives home the message that truth is definitely stranger than fiction.

LIKE: THE MISEDUCATION OF LIL TITO
U.S.A. | 84 min | Wednesday, September 16th | 9:00 PM
Directed by: Geo Santini
Writer: Geo Santini
Produced by: Tracy Keshek, Luis Arellano
Cast: Rene Rosado, Lisa Roumain, Tiffany Daniels, Scotty Tova, Jessica Meza, Jacory Gums

This hilarious mockumentary follows the meteoric rise and painful demise of Benito Cruz as he evolves from outrageous social media click bait king to the extremely controversial and chart-topping hip-hop troll, Lil Tito.

Welcome to the world of social media prankster, Benito Cruz. Having built a following by pulling edgy pranks that flirt with legality, Benito eventually pulls the one that lands him behind bars, only to be released and discover that his social media following has approached God-like proportions. With his newfound popularity, Benito transforms from click bait prankster to hardcore rapper, Lil Tito. A trolling genius, Lil Tito, skyrockets to the top of the charts. People become completely infatuated with him and his antics, asking themselves, “what will Lil Tito do next?” However, with fame comes responsibility…

THE LAST RAFTER
U.S.A. | 82 min | Tuesday, September 15th | 9:00 PM
Directed by: Carlos R Betancourt, Oscar Ernesto Ortega
Writers: Carlos R Betancourt, Oscar Ernesto Ortega
Produced by: Alina Rodríguez
Cast: Hector Medina, Nestor Jiménez, Chaz Mena, Cristina García

In this powerful and strikingly timely coming-of-age story, America’s first undocumented Cuban immigrant searches for his father while unraveling a past of intolerance and hate that haunts him.

After risking his life crossing the Florida Straits on a raft, a young Cuban searches Miami for his long-absent father. When a political shift makes him America’s first Cuban undocumented immigrant, he must battle the new and bigger fear of deportation, while trying to find a place where he truly belongs.

A NEW YORK CHRISTMAS WEDDING
U.S.A. | 89 min | Saturday, September 19th | 7:00 PM
Directed by: Otoja Abit
Writer: Otoja Abit
Produced by: Kory Aption, Otoja Abit, Ian Phillips, Chris Noth, Armando Gutierrez, Peter Lees
Cast: Chris Noth, Nia Fairweather, Cooper Koch, Adriana DeMeo, Tyra Ferrell

If you knew you could do it over, would you?

As her Christmas Eve wedding draws near, Jennifer is visited by an angel who shows her what could have been if she hadn’t denied her true feelings for her childhood best friend.

INTERNATIONAL FEATURES

A STATE OF MADNESS / MIS 500 LOCOS
Dominican Republic | 93 min | Tuesday, September 15th | 6:00 PM
Directed by: Leticia Tonos
Writers: Waddys Jaquez, Lenin Compres
Produced by: Joaquin Labour, Julissa Reynoso, Rafael Elias Muñoz
Cast: Luis Jose German, Jane Santo, Pavel Marcano, Rick Montero

Stylish, emotional, and based on a true story, A State of Madness is the tale of an intrepid Dominican doctor who defied the odds to successfully run a mental institution during a brutal dictatorship.

An asylum-set drama that evokes the film noir of the fifties, A State of Madness transports us to 1953, when the Dominican Republic was under the violent dictatorship of President Rafael Leonidis Trujillo. After a group of mental patients escape from the Nigüa Psychiatric Hospital, Dr. Antonio Zaglul is appointed new director of the institution in order to calm the negative press that the lack of control of the place was generating. Once there it will be difficult to tell if the madness lives inside or outside the hospital walls.

NEITHER HERO NOR TRAITOR / NI HÉROE NI TRAIDOR
Argentina | 74 min | Tuesday, September 15th | 9:00 PM
Directed by: Nicolás Savignone
Writers: Nicolás Savignone, Pio Longo, Francisco Grassi
Produced by: Ariana Spenza, Nicolás Savignone
Cast: Juan Grandinetti, Inés Estevez, Rafael Spregelburd

Neither Hero nor Traitor offers a poignant portrayal of conflict in a story about a country on the brink of war and a young man forced to choose between his dreams and his “duty.”

