From Creepy Animation to LGBT Docs: Corto Circuito Brings Latino Short Films to New York

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Sometimes we’re in the mood for a big ol’ steak dinner, but other times it’s just nice to chow down on some bite-sized tapas with your buds. There’s something to be said for spending an evening filling up on a variety of flavor-packed miniature delicacies, getting in just the right amount of each dish to satisfy the palate. Which is why New Yorkers should be really pumped about the upcoming 12th edition of the Corto Circuito Latino Shorts Film Festival. (It’s a metaphor.)

In addition to its clever name, Corto Circuito has now spent over a decade bringing tri-state audiences the most select titles in Latin American and U.S. Latino shorts, and packaging them into nightly programs that represent the cinematic equivalent of a sumptuous sushi platter. Now, as the festival tentatively enters into adolescence, the pedigree of Corto Circuito’s featured titles is undeniable. Amongst the 45 short films representing 16 countries, there is a Cannes Palm D’Or prize holder, a Best Animation winner from Guadalajara, and official selections from the Cartagena, Miami, and Palm Springs Film Festivals.

Kicking off on October 8, Corto Circuito will take out the big guns in its first night program “And the winner is…,” where recent festival favorites like The Pickman Circus (Mexico), The English Teacher (Cuba), and 60 Candles (Paraguay) round out a bill topped off by Colombian superstar short Leidi, from director Simón Mesa Soto. The 15-minute Cannes-winning drama tells the story of a woman dead set on tracking down her boyfriend and the father of her child, who hasn’t showed up in days.

Among the animations featured in this year’s edition, Brazilian director Pedro Harres brings us an attractive and unconventional black-and-white animation entitled Castillo y el Armado that tells the story of a dockworker living on the blustery coast of Southern Brazil who divides his time between work, family, and fishing. Castillo y el Armado will play alongside a handful of animated works from Spain, Uruguay, and Bolivia on the afternoon of Saturday, October 11.

To close things out, Corto Circuito will bring it all back home with their “Latinos in the House” closing night program, celebrating the work of Latinos in the United States. Among the many worthy films, Boricua Melisa Ramos’ experimental and kaleidoscopic criticism of contemporary urban life Modern City makes its point with a crude but intriguing flash aesthetic, accompanied by a glitchy throwback electronic soundtrack. “Latinos in the House” will be followed by a closing night party hosted by DJ Funkenstein for us to sweat off some of the calories from our 3-day short film binge.

Oh, and did we mention that all the screenings are free? So grab a slice from Joe’s Pizza on Carmine St, take a leisurely stroll through Washington Square Park, and get your culo to the King Juan Carlos Center for a delectable smorgasbord of cinematic treats.

Corto Circuito runs October 8 – 10, 2015 at NYU’s King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center (KJCC).