From a Doc on Tony Alva to a Virtual Reality World: Films to Check Out at SF IndieFest

Lead Photo: 'Queen of Lapa' still courtesy of NewFest
'Queen of Lapa' still courtesy of NewFest
Read more

The San Francisco IndieFest may be on the smaller scale, but it still packs a punch. The directors and stories clearly evoke a vibe that feels specific to the Bay Area. This year’s SF IndieFest kicks off this week with five Latino- and Spanish-themed features.

There’s no denying IndieFest goes for the offbeat, such as Spanish filmmaker Miguel Llansó’s fantasy/mystery film, Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway. The movie follows a CIA agent who dreams of opening a pizza parlor. Instead, he ends up being pulled into a virtual reality world, where he’s tasked with stopping a computer virus.

Additionally, you can check out Brazilian director Allan Deberton’s Pacarrete. The filmmaker has drawn comparisons to Pedro Almodovar with his “radiant ode to the all-consuming power of dance,” with some class commentary and Old Hollywood zing thrown in. Furthermore, Milena Pastreich’s Pigeon Kings is all about the competitive world of pigeon flying, wherein a group of South Central Black and Latino trainers show off their “Roller Pigeons” in hopes of going to the World Cup.

Married couple Carolina Monnerat and Theodore Collato look at the trans sex worker community in their Queen of Lapa documentary. The doc tells the story of Lunna Muniz and the hostel/commune that serves as a haven for Brazilian trans sex workers in Rio de Janeiro. And finally, there’s Coan Nichols and Rick Charnosky’s documentary about the godfather of skateboarding, Tony Alva. The Tony Alva Story looks at his rise to prominence, his fall and his attempt to get back on top.

All of these feature a different facet of the Latino experience, from the cultural to the personal, from narrative film to documentary. Make a point of seeking these out. The SF IndieFest takes place from January 29 to February 13.

Learn more information about the festival at the SF IndieFest website