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A-LISTS community by david vera
Latino visual artists and musicians all throughout the county will proudly
showcase their inspired creations once again at this year’s San Diego
Latino Film Festival from March 11 to 21. In addition to hosting the usual
presentations that contribute to the festival’s diversity, the Tu Cine! segment
of student outreach screenings returns for local middle and high schools
students. Educational workshops are made available for independent
film/video makers where a collection of feature films will be presented for
families and their teen-aged kids. College students are encouraged to check
out the special package price on Reel Talks at Ultra Star Mission Valley—a
great opportunity to meet with industry professionals and get a behind-the
scenes look at filmmaking for $20.
But the most exciting facet of this brilliant event is Cine Gay 2010. Now
five years strong, this showcase is sponsored by San Ysidro Health Clinic.
As it does every year, the film festival continues its mission to help correct
often-distorted images seen on television and in movies by going against
the grain of bigotry and presenting examples of gay life in different corners
of the world.
Among the Cine Gay highlights is the feature film, Ander. Running 128
minutes in Basque with English subtitles, Roberto Castón’s (Director of
Spain’s Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in Bilbao) unique love story between
a manly Basque farmer and a Peruvian immigrant, is set in an idyllic Basque
valley. Deliberately paced, this story introduces a man coming to terms with
his solitude and sexuality amid a conservative society’s stumbling attempts
to recast its values in modern times. Ander stars Josean Bengoetxea and
Cristhian Esquivel. Another film that is garnering great attention is Contra-
corriente (winner of the World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award at the 2010
Sundance Film Festival), directed by Javier Fuentes-León. In a small village
on the north coast of Perú, Miguel, a married fisherman, has an affair with
Santiago, a painter who is looked-down upon in the conservative town
for being agnostic and open about his homosexuality. When Santiago ac-
cidentally drowns, his ghost returns to ask Miguel to find his body and bury
it according to the village rituals. This request puts Miguel at a crossroads. If
he fulfills his wishes, everyone in town will find out about the affair, but if he
doesn’t, his lover’s soul will never rest in peace.
The next film carries a bit of star power and an ambiance of family. 2009’s
La Mission, starring Benjamin Bratt, Erika Alexander, Jeremy Ray Valdez,
Jesse Borrego and Talisa Soto Bratt, sees an ex-con living in an urban Latino
community of the Mission District in San Francisco. He is forced to reconcile
the life he thought he had when he discovers his only son is gay. Benjamin
Bratt takes on the lead role of the reformed bad boy in this frank film directed
by his brother Peter. The film, a haunting story of healing and transforma-
tion, had its world premiere last year at the San Francisco Film Festival and
was screened at Sundance.
More notable titles include the comedy Chica Busca Chica (Girl Seeks Girl),
the Brazilian documentary Dzi Croquette and the following short films: Como
Marilyn Si Hay Dos (Like Marilyn If There Were Two), Pasajero (Passing By), El
Abuelo, DISH, Holy Water, Breaking Borders, M, Nunca Sere Nadie? (Never Say
Never), Almas Perdidas (Lost Souls), Professor Godoy, Back to Life and Cara O
Cruz (Fight or Flight).
For tickets and more information, visit San Diego Latino
Film Festival is an annual fundraiser for Media Arts Center San Diego, a 501(c)
(3) non-profit organization that promotes access to film and video as tools
for community self-expression and social change—and supports the pro-
fessional development of media artists
Benjamin Bratt in La Mission
6 RAGE monthly | MARCH 2010
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