Buenos Aires, 1982: Matías, a 19 year old on the brink of adulthood, has just finished military service and wishes to study music in Spain. His problems boil down to convincing his girlfriend to join him later and dealing with his father’s disapproval. But his life quickly takes an unexpected turn when the Falklands War breaks out and he and his friends are called to enlist in the army.

MAMBO MAN
Cuba | 82 min | Tuesday, September 15th | 7:00 PM
Directed by: Mo Fini, Edesio Alejandro
Writers: Mo Fini, Paul Morris
Produced by: Zadoc Nava, Julio Cezar
Cast: Hector Noas, Isael Yudexi de la Torre Mesa, Alejandro Palomino Infante, David Pérez

Mambo Man pairs a stellar soundtrack of Cuba’s most iconic musicians with striking images of the island’s lush countryside to tell the true story of a farmer turned music promoter who gambles everything on a deal that appears too good to be true.

Prolific actor Hector Noas plays JC, a Cuban farmer and music promoter struggling to make ends meet in this heart-warming film based on a true story. The soundtrack and live performances in the film feature a line-up of the legendary Cuban artists who appeared in the box office smash, Buena Vista Social Club, including Grammy award-winning Eliades Ochoa (Buena Vista Social Club), Juan de Marcos Gonzalez (Afro-Cuban All Stars), Candido Fabre, David Alvarez and others.

THE RABBITS’ HOUSE / LA CASA DE LOS CONEJOS
Argentina – Spain – France | 94 min | Sunday, September 20th | 8:00 PM
Directed by: Valeria Selinger
Writer: Valeria Selinger
Produced by: Oscar Azar
Cast: Dario Grandinetti, Miguel Angel Sola, Guadalupe DoCampo Paula Brasca

Valeria Selinger’s debut feature delivers a powerful story of activism, resistance and secrecy from the perspective of a young girl whose family is forced into hiding during Argentina’s bloody Junta dictatorship.

Buenos Aires, 1975. Laura is only seven years old, but she knows that to survive you have to keep quiet. Growing up with her mother, she learns to live a secret life, to use a fake name, and to hide the activists with whom she shares a home. She knows, too, that a clandestine printing press is concealed behind the rabbit’s house. The Rabbits’ House marks documentary director Selinger’s first incursion into fiction features in an adaptation of the real and extraordinary events in Laura Alcoba’s autobiography of the same name.

MARCELO
Puerto Rico | 115 min | Saturday, September 19th | 9:00 PM
Directed by: Transfor Ortiz
Writer: Jesus M. Rivera
Produced by: Socorro Torres
Cast: Jorge Pabón

When frustrated actor Papote learns that his ex-wife plans to relocate to Orlando with their son, he is pushed to do whatever he can to avoid losing his family.

Papote is struggling to make a name for himself in Puerto Rican theater. On top of his professional frustrations, his ex-wife has decided to relocate to Orlando with their 10 year old son, who Papote loves with all his heart, and her new husband. But Papote’s life takes an unexpected turn when he snaps at work and is required to attend an anger management program at a mental health institution. Once there he sets out to produce a play starring his fellow patients in order to keep his son’s innocence intact.

MALPASO
Dominican Republic | 80 min | Thursday, September 17th | 9:00 PM
Directed by: Héctor M. Valdez
Writers: David Maler, Hector Valdez, Angel de la Cruz, José Pastor, José Ramón Alamá
Produced by: José Ramón Alamá
Cast: Luis Bryan Mesa, Ariel Diaz, Wigberto Dechamps, Vicente Santos, Marie Michele Bazile, Peter Jean Baptiste, Pepe Sierra

After their grandfather dies, twin brothers struggle to find their way in the world, complicated by prejudice against one boy’s albinism.

Candido and Braulio are fraternal twins growing up in the border town of Malpaso, Jimani, right across the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Growing up orphaned, Braulio helps his grandfather sell coal in the market while Candido stays in their secluded home due to his albinism. Their life takes a turn for the worse after the unexpected demise of their grandfather. Now Braulio will need to look after his brother and both will attempt to make ends meet in the border town market. All the while, Candido dreams of the eventual return of their estranged father.

