New York Latino Film Festival

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The New York International Latino Film Festival (NYILFF) is here and you can’t miss the extravagant list of films, panel discussions and events that will take place in La Gran Manzana. In its ninth year, the NYILFF will show its biggest line-up ever with over 100 national and international films, documentaries and shorts until July 27th at various locations,  mainly at The Directors Guild Theatre on 57th Street. The festival kicks off tonight with the premiere of American Son directed by Neil Abramson starring Nick Cannon, Melonie Diaz, Jay Hernandez, and Tom Sizemore.

In conjunction with the NYILFF, the first ever Hola México! Film Festival, originally conceived in Sydney, will take place in New York City, showing a dozen contemporary Mexican films at Quad Cinema near Union Square. Some of the highlights of Hola México! are Llamando a un ángel for Wednesday’s premiere fiesta, Malos Hábitos , La Zona, Familia Tortuga, Niñas mal featuring Remezcla fave Ximena Sariñana and Bajo Juárez: la ciudad devorando sus hijas.

Here’s a quick list of the most-acclaimed films of the festival:

Interested in the immigrant experience? Watch these documentaries and films:

60 Miles East – documents the Dominican odyssey at sea to come to the U.S. or Puerto Rico by boat.
7 Soles – illustrates the story of Negro who is hired to smuggle a group of illegal immigrants into the U.S.
El Norte – nominated for an Academy Award captures the story of a brother and sister (Rosa and Enrique) who head to the U.S. fleeing persecution at home.
La Americana – is about a mother (Carmen) who leaves her daughter (Carla) behind in Bolivia to embark in an illegal journey to New York City.  

Ones that will move your heart:
All of Us – a research project to investigate the reasons why black women are the highest HIV/AIDS victims in the U.S.
Lokas – a comedy about Charly, a Latino homophobe who discovers her father is gay and lives with his boyfriend.
Transvestites Also Cry – a not-so-funny documentary about two Ecuadorian transvestites who live in dingy hotels and work as prostitutes in Paris, France. 
Very Young Girls -a documentary about thirteen and fourteen year-old girls who are sexually abused by pimps on the streets of New York City and treated as adult criminals by the police.
Luchando – what was once considered a revolutionary term in Cuba now refers to sex labor for survival.

Here’s everything you have been wanting to know about gang violence:
Bound by Honor -first released in 1993, the film records the Chicano gang wars in California prison system.
Children of Rape – documents the two largest gangs in El Salvador (La MS 13 and the 18)
Talento de Barrio – featuring el reggaetonero Daddy Yankee who plays Edgar Dinero, a Puerto Rican thug who is torn between the dangerous street life of his neighborhood and his ambition to become something big.

American films that will certainly draw large audiences:
Big Pun: The Legacy -featuring interviews with Rosie Perez, DMX, Snoop Dogg and Juelz Santana, among others.
Days of Wrath – starring Latinos such as Wilmer Valderrama, Jesse Garcia and Ana Talancon.
The Ministers -featuring talents such as Wanda De Jesus, John Leguizamo, Florencia Lozano, and Manny Perez

About Romance, Fanaticism, Drama y Demás:
Chasing the Law
-a rockumentary about a fan’s obsession to record the last tour of super Latin rock band La Ley.
Mancora – an adventure drama by La Mujer de Mi Hermano director Ricardo de Montreuil.
Vicious Circle -a Romeo and Juliet love story about a punk rock Latino tragic romance with a murder mystery twist.

Other movies que te dejarán con los pelos de punta!
Perro Come a PerroOnce considered black comedy and thriller, this film reveals the tale of two Colombian hoods, Victor and Eusebio, who teamed up with a local crime lord and later find themselves in a big problema.
PVC-1 One of the most talked about films at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, PVC-1 is inspired by a true event and shot at the real time about one of the most horrifying terrorist attacks done to the members of a family in Colombia.

Special Screening:
Celia: The Queen -The life of La Guarachera de Cuba presented by Kodak

Also don’t miss the 1st annual NYILFF Youth Showcase, a recompilation of films made by Latino youth from across the nation!