San Diego Latino Film Festival

Documentary Features at 23rd Annual San Diego Latino Film Festival

March 10-20, 2016
AMC Fashion Valley 18

Individual tickets go on sale & the complete festival schedule will be on-line after February 26, 2016. For now, you can still also get a special deals on our 5-Movie Ticket Pack, Film Pass, & Festival Pass. Click here to purchase today!

Allende mi abuelo Allende
Dir. Marcia Tambutti Allende
(Chile, 90 min., 2015, Spanish w/ English subtitles, Documentary / Drama / History)
3/11 / 5:15 / S1
3/13 / 5:15 / S9
Almost 42 years have passed since a military coup in Chile deposed the democratically elected government of President Salvador Allende. The death of Allende and the years of military dictatorship that followed have left deep scars in both the country and in Allende’s immediate family. In Allende Mi Abuelo Allende, his granddaughter Marcia Tambutti Allende goes in search of Salvador Allende, the man. In doing so, she discovers the complexity of family emotions surrounding Allende and a paradox that exists in Chilean society between public and private memories of her grandfather. Viva Mujeres Showcase.

Dir. Bruce Donelly
(Cuba, 74 min., 2015, Spanish w/ English subtitles, Art Documentary)
3/12 / 2:45 / S9
3/19 / 12:15 / S3
Life in Cuba, seen through the eyes of twelve engaging and charismatic artists: “We don’t have internet…” As a result, “When you see a painting from Cuba, you know it’s from Cuba.” From the troubled period following the collapse of the Soviet Union, to the uncertain future it faces today, this beautifully shot film captures a country at a time of significant transformation. Cuban Films Showcase.

Baja Taste
Dir. Roberto Nájera
(Mexico, 60 min., 2015, Spanish w/ English subtitles)
Presented by: Unified Port of San Diego
3/12 / 12:15 / S1
3/15 / 9:45 / S2
3/19 / 4:20 / S3
Foodies come one, come all! Baja Taste is a delicious journey through the minds and souls of four chefs as they creatively inspire and develop a unique Mexican cuisine that has become a fabulous phenomenon worldwide. ¡Qué sabroso! Featuring appearances by chefs and culinary experts: Miguel Ángel Guerrero, Ricardo Bonilla, Oso Campos, Diego Hernández, and Javier Plascencia.

El boton de Nácar
Dir. Patricio Gúzman
(Chile, 88 min., 2015, Spanish w/ English Subtitles)
3/12 / 6:45 / S9
3/15 / 4:45 / S1
Master documentarian Patricio Guzmán (Nostalgia de la luz) examines the history of Patagonian waterways. In doing so, he discovers connections between colonialism and its effects on the Indigenous population of Chile and the callous nature of the Pinochet government. ¡Documania! Showcase.

La buena vida
Dir. Jens Schanze
(Colombia / Germany / Switzerland / Netherlands, 97 min., 2015, Spanish, Wayùu, English, German, w/ English subtitles)
3/11 / 4:30 / S9
3/16 / 8:45 / S2
3/20 / 11:15 / S10
Deep in the jungle of Colombia, a remote indigenous village is watching its way of life erode as a result of the presence of the El Cerrejon Mining Company. Jairo Fuentes, the leader of the village, tries to negotiate with the miners after he learns his village may have to resettle. Jairo finds himself in the fight of his life as he tries to save both his village and his community’s traditions. ¡Documania! Showcase.

Dir. Hatuey Viveros Lavielle
(Mexico, 80 min., 2014, Nahuatl, Spanish w/ English subtitles)
3/10 / 6:30 / DGC
3/13 / 2:30 / S1
3/15 / 4:30 / S2
Jorge is the first in his Nahuatl community to graduate as a lawyer. On the eve of the first anniversary of his father’s death, Jorge must decide if he will pursue a career in law or stay to help his family. Meanwhile, his newly pregnant 16 year old sister, has her own difficult decision to make. ¡Documania! Showcase.

Carta a una sombra
Dir. Daniela Abad, Miguel Salazar
(Colombia, 70 min., 2015, Spanish w/ English subtitles)
3/12 / 5:45 / S10
3/18 / 4:30 / S9
In August, 1987, someone killed university professor, human rights activist, and doctor Héctor Abad Gómez on the streets of Medellin, Colombia. Who would be interested in silencing the pioneer of public health in Colombia? Directors Miguel Salazar and Daniela Abad, Héctor’s granddaughter, create a poignant portrait of a remarkable man whose family still grieves his loss.

