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The Miami International Film Festival (MIFF) lines up 112

The 24th Annual Miami International Film Festival will take place
March 2 - 11, 2007

112 Films—92 Features and 20 Shorts—Highlight 2007 Festival
Including 7 World Premieres, 32 International, North American
& U.S. Premieres, and 45 East Coast Premieres

The Miami International Film Festival (MIFF), presented by Miami Dade College (MDC), announced today the full schedule of films for the 24th annual festival to be held March 2-11, 2007. The Opening Night film this year will be “Black Book” from director Paul Verhoeven. The Awards Night film will be “Ira & Abby” from director Robert Cary.

“We are very excited about the powerful lineup of films we have for this year’s festival that continues our goal of bringing the finest films from throughout the world to Miami,” said Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón, president of Miami Dade College. “We are able to dazzle festival-goers each and every year thanks to the wonderful MIFF team, college employees and our generous sponsors.”

"The Festival this year represents the best of today’s world cinema. It introduces new cinematic voices from Germany to Spain and Italy, from the US and Canada to Mexico and Paraguay, from Egypt to Indonesia,” said Festival Director Nicole Guillemet. “Despite increased globalization and the risk of a homogeneous communications medium, each of these films reflects a strong cultural and personal identity, and each expresses an individual point of view on the world in which we live. Film festivals now serve a key role as a new channel of distribution which replaces in many cases the traditional art house as a venue for the introduction of high quality, challenging cinema. The Miami International Film Festival is proud to be part of a movement which brings significant new films to a wide audience."

This is Nicole Guillemet’s last year at the Festival, which she has headed since July of 2002. Throughout this past transitional year she has run the Festival with Managing Director Carol Ann Lafferty. New to the staff this year is Monika Wagenberg, who joined the Festival in July 2006 as Senior Programmer of the Ibero-American section. Wagenberg came to the Festival from the highly acclaimed Cinema Tropical, which she co-founded, currently co-manages, and serves as the Director of Programming and Acquisitions.

“This year's Ibero-American program reflects the most recent, very exciting developments in Latin American film,” said Senior Programmer – Ibero-American Film, Monika Wagenberg. “Collaboration between countries in the form of co-productions is at an all-time high and film production incentive programs implemented in various nations over the past few years are finally starting to bear fruit, allowing filmmakers from eleven different Latin American countries to be included. The Iberian Peninsula is fully represented with three films by renowned filmmakers from Portugal. But the diversity of our film selection is more than just geographical. This year we are proud and pleased to bring to Miami a program that shows off its diversity through the freshness and originality of its stories and the aesthetic daring of its visions as seen in this crop of films by first time and established filmmakers.”

Films in competition are eligible for a Knight Grand Jury Prize with the generous support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The Knight Grand Jury Prizes carry a cash award of $25,000 each in the three categories judged by three different juries: Dramatic Features (World Cinema Competition), Dramatic Features (Ibero-American Cinema Competition), and Documentary Features (World & Ibero-American Cinema Competition. Films in competition are also eligible for audience awards. On Saturday, March 10, 2007 the recipients of each award will be announced during the Awards Ceremony. The films in the Dramatic World Competition will also be eligible for a FIPRESCI prize.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation promotes journalism excellence worldwide and invests in the vitality of Miami and 25 other U.S. communities. Since its creation in 1950, Knight Foundation has approved more than $148 million in grants to the greater Miami area. Learn more online at www.knightfdn.org.

A new audience award will celebrate the best of Latin American and Caribbean film selected for the 2007 Miami International Film Festival (MIFF). The Latin America Caribbean FedEx Express Audience Award will be given to a film made by a Latin American or Caribbean filmmaker or originated from Latin American or Caribbean country and featured in the non-competition categories of MIFF: Gusman Premieres and International Panorama. On Saturday, March 10, 2007 the recipient will be announced during the Awards Ceremony. On Sunday, March 11, 2007 the winning film will be screened at the Colony Theater in Miami Beach at 7pm.

