Archive for the ‘2013’ Category



Dirs. Adrienn Vass & Silvia Rothlisberger, UK/ Colombia/ Cuba/ Hungary, 2013, 13 min, colour. English subtitles.

The story of feisty Cuban powerhouse Eva Tarr-Kirkhope, from her arrival in 1970s London with a mission to spread Latin American culture through cinema, to her status today as the unassailable doyenne of the London Latin American Film Festival. A documentary that mixes animation, actuality, a little bit of Cuba and a little bit of London, to unfurl a compelling story of determination and the love of art.


Market symphony / Sinfonia de mercado

Dirs. Helena Salguero Velez & Jimena Prieto Sarmiento, Colombia, 2012, 27 min, colour. English subtitles.

A beautifully crafted short about a day in the life of a Colombian marketplace. Vélez and Sarmiento interweave an original musical score with vibrant documentary footage to create a compelling and dynamic montage. Exhilarating and hypnotic by turns, a cinematic tour de force.


Paal / Child

Dirs. Christoph Muller & Victor Vargas Villafuerte, Mexico, 2012, 21 min, colour. English subtitles.

With Benjamin as our guide, we explore the enchanting, hidden world of the Mexican jungle through the eyes of an innocent child. In the course of the adventure, we learn the creation myth of Paal – The Child, protector of wild places. Muller and Villafuerte have created a charming, uplifting film that invites us to respect our natural surroundings, as Benjamin does, and to see beauty in the simplicity of his gaze.


Shooting the tribe

Dirs. Fat Rat Films, UK, 2013, 9 min, colour. English subtitles.

Set in the Colombian jungle, this short film is a brutal critique of “ethnographic” film. In a seemingly formulaic documentary about an indigenous tribe, the conventions are manipulated to reveal the tensions underlying the relationship between subjects and filmmakers, in a style that transcends mere clever self-reflexiveness. Challenging and spiky viewing, indeed.


Every time I remember, I forget

Dir. Laura Gonzalez, Uruguay/Spain/ UK, 2011, 14 min, colour. English subtitles.
Cast: Melissa Cardona, Lola Rodil, Flora Lopez

Maria is a Spanish old lady suffering from Alzheimer, who keeps returning to her childhood during the Spanish civil war. Rosa, as a young Colombian, has lived through war. When she starts taking care of Maria, it is the beginning of a special relationship.


De las casas blancas

Dir. Agustin Banchero, Uruguay, 2012, 15 min, colour. English subtitles.
Cast: Martin Despaux, Bruno Pereyra.

Augustín Banchero’s short drama is a beautifully crafted tale of one man’s attempt to confront the memories that have marred his life as an adult. Pablo’s return visit to his childhood home, and the increasingly sinister ‘game’ he plays with his cousin, are unfolded through a series of masterly visual images.


Goppi, the Cuban indian

Dir. Sonum Sumaria, UK, 2013, 6 min, colour. English subtitles.

Cutting through the tired, old received wisdom about the nature of Cuban society, director Sonum Sumaria has created a simple and refreshing film: Indian Chef Goppi, living in Havana offers his perspective on Cuba as an open, multicultural society… while he prepares a traditional Indian meal. As he recounts the move from India and his subsequent life on the island, we hear (for once) all the positive reasons for wanting to migrate to Cuba! Appetising fare.


My friend Nietzsche

Dir. Fauston da Silva, Brazil, 2012, 15 min, colour. English subtitles.
Awards: Canal + Best Short at 29th International Valencia Film Festival, Spain.

Lucas follows his teacher’s advice to do more reading, in an attempt to improve his appalling grades. He stumbles across a copy of Friedrich Nietzsche’s ‘Thus Spoke Zarathustra’ at a local dump, sparking an epic journey of growth and discovery. Lucas’ mission is not a solo endeavour as the whole community is brought in to the fray, raising as many questions as answers to engage his inquisitive mind.

An atmospheric, delightfully light hearted yet thought provoking film, My Friend Nietzsche, playfully invites us to explore the amazing potential for learning possessed by the young. Director, Da Silva, creates an engaging narrative using broad characters and settings to explore complex themes in hugely enjoyable style.


Kyaka la na / Red wool

Dir. Adrian Cepeda Espinosa, Colombia / USA / Guatemala, 2012, 12 min, colour. English subtitles.
Awards: Best Short at Toulouse Film Festival, France.
Cast: Paula Pau, Lucero Guinea Chamorro, Maria Garcia

An adolescent girl, recently orphaned, is torn between her grandmother’s desire that she rediscover her Guatemalan roots, and her late mother’s ambition for her to start a new life in New York. How can she find her freedom without tearing her family apart.


