Celebrating its 13th edition, the New York International Latino Film Festival begins this coming Monday, August 13 and runs through Sunday, August 19. This annual showcase celebrates the work of Latino/a talent both behind and in front of the camera, and was a regular partner of NewFest when I ran that event, co-presenting programs of interest to both communities.
This year’s lineup presents more than thirty features and thirty shorts, of which five are feature documentaries, including the closing night gala, Laura Brownson and Beth Levison’s portrait of a Puerto Rican slam poet and ex-con, LEMON. Artistic expression is also at the heart of another doc, Daniel Fridell’s EL MÉDICO: THE CUBATÓN STORY, about a young Cuban doctor who really wants to be a popstar (which I wrote about previously here). Diego Graue and Raymundo Marmolejo’s WAITING FOR THE BEATLES (ESPERANDO A LOS BITLES) picks up on the music theme by focusing on present-day Beatlemania in Mexico. The final two docs both involve personal quests – María Paz González’s DAUGHTER (HIJA) follows the filmmaker and her mother on a road trip in which each woman searches for missing parts of her past, while Andrés Pardo’s intriguing LOOKING FOR LARISA (BUSCANDO A LARISA) (pictured) details an investigation into the origins of a roll of found Super 8 footage from the 70s and the haunting woman it pictures.