BREATHLESS / SINALIENTO
Dominican Republic | 106 min | Wednesday, September 16th | 9:00 PM
Directed by: Ettore D’Alessandro
Writer: Ettore D’Alessandro
Produced by: Carolina Encarnacion, Ettore D’Alessandro, Antonio Gennari
Cast: Ettore D’Alessandro, Judith Rodriguez, Margaux Da Silva, Camila Santana, Gerardo Mercedes, Lizbeth Santos

Part thrilling crime drama, part epic love story, Breathless is a heart-pounding ride through the complexities and moral ambiguities of its characters when forced to their limit.

In the Dominican Republic, hardened cop Manolo tries to take down an infamous drug cartel; meanwhile, his daughter has fallen in love with Lorenzo, a construction worker who has unwittingly gotten himself embroiled in the drug cartel’s dealings.

DOCUMENTARIES

FIVE YEARS NORTH
Documentary | U.S.A. – Guatemala | 88 min | Monday, September 14th | 8:00 PM
Directed by: Zach Ingrasci, Chris Temple
Produced by: Jenna Kelly

Five Years North’s unparalleled access and observational approach makes for a gripping coming-of-age story of an undocumneted boy desperate to bring the American Dream back home to Guatemala, and a valuable entry point to understanding America’s broken immigration system.

15-year-old Luis Lopez arrives alone in New York City after a dangerous journey north. He’s spellbound by the bright lights of Times Square and the promise of a better life. Over the next few years, reality sets in as he desperately tries to learn English, navigate high school, work temporary jobs, and manage expectations from his parents back home. Working nearby is Judy, a veteran Cuban-American ICE agent and native New Yorker. Although Judy’s Cuban parents voice their disapproval of ICE, she feels grateful to have a stable job with benefits. Under mounting pressure from the administration, and growing frustration with the shifting focus away from criminals, Judy decides to follow her own rule book.

BIRTH WARS
Documentary | U.S.A. – Mexico | 73 min | Wednesday, September 16th | 7:00 PM
Directed by: Janet Jarman
Produced by: Janet Jarman & Filip Lein

Told through deeply personal stories in the trenches of the healthcare sector, Birth Wars chronicles a power struggle between doctors and midwives in Mexico over differing visions of childbirth.

While doctors rule over a medical system that aims to be safe and efficient, women often feel disrespected, and their health and well-being suffers. Birth Wars follows midwives and doctors in Guerrero and Chiapas, two of Mexico’s most marginalized and violent states, as they fight against huge odds to transform this system towards one centered on respect for a woman’s health, needs and choices. This is a journey into two worlds driven by prejudices and antagonism, and a testament to the fact that building bridges between these worlds could help save lives.

YOUR MOTHER’S COMFORT
Documentary | U.S.A. – Brazil | 79 min | Thursday, September 17th | 7:00 PM
Directed by: Adam Golub
Produced by: Johnny Symons, Tammy Kremer

With the impending election of an extreme-right wing president in Brazil, trans activist and politician Indianara Siqueira fights to defend the LGBT homeless shelter she founded called CasaNem.

Indianara Siqueira, trans activist and politician, admonishes her political party for ousting her days before the 2018 Brazilian national elections. In the same election cycle extreme-Right candidate Jair Bolsonaro is a forerunner for president of the republic. Indianara is the founder of CasaNem, a homeless shelter and community center for trans sex workers in the center of Rio de Janeiro. Facing the threat of CasaNem’s eviction, Indianara occupies a colonial palace in the city center to make her demands. As Brazilian democracy crumbles around her she fights to save her community from the uncertain streets.

SHORT DOCUMENTARY PROGRAM I
Saturday, September 19th | 6:00 PM

OUT OF THE SHADOWS
Short Documentary | U.S.A. | 14 min
Directed by: Rafael Samanez
Joselyn, a Mexican transgender immigrant woman, crosses the Mexico/U.S. border to flee increasingly dangerous conditions in her hometown. She attempts to adjust to her new home in Queens, New York, but finds similar oppressive conditions in the U.S. After falling into a depression following the murder of her best friend, Joselyn finds a community of transgender women and together they fight to lift themselves out of poverty by attempting to open the first trans owned cooperative salon in the United States.

LÁZARO
Short Documentary | Mexico | 23 min
Directed by: Mario González Jiménez
A penetrating look inside life in a rehab clinic as 15-year-old Jonathan tells his own story of his struggles with drugs and addiction.

