September 25 – November 6, 2014  | Festival Week. October 4 – 11, 2014

This year the festival focuses on the way music/rhythm is intertwined within the social, cultural, and historical constructions of the region. Sound-scapes and rhythm-scapes that represent the joys and sorrows and the individual and collective voices of peoples across the hemisphere will encapsulate the fundamental relationship between life and music in the Americas. Audiences will enjoy the presence of filmmakers, musicians, and artists.  

Organized by The Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University. This event is made possible through funding by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the US Department of Education. Co-sponsored by the Institute for the Study of the Americas at UNC-CH, Duke Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Duke Screen/Society, Duke Center for Documentary Studies, UNC-CH Romance Languages and Literatures, Duke Program in Latino/a Studies in the Global South, PRAGDA, North Carolina Central University, Durham Technical Community College, El Centro Hispano, and the Carolina Theatre of Durham. Thanks to LASA Film Festival.
CONTACT. Festival Director:           |       DIRECTIONS TO VENUES     |      TEL. (919) 681 3883      |  VISUAL CALENDAR


9/25. THURSDAY. Nelson Mandela Auditorium. UNC-Chapel Hill. 7:00pm

SIETE CAJAS | SEVEN BOXES.  Juan Carlos Maneglia & Tana Schémbori / Paraguay / 2014 / 105 min

In Spanish, Guaraní and Korean with English subtitles | Trailer

It’s Friday night in Asunción, Paraguay, and the temperature is sweltering. Víctor, a 17-year-old wheelbarrow delivery boy, dreams of becoming famous and covets a fancy TV set in the infamous Mercado 4. He’s offered a chance to deliver seven boxes with unknown contents in exchange for a quick one hundred US dollars. But what sounds like an easy job soon gets complicated. Something in the boxes is highly coveted and Víctor and his pursuers quickly find themselves caught up in a crime they know nothing about.


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10/4. SATURDAY. Richard White Auditorium, Duke. Durham. 4:00pm

CHICO & RITA. Fernando Trueba, Javier Mariscal & Tono Errando / Cuba, Spain, UK, Argentina / 2012 / 94 min

Spanish and English with English subtitles  | TRAILER

Oscar winning director Fernando Trueba (The Age Of Beauty) and famous Barcelona designer and artist Javier Mariscal, have teamed up to make Chico & Rita, an animated love story starring the music, culture, and people of Cuba.

Chico is a dashing piano player and Rita is an enchanting and beautiful Havana nightclub singer. When they meet, the sparks fly and they fall madly in love. In Chico & Rita, Trueba and Mariscal pay tribute to a vibrant and colorful time in the history of both Cuba and jazz, an epic romance unfolds as the pair travels the glamorous stages of 1940s and1950s Havana, New York City, Las Vegas, Hollywood, and Paris. To accompany them is an amazing soundtrack featuring the music of jazz legends Thelonious Monk, Cole Porter, Dizzy Gillespie and Freddy Cole (brother of Nat King Cole), performed by a range of contemporary singers including Idania Valdés, Carlos Sarduy, Horacio Hernández, Rolando Luna, Germán Velazco and Jorge Reyes. In addition, the story of Chano Pozo, one of the first Latin percussionists to grace a major American jazz band, is fluidly interwoven within the narrative. 


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10/4. SATURDAY. Reception: Lobby Richard White Auditorium, Duke. Durham. 6:00pm


10/4. SATURDAY. Richard White Auditorium, Duke. Durham. 7:00pm

*Special Screening with live-score performance, featuring Bradley Simmons and participation of the Film Director, Robert Pietri. Q&A to follow

SEMPER FIDELRobert Pietri / Cuba, USA / 2014 / 90 min

English and Spanish with English subtitles

Spinning a classic, multifaceted story against an uncommon backdrop, Semper Fidel tells the tale of a U.S. Marine who investigates the life of his father, a Cuban sports star. Featuring the astonishing Havana City, the film creates a city-landscape that propels this character-driven drama forward, highlighting the conflict of place and identity the protagonist feels, and allowing the viewer to take the journey alongside him.

