2019 North Carolina Latin American Film Festival OCTOBER 20 - NOVEMBER 2

The 34th Annual North Carolina Latin American Film Festival (NCLAFF) pays tribute to the legacy of the Chicago Latino Film Festival (CLFF) and to films by and about Indigenous cultures of Latin America and the Caribbean.

The 2019 NCLAFF, organized by the Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Duke University, begins October 20 and lasts until November 2 with more than 30 feature films and shorts shown in Durham, Chapel Hill, and Raleigh. All films are free and open to the public.

José A. (Pepe) Vargas, Founder and Executive Director, International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago

This year the festival has the honor of welcoming José A. (Pepe) Vargas, the director of the Chicago Latino Film Festival. CLFF began in 1985 showing films projected onto a concrete wall and has grown into the largest and most comprehensive festival of Latin American films in the United States.

Pepe Vargas was born in Colombia and earned a law degree in Buenos Aires before coming to the U.S. and settling in Chicago. He earned a degree in broadcast journalism and television/film production at Columbia College and went on to found the International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago, where his film festival has its home.

“We are very humble and proud to have Mr. Vargas as our special guest,” said NCLAFF Director Miguel Rojas-Sotelo. “The Chicago Latino Film Festival is the largest in the United States, bringing films from all over the region and opening avenues for new and established talent to meet, discuss, and develop new projects.”

Vargas will visit classes and participate in conversations about entrepreneurship in the arts, and minorities in the cultural sector in the United States, and share stories of the 35 years of CLFF.

From La Cordillera de los Sueños, directed by internationally renowned filmmaker Patricio Guzmán

Opening night of the festival on Sunday, Oct. 20, will begin at 7 p.m. with “Three Decades of Latin American Film Festivals in the U.S.A.,” a conversation between Vargas and Sharon Mújica, founder of NCLAFF, in the Rubenstein Arts Center Film Theater at Duke. The premiere of La Cordillera de los Sueños (The Cordillera of Dreams) by Chilean director Patricio Guzmán will follow.

A night of short films, curated by CLFF program director María López, will be shown at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct 23, in the Mandela Auditorium in the Global Education Center at UNC-Chapel Hill.

NCLAFF is also celebrating the International Year of Indigenous Languages – declared by the United Nations – by showing a series of short films in those languages or made by Indigenous filmmakers. The Maxakali language of Brazil, and the Jiw and Nukak-Maku languages of Colombia are represented with animated shorts. The film Los gigantes no existen (Giants Don't Exist) portrays Kiche' Mayan people of Guatemala, and the internationally acclaimed Pájaros de verano (Birds of Paradise) features an Indigenous tribe speaking Wayúu naiki.

A special exhibit of illustrations from the Maxakali film Mãtãnãg, directed by Charles Bicalho and Shawara Maxakali, will open during the festival in the John Hope Franklin Center Gallery. Bicalho will give an artist’s talk at 12 p.m., Monday, Oct 21, in John Hope Franklin Center room 130/32. Lunch will be served.

NCLAFF will also screen The Infiltrators, the genre-defying portrayal of two immigrants who infiltrate a for-profit detention facility, at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 30, in the Rubenstein Arts Center Film Theater. Producer and Duke alum Sarah Garrahan will be present for a Q&A conversation.

Above: Scene from The Infiltrators. Left: Director Alex Rivera. Right: Editor Sarah Garrahan

There will be a special night focusing on the aftermath of Hurricane María on the island of Puerto Rico with filmmakers, activists, and student groups. “Puerto Rico after María: Energy Security and Reconstruction” begins at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 26 in the Richard White Lecture Hall on Duke’s East Campus.

Left: Scene from film Dis.em.POWER.ed. Right: Sandy Smith-Nonini and Roque Nonini

Following the panel, a Puerto Rican food truck, Spanglish, will be parked in front of the building, and the film Dis.em.POWER.ed: Puerto Rico’s Perfect Storm will begin at 7 p.m. in the lecture hall. Directors Roque Nonini and Sandy Smith-Nonini and scientist Cecilio Ortiz García, co-founder of the National Institute of Energy and Island Sustainability, will be present for discussion.

The origins of the humanitarian disaster in Venezuela will be the theme on Saturday, Nov. 2, at the ERC Auditorium at Durham Tech Community College. Former U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela Patrick Duddy will introduce the film El Pueblo soy yo: Venezuela en populismo (I am the People: Venezuela Under Populism).

This is but a selection of the films and events from this year's festival. A complete list can be found at the website of the UNC-Duke Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies.

Presented by the Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University, with the generous support of the U.S. Department of Education and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Co-sponsors include: Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Duke, Institute for the Study of the Americas at UNC-CH, Duke Brazil Initiative, Department of Romance Studies at UNC-CH, PRAGDA, Duke Arts of the Moving Image and Screen/Society, Duke MFA EDA program, Duke AAHVS Speaker Series, FHI Social Practice Lab at Duke, Forum for Scholars and Publics at Duke, The Program in Latino/a Studies in the Global South at Duke, the Carolina Theatre in Durham, Chelsea Theatre in Chapel Hill, and the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh.

Special thanks to the Chicago Latino Film Festival.

Follow NCLAFF on Facebook! Contact miguel.rojassotelo@duke.edu for more information. Featured photo at top from Pájaros de verano (Birds of Passage).

A selection of more films from NCLAFF...

Todos Saben (Everybody Knows), dir. Asghar Farhadi

Building the American Dream, dir. Chelsea Hernández

Short film: Konagxeka: The Story of the Maxakali's Flood, dir. Isael Maxakail and Charles Bicalho

Peru Night: Caiga quein caiga (All Can Fall), dir. Eduardo Guillot

Dos Fridas (Two Fridas), dir. Ishtar Yasin Gutiérrez. Collaboration with North Carolina Museum of Art

José, dir. Li Cheng

Created By
Jennifer Prather