I can’t tell you how many times I’ve written an article or blog post that included the line, “These films rarely make it to a theater in the United States” when referring to Latino and Latin American movies. Luckily, for those of us in New York, the month of September will turn that conventional wisdom on its head. There is a Latin film explosion in the making, whose reverberations will be felt all month long across New York City. We’re already feeling the first wave with the opening of Era uma vez eu, Veronica a modern anti-fairy tale set in Brazil that just started its week-long run at the Museum of Modern Art. And don’t forget Cantinflas is still in theaters if you haven’t already seen it yet.
This Tuesday, starts four days of free screenings of Central American films presented by Icaro New York including a special 20th anniversary presentation of El Silencio de Neto, the first feature film ever shot in Guatemala. New week, three film festivals will launch in NYC, two solely dedicated to Latin American movies and one with a special program of U.S. Latino flicks: the New York Peruvian Film Showcase, the Venezuelan Film Festival in New York, and Urbanworld — the largest competitive multicultural film festival in the United States. Don’t miss the special retro screening of the 2008 Tijuana-set sci-fi Sleep Dealer playing at Urbanworld.
If you think that’s a lot of movies to see, there’s still more. This Friday at the Quad Cinema, a documentary about artists living and working in La Habana, Cuba, Alumbrones, will have a week-long release. Towards the end of the month, the city’s most prestigious cinema event, the half-century old New York Film Festival, will present a 30th anniversary screening of Diego Echeverría’s Los Sures. The 1984 documentary skillfully represents the challenges of its time: drugs, gang violence, crime, abandoned real estate, racial tension, single-parent homes, and inadequate local resources in Brooklyn’s Los Sures (South Williamsburg) neighborhood. The NYFF will also premiere several Argentine films in addition to the much-anticipated Closing Night Gala screening of Birdman by Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu. I know, it’s a lot to digest. Here is a handy guide to keep track.