Club Frontera
Dir. Chris Cashman
(USA / Mexico, 93 min., 2016, English, Spanish w/ English subtitles)
3/14 / 7:00 / S1
3/17 / 6:45 / S2
3/20 / 12:15 / S1
Just south of the U.S. border lies Tijuana, a city with a turbulent history of violence and corruption, struggling to develop a collective identity. Can a professional soccer team, the Xolos, help Tijuana create a new identity? This riveting documentary follows players, fans, political figures, sports personalities, and enthusiasts from both sides of the border as they share their stories of how the success of the Xolos is changing Tijuana for the better.

East L.A. Interchange

Dir. Betsy Kalin
(USA, 60 min., 2015, English)
3/15 / 6:00 / S10
3/19 / 11:45AM /S3

East LA Interchange follows the evolution of working-class, immigrant Boyle Heights from multiethnic to predominately Latino and a center of Mexican-American culture in the U.S. The film shows how the neighborhood survived the construction of the largest freeway system in North America that threatened to destroy their proud community. The documentary explores how the freeways – a symbol of Los Angeles ingrained in America’s popular imagination – impact Boyle Heights’ residents: literally, as an environmental hazard and structural blockade and figuratively, as a conversational interchange about why the future of their beloved community should matter to us all. Viva Mujeres Showcase.

East of Salinas
Dir. Laura Pacheco, Jackie Mow
(USA, 56 min., 2015, English, Spanish w/ English subtitles)
3/13 / 11:15 / S10
3/19 / 12:00 / S2

East of Salinas takes us to the heart of California’s “Steinbeck Country,” the Salinas Valley, to meet a bright boy and his dedicated teacher — both sons of migrant farm workers. With parents busy working long hours in the fields, third grader Jose Ansaldo often turns to his teacher, Oscar Ramos, for guidance. But Jose is undocumented; he was born in Mexico. Like many other migrant children, he is beginning to understand the situation — and the opportunities that may be lost to him through no fault of his own. Latino Public Broadcasting Showcase.

Havana Motor Club
Dir. Bent-Jorgen Perlmutt
(USA / Cuba, 84 min., 2015, Spanish w/ English subtitles)
3/13 / 12:45 / S10
3/20 / 2:30 / S1

Auto racing was a Cuban tradition for decadesuntil Fidel Castro declared the practice elitist and outlawed racing indefinitely. However, a vibrant, underground group of enthusiasts and gear-heads have kept the sport going for years. Now, set to a lively Cuban soundtrack, the underground clubs are preparing for the first sanctioned drag race in Cuba since 1960. Cuban Films Showcase.

El hombre nuevo
Dir. Aldo Garay
(Uruguay / Chile / Nicaragua, 79 min., 2015, Spanish w/ English subtitles)
3/12 / 5:15 / S2
3/20 / 3:55 / S10

Born Roberto in Nicaragua, and adopted by a couple of Uruguayan leftist activists in the midst of the Sandinista revolution, Stephania is struggling to live her life as a transgender woman. The film is a deeply personal portrait of a woman whose tempestuous life has involved violence, drugs, prostitution and political commitment. Stephania embarks on a journey to rediscover her home country, where she was once a son, a brother, and boy, hoping to be accepted as the woman she is and always has been.¡Documania! Showcase.

Dir. Eileen Hofer
(Switzerland / Cuba, 67 min., 2015, Spanish w/ English subtitles)
3/13 / 11:30 / S9
3/16 / 6:05 / DGC

In the run-down rehearsal rooms of the infamous Grand Theatre of Havana, Amanda and Viengsay dedicate themselves wholeheartedly to their demanding routine: classical ballet. Their every step and aspiration echo the great achievements of their predecessor, Alicia Alonso, the prima ballerina assoluta, still invincible at the grand age of 90. ¡Documania! Showcase.

Hotel de paso
Dir. Karla Paulina Sanchez
(Mexico, 100 min., 2015, Spanish w/ English subtitles)
3/15 / 8:30 / S9
3/20 / 11:45AM / S3

An old transient hotel on the Mexican border daily receives hundreds of immigrants and deportees pursuing the American dream. As time passes, the inhabitants of the hotel will face the devastating reality behind the mirage of their hopes and dreams. Viva Mujeres Showcase.

