Some might consider the Tribeca Film Festival to be full of indie humdrums, featuring purely artsy or faux-artsy flicks. However, every year there are always a couple of screen gems that are worth standing in line for. We’ve rounded up a list of the must-see films from this year’s crop of Latin directors and films from Latin America. See below to find out what filmmakers will be leaving their mark on the annual fest.
1. LIKE WATER
[Feature Documentary; In English, Portuguese with English subtitles]
In this Pablo Croce-directed documentary debut, Like Water tells us about UFC Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva, and gives us a deep look into the life of the fighter, and his life outside the ring. The director, raised in Venezuela, follows Silva in his native home of Brazil, with his wife and three sons, to his training as an ultimate fighter in L.A. and Miami. The film’s focus gets more in depth as we see Silva struggle with the fighter persona, inner strength, and the road to being a champion.
[Feature film; In English, Spanish with English subtitles]
We’re really looking forward to Blackthorn. Not just because it’s a western shot in Bolivia set in 1908 (crazy, right?), but because this film is the English-language debut of director Mateo Gil. His name might not ring a bell right off the bat, but this Spanish helmer is mostly known for his extraordinary work as the screenwriter of Vanilla Sky. Gil takes the story of Butch Cassidy and reimagines that he is living in a secluded town under the name James Blackthorn.
[Short film; In Serbian with English subtitles]
Director Gerardo Herrero is an old pro at movie making. The Spanish director has been in the movie business since the late ’80s, with most of his work as a director in the mid-90s. He’s considered one of the top Latin directors and movie producers out there. The Secret in Their Eyes, which he produced, won an Academy Award. Surprisingly though, even after all of his successes, his Tribeca entry this year is a short film titled Picnic about a family at picnic while unknowingly a enemy is nearby and waiting for them.
4. MY LAST ROUND
[Narrative; In Spanish with English subtitles]
In My Last Round, we see another film about a fighter, though not at all like Like Water. This narrative film debut, written and directed by Julio Jorquera, tells the story of Hugo, a young man looking for something new. His new adventure lies within Octavio—a boxer that he is in complete lust over, and vice versa. Though as these two enter into a full-fledged romance, the road ahead is anything but roses as they move from an accepting small town in southern Chile to the capital city of Santiago.But that is just the beginning for these two.
5. ARTIFICIAL PARADISES
[Feature Narrative; In Spanish with English subtitles]
Mexican director Yulene Olaizola, (award-winning documentary director of Shakespeare and Victor Hugo’s Intimacies) has created a wanderlust of a film with Artificial Paradises, a story about a companionship between a young woman who’s a drug addict and an old man who is a widower. The juxtaposition in this film vary from hard-hitting drama to the serene beach setting of Veracruz, Mexico.