Presented by Palace Cinemas, the Cine Latino Film Festival is back once again to showcase the sights and sounds emerging from Latin America. Running from 13-28 November in Melbourne, the Festival will feature 26 films including a spotlight on new films from Argentina, a Cuban retrospective, three documentaries and 18 Australian premieres. Check out our top picks!
The most personal project to date from Academy Award-winning director and writer Alfonso Cuarón (Children of Men, Y Tu Mamá También), ROMA follows Cleo (Yalitza Aparicio), a young
domestic worker for a family in the middle-class neighbourhood of Roma in Mexico City. Delivering an artful love letter to the women who raised him, Cuarón draws on his own childhood to create a vivid and emotional portrait of domestic strife and social hierarchy amidst political turmoil of the 1970s. ROMA won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival and has been selected to represent Mexico in the upcoming Oscars and Spanish Goya awards. The Opening Night gala screening of ROMA (presented by the Venezuelan comedian Ivan Aristeguieta) will be followed by a Latin American feast of food, drinks and entertainment (The Plus Ones had the pleasure to attend a pre-screening of ROMA and let me tell you, it is a gorgeous, surreal, gripping movie).
From the creators of the Oscar-nominated Embrace of the Serpent, Ciro Guerra and Cristina Gallego’s astounding Birds of Passage is an epic, visually exquisite story about the origin of the Colombian drug trade, told through the perspective of a proud indigenous family. Almost mythical in its storytelling, this extraordinary film bursts with eye-popping traditional costumes and culture; a truly immersive atmosphere of surreal imagery.
Winner of the Berlinale Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize for opening new perspectives and the Silver Bear for Best Actress for Ana Brun, writer/director Marcelo Martinessi’s debut drama The Heiresses is a piercing and emotionally compelling look into the lives of the wealthy through the tribulations of a hesitant woman in quiet crisis.
The true story of Argentina’s most infamous and longest-serving criminal is one of such heightened drama it could easily be mistaken for fiction. With his latest film, director Luis Ortega mines the cinematic potential of this extraordinary tale, crafting one of the year’s most arresting thrillers. Carlitos (a revelatory Lorenzo Ferro) is a beautiful 17-year-old whose youthful appearance masks a criminal mastermind, much to the concern of his loving and upstanding parents (Cécilia Roth and Luis Gnecco).
Direct from the 2018 San Sebastian Film Festival (where it premiered as the Opening Night Gala), this smart, funny and hugely entertaining romantic comedy hit stars the wonderful Ricardo Darín and Mercedes Morán, and tells the story of a long-married couple who begin to question the true meaning of love and desire after becoming empty-nesters.
Ten Days Without Mom was the highest-grossing Argentine film of 2017, and is directed by Ariel Winograd, known for No Kids and That’s Not Cheating (Cine Latino 2017). Víctor and Vera have been married for twenty years. Víctor is constantly swamped with work and self-absorbed, completely unaware of the unpredictable home life of his wife and four children. Vera, exhausted and drained from being a full-time-stay at home mum who gets no help from her husband or her kids, takes off with a friend for Perú for ten days, leaving him in charge of his unruly kids.
Academy Award winner Alfonso Cuarón (Roma, Gravity, Children of Men) had his breakout hit with the perfectly balanced road comedy, Y tu mamá también starring Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna. The film tells the story of Julio and Tenoch, seventeen-year-olds who have had a long friendship despite their different backgrounds. Y tu mamá también is a perfectly balanced road
comedy which launched the careers of stars Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna. Sensual, surprising and poignant, it will screen in a 2K restoration at the closing night of the festival.
As you can see, this year’s Cine Latino Film Festival selection caters to all tastes, featuring highly anticipated thrillers and smash hit comedies from the region, a Cuban retrospective for patrons to enjoy some classics from Havana on the big screen, and eight of the most recent box office Argentinean hits. Don’t miss out!
Lourdes Zamanillo is a Melbourne-infatuated journalist. Originally from Mexico, she loves words, travelling, and (above all) feeling surprised.
Cine Latino Film Festival runs 13–28 November 2018 at alace Cinema Como, Palace Westgarth, and The Astor Theatre. Buy tickets now.
The venue is accessible.