The HBO® New York International Latino Film Festival presented its 2011 awards at a ceremony this past Sunday. The NYILFF feature documentaries and films in English and Spanish, which reflect “America’s cultural diversity as well as the global urban experience.”
If I could pick which films I’d like to show up in my Redbox machine, here are the ones I would choose. (Because seriously, as much as I love Redbox, I would love them even more if they took out some of the mindless movies and added some more films and documentaries.)
Description: “After a decade of living in New York, 30-year-old Antonio returns to his native Costa Rica for a short visit. When events force him to stay, he is confronted with everything he has desperately struggled to put in the past: a broken family, an ailing father and a violent country. Unable to run away as usual, Antonio must come to terms with his past in order to take hold of the present and build a better future.”
After coming back from El Salvador and knowing friends going through the same thing – this film really resonates with me. Plus the trailer made me literally laugh out loud when he said, “Deje de comer papaya y vaya emprima mi pasaporte!”
Description: “Hector, a troubled teen from the Harlem projects, forms a surprising bond with Lilly, a lonely girl who feels trapped in the restrictions of her Upper East Side life.”
Description: “Fewer than six in ten Latino adults in the United States have a high school diploma. Precious Knowledge is the unbelievable and inspiring story of high school seniors in the Mexican American Studies Program at Tucson High School. 82% of the students in the program will graduate and go on to college. Their journey will astound you.”
Description: “In the ancient cobblestone streets of Cuzco, Peru, a postcard-selling street kid, Pablo, encounters a 12-year-old American girl, Mary. Her fascination with the Andean culture, alongside his desire to understand a life beyond his own, helps them transcend the language barrier. As their innocent curiosity grows into young love, their lives will intertwine in ways that will alter them forever.”
Description: “A coming of age story reflective of our cynical times, Blacktino gives an honest — and hilarious — depiction of high school life as seen through the imaginative eyes of a bi-racial computer nerd, Stefan Daily, and his misfit friends, Laura Vega and Matt Miyamoto. Raised by his black grandmother in an Austin suburb, Stefan struggles to find his place in a mostly white high school, finally finding sanctuary among the eclectic mix of social outcasts in the theater department.”
Description: “A Mexican immigrant, recently arrived in America, visits a flea market. He spots Lupita, the most beautiful girl he has ever seen. Lupita reminds him of Mexico, of the Virgin Mary, of his mother. With no money in his pocket, he decides to steal a gift and win her heart.”
Description: “When their daughter runs away, America’s abusive lover unleashes his rage against her. Fleeing her home in the Caribbean, America escapes to New York City hoping for a new life. There she works as a nanny for a wealthy family. She befriends three nannies — a Mexican, a Colombian and a Dominican –and with their help, as well as support from relatives in the Bronx, America is determined to bring her daughter back to her. But as she dares to dream of a life without violence, reality hunts her down.”
I remember reading this book and this looks like one of those rare instances when the film is just as good.
Description: “In the airport of some Western nation, a group of Ecuadorians are pulled out of line and arrested. Among the group waiting to be deported is Prometeo, a young man in possession of a trunk filled with magic — which is fortuitous, since illusion may be their only way out.”
(I wish they’d make a Salvadoran version of this one. It looks hilarious though I don’t know much about Ecuadorians.)
Many more amazing films at the New York International Latino Film Festival website. Chécalo!