• 17 films will premiere at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts
• 14 films will be competing in the Dramatic Features - World Cinema Competition
• 14 films will be competing Dramatic Features - Ibero-American Cinema Competition
• 16 films will be competing in the Documentary Features – World & Ibero-American Cinema Competition
• 31 films, both dramatic and documentary, will be screening in the International Panorama categories
• Shorts films comprise the balance of the schedule with a total of 20 short films
• 43 countries are represented throughout the film program

Opening Night on Friday March 2nd: The Festival will open with Black Book by award winning Dutch director Paul Verhoeven best known for Basic Instinct and Total Recall. This engrossing, yet violent, tale of espionage, intrigue and betrayal is set in Nazi-occupied Holland. Carice Van Houten gives a remarkable performance as a beautiful Jewish torch singer who joins the Dutch resistance in the final days of World War II.

Awards Night on Saturday March 10: Ira & Abby from director Robert Cary. Neurotic Ira and free-spirited Abby are a mismatched Manhattan couple who impulsively marry six hours after first meeting. Newly wedded bliss is short-lived, however, when meddlesome parents and ineffective therapists become involved. This warm, witty relationship comedy penned by actress-screenwriter Jennifer Westfeldt (Kissing Jessica Stein) took home the Audience Award for best narrative feature at the 2006 Los Angeles Film Festival. The film stars Chris Messina, Jennifer Westfeldt, Frances Conroy, Judith Light, Jason Alexander, Robert Klein, and Fred Willard.

Close of the Festival: On Sunday March 11th the Festival will close the program with the World Premiere of the Spanish film The Heart of the Earth from director Antonio Cuadri.

On Wednesday, March 7th MIFF will honor director Luc Besson with the Career Achievement Tribute for his distinguished body of work. Following the tribute, there will be a screening of Luc Besson’s film "Angel-A."

A set of special programs will be featured throughout this year’s festival including:

Gone But Not Forgotten – Two masters of Cuban music are being celebrated this year at the Festival. We are proud to present the World Premiere of La Lupe (USA) from director Ela Troyano and the East Coast premiere of El Benny (Cuba/UK/Spain) from director Jorge Luis Sánchez González. No better place than Miami to commemorate their lives and their music!

Special Animation: For Kids and NOT for Kids – In this special animation category, the Festival presents two strikingly different animated features. U (France) from directors Grégoire Solotareff and Serge Elissalde, is a fantastic, colorful and poetic adventure for young audiences—a magical tale of friendship, love, separation, death, and parental relationship. Princess (Denmark) from director Anders Morgenthaler takes a high and mighty line on the sex industry, mesmerizing the audience through its obsessive, over-the-top sex, violence and vengeance.

Touching Florida – The Festival proudly celebrates the latest works from filmmakers from Florida and from directors and producers with films whose subjects touch on Florida. Included in the program are: Bella (USA) from Director Alejandro Gómez Monteverde, Full Grown Men (USA) from director David Munro, Thanks to Gravity (USA) from director Jessica Kavana Dornbusch, Those I Left Behind (USA) from director Lisandro Perez-Rey.

The Big Picture: Modern Slavery – The Big Picture program highlights films that tackle world issues and the human struggle for life and dignity. Often asking more questions than they answer, these films aim to increase awareness and inspire dialogue that will lead to understanding and meaningful change. Ghosts, written and directed by the highly acclaimed filmmaker, Nick Broomfield, is based on the shocking true story of a group of Chinese illegal immigrants who were drowned while picking cockles in a British seaside town. Broomfield, whose credits include Biggie & Tupac and Kurt & Courtney, has stepped out of his documentarian role to create a grippingly compelling film that will change your views on the entire migrant population and leave you wondering about slavery in the 21st century. Ghosts was chosen to be the opening film at the 2006 San Sebastian International Film Festival and is in competition at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2007.

MIFF Abroad – A cultural exchange established in 2006, MIFF Abroad focuses on the filmmaking of one Latin American country each year. Given the tremendous resurgence of filmmaking in Colombia, this year the program will highlight new directors from that country and include a special program of films, discussions and events. Later this year, MIFF will travel to Colombia with films and U.S. industry professionals to participate in this program with the Colombian film industry.

Encuentros – For the fifth year, the Festival will present Miami Encuentros, which gives emerging producers from Spain and Latin America the opportunity to present new projects to U.S. and European industry professionals: producers, sales agents, television stations and distributors. This intensive three-day event fosters dialogue, builds lasting connections and offers opportunities for networking and the nurturing the next generation of filmmakers, providing access to distributors and thus, to the public.

