The largest Latin American film fest in Canada is coming to Vancouver.
Nearly 17 films from 16 countries are set to be showcased at the 2015 Vancouver Latin American Film Festival, Sept. 3-Sept. 13. Since 2003, the festival has brought the best feature films, documentaries and short works from the Spanish-speaking world to Vancouver’s theatres.
This year’s festival will shine a special spotlight on Mexico – currently in the midst of a second “golden age” of cinema – while also showing the latest award-winning films from throughout Latin America. Here’s a peek at 5 can’t-miss movies at the 2015 Latin American Film Fest:
Güeros: This coming-of-age comedy from Mexico tracks a trio of slackers as they embark on a quest to track down their childhood folk-rock hero. Tomás, older brother Sombra and roommate Santos trek the streets of Mexico City, crossing social and political divides and struggling through fits of apathy and rebellion in a bid to pay final respects to a forgotten legend who – rumour has it – “once moved Bob Dylan to tears.” Sept. 3, 7 p.m. at SFU Woodward’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts
El Ardor: From Argentina comes this unique “Latin American Western,” set on the edge of the Amazon rainforest. A clan of tobacco farmers is beset by a band of cold-blooded land grabbers. Their only hope is a mysterious shaman who emerges from the jungle. Complete with old-fashioned gun battles – not to mention a lush backdrop full of birds, insects and prowling animals – the movie offers a supernatural twist on a popular genre. Sept 5, 9 p.m. at Cinematheque; Sept. 11, 9:15 p.m. at Cinematheque
Leap Year (Año bisiesto): This acclaimed drama from Mexico is shot entirely in the Mexico City apartment of a journalist named Laura. Viewers are immersed in the details of Laura’s descent into delusion, sexual obsession and self-destruction, as well as her voyage back out again. Troubling, realistic and sometimes explicit, the film offers an unblinking gaze on loneliness and the struggle for identity in a bustling city. Note: Lead actress Mónica del Carmen will be in attendance for the showing. Sept. 11, 9 p.m. at SFU Woodward’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts
The Hamsters: This offbeat comedy explores the lives of a seemingly normal yet completely dysfunctional middle-class family living in the city of Tijuana. Dad leaves for work every morning but has no job. Mom is flirting with her gym trainer. Daughter Jessica is trapped in a love triangle with her boyfriend and her best friend. And son Juan is about to discover a surprise of his own. A “Woody Allen-style Mexican comedy,” the movie offers a look at the seething drama hiding just under the surface of normalcy. Sept. 10, 9 p.m. at Vancity Theatre; Sept. 13, 1 p.m. at Cinematheque
Sand Dollars: In the Dominican Republic, young Noeli spends her days on the beach at Las Terrenas, trying to hustle money – through whatever means necessary – from the tourists that flock there for sand and sun. But Noeli ends up developing a relationship with one older client – a French woman named Anne (played by Geraldine Chaplin, daughter of Charlie Chaplin). The gripping story of love, manipulation and survival gets even more complicated when Anne asks Noeli to return with her to Paris. Sept. 13, 7:15 p.m. at SFU Woodward’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts
For the complete lineup of all the films and to purchase tickets ($12 for evening general admission showings), visit the Vancouver Latin American Film Festival website.