Ana, where are you?

Dir. Flavia Fontes, Brazil/USA, 2023, 14 min, colour. English subtitles.
Cast: Ken Jansen, Jose Sonera.

When Tom meets Ana on a holiday in Brazil, he is keen to develop the relationship and they plan to see each other again in New York. When he realizes that he has lost her address, he resorts to posting flyers all over the city, trying to track her down. A charming, romantic short on the perils of not being connected!


I’ve got something to tell you / Tengo algo que decirte

Dir. Ana Torres Alvarez, Spain, 2009, 8 min, colour. English subtitles.
Awards: Best Short at La Jolla Film Festival, California USA, Gold Remi for Best Original Comedy at 43rd Houston International Film & Video Festival, USA, RTVA for Best Andalusian Short at 3rd Higuera Film Festival, Spain.
Cast: Miguel Nadal, Pablo Fortes, Teresa Martin, Adrian Lopez, Federico Dossena

Susana is Pablo’s girlfriend but Pablo has come to the realisation that he’s gay and has, in fact, fallen in love with Javi, his best friend… with whom, as it happens, Susana is two-timing him. Confused? Maybe I haven’t explained it right. You see, Susana is Pablo’s girlfriend… never mind. They’ve all got something to tell someone. How will all this end? It’s going to be a snug fit but I’m sure they will work it out, eventually!



Dir. Amir Admon, Brazil, 2012, 6 min, colour. No Dialogues.
Awards: Special Jury Mention at International Film Festival Mar del Plata, Argentina. Audience Award at Sao Paulo International Short Film Festival, Brazil. Best Animation at Alucine Toronto Latino Media Festival, Canada. Best Experimental Short at Lambayeque, Peru.

The line is a dot that went for a walk. This is a fabulous animation, winner of no fewer than twenty-five international awards.



Dir. Luis Ernesto Donas, Cuba, 2012, 13 min, colour. English subtitles
Cast: Carlos Perez Pena, Nilda Collado

Amidst the searing heat of the Cuban countryside, an old couple lives in an isolated farmstead. Amanda’s impossible obsession: to experience the snows of winter. Finally exhausted and unable, any longer, to care for Amanda in her growing confusion, Raúl summons all his love and ingenuity to help her realise her dream.

With extraordinary performances from Carlos Perez Pena and Nilda Collado under the compassionate and inexorable gaze of Luis Ernesto Donas’ camera, the profound beauty of this little film is, literally, indescribable: so I won’t even try. See it if you possibly can.


The broken woman / La mujer rota

Dir. Jeremias Segovia, Uruguay, 2012, 8 min, B/W & colour. English subtitles.
Awards: Best Short Narrative at San Diego Latino Film Festival, USA.

A seriously injured woman takes a rusty elevator from ground level to the sixth floor in an apartment building. She is bleeding and covered in glass. A fractured narrative uncovers the events leading up to the enigmatic opening, in this intense and stylish short thriller.


Concoction / Mejunje

Dir. Juan Manuel Gamazo, Cuba/ Chile/ Spain, 2012, 71 min, colour. English subtitles.

Mejunje: a mix of various ingredients to form a substance.” Director Juan Manuel Gamazo, Spanish, educated in Cuba, makes the cultural centre in the Cuban town of Santa Clara the focus of his film, and invites us into the lives of a variety its patrons, ordinary people who help to make up the great cultural and social melting pot that is Cuba. The examination is intense and intimate capturing, through small gestures, the textures of everyday life and Gamazo establishes a perspective that steers well clear of both the critiques and the idealisations that are common in films that try to anatomise Cuban society.

What comes across powerfully is the need of the people to communicate, through music and other means, interpreted with insight and respect by the director in a quiet observational style that allows him to avoid a glib overview and, instead, delve deeply into the experiences of his subjects, perhaps even offering them new modes of expression in the process.


Stone of memory / Pedra de memoria

Dir. Renata Amaral, Brazil, 2012, 58min, colour. English subtitles.

Based on a fifteen-year research programme and the huge archive it has amassed, Stone of Memory vividly portrays the historical connections between Benin and Brazil, in large parts of which the vibrancy of West African tradition is still a major cultural force. The film reveals these intricate traditional bonds in a poetic dialogue featuring, most notably, the extraordinary memories of babalorisha Euclides Talabyan, one of the foremost guardians of the old religion in Brazil.