REEL Education Seminars Series – The Miami International Film Festival, Miami Dade College and University of Miami School of Communication present film industry leaders and noted filmmakers as they share their experience, knowledge, and advice in a series of eighteen panels covering various aspects of the creative process, film production, funding distribution, new technology and independent filmmaking.

MIFF also announced today that “Firmly Planted,” a work of art by Connie Lloveras, will adorn the cover of the 2007 film catalogue and the 2007 MIFF poster. Born in Cuba, Lloveras and resides with her family in Miami where she received her BFA degree from FIU in 1981. Monographic exhibitions of her work include galleries in Chicago, Cambridge, Puerto Rico and Nicaragua. Her works are included in collections at the Lowe Art Museum, the University of Miami, the Museum of Art in Fort Lauderdale and Boca Raton. She has completed public art commissions in four counties of the State of Florida and a federal building in Dallas, Texas. She is currently represented by Collins Fine Art, Chicago, the Americas Collection in Coral Gables and Arte Consult in Panama.

Miami International Film Festival 2007 Program


PROGRAM CATEGORIES

Gusman Gala Premieres (17 films)
Dramatic Features - World Cinema Competition (14 films)
Dramatic Features - Ibero-American Cinema Competition (14 films)
Documentary Features - World & Ibero-American Cinema Competition (16 films)
International Panorama - Dramatic Features: World Cinema (7 films)
International Panorama - Dramatic Features: Ibero-American Cinema (10 films)
International Panorama - Documentary Features: World & Ibero-American Cinema (5 films)
International Panorama - Animation (2 films)
International Panorama – Gone But Not Forgotten (2 films)
International Panorama - Touching Florida (4 films)
Big Picture Discussions (1 film)
Short Films Program (20 films)
MIFF Abroad: Inside Colombia (3 films)


FILM PROGRAM

Gusman Gala Premieres

Every night, the latest films from world renowned directors and emerging filmmakers are showcased at the historic Gusman Theater: Award-winning dramas, crowd-pleasing comedies, wondrous historical dramas and tense thrillers premiere in this gala section.

OPENING NIGHT: "Black Book" ("Zwartboek") Director: Paul Verhoeven
(The Netherlands/UK/Germany/Belgium)
Paul Verhoeven helms this engrossing, yet violent, tale of espionage, intrigue and betrayal set in Nazi-occupied Holland. Carice Van Houten gives a remarkable performance as a beautiful Jewish torch singer who joins the Dutch resistance in the final days of World War II. (East Coast Premiere)

AWARDS NIGHT: "Ira & Abby" Director: Robert Cary (USA)
Neurotic Ira and free-spirited Abby are a mismatched Manhattan couple who impulsively marry six hours after first meeting. Newly wedded bliss is short-lived, however, when meddlesome parents and ineffectual therapists become involved. This warm, witty relationship comedy penned by actress-screenwriter Jennifer Westfeldt (“Kissing Jessica Stein”) took home the Audience Award for best narrative feature at the 2006 Los Angeles Film Festival. (Regional Premiere)

"Alatriste" Director: Agustín Díaz Yanes (Spain)
Courageous and unassuming, Diego Alatriste is a 17th century swordsman determined to honor his commitments and maintain his integrity in the turbulent declining years of the Spanish empire. Viggo Mortensen leads an all-star cast in this swashbuckling period drama—the most expensive Spanish-language film ever made—about the incomparable silent warrior of Arturo Perez-Reverte’s wildly popular novel series. (Regional Premiere)


"Angel-A" Director: Luc Besson (France)
Deep in debt to murderous thugs, a Parisian decides to end his life by jumping into the Seine. But, when he spots a statuesque blonde about to do the same, he saves her life instead. As fate would have it, the woman is an angel who becomes the hapless con's guardian and savior. Baroque action director Luc Besson changes gears with this romantic fable. (East Coast Premiere)

"Antonia" ("Antônia") Director: Tata Amaral (Brazil)
Part “Dreamgirls,” part “8 Mile,” “Antonia” is the rousing story of the members of an all-girl hip hop group who learn to discover themselves as they make their way on the mean streets of Sao Paulo. The film’s uniquely Brazilian ambience offers a distinctly and pleasantly Latin spin on "Girl Power."
(East Coast Premiere)