I Touched All Your Stuff
Dir. Maíra Bühler, Matias Mariani
(Brazil, 92 min., 2015, Portuguese w/ English subtitles)
3/13 / 2:00 / S2
3/20 / 5:45 / S9

American Christopher Kirk is a bored geek who decides to go to Colombia to chase Pablo Escobar’s hippos. Once there, he falls in love with a mysterious woman and gets thrown in jail, maybe on drug charges. Or at least that’s the story he gives in this intriguing, true-crime documentary that starts out like Errol Morris’ seminal whodunit, The Thin Blue Line, but quickly gets hijacked by Kirk, who has quite a few stories to tell. ¡Documania! Showcase.

Dir. Hilary Linder
(USA / Brazil / Colombia / Mexico, 78 min., 2015, English; Spanish w/ English subtitles)
3/12 / 12:00 / S2
3/14 / 6:00 / S10
3/17 / 4:05 / DGC

Indivisible follows the real people at the heart of our nation’s immigration debate. Renata, Evelyn, and Antonio were young children when their parents brought them to the U.S. in search of a better life; they were teenagers when their mothers, fathers, and siblings were deported. Today, they are known as Dreamers. Indivisible shows them at a pivotal moment in their lives, as they fight for a pathway to citizenship and a chance to be reunited with their loved ones. Frustrated with the stalled legislative process, the trio take matters into their own hands and petition for a special waiver that would allow them to leave the U.S to visit their families—and legally return. Viva Mujeres Showcase.

Dir. Karina Garcia Casanova
(Canada / Mexico, 78 min., 2014, Spanish, English, French w/ English subtitles)
3/14 / 4:00 / S10
3/18 / 4:00 / DGC
3/20 / 4:05 / S2

In her debut autobiographical documentary, director Karina Garcia Casanova builds an intimate and heartbreaking account of her family’s struggles with immigration, rootlessness, and mental illness. When her brother, Juan, returns to Quebec from Mexico, Garcia Casanova decides to chronicle the struggles of her mother and brother who both suffer from bipolar disorder. As the film progresses, it becomes a way for Garcia Casanova to come to terms with her childhood and to rebuild a relationship with her family. ¡Documania! Showcase.

Landfill Harmonic
Dir. Graham Townsley, Brad Allgood, Juliana Penaranda-Loftus
(United States / Paraguay / Brazil, 84 min., 2015, Spanish w/ English Subtitles)
3/10 / 4:30 / S9
3/12 / 1:15 / S10

Landfill Harmonic follows the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, a Paraguayan musical group that plays instruments made entirely out of garbage. When their story goes viral, the orchestra is catapulted into the global spotlight. Under the guidance of idealistic music director Favio Chávez, the orchestra must navigate a strange new world of arenas and sold-out concerts. However, when a natural disaster strikes their country, Favio must find a way to keep the orchestra intact and provide a source of hope for their town. The film is a testament to the transformative power of music and the resilience of the human spirit. En Familia Showcase.

Latino Americans: New Latinos
Dir. David Belton and Sonia Fritz
(USA, 54 min., 2015, English, Spanish w/ English Subtitles)
3/12 / 1:30 / S3

Latino Americans is the first major documentary series to chronicle the rich and varied history and experiences of Latinos in the US. In the New Latinos segment, the swelling immigration from Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Dominican Republic after World War II leads to the creation of hybrid Latino-American identities in the USA. This illuminating segment features candid and unforgettable testimony from Rita Moreno as she details her own experiences during this era.

Latino Americans: Pride and Prejudice
Dir. David Belton and Sonia Fritz
(USA, 54 min., 2015, English, Spanish w/ English Subtitles)
Preceded by the short film: Homegirls
3/17 / 10:00AM / DGC

Latino Americans is the first major documentary series to chronicle the rich and varied history and experiences of Latinos in the US. Pride and Prejudice details the creation of the proud “Chicano” identity, as labor leaders organize farm workers in California, and as activists push for better educational opportunities for Latinos, the inclusion of Latino studies, and empowerment in the political process.

