THE 24TH LONDON LATIN AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL
14 -23 NOVEMBER 2014
The 24th London Latin American Film Festival runs from 14th to 23rd November offering, as always, a unique and eclectic mélange of feature films, documentaries and shorts, in the sumptuous comfort of the Bolivar Hall; and the University College London Institute of the Americas.
13 The Gallery, Islington is the venue for the sizzling Launch Night Party and Exhibition, for art, drinks and, of course, the most fascinating conversation London has to offer. See you there on November the 13th.
To start the Festival off with a real bang, we present ‘The Heart of Caracas’ a stunning feature documentary from Simon Toro, which charts the birth and development of this tumultuous city and offers a vision of its future as a beacon to all Latin America.
The London Latin American Film Festival always moves with the times and, as the World’s most fashionable themes right now are violence, pestilence and eco-disaster, we thought we would follow suit with our Features Programme. Dark thrillers abound, with stories of madness, alienation and supernatural forces. Do not miss ‘Extirpador de Idolatrías’ in which a twisted avenger terrorises indigenous Andean communities, or ‘The Cure’, about a worker poisoned by agro-chemicals and descending into a dimension of hellish delusion amidst the wilds of Patagonia. Perfect for a gloomy November evening. Go on, scare yourself! Of course, you can also enjoy the wonderful Carlos Acosta in the laugh-a-minute rom-com ‘Days of the Flowers’ from BAFTA award-winning director, John Roberts.
There is plenty to tickle the funny bone, too, in the Shorts Programme, such as the engaging ‘Pinches Mayas’;( a boy has to confront the end of the world, still a virgin!) There is also visual poetry in experimental pieces like ‘Perfect Storm’ as well as award-winning dramas ‘Drops of Smoke’ and ‘El Tiple’.
Another strong element in the Festival this year is the theme of cultural heritage saved or redeemed, especially in the Documentary Programme. There is extraordinarily committed and moving filmmaking on offer in such films as ‘Amazon Souls’’, profiling the noble Huaorani people of the Ecuadorian rainforest, and ‘They are We’, in which the inhabitants of a remote Sierra Leonean village discover, with delight, that their culture has been preserved in Afro-Cuban traditions on the other side of the ocean.
There is room here only to scratch the surface of what is a particularly strong and varied Festival Programme, this year. We look forward to greeting you and sharing these delights, amongst many others, at the 24th. London Latin American Film Festival.
A LATIN LOVE AFFAIR!
The London Latin American Film Festival has been a labour of love, over the past 21 years, for Festival Director Eva Tarr-Kirkhope. Her Cuban roots and love of Latin Culture are intrinsic to LLAFF: without her passion, dedication and vision many films and filmmakers would not have gained the recognition they enjoy today.
Eva completed her education amidst the energy and optimism of the still young Cuban Revolution. She developed a strong love for the arts and went on to train as a Graphic Designer, graduating in The History of Art at Havana University. Eva could see around her, the power education gave a previously disadvantaged underclass. She soon found herself exploring other areas of artistic expression, producing some controversial underground work, including films.
Cinema provided Eva with a medium that had mass appeal, and which could explore the world from a distincly Cuban perspective. Filmmakers such as Thomas Piard and Sara Gomez were creating new models of cinema. Eva’s artistic circle thrived on this atmosphere of change and Eva played a central role, writing, acting and modelling for a variety of daring projects.
Her journey to where she is today has not been an easy one. She found her Cuban education and cultural background undervalued, when she reached British shores, but this did little to dampen her enthusiasm for the arts. She worked for The Women’s Film and Television Video Network and was inspired to create a platform for Latin American culture and heritage.
She met Tony Kirkhope, whom she went on to marry. Together they set up and ran The Metro Cinema in the heart of the West End. Her drive to create a showcase for Latin American Filmmakers persisted and a chance conversation with Tony led to the birth of The London Latin American Film festival in 1990.
Success and critical acclaim came quickly and soon it had become an umissable fixture in London’s cultural calendar. After Tony’s untimely death in 1997, Eva struggled to conceive how she could continue the Festival without him: yet she found the strength to continue and those around her rallied to help out and support her.
Each year since, the Festival has grown in the scope of the cinema it presents and this is due to the unwavering vision of Eva and her relentless belief in championing new cinema from Latin America. The Festival is entirely not-for-profit and Eva has continued for the last 20 years, through 2 recessions and the loss of her beloved husband, to promote the Festival with the same vision and spirit she set out with in 1990.
In the last few years, the Festival had become more relevant than ever, providing the launch pad for many films and filmmakers who have gone on to enjoy great commercial success. Eva has always believed the Festival is not only a platform for the hugely diverse Latin American Diaspora, but should also act to expose the powerful cinematic experience of Latin Cinema to a wider audience.
Eva consistently seeks to challenge simplistic received perceptions of Latin America and this is the key to her success: she never underestimates her audience.
Over the years the festival has been a key element in securing commercial distribution in the UK for many Latin American filmmakers. To name just a few:
DREAMING NICARAGUA by Marcelo Bukin
VIVA MEXICO by Nicolas Defosse
MY KIDNAPPER by Mark Henderson & Kate Horne
KUKULI by Luis Figueroa
STRAWBERRY LIPS by Jorge Zima
LADY FROM THE SHANGHAI CINEMA by Guilherme de Almeida Prado
SECRET WEDDING by Alejandro Agresti
FELICITAS by Teresa Costantini
MAN FACING SOUTHEAST by Eliseo Subiela
LOLA by Maria Novaro
THE BELLE OF THE ALHAMBRA by Enrique Pineda Barnet
HOMEWORK by Jaime Humberto Hermosillo
AMOR EN TRANSITO by Lucas Blanco
GOODBYE CRUEL WORLD by Jack Zagha Kababie
THE VOYAGE by Fernando (Pino) Solanas
A MAP FOR LOVE by Constanza Fernandez
SOLO CON TU PAREJA by Alfonso Cuaron
In 2002 the Festival introduced an exciting new competitive element: The London Latin American Film Festival Audience Award.
Eva’s intimate knowledge of Latin American Cinema, the strength of her heart and the purity of her soul have made The London Latin American Film Festival the vibrant and utterly unique cultural tour de force it is today: indeed, without her there would be no LLAFF.
In this, the 22nd year, Eva’s Latin Love Affair continues, more passionate and unquenchable than ever before!