THE BONY LADY / LA FLACA
Short Documentary | Mexico | 20 min
Directed by: Thiago Zanato, Adriana Barbosa
Arely Vazquez is a transgender woman and leader of the Santa Muerte Cult in Queens, New York. During her yearly celebration to the Bony Lady (“La Flaca” as she likes to call her), Arely faces the challenge to fulfill a promise she made ten years ago.

THE OTHER BORDER
Short Documentary | U.S.A. | 8 min
Directed by: Justin Zimmerman
High school student Gerardo Hernandez – raised in the United States since six months of age – was one of over 100 undocumented workers arrested by ICE in Ohio on June 5th, 2018. Gerardo spent almost two months in prison before being released… and is now scheduled to be deported in early 2020.

SHORT DOCUMENTARY PROGRAM II
Sunday, September 20th | 6:30 PM

ADRIFT / A LA DERIVA
Short Documentary | Dominican Republic | 14 min
Directed by: Paula Cury Melo
In the Dominican Republic, sexual education is almost nonexistent, teen pregnancy rates are staggeringly high, and abortion is illegal in all circumstances. Adrift seeks to expose layers of social issues including disregard for women’s rights, toxic masculinity, domestic violence, and a political system coerced by religion. But even as they face tremendous adversity, expecting mothers as young as 14 reveal a fierce determination and a collective hope for a better future.

CON DIOS
Short Documentary | U.S.A. | 8 min
Directed by: Anthony Rojas
Carmen Rojas, a Dominican immigrant, community leader, and loving mother in Washington Heights, has dedicated over 40-years of her life to advocating for fairer treatment, protesting overcharges, halfway houses, school shutdowns and fighting for the people of Upper Manhattan. She isn’t about to let a respiratory condition prevent her from empowering her community…

THE UNDOCUMENTED LAWYER
Short Documentary | U.S.A. | 19 min
Directed by: Chris Temple, Zach Ingrasci
Lizbeth Mateo is an attorney in Los Angeles—one who started a law practice, hired four employees, and took an oath to uphold the U.S. constitution. She also has no legal options to stay in the country. Lizbeth is undocumented. Since crossing the border at age 14, Lizbeth hasn’t let her immigration status hold her back. Frustrated by an unjust system, she’s drawing from her own experiences to fight for immigrant rights in the streets and in the courts.

SPECTRUM
Friday, September 18th | 7:00 PM

NAPS
Short Fiction | U.S.A. | 10 min
Directed by: Martinique Watson, Tarik Smith
A young black woman faces conflict when going against what is normal in her community.

A POSTCARD TO NINA
Short Fiction | U.S.A. | 13 min
Directed by: Ronald Baez
Longtime Instagram penpals Jean and Nina meet in person for the first time, re-defining their relationship as they stumble through a deceptive, although well-meaning dinner with Nina’s ultra-conservative father.

PLUS
Short Fiction | U.S.A. | 14 min
Directed by: Andrew J. Rodriguez
Zaire Ruiz has life under control when he is suddenly diagnosed with HIV, a condition that still carries a heavy social stigma. Zaire carries this burden alone.

HEIR
Short Fiction | U.S.A. | 10 min
Directed by: Clark Fong Barclay
A freshly crowned triad boss invites his estranged sister back into the family.

THE FIX
Short Fiction | U.S.A. | 17 min
Directed by: Glenn Ford
Marcus once had everything, but after a tragic loss in his family he struggles with addiction. His purpose in life dissipates after losing everything important to him. His best friend, Bobby, is his only hope to salvage what is left.

MIDNIGHT
Friday, September 18th | 11:00 PM

CULPA
Short Fiction | U.S.A. | 7 min
Directed by: Miguel Ferrer
A print-shop worker finds out the hard way that if you let it, guilt, will kill you.

BACK ON THURSDAY / VOLVEMOS EL JUEVES
Short Fiction | Argentina | 6 min
Directed by: Catalina Zuloaga
An elderly woman sits in a hotel room, surrounded by handwritten notes to combat her serious memory problem. But still, there is something she doesn’t remember, despite having the answer in front of her eyes.

INTO THE UNCANNY VALLEY
Short Fiction | U.S.A. | 13 min
Directed by: Liz Fania Werner, Carlos Montaner
When a woman takes a new drug meant to enhance assertiveness by blocking empathy, she ends up locked in a deadly power struggle with her dismissive husband.