"Beauty In Trouble" ("Kráska v nesnázích") Director: Jan Hrebejk (Czech Republic)
The Czech team behind such festival gems as “Divided We Fall” and “Up and Down” delivers this multi-character tale of a beauty in trouble, her car-thief husband, and a wealthy ex-patriot who is reminded that things are more complicated in the homeland. This masterful film is sexy, funny, and sharp as a knife. (East Coast Premiere)

"Dark Blue Almost Black" ("Azul Oscuro, Casi Negro") Director: Daniel Sánchez Arévalo (Spain)
Jorge dreamed of being a businessman. But, his father’s debilitating stroke and a brother’s prison sentence made him a caretaker and part-time janitor instead. When his childhood crush returns from a stint studying abroad, Jorge begins to yearn for something better. Youthful romance clashes with familial pressure in a stirring drama of lost opportunities and second chances. (Regional Premiere)

"First Snow" Director: Mark Fergus (USA)
Beware the first snow. So cautions a roadside psychic as he warns a stranded motorist of his impending death in this powerful parable about the struggle between fate and will. Guy Pearce exudes feverish intensity as the doomed man who revisits his demons (among them a recently-sprung felon) in the hope of escaping destiny. (Regional Premiere)

"The Heart of the Earth" ("El Corazón de la Tierra") Director: Antonio Cuadri (Spain/UK/Portugal)
Antonio Cuadri directs this spectacular production based on actual historical events. Set in 1888 against the backdrop of Huelva, Spain’s Riotinto mines, this epic saga of love and power centers on the deep friendship between two women caught up in the first “environmental” protest in history. The film’s stellar cast includes Catalina Sandino Moreno (Maria Full of Grace), Sienna Guillory and Joaquim de Almeida.
(World Premiere)

"I Am the Other Woman" ("Ich bin die andere") Director: Margarethe von Trotta (Germany)
A young engineer’s one-night stand with a mysterious, slatternly woman in his Frankfurt hotel room sends him down a rabbit hole of erotic obsession and domestic dysfunction in a striking artistic departure from one of the icons of German feminist cinema, Margarethe von Trotta. (Regional Premiere)

"Jindabyne" Director: Ray Lawrence (Australia)
Based on a short story by Raymond Carver, “Jindabyne” is an allegorical tale of four men who discover a woman’s body on a fishing trip, yet fail to report it until their excursion ends. Gabriel Byrne and Laura Linney star in this haunting story of morality, marriage and murder set in the Australian countryside. The film won Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay at the 2006 Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards.
(East Coast Premiere)

"The Page Turner" ("La Tourneuse de pages") Director: Denis Dercourt (France)
A young girl who yearns to be a concert pianist finds her big recital sabotaged by the dismissive egotism of a famed musician. Humiliated, the girl bids farewell to her aspirations. Years later she methodically insinuates herself into the life of the woman who destroyed her dream. Vengeance is patient but devastating in this tense, simmering thriller. (Regional Premiere)



"Red Like the Sky" ("Rosso come il cielo") Director: Cristiano Bortone (Italy)
Set in Tuscany in the 1970s, this inspiring tale recounts a blind youth's personal battle to overcome not only his handicap, but also the doubts and preconceived notions of society. The film is based on the life of renowned sound editor Mirco Mencacci and his struggle to develop as an artist and affirm his talent.
(North American Premiere)

"Salvador" Director: Manuel Huerga (Spain/UK)
A selection for the Un Certain Regard award at Cannes, “Salvador” is the gripping retelling of the life of Spaniard Salvador Puig Antich (passionately portrayed by Daniel Brühl), a young revolutionary who was the last political prisoner to fall victim to Franco's garrote. (Regional Premiere)

"Sounds of Sand" ("Si le vent souleve les sables") Director: Marion Hänsel (Belgium/France)
Water is life. And for one African villager, his wife, and three children, the need for it means having to leave their parched home—risking mercenaries, land mines and the vicious desert sun–-to reach the nearest productive wells. Set against the harsh and unforgiving landscape of sub-Saharan Africa, this is a story about sacrifice and courage in the face of overwhelming odds. (East Coast Premiere)