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10/6. MONDAY. Carolina Theater. Durham. 7:00pm

*Special musical introduction by Chilean composer and interpreter Carlos Salvo

VIOLETA SE FUE A LOS CIELOS | VIOLETA WENT TO HEAVENAndres Wood / Chile / 2011 / 110 min

Spanish with English subtitles | TRAILER

Violeta Went to Heaven tells the story of famed Chilean singer and folklorist Violeta Parra, tracing her evolution from impoverished child to international sensation and Chile's national hero, while capturing the swirling intensity of her inner contradictions, fallibilities, and passions. From the marquee that she built in Santiago, Chile, people who shaped her life visit Violeta Parra to gradually share her secrets, fears, frustrations and joys, not only through performances of her multiple works but also through her memories, her loves, and her hopes. Her achievements are suspended in a passionate journey with the characters that made her dream, laugh and cry.

"Write as you like, use the rhythms that come out, try different instruments, sit at the piano, destroy the metric, shout instead of singing, blow your guitar and ring the horn. Hate mathematics, and love eddies. Creation is a bird without a flight plan, that will never fly in a straight line" - Violeta Parra

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10/7. TUESDAY. Full Frame Theatre, American Tobacco Campus. Durham. 7:00pm

BAIA DE TODOS OS SANTOS | BAY OF ALL SAINTSAnnie Eastman / US/Brazil / 2012 / 74 min

Portugese with English subtitles  | TRAILER

In Salvador, Bahia, next to one of Brazil’s wealthiest cities, generations of impoverished families have lived in a community of palafitas, shacks built on stilts over the ocean bay. Under a government program to reclaim and restore the bay, hundreds of families face forced relocation.  The stories of Geni, Jesus, and Doña Maria, three single mothers and their families shape this film’s narrative as they confront uncertainty and insecurity. Each woman offers a perspective of hope and self-determination, often graced by humor, in facing frequently dire circumstances. As their community is almost completely torn down and paved over, each begins to fight anew for the future. Filmed over six years, this extraordinary documentary offers fresh insights into environmental justice and notions of home for citizens bypassed by Brazil’s economic boom. With the 2014 World Cup and the Olympics ahead, this is an essential film for understanding a country that is in the world spotlight.

* Introduced by Gustavo Furtado, Romance Studies. Duke University

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10/8. WEDNESDAY. Nelson Mandela Auditorium. UNC-Chapel Hill. 7:00pm

*Special screenings with presence of the director and participants on the films, Q&A to follow the screenings

ROSTROS DEL TIEMPO | FACES OF TIMECharles D. Thompson / Mexico,USA / 2014 / 15 min

Spanish and English with English subtitles

These are the faces of ex-Braceros (or sometimes their widows who stand for them) who worked in U.S. fields, harvesting crops and providing food for American consumers between the years 1942-1964. They gather every Sunday in Ciudad Juárez to protest because they still have not received the retirement benefits they earned half a century ago.

Followed by a screening of:

VIDA PROPIA Sarah Garrahan / USA-Latino / 2014 / 52 min

Spanish and English with English subtitles

Vida Propia is an intimate portrait of Nora Méndez, a 43-year-old mother of three living in Durham, North Carolina. Nora works as a cook in a Latino-fusion restaurant; lately she is starting her own food truck.In words of Nora, “the way I see [the film] is very simple. It is about a person who is here for a dream. Little by little, their dreams begin to unfold and progress. More importantly, they share a part of their life. Not everything – but the most essential parts... It’s about what it means to be a human being on an emotional level.”

* Nora Méndez will be present at the screening | RECEPTION AT THE PARKING LOT. Food ofered by DOS PERROS RESTAURANT

*In conjunction with the exhibit: Rostros del Tiempo | Faces of Time | September 30 - December 19, 2014. Presented by the John Hope Franklin Center. 


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10/9. THURSDAY. Carolina Theater. Durham. 7:00pm


Spanish with English subtitles | TRAILER

Journey into the world of Argentina's most famous musical artist in Mercedes Sosa: The Voice of Latin America.  Over a career that spanned 50 years, Sosa sold millions of records, performed thousands of concerts all over the world, and left behind an incredible legacy as an artist who went beyond the borders of music to become one of the most influential – and loved – personalities of the 20th century. This intimate documentary reveals Sosa's early life and her rise to worldwide stardom, and explores the impact she had on the musical, and political, heritage of Latin America... and the world.

