15th LLAFF 2005

The 2005 London Latin American Film Festival was hosted once again at two of central London’s most popular cinema venues, The Curzon Soho and The Curzon Mayfair. The doors opened to all things Latin between 10-20 November including; art exhibitions, directors’& Q&A’s and, of course, a wide representation of film making from Cuba, through Costa Rica to Chile.

CACHIMBA (sold out for both screenings), highlighted Chilean director Silvio Caiozzi’s slapstick humour and had the audience giggling throughout. The Brazilian feature ALMOST BROTHERS was more of a hard hitting affair wih an explosive soundtrack to match. Other feature film highlights included RABBIT ON THE MOON by Jorge Ramirez-Suarez from Mexico, HONEY FOR OSHUN by Humberto Solas of Cuba and AFTER THE SEA by the Argentinean Adrian Caetano.

A special mention should go to A YEAR WITHOUT LOVE, winner of London Latin American Film Festival 2005′s AUDIENCE AWARD. The film boldly combined vigorous promiscuity with sexually transmitted disease, presenting a solid and forceful portrait of a gay man in search of human warmth, as well as a cure. This 2005 festival favourite is heading towards its US release (via Strand) later this year.

There was also an array of documentaries and shorts accentuating the creative talent brimming over from Latin America. Thomaz Farkas brigded the era from 1965 to 2004 with his selection of Brazilian, anthropological shorts. LA FABRI-K/THE CUBAN HIP HOP FACTORY and BRIDGE TO HAVANA represented searching insights into modern Cuban life.

The Festival’s countdown events always play an essential role in raising awareness of London Latin American culture and provide a positive image of one of the most vibrant minority communities in the UK. 2005 saw a mixture of events taking place in the run up to the Festival’s opening night party and beyond. Ishmahil Blagrove spoke at CANNING HOUSE about his film HASTA SIEMPRE and there was a host of documentary screenings at the London Latin American BUREAU as well as art exhibitions at the KNAPPP GALLERY and the CURZON SOHO GALLERY.

Another successful year has led to an award for the Festival itself! The London Latin American newspaper EXPRESS NEWS awarded The 15th London Latin American Film Festival EXCELENCIA LATINA 2005 for the BEST London Latin American EVENT OF THE YEAR. This is a hugely appreciated award, accepted by Festival Director, Eva Tarr-Kirkhope on presentation night. With continued support, the Festival will continue to grow from strength to strength.