"A Ton of Luck" ("Soñar no Cuesta Nada") Director: Rodrigo Triana (Colombia/Argentina)
When the members of an anti-guerrilla unit, on patrol in the jungles of Colombia, stumble on $46 million in drug money, they decide to give in to temptation and divvy up the treasure. This tale of moral choices and their consequences is based on actual events. (East Coast Premiere)

"A Wonderful World" ("Un Mundo Maravilloso") Director: Luis Estrada (Mexico)
When a homeless man is accidentally left out on the ledge of the World Financial Center his presence there is misinterpreted as a suicide protest. As a media firestorm ensues, the erstwhile bum is exploited by a government scrambling to protect its interests. Deliciously grim, this dark satire offers a wry commentary on the social and economic inequities of Mexico. (East Coast Premiere)


Dramatic Features - World Cinema Competition

This high-profile world competition category showcases the latest works by first- and second-time filmmakers from around the world. A Knight Grand Jury Prize of $25,000 is awarded and each entry is eligible for a MIFF Audience Award, as well as the prestigious FIPRESCI Prize (International Federation of Film Critics). Past award recipients include: Accused (Denmark) by Jacob Thuesen, Burnt Out (France) by Fabienne Godet, Evil (Sweden-Denmark) by Mikael Håfström, Japanese Story (Australia) by Sue Brooks, The Edukators (Germany) by Hans Weingartner, A Way of Life (UK) by Amma Asante, Red Dust (South Africa/UK) by Tom Hooper.

"The Boy on a Galloping Horse" ("Chlopiec na galopujacym koniu") Director: Adam Guzinski (Poland)
Every scene hangs like a painting in this plaintive feature-length debut from Polish director Adam Guzinski. Screened at Cannes' Directors Fortnight, the film tells the story of a couple whose marriage is on the verge of collapse and the son whose dream it is to visit a distant toy store. (East Coast Premiere)

"Fraulein" Director: Andrea Štaka (Switzerland/Germany)
Three women from the former Yugoslavia work in a Zurich cafeteria. Owner Ruza represses her Serbian roots, while longtime employee Mila dreams of returning to Croatia. Into their orderly lives arrives Ana, a young, impulsive Bosnian whose outgoing disposition disrupts the tedium of their day-to-day. “Fraulein” won best film at the Locarno International Film Festival. (East Coast Premiere)

"God Willing" ("Om Gud vill") Directors: Amir Chamdin, Erik Eger (Co-Director) (Sweden)
In 1975, hardworking immigrant Juan prepares for his wife’s arrival in Stockholm. But there’s one thing that he hasn’t planned for: true love. When he meets Juli, a fetching tango performer from Finland, she takes his seat at the bus stop and a permanent place in his heart. The film stars Nina Persson of the band The Cardigans. (East Coast Premiere)

"A Grave-keeper's Tale" ("Maati Maay") Director: Chitra Palekar (India)
Celebrated screenwriter and producer Chitra Palekar makes her directorial debut with this affecting tale of a low caste woman (Nandita Das) shunned by a patriarchial and superstitious society. Boasting a strong social message and lyrical visuals, the film addresses the universal issues of integrity, community responsibility and motherhood. (U.S. Premiere)

"L'Aria Salata" ("Salty Air") Director: Alessandro Angelini (Italy)
While prisoners serve hard time, their families, filled with feelings of abandonment, anger and remorse, serve a sentence of their own, albeit outside a locked institution. The psychological underpinnings of this harsh reality are explored in this emotionally riveting drama about father-son relationships. The film garnered the award for best actor at the Rome Film Festival. (East Coast Premiere)

"Life Can Be So Wonderful" ("Sekaiwa Tokidoki Utsukushii") Director: Osamu Minorikawa (Japan)
This beguiling five-part anthology in the form of a cine-poem adds up to far more than the sum of its separate parts. It is a tender mood piece in which the sheer beauty of image, sound and text, and their unpredictable collision, prove more important than the cohesive narrative of dramatic fiction.
(U.S. Premiere)