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10/10. FRIDAY. Nelson Mandela Auditorium. UNC-Chapel Hill. 7:00pm

PELO MALO | BAD HAIRMariana Rondón / Venezuela / 2013 / 93 min

Spanish with English Subtitles | TRAILER

A nine-year-old boy, Junior, lives in a Caracas; shanty-town, he is obsessed with becoming a singer and having straight long-hair, which elicits a tidal wave of homophobic panic in his hard-working mother. Junior aches to straighten those curls, to acquire a whole new look befitting his emerging fantasy image of himself as a long-haired singer. As the opportunity approaches to have his photo taken for the new school year, that ache turns into a fiery longing. Junior’s mother, Marta struggles as the father of her children has died, to put a few arepas on the table for Junior and his baby brother. She loves her kids, would endure almost anything for them, but she cannot abide Junior’s preening and fussing over his appearance. The boy’s grandmother (Nelly Ramos), however, encourages and nurtures his behavior; even though she knows why he visits the same newsstand every morning — the one tended by a handsome, slick young man. Junior doesn’t even know yet what it means to be gay, but the very notion prompts Marta to set out to “correct” Junior’s condition before it fully takes hold. This is a story of people doing what they feel they have to, partly out of fear, but also out of love.


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10/11. SATURDAY. Nelson Mandela Auditorium. UNC-Chapel Hill. 4.00pm

TROPICALIAMarcelo Machado / Brazil / 2012 / 87 min

Portuguese and English with English subtitles | TRAILER

This carefully researched film investigates the cultural movement dubbed Tropicália, which began in Brazil during the 1960s as a reaction to the popular music and nationalism of the period. Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil, Tom Zé and others mull over their experiences from that time, while magnificent archive footage brings to life the sheer inventiveness and political reach of "Tropicalism.”

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10/11. SATURDAY. Reception: Atrium Global Education Center. UNC-Chapel Hill. Presented by EL CENTRO HISPANO  |  LIVE MUSIC JAM WITH LATIN ROCK BAND L.E.T.A.L  | 6:00pm


10/11. SATURDAY. Nelson Mandela Auditorium. UNC-Chapel Hill. 7:00pm

GIMME THE POWER. Olallo Rubio / Mexico / 2012 / 90 min 

 Spanish with English subtitles | TRAILER

Gimme the Power presents a version of the history of Mexico by using popular culture, in particular the work of the rock band MOLOTOV. The members of the band become informants of such reality by sharing the stories of the lyrics of their songs while they were developed. Both, history and story telling  (from the perspective of the musicians) are intertwined. A country in constant crisis, a search for a real democracy after the hegemony of the PRI and a band that gives the ‘soundtrack” of discontent.

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10/17. FRIDAY. Farrison-Newton Building Theatre. North Carolina Central University, Durham. 7:00pm

LA PLAYA DC. Juan Andrés Arango / Colombia / 2013 / 90 min

Spanish with English subtitles | TRAILER

Tomás, an Afro-Colombian teenager who fled the country's Pacific coast pushed out by the war, faces the difficulties of growing up in a city of exclusion and racism, Bogota DC. When Jairo, his younger brother and closest friend disappears, Tomás plunges in the streets of the city. His search becomes a coming of age journey that compels him to face his past in order to find his own identity. Through this journey, Tomas uses his “hair-cut” as a map, revealing a unique perspective and practice of “free slaves” in a contemporary setting. 

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10/23. THURSDAY. ERC Media Resource Center, Durham Technical Community College. 6:00pm

VIDA PROPIASarah Garrahan / USA-Latino / 2014 / 52 min

Spanish and English with English subtitles

Vida Propia is an intimate portrait of Nora Méndez, a 43-year-old mother of three living in Durham, North Carolina. Nora works as a cook in a Latino-fusion restaurant; lately she is starting her own food truck. In words of Nora, “the way I see [the film] is very simple. It is about a person who is here for a dream. Little by little, their dreams begin to unfold and progress. More importantly, they share a part of their life. Not everything – but the most essential parts... It’s about what it means to be a human being on an emotional level.”

This event is possible thanks to Durham Technical Community College.