THE HISTORY OF MONSTERS
Short Fiction | U.S.A. | 20 min
Directed by: Juan Pablo Arias Muñoz
Haunted every night by monsters of unknown origin, an isolated woman finds a stranger in the woods and struggles between her safety and her sexual desires.

O.U.
Short Fiction | Puerto Rico | 20 min
Directed by: Vance Mclean Ball
In a time when androids are destroyed, Mateo, a patient with an artificial heart, embarks on the journey to find the one that has taken care of him since the surgery.

NAHJUM
Short Fiction | Mexico | 17 min
Directed by: Sebastian Torres Greene, Manuel Del Valle
A prehistoric family´s desperate search for a mythical source of life turns into tragedy when the egos and obsessions of their male members rise to the surface.

BERTA
Short Fiction | Chile | 13 min
Directed by: Claudia Robles
Daniela Vargas was a girl from Chile’s National Minors’ Services who died despite being approved for a heart transplant. She was not considered because of her social standing and unstable family situation. They spoke of the ethical principles, of international protocols for the care of transplant patients… but nobody spoke for Daniela.

FUTURO
Thursday, September 17th | 7:00 PM

LOUEY & BRI TV
Web Series | U.S.A. | 5 min
Directed by: Oliver Ponce
A sketch comedy web series starring Luis Guzman and Bri Smith where every episode is standalone and packs a punch! In the series’ first episode, Beck seeks help from her new therapist Dr. Nicky, only to realize his unconventional methods may not help with her murderous boyfriend Joe after all.

BODEGA KNIGHTS
Web Series | U.S.A. | 7 min
Directed by: Miguel Ortiz, Oshton Cox
Two misguided youth take on local crime after a series of robberies. They become the unsought heroes of a Brooklyn ghetto and must confront one of the bosses, a real life villain along the way. Their choices begin to deviate as the story unfolds. Can they survive the woes of the vigilante life?

GONE
Web Series | U.S.A. | 6 min
Directed by: Felix Martiz
After being separated from her mother, Sarai is possessed with the power to make others disappear. She begins by disappearing the children of the guards from the detainment center that holds her.

HYPHENATED
Web Series | U.S.A. | 9 min
Directed by: Damian Gomez , Miles Crawford
A Mexican-American guy struggling to make it as a professional dancer in Los Angeles survives through side jobs like “Dog Walking-Bar Mitzvah Dancing-Fill in the Blank-Uber Driver.” Lying to his Mexican parents about his employment, he seems to move further away from his dream with each new gig…

THE NEW YORK EFFECT
Web Series | U.S.A. | 8 min
Directed by: Juan Rivera, J.F. Seary
The New York Effect follows Juan, a gay Puerto Rican man, as he navigates life, love and work in NYC. Juan’s trials and triumphs are all subject to the devastatingly delightful eye of Juancé – Juan’s drag queen conciencia.

BEFORE WE WRAP
Web Series | Cayman Islands – U.S.A. | 25 min
Directed by: Elizabeth Charles
Wrapping your hair at night is a black female tradition. Listening to the sounds of RnB and soul over late night radio is an urban tradition. Before We Wrap combines these uniquely black, female rituals in the form of a late night talk show that embodies the aesthetic and energy of 90’s urban radio, recalibrated for a millennial audience, and offering candid discussions on issues of race, gender, identity, health and well-being.

MY FIRST TIME
Web Series | U.S.A. | 20 min
Directed by: Chad Quinn, Eric Dickens
My First Time is a mockumentary-style TV series that chronicles the story of local New Yorkers as they share their first sexual experiences.

DOMINICANYORK
Web Series | U.S.A. | 10 min
Directed by: Michelle Ramirez
DominicanYork is an independent mini web series that dives into the lives of a cast of 8 millennials .Relationships are tested and identities are challenged as they deal with breakups, secrets, find their purpose, and weave through the duality of their Dominican and American upbringing.

CANTERA 5V5
Web Series | U.S.A. | 72 min
Directed by: Jeff Zimbalist, Michael Zimbalist
This documentary web series directed by filmmakers Jeff and Michael Zimbalist, gives the audience an exclusive insight into a global student 5v5 Soccer Tournament and the lives of five aspiring athletes from around the world: Yahya Sabbar (Italy), Rodrigo Alpizar (Mexico), Gisela Robledo Gil (Colombia), Daniel Zabala (Argentina), and Flavia Alonso De Carvalho (Brazil). With behind-the-scenes access, the content brings viewers high-octane, exciting portraits of sacrifice and passion, exploring what it takes to be a champion – both on and off the pitch.