"My Son" ("Mon fils à moi") Director: Martial Fougeron (France)
In this suspenseful, emotionally challenging film, a mother’s smothering love for her adolescent son drives the boy to take desperate, defensive action. Nathalie Baye, here cast against type, won the award for best actress at the San Sebastian International Film Festival, where “My Son” shared best film honors with “Half Moon”. (U.S. Premiere)

"The Only One" ("Vidange perdue") Director: Geoffrey Enthoven (Belgium)
“The Only One” is a deeply human and frequently funny exploration of the elderly and their place in society. An octogenarian widower’s battle with loneliness and his determination to remain independent take an unexpected turn when a neighbor helps him start a new life. This heartwarming film took home the Grand Prix at the Mannheim-Heidelberg Film Festival. (U.S. Premiere)

"Padre Nuestro" ("Our Father") Director: Christopher Zalla (USA)
In this suspenseful tale of stolen identity, Juan flees his criminal past by hopping on a truck transporting illegal immigrants from Mexico to New York City. During the journey he meets naïve Pedro, who is in search of the father he has never met. Pedro’s American dream turns into a nightmare, however, as Juan attempts to rob him of his legacy. (East Coast Premiere)

"Red Road" Director: Andrea Arnold (Scotland)
Academy Award winning short film director Andrea Arnold makes her feature length debut with this taut psychological thriller about Jackie, a CCTV operator who monitors Glasgow’s gritty Red Road housing district. When a figure from her past suddenly appears on her screens, Jackie begins an obsessive pursuit in which revenge is the ultimate goal. The film was the Jury Prize winner at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival. (East Coast Premiere)

"The Silence" Director: Cate Shortland (Australia)
After his involvement in a brutal murder, sad and subdued homicide detective Richard Treloar is relegated to a desk job at Sydney’s police museum. While going through the museum’s old crime scene photos, he becomes transfixed by the image of a woman gunned down 40 years earlier, and begins an obsessive quest to find her killer. (U.S. Premiere)

"Someone to Run With" ("Mishehu Larutz Ito") Director: Oded Davidoff (Israel)
Two parallel stories drive this exhilarating coming-of-age tale set in a vibrant, at times frightening, Jerusalem. Assaf is in search of the owner of a lost dog; Tamar is in search of her missing brother. As their stories converge, the two discover themselves and first love. The film is based on the bestselling novel by David Grossman. (U.S. Premiere)

"Sonja" Director: Kirsi Marie Liimatainen (Germany)
Former Finnish actress Kirsi Marie Liimatainen goes behind the camera to direct this sun-glossed tale, set during the radiant last days of summer, about a young girl’s crush on her best girlfriend. A hit at many European gay-and-lesbian festivals, “Sonja” captures the uncertainty, fear, and beauty of coming of age. (North American Premiere)

"Sweet Mud" ("Adama Meshuga'at") Director: Dror Shaul (Israel)
While living on an Israeli kibbutz in the 1970s, 12-year-old Dvir realizes that his mother is mentally ill. As he comes of age in the settlement, the boy must learn to reconcile the ideology of the kibbutz with the stinging realization that the collective community has abandoned his mother. The film is Israel’s submission for the Academy Awards’ foreign-language category. (East Coast Premiere)


Dramatic Features - Ibero-American Cinema Competition

This inspiring competition showcases dramatic features by first- and second-time directors from Latin America, Spain and Portugal. A Knight Grand Jury Prize of $25,000 is awarded and each entry is eligible for a MIFF Audience Award. Past award recipients include: Life in Color (Spain) by Santiago Tabernero, Días de Santiago (Perú) by Josué Méndez, Nada Más (Cuba) by Juan Carlos Cremata Malberti, En la ciudad sin límites (Spain) by Antonio Hernandez, Nicotina (Mexico) by Hugo Rodriquez, La Espera (Uruguay) by Aldo Garay Dutrey..

