Tribeca 08: Luis Lopez, not Niels Laupert

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I was sitting at one of the posh couches at the Target-Filmmakers’ Lounge talking on the phone, and once I hung up, a young man sitting next to me asks in a thick accent, all concerned: “Did you say my name?” Startled, I scan my memory looking for a name  I might have said.  “Chevolution?” I say, referring to the documentary about the famous Che Guevara photograph. “You said my name,” he says. Confused, I ask “What is your name?” and he replies “Niels Laupert,” showing me a flyer of his film, Seven Day Sunday, which has his name on it. “Ahhh, no, I said Luis Lopez, not Niels Laupert.” Awkward laughter. Turns out Niels, a German director, is making Tribeca his last stop of the international film festival circuit (after going to Rotterdam, Munich, Istanbul) presenting his true-crime drama Seven Days Sunday (Sieben Tage Sonntag).” He’s having a good time in New York but complains that  all the parties here are too segmented: for sponsors, for foreign filmmakers…making it hard to network and shop for distribution in the US. Here he is above, con una amiguita (maybe the actress of the film?) Mental note to check out the film.

It was quite a busy day for Remezcla at the Tribeca Film Festival. First thing in the morning, we interviewed actors Barbara Mori (a bit icy) and Leonardo Sbaraglia (hot! intense! Argentinean!) and director Alfono Pineda-UlloaAmor, Dolor y Viceversa of Mexican film (Love, Pain and Viceversa). Sbaraglia, who is shooting the second season of Capadocia (HBO mini series) in Argentina right now (“Hago del malo”) had long, salt and pepper hair up in a ponytail and spoke English with ease. Mori (La Mujer de Mi Hermano, and a telenovela past she’s trying to put behind her) just flew in from India, where she’ll be shooting her first English-language film, which ironically is a multi-culti Bollywood movie (and she plays a Mexican.) Her hair is still short (she shaved her head for a role a few months ago) and I noticed she has at least four tattoos: one on her wrist, one on her upper arm, one on the back of the neck and one in her ankle. Who knew the pretty-faced telenovela star was hard core about  ink? She also mentioned that,  in the 20 hour flight from India, she listened to a lot of Colbie Caillat (not hard core). Director Poncho Pineda Ulloa couldn’t make it to the Remezcla party on Wednesday where we showed a sneak peek of the movie because he’s busy in Los Angeles finishing his masters in film (!) and confirmed that indeed its Juan Carlos “Juan Son” from Guadalajara group Porter that haunting voice who sings the cover version of “Dejate Caer” in the movie.  He also said to be on the lookout for more songs in the soundtrack from Natalia Lafourcade and Placebo (!!).

The director pair of Mario De Varona and Joe Cardona from documentary Celia The Queen were a real RIOT. They started the on-camera interview by saying they hate Univisión and Telemundo and all that Miami film and TV industry for Latinos produced in the US because its always made thinking of the “lowest-common denominator.” Quality, they say! And they deliver in the doc, with very rare and intimate footage of Celia and Cabecita de Algodón through the years. They even told us the little-known story of how the grito de guerra “Azúcar!” was born (which didn’t make it into the documentary.) To find out, watch our video interview with them, coming soon right here in Remezcla.

Next came the screening for the Colombian film Paraiso Travel which was a boring disappointment for me. A young couple migrates to New York from Medellín, get “tragically” separated and one of them lands in Mi Tierra Colombiana restaurant in Jackson Heights, Queens. John Leguizamo (who also produced,) plays a stuttering S&M squatter and Ana de La Reguera (me dio verguenza por ella) playing a Mexican girl who lives with her 20 family members, shares a bed with abuelita, and for some reason loves to salsa dance and sells CDs piratas outside Tierras Colombianas. Lo mejor de la pelicula was the performance by Pedro Capó, Puerto Rican actor more recently seen in Celia, The Musical.

Up in the next few days: Diego, a Revolutionary Portrait (documentary about Diego Rivera), Old Man Bebo (another doc! See a trend? About Bebo Valdés), Elite Squad (Brazilian, very violent, won awards at Berlinale) y más…