SHORTS PROGRAM 1: COURAGE UNDER FIRE
Monday, September 14th | 6:00 PM

CHECK YES!
Short Fiction | U.S.A. | 10 min
Directed by: Luciannys Camacho
In a world where every 8 out 10 people has some kind of superpower, being a hero is a viable career, and high school senior Reineldis De La Cruz dreams of being one when she grows up, despite her overbearing mother’s objections. Things change one afternoon during a trip to the salon.

THE ART LESSON
Short Fiction | U.S.A. | 10 min
Directed by: Leo Curbelo
An old man walks into a gallery to appreciate a painting. His moment of peace is broken by a loud talking teenager. She makes fun of the artwork and he proceeds to explain it to her. But who does eventually receive the art lesson?

SOLEDAD
Short Fiction | U.S.A. | 10 min
Directed by: Carlos Renaso
After arriving in the United States from a Caribbean Island, Soledad makes a phone call to her older sister where she learns her marriage may be a lie.

DATE NIGHT
Short Fiction | Canada | 6 min
Directed by: Arlen Aguayo Stewart
Alba hasn’t dated in a long time, so saying she’s nervous is an understatement. Not helping: feeling old, language barriers, too much make-up, and a deeper fear her daughters don’t want to talk about.

ACUITZERAMO
Short Fiction | U.S.A. – Mexico | 16 min
Directed by: Miguel Angel Caballero
Salvador, a gay Mexican elder who has lost his partner of 15 years, calls his partner’s estranged son, Anthony, to tell him of his father’s passing. Unaware of their relationship, Anthony travels from Chicago to a small rural town in Mexico to attend his father’s funeral. As family secrets are exposed, identities and perceptions are challenged.

ROCKET / FOGUETE
Short Fiction | Brazil | 15 min
Directed by: Pedro Henrique Chaves
In the heart of the city, a toy attracts thousands of people and brings different generations together. The challenge of going up and down the rocket enchants a father and son who played in the same place and kept secrets that were never revealed.

I LOOK AT YOU ALL
Short Fiction | U.S.A. | 15 min
Directed by: Hernán Bornás
Bowie is a lonely ten year old boy struggling to overcome a monumental loss. Equipped with a fantastic imagination, his best friend, and a complete stranger, he attempts to navigate his way through love, death and friendship, in search of real answers.

SHORTS PROGRAM 2: MEDITATIONS IN AN EMERGENCY
Friday , September 18th | 8:00 PM

REFLECTION
Short Fiction | U.S.A. | 10 min
Directed by: Timur Bootzin
Manuel. Two worlds. Two lives.

THE QUIET
Short Fiction | U.S.A. | 10 min
Directed by: Mateo Márquez
In the midst of a deadly outbreak, a man returns home in search of family.

PASSED OVER
Short Fiction | U.S.A. | 12 min
Directed by: Steven Sagues
Impacted by COVID-19, an ordinary man and his loved ones deal with the struggles of everyday life in quarantine. He eventually finds hope through these dark days and shares his joy.

DREAMER
Short Fiction | U.S.A. | 8 min
Directed by: Vergi Rodriguez, Diana Zollicofer
Lily Cruz, a DACA recipient, travels on a medical volunteer mission and upon returning to the United States a TSA agent isn’t so welcoming.

BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE / ANTES QUE SEJA TARDE
Short Fiction | Brazil | 15 min
Directed by: Leandro Goddinho
Brazil, the first week of 2019. A new president takes office in a situation of fanaticism, prejudice, and violence. Locked in a hotel room, two teenagers decide to change the course of their lives before it’s too late.

STUPID / PENDEJA
Short Fiction | Mexico | 9 min
Directed by: Sebastián Torres
Graciela must receive 7,000 pesos for one month’s salary at Mrs. Pia’s home. Instead, her boss gives her 90 pesos.