"Alice's House" ("A Casa de Alice") Director: Chico Teixeira (Brazil)
The men in Alice’s life—her husband and three sons—ignore her. Her mother, the family’s live-in maid and the only person she can confide in, is as neglected as she is. Life, however, takes an unexpected turn when a man from Alice’s past returns. “Alice’s House” features notable performances by Carla Ribas and Berta Zemmel. (North American Premiere)

"Anytime Soon" ("Esas No Son Penas") Directors: Anahí Hoeneisen, Daniel Andrade (Ecuador)
In this impressive filmmaking debut, Anahí Hoeneisen and Daniel Andrade co-direct an intimate portrait of five 30-something women from Quito who reunite for the first time since graduating high school 14 years earlier. As the reunion unfolds, the filmmakers ably capture the friends’ emotional journey with unusual and refreshing subtlety. (U.S. Premiere)

"The Custodian" ("El Custodio") Director: Rodrigo Moreno (Argentina/France/Germany/Uruguay)
Silent and withdrawn, Ruben (Julio Chavez, in a brooding, tightly controlled performance) is a high-level bodyguard to a government minister in this existential drama from Argentina. The film’s muted cinematography artfully captures the protagonist’s isolated existence and the tedium of his daily routine. “The Custodian” won the Alfred Bauer Prize at the 2006 Berlin International Film Festival. (U.S. Premiere)

"The Dog Pound" ("La Perrera") Director: Manuel Nieto Zas (Uruguay/Argentina/Canada/Spain)
After failing his college exams, a lackadaisical 25-year-old is put to work by his old-school father building a house in the quiet coastal town where the family keeps a home. This Uruguayan comedy-drama offers an examination of the ennui and idleness that are often by-products of a prosperous society.
(U.S. Premiere)

"Drained" ("O Cheiro do Ralo") Director: Heitor Dhalia (Brazil)
A pawnshop owner becomes obsessed with his office’s backed-up drain, and the derrière of a young waitress, in this daring look at perversity and madness starring Selton Mello and Alice Braga (“Lower City”). “Taxi Driver” in a cubicle, “Drained” won the award for best film at the São Paulo International Film Festival. (East Coast Premiere)

"Fish Dreams" ("Sonhos de Peixe") Director: Kirill Mikhanovsky (USA/Brazil/Russia)
Winner of the Prix Regards Jeune at Cannes Critics’ Week, “Fish Dreams” is a tale of small town infatuation and soap opera-fueled big city dreams that captures the beauty, simplicity and hardship of life in a remote fishing village on Brazil's sun-drenched coast. (U.S. Premiere)

"Glue" ("Glue - una historia adolescente en el medio de la nada") Director: Alexis Dos Santos (Argentina/UK)
Lucas is a teenager consumed by lust, longing, and boredom. Disaffected with life, he and his friends Nacho and Andrea use drugs, and each other, to satisfy their urges and break free from the desperation within. This promising debut from Alexis Dos Santos vibrantly captures the essence of adolescence with biting humor. (East Coast Premiere)

"Hole" ("Zulo") Director: C. Martín Ferrera (Spain)
An ordinary man finds himself imprisoned in a dank 20-foot high hole for no apparent reason. This Kafkaesque nightmare from first-time director Carlos Martín Ferrera combines the eerie atmosphere of a horror movie with a searingly intense portrait of a man’s psychological and physical disintegration. A knockout performance from Jaume García Arija anchors the film. (U.S. Premiere)

"Meanwhile" ("Mientras Tanto") Director: Diego Lerman (Argentina/France)
From award-winning director Diego Lerman, “Meanwhile” is about life in between the big moments. Set in Buenos Aires, the films follows a group of characters who are as contradictory as the city itself—they yearn for more out of life without knowing exactly what that is or how to get it. (U.S. Premiere)

"The Most Beautiful of My Very Best Years" ("Lo más bonito y mis mejores años")
Director: Martín Boulocq (Bolivia/USA)
Two not-so-young Bolivian slackers find their relationship tested by a girl and a car in this thoughtful piece on hope, friendship, and longing. Placing the improvised, observational aesthetic of John Cassavettes in a rarely seen Latin American setting, Martín Boulocq’s powerful debut puts Bolivian cinema on the map.
(East Coast Premiere)

"The Night of the Sunflowers" ("La noche de los Girasoles") Director: Jorge Sánchez-Cabezudo (Spain)
A case of mistaken identity by a trio of city folk results in a harrowing episode of violence in the backwoods of Spain. This atmospheric noir thriller twists and turns in six interconnected “episodes,” each of which puts the spotlight on a different character. (Regional Premiere)

"Paraguayan Hammock" ("Hamaca Paraguaya") Director: Paz E

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