Latin American Films at London Film Festival

The 55th BFI London Film Festival will be taking place from Wednesday 12th until Thursday 27th October, and as usual, includes a healthy selection of Latin American films.

Amongst the Latin American films being shown are a healthy smattering from Argentina with six of the nine Latin American films actually coming from the country. The other three films are from Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. The festival will be taking place across a number of London venues: BFI Southbank, Odeon Leicester Square, Vue West End, ICA, Curzon Mayfair and Ritzy.

Back to Stay (Abrir Puertas y Ventanas)
Argentina-Switzerland (2011)
Director / Screenplay: Milagros Mumenthaler

Sat 15 Oct, BFI Southbank – NFT3, 21:00
Tue 18 Oct, BFI Southbank – NFT3, 13:30

Three sisters live in a large house that has seen better days. Marina is industrious and focused on her studies, Sofía is vain and overly preoccupied with her appearance and the languid Violeta drifts from room to room in a state of general aimlessness. It slowly becomes apparent that they are home alone dealing with the sudden death of the grandmother who raised them. Maria Delgado

Hard Labour (Trabalhar Cansa)
Brazil (2011)
Directors / Screenplay: Juliana Rojas, Marco Dutra

Thu 13 Oct, Vue6, 18:15
Fri 14 Oct, Vue3, 15:30

Helena is planning to open a small local grocery shop, but her husband Otavio has just lost his job in insurance, and isn’t best pleased at the implications of his wife becoming the family breadwinner. Helena hires Paula a nanny-cum-housekeeper for their daughter and two new assistants for the shop, but nothing appears to be as straightforward as she’d hoped. And then there’s the mysterious markings on the wall of the shop, the sewage seeping through the floor, the strange noises that appear to come from nowhere and the howling dog on the street outside that further threaten the stability of their middle-class lives. Maria Delgado

Karen Cries On The Bus (Karen Llora En Un Bus)
Colombia (2011)
Director / Screenplay: Gabriel Rojas Vera

Mon 17 Oct, Vue6, 20:45
Tue 18 Oct, Vue6, 12:45

Karen wants to divorce Mario after a ten-year marriage. She leaves him and rents a less-than-desirable room in Bogotá, but it’s not easy to find employment when you’ve been stuck at home for a decade. Karen isn’t as worldly as she likes to think she is, and when her bag is stolen, she is reduced to begging on the streets. Maria Delgado

Las Acacias
Argentina/Spain (2011)
Director: Pablo Giorgelli / Screenplay: Pablo Giorgelli, Salvador Roselli

Mon 17 Oct, Vue6, 18:00
Tue 18 Oct, Vue6, 15:00

At the start of Pablo Giorgelli’s feature debut, truck driver Rubén picks up Jacinta, a young mother carrying her eight-month-old son Anahí. Rubén is driving with his cargo of timber from Asunción del Paraguay to Buenos Aires, and he’s agreed to take on these extra passengers for a fee. He’s a man of few words, and his dour, unsmiling expression remains fixed on the road, not the handsome woman and child in the cab next to him. For Jacinta this is clearly going to be a long journey, despite her efforts to engage the taciturn Rubén. Edward Lawrenson

Argentina/Germany/Spain (2011)
Director / Screenplay: Gustavo Taretto

Fri 21 Oct, BFI Southbank – NFT2, 20:45
Mon 24 Oct, BFI Southbank – NFT1, 15:45

Martín is a web designer addicted to gaming who won’t leave his shoe-box apartment. He’s seeing a psychiatrist twice a week in the hope of tackling his panic attacks, listlessness, neurosis, insecurity and stress. His girlfriend left her dog with him for a few weeks when she left for the US, but she never returned, so Martín has both the pet and the phobias to deal with. Mariana is an architect now working as a window dresser who has just broken up with her partner after a four-year relationship. She too has her phobias and foibles – including a fear of lifts and an obsession with Where’s Wally? books. Martín and Mariana live close to each other; but in the madness of the 21st-century urban metropolis, it’s all too easy to miss the person across the street when you’re looking for love. Maria Delgado

Miss Bala
Mexico/USA (2011)
Director: Gerardo Naranjo / Screenplay: Gerardo Naranjo, Mauricio Katz

Wed 19 Oct, Vue7, 20:45
Thu 20 Oct, Vue7, 12:30
Sat 22 Oct, Ritzy, 20:30

Laura is an ordinary girl whose dreams of becoming a beauty queen might see her escaping her humble circumstances in the Mexican border city of Baja. On the eve of a contest audition, she is persuaded to go to a seedy nightclub by her friend Suzu. Laura bears witness to a brutal slaughter and loses Suzu in the ensuing melee. The search for her missing friend brings her into contact with gangster kingpin Lino, who casually takes advantage of Laura’s situation to use it for his own ends, forcing her to work while convincing few other than himself that he’s acting out of benevolence. Laura’s descent into a lawless underworld becomes increasingly desperate. Michael Hayden

Argentina (2011)
Director / Screenplay: Laura Citarella

Wed 19 Oct, ICA, 21:00
Thu 20 Oct, ICA, 13:30

When a young woman wins a radio contest, her prize is four days in a hotel in Ostende, a seaside town by the Atlantic coast in the province of Buenos Aires. Only it’s not high season, so the beach proves blustery, the hotel is pretty much empty and she doesn’t have much to do while she waits for her boyfriend to join her. So she listens to the stories of a friendly local waiter and watches the comings and goings of an older man and the two women who appear to be with him. Maria Delgado

The Student (El Estudiante)
Argentina 2011
Director: Santiago Mitre / Screenplay: Santiago Mitre, Mariano Llinas

Mon 24 Oct, Vue6, 20:45
Tue 25 Oct, Vue6, 12:45

When attractive, intelligent and personable Roque arrives at the University of Buenos Aires, he quickly becomes drawn into complex machinations of student politics in an antiquated system where differing factions vie for supremacy. Juggling his amorous dalliances with a rising role as right-hand man for the veteran professor Alberto Acevedo, Roque soon finds that the clandestine deals and back-room negotiations that mark the political terrain in which he finds himself operating, may not be as easy to negotiate as he had first assumed. Maria Delgado

Argentina 2011
Director: Hermes Paralluelo

Thu 13 Oct, BFI Southbank – NFT2, 20:45
Fri 14 Oct, BFI Southbank – Studio, 19:00
Sun 16 Oct, ICA, 16:15

Bebo, Ricardo and Pata live on the outskirts of the Argentine city of Córdoba, collecting cardboard for recycling in their battered horsedrawn cart. Hermes Paralluelo’s thoughtful documentary charts the boys’ day-to-day adventures as they go about their business, argue with their extended family, and share their dreams and aspirations. Maria Delgado


Wed 12th – Thu 27th October
BFI London Film Festival
Various Venues

Tickets are available now. Visit bfi.org.uk/lff for further information and to buy tickets.