Made in Bangkok
Dir. Flavio Florencio
(Mexico / Thailand / Germany, 75 min., 2015, Spanish w/ English subtitles)
3/11 / 6:45 / S9
3/16 / 8:00 / S10

Morgana Love, a transgender opera singer, travels to Bangkok where she’ll represent Mexico in the Miss International Queen competition. More than anything, she wants to have a sex change operation, and she’s hoping that if she wins the title, the prize money will pay for her surgery. Cine Gay Showcase.

Discovery en Español Presents: Narco Armas
(USA/ Mexico / Peru, 44 min., 2014, Spanish w/ English subtitles)
3/18 / 5:00 / S2

This eye-opening documentary explores the incredible lengths drug cartels have gone to supply themselves with the most state of the art, high caliber weapons available to them. Narco Armas highlights the most sought after weapons and how the United States has become on of the suppliers in this conflict they claim to oppose.

No Más Bebés
Dir. Renee Tajima-Peña
(USA, 79 min., 2015, English, Spanish w/ English subtitles)
3/12 / 3:30 / S10
3/19 / 3:00 / S9

They came to have their babies, and went home sterilized. No Más Bebés follows the incredible story of immigrant mothers who sued county doctors, the State, and the U.S. government after they were pushed into sterilizations while giving birth at the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center during the 1960s and 70s. Led by an intrepid, 26-year-old Chicana lawyer and armed with hospital records secretly gathered by a whistle-blowing young doctor, the mothers faced public exposure and stood up to powerful institutions in the name of justice. Academy Award®-nominated director Renee Tajima-Peña (Who Killed Vincent Chin) saved this important case from becoming a forgotten footnote in U.S history. Latino Public Broadcasting Showcase.

Dir. Jorge Caballero Ramos
(Colombia, 70 min., 2015, Spanish w/ English Subtitles)
3/13 / 3:00 / S10
3/19 / 3:15 / S2

In Colombia, where the harsh health system requires its users to face absurd bureaucratic obstacles to access its services, “patient” describes not only the one who has the disease but also the one responsible for the well-being of the patient. Nubia is the embodiment of “patient”. Despite the anguish of possibly losing her daughter to an aggressive cancer, Nubia firmly works her way through a complicated bureaucracy to save her child. ¡Documania! Showcase.

El patio de mi casa
Dir. Carlos Hagerman
(Mexico, 89 min., 2015, Spanish w/ English subtitles)
3/11 / 4:00 / DGC
3/14 / 8:45 / S9
3/17 / 4:00 / S10

Documentarian Carlos Hagerman pays tribute to his parents, Doris and Oscar, who have have spent 40 years dedicating their lives to educational and architectural projects in rural indigenous communities in Mexico. On the eve of the Hagermans’ retirement, Isabel and Enedina, two indigenous professionals in the Sierra de Puebla mountainous region, take the baton from their mentors and teachers to carry the spirit of their work forward. ¡Documania! Showcase.

Discovery en Español Presents: Porfirio Díaz, 100 Años Sin Patria
Dir. Walter Maillé
(USA / Mexico, 50 min., 2015, Spanish w/ English subtitles)
3/19 / 5:15 / S9

A century after the death of General Porfirio Díaz, and 105 years after he went into exile from his homeland, Discovery en Español tells the true story of one of the most controversial figures in Mexican history, considered a tyrant by many and a national hero by others. Featuring acting legends, Hector Bonilla, in the title role and Patricia Reyes Spíndola as his wife, Carmen Romero Rubio.

La prenda
Dir. Jean-Cosme Delaloye
(Guatemala / Switzerland, 78 min., 2015, Spanish w/ English subtitles)
3/12 / 6:15 / S3
3/16 / 4:30 / S2

In Guatemala, Karin Gramajo’s life drastically changed when her teenage cousin was brutally kidnapped and murdered. Astrid Elias was kidnapped and raped at the age of 14. Despite death threats and other dangers, Karin and Astrid are speaking up and fighting back. They hope to slow down the number of kidnappings and femicides, and to stem the tide of forced emigration from Guatemala, a country where too many women are still seen as “prendas.” ¡Documania! Showcase.