* Nora Méndez will be present in the screening followed by a FOOD TRUCK meal at the parking lot (tickets required). Food offered by DOS PERROS RESTAURANT

10/23. THURSDAY. ERC Media Resource Center, Durham Technical Community College. 7:30pm

TRANSFUSIONRobert D. Lemon / USA-LATINO/ 2013 / 102 min.

English and Spanish with subtitles | TRAILER

Transfusión is a cinema verite documentary that traces taco trucks across the city of Columbus, Ohio, uncovering the complex and contentious circumstances encompassing Mexican cuisine in the United States. While the west side of the City (the Greater Hilltop Area) struggle to come to terms with how to handle the emergence of taco trucks, a black neighborhood on the East side (the King-Lincoln district) has invited a taco truck into one of the most impoverished areas of Columbus to help revitalize the community. For the City of Columbus the trucks are more than just about food, they're about immigration, race, community acceptance, and the exchange of life in the inner city.

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10/24. FRIDAY. Farrison-Newton Building Theatre. North Carolina Central University, Durham. 7:00pm

*Special event with presence of the director

OCCUPY THE IMAGINATION. Tales of Seduction and Resistance. Rodrigo Dorfman / Chile, USA / 2013 / 90 min

English and Spanish with English Subtitles | Trailer

Inspired by the uprisings of the Arab Spring and the Occupy Wall Street movement, Durham-based filmmaker Rodrigo Dorfman embarks on an exploration of 1970s Chile, where as a child he witnessed in the streets of Santiago the first peaceful socialist revolution in history. Fascinated by the transformative power of art, Dorfman uncovers the power and legacy of his father’s controversial book How to Read Donald Duck (written in 1971), which the military junta burned and banned for exposing Disney’s hidden capitalist messages. But when Occupy Wall Street explodes in New York City, Dorfman, camera in hand, begins a new quest -- for the spirit of the Chilean Revolution in the euphoria of the Occupy Movement. A story of courage, defeat, and resistance, this trans-American film examines whether art and activism can re-awaken our imaginations in a world seduced, and flattened, by neoliberal capitalism.

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10/30. THURSDAY. Nelson Mandela Auditorium. UNC-Chapel Hill. 7:00pm

EL FACILITADOR | THE FACILITATORVictor Arregui / Ecuador / 2014 / 83 min

Spanish with English subtitles | TRAILER

In this political thriller about human rights, Elena comes back to Ecuador to help her father, Miguel, overcome his illness. They keep a cold and distant relationship. Elena spends most of her time between drugs and alcohol so Miguel asks her to go to her grandpa’s estate on the Andes. Elena gets involved in the political organization of the community. She finds out Miguel is involved in a project that will deny water access to the indigenous people she’s working with. Elena gradually understands that among family secrets, corruption and dark perversions commitment and beauty can emerge.

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11/06. THURSDAY. Nelson Mandela Auditorium. UNC-Chapel Hill. 7:00pm

ARRUGAS | WRINKLESIgnacio Ferreras / Spain / 2014 / 89 min

Spanish with English subtitles | TRAILER

The story opens with former bank manager Emilio being dispatched to a retirement home by his family. His new roommate is a wily, wheeler-dealer named Miguel, who cheerfully swindles small amounts of cash from the more befuddled residents but is also full of handy insider tips that are crucial to survival. Like One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in an old folks home, we are introduced to daily pill regimens, electric gates, and an eccentric cast of characters who rebel against institutional authority, while doing everything in their power to avoid being assigned to the dreaded top floor assisted living wing – a dwelling place for lost souls from which there is no return. The hand-drawn animation style allows the film to move freely between the reality-bound daily lives of the ‘inmates’ and their more colorful dementia-induced fantasies, leaving plenty of room for both tears and laughter and pulling no punches in its critique of society’s attitude towards the Elderly. Based on Paco Roca’s National Award-winning graphic novel, Wrinkles illustrates the visual beauty and tender emotion that can be created by traditional animation, as it tackles a universal subject matter with humor and acerbic wit.

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PRAGDA SERIES. Co-curated by Cristina Carrasco and Sam Amago, UNC-CH Romance Languages with Miguel Rojas-Sotelo, NC LAFF. In cooperation with the Spanish Film Club initiative.

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