THE 90 DAY PLAN
Short Fiction | U.S.A. | 8 min
Directed by: Gabriela Garcia Medina
High school senior Lorena (plus-sized Latina in a wheelchair, bright-eyed overachiever, obsessed with heist movies) tries to convince her bestie Vashundra (Indian-American, plain Jane, obsessed with butt models on Instagram) that it would be in their best interest to rob a Bank of America.

SHORTS PROGRAM 3: EL GALLO COMES HOME TO ROOST
Thursday, September 17th | 9:30 PM

1, 2, 3, ALL EYES ON ME
Short Fiction | U.S.A. | 15 min
Directed by: Emil Gallardo
When a crisis suddenly engulfs an elementary school campus, Ms. Leena, a determined art teacher, tries everything she can to save her frightened class.

INSTANT DOCTOR
Short Fiction | U.S.A. | 7 min
Directed by: Youth, Diogo Gameiro
What will the future of healthcare hold? Will algorithms eclipse doctors entirely? We hope not…

HOME MOVIES
Short Fiction | U.S.A. | 4 min
Directed by: Lorena Russi
NYC-Colombian comedian, Lorena Russi, discusses and recreates how her parents originally met hitchhiking.

MY WAR
Short Fiction | U.S.A. | 4 min
Directed by: Jojo Ernholtz
Haunted by the memories of war, a veteran struggles to return to normal life. Nina experiences a severe PTSD episode during her first Independence Day in America. As the explosions of the fireworks intensify, so too does her anxiety. Alone and without any support, she is forced to relive a traumatic event related to her combat experience in a supermarket.

THREE FLOORS / TRES PISOS
Short Fiction | Colombia | 8 min
Directed by: Manuela Blandon Restrepo
A girl, a wife and an old woman live in an apartment building, one over the other. Mariana just wants to play, but her mother forces her to study. Cristina packs her bags and tries to escape her aggressive husband.On the top floor, Carmen wants to listen to the radio, but her abusive daughter does not.

HOURS OF OPERATION
Short Fiction | U.S.A. | 15 min
Directed by: Freddy Hernandez
A grieving father is given a chance at redemption to save the daughter he thought he had lost. Now he’s going to risk it all to keep her safe… but not everything is as it seems.

SHORTS PROGRAM 4: SALSA AND BLUES
Saturday, September 19th | 8:00 PM

START WITH A SONG
Short Fiction | U.S.A. | 15 min
Directed by: Sebastián Bisbal
It’s an ordinary day for best friends Alejandra and Matt – a geometry test, an argument about album titles, a rehearsal for an upcoming music competition– until it’s interrupted by immigration officials barging into Alejandra’s home. As her parents attempt to fend off the intruders, the teens escape out the rear window and must search for help, safety, and answers. When the inevitability of their situation sets in, they do everything they can to prolong their last bit of time together.

ADULT NIGHT
Short Fiction | U.S.A. | 11 min
Directed by: Kevin Alejandro, Leslie Alejandro
In an attempt to “live colorfully,” the strength of a couple’s relationship is tested by a situation where it might be more important to get out rather than get off.

OPENING NIGHT / APERTURA
Short Fiction | Costa Rica | 10 min
Directed by: Sofía Meza Herrera
An introverted geek opens a café in hopes to connect with other people while he battles with his social anxiety that manifests through musical numbers.

THIS CHARMING MAN
Short Fiction | U.S.A. | 6 min
Directed by: Becky Bradshaw
Debonair and charismatic Augustine dances his way through a perverse evening of his own delights in this modern, twisted take on a silent film.

WELCOME BACK / BIENVENIDOS
Short Fiction | U.S.A. – Ecuador | 20 min
Directed by: Tiffany K. Guillen
Welcome Back takes place in present day Venezuela, and is inspired by a compilation of true stories. The film centers around Rosa and her daughter, Sophie, who have been deported back to the extremely dangerous and volatile Venezuela.

NYMPH
Short Fiction | Puerto Rico | 18 min
Directed by: Maria del Mar Rosario
Pressured by her economic situation, a newly arrived immigrant in New York enters a world of embellished sex work.

THE DANCE / EL BAILE
Short Fiction | Ecuador | 11 min
Directed by: James García Sotomayor, Mariano Casanova
Lisa discovers that the dancing partner she has rehearsed with for months to impress an important talent scout is now in the hospital with a twisted ankle. She will have to choose between forfeiting or dancing with clumsy Javi.

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