Retratos de una búsqueda
Dir. Alicia Calderon
(Mexico, 74 min., 2014, Spanish w/ English subtitles)
3/10 / 9:10 / S9
3/14 / 4:05 / DGC
3/19 / 1:30 / S9

In the Mexican narco-war, thousands of mothers search for their missing sons and daughters. Among them are Navidad, Guadalupe and Margarita, each searching for their children, facing uncertainty at every turn. One turns to the FBI, another obtains a personal promise from the president of Mexico, while yet another tries to return to her routine while searching for her grandson. A powerful portrait of Mexico today. ¡Documania! Showcase.

Los reyes del pueblo que no existe
Dir. Betzabé Garcia
(Mexico, 83 min., 2015, Spanish w/ English subtitles)
3/13 / 11:00AM / DGC
3/15 / 4:00 / S10
3/17 / 6:30 / S9

The Mexican town of San Marcos is inundated with water because of the construction of a local dam. Most of the residents have left, except for three families. Pani and Paula do not want to close their tortilleria and spend their spare time rescuing the town from ruins; Miro and his parents dream of leaving but can’t; Yoya and Jaimito live in fear but have everything they need. Poetic and emotionally resonant, Los reyes del pueblo que no existe is a documentary about the unbreakable bonds we form with the places we call home. ¡Documania! Showcase.

Tocando la luz
Dir. Jennifer Redfearn
(Cuba, 72 min., 2015, Spanish w/ English subtitles)
3/13 / 1:05 / S9
3/15 / 4:05 / DGC
3/20 / 9:35 / S10

Lily, Mily, and Margarita, three blind women living in Havana, face family problems and heartbreak as they begin to realize their dependence on others is a double-edged sword. From the music halls of Havana to a cinema club for the blind, their stories reveal both the pain and the joys of fighting for yourself. ¡Documania! Showcase.

Tras Nazarín
Dir. Javier Espada
(Spain / Mexico, 82 min., 2015, Spanish w/ English subtitles)
3/12 / 1:00 / DGC
3/14 / 4:30 / S2
3/17 / 9:00 / S2

Tras Nazarín takes a creative look at Luis Buñuel’s process as he made Nazarín (1959) in Mexico. Using a mesmerizing mix of interviews and an extraordinary catalogue of photographs shot by Mexican master Manuel Álvarez Bravo, taken during Buñuel’s extensive location scouting, the documentary explores Buñuel’s process as well as his discovery of the vivid poetry of the Mexican countryside. Featuring Luis Eduardo Aute, Jean Claude Carrière, Carlos Reygadas, Silvia Pinal, Arturo Ripstein and Carlos Saura. Mexico Today Showcase.

Discovery en Español Presents: Trata de Mujeres
(Mexico / USA / Peru, 44 min., 2013, Spanish w/ English subtitles)
2/18/ 5:00 / S2

Emmy Award–winning documentary Trata de Mujeres exposes the savagery behind a growing sex trade, revealing a black market business that affects thousands of women. Discovery en Español’s cameras travel from Tenancingo, Mexico, the small-town epicenter of female sex trafficking, up to seedy locations in New York to uncover how these mafia families operate, luring girls through the false pretense of arranged marriages and forcing them into prostitution.

Un tango más
Dir German Kral
(Argentina / Germany, 85 min., 2015, Spanish w/ English subtitles)
3/18 / 7:15 / S2

Documentary director German Kral turns his camera on María Nieves Rego and Juan Carlos Copes, two of the best known couples in the Tango world. In this beautifully photographed film full of stunning dance sequences, they recount their decades-long complicated history to a group of young Tango dancers, who transform the most beautiful, moving and dramatic moments of Juan and Maria’s lives into incredible tango-choreography. This beautifully shot choreography compliments the soul-searching interviews and documentary moments of the film to make this an unforgettable journey into the heart of the tango. Spotlight Films Showcase.

We Like It Like That
Dir. Mathew Ramirez Warren
(USA, 82 min., 2015, English, Spanish w/ English Subtitles)
3/11 / 6:30 / S10
3/13 / 5:00 / S10

Latin Boogaloo is New York. It is a product of the melting pot, a colorful expression of the 1960’s Latino soul, straight from the streets of El Barrio, the South Bronx and Brooklyn. Featuring Latin boogaloo legends like Joe Bataan, Johnny Colón and Pete Rodríguez, We Like It Like That looks at a fascinating moment in Latin music history from its origins to its recent resurgence in popularity – the sound that redefined a generation and was too funky to keep down. ¡Documania! Showcase.

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