I am obsessed with movies. I constantly go to the movie theater by myself, buy a kid’s meal at the concession stand, lay back in the comfy theater chair, and chill. But like many of us have already realized with #OscarsSoWhite, people of color are not given roles enough in Hollywood and therefore our representation is scarce in the industry. That’s why I recently decided to do a self-motivated protest to boycott Hollywood/commercial films that do not include us in the dialogue, represent a diverse group of people, or tell our stories correctly. In turn, I will only be supporting films about or from Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as any other films that display diversity.
In my search of Latino films playing in New York City, here are the film festivals and exceptional films playing this fall:
Campo Grande, part of the O Brasil Series at the Museum of the Moving Image (Friday, September 9th, 7:00pm). The lives of the involved families change after finding two abandoned children at the door of a building in Ipanema in Rio de Janeiro. With a backdrop of the rapidly changing city due to preparations for the World Cup and Olympic Games. 109 minutes.
In Search of the American Dream at Cinéma Village (Friday, September 2nd to Thursday, September 8th). Five children and their adult brother are torn apart from their undocumented parents by deportation. They race across Texas for survival. 143 minutes.
Bazodee, part of the Caribbean Film Series at BAM (Wednesday, September 7th, 7:30pm). Set in picturesque Trinidad & Tobago, the film is a new style Bollywood musical with a distinct Caribbean flavor. 100 minutes.
Landfill Harmonic at Cinéma Village (Friday, September 9th to Thursday, 15th). Kids living in a slum built on a landfill in Paraguay create an orchestra made of trash, called The Recycled Orchestra, and tour the world. 95 minutes.
The Apostate at Anthology Film Archives (Friday, September 9th to Thursday, September 15th). A nonconformist Spaniard named Gonzalo struggles with removing his name from the baptismal records of a church that doesn’t mean anything to him. 80 minutes.
Films From Burning Blue at the Museum of the Moving Image, part of the Colombia Pictures Series (Sunday, September 11, 2016). Three Colombian films are playing at the museum on this day only: The Wind Journeys (Los viajes del viento) at 2:00pm, Violencia at 4:30pm, and Los Hongos at 7:00pm.
Official Latino Short Film Festival (Thursday, September 15th to Sunday, September 18th). Taking place in Harlem, the 2nd annual Official Latino Short Film Festival will showcase two full days of short films all by Latino filmmakers. Check out the website for more details and tickets.
UrbanWorld Film Festival (Wednesday, September 21st to Sunday, September 25th). UrbanWorld, the nation’s largest multicultural film festival, will showcase narrative and documentary features, short films, spotlight screenings, conversations, and live staged screenplay readings. Check out the website for all the films playing.
New York Film Festival at the Film Society Lincoln Center (Friday, September 30th to Sunday, October 16th). The most famous and prestigious international festival coming out of Lincoln Center, the New York Film Festival will be screening both American and international films. Two Latin American films playing are Aquarius (Brazil/France), the story of a 65-year-old widow and retired music critic has to confront an ambitious real estate promoter who bought her property, and Neruda (Chile/Argentina/France/Spain).
Margaret Mead Film Festival at the American Museum of Natural History (Thursday, October 13th to Sunday, October 16th). The festival will showcase a wide variety of films from Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia, Africa, and Europe!
Desierto, opening nationwide on Friday, October 14th. Starring Gael Garcia Bernal, this story follows a group of Mexican immigrants and their journey crossing the U.S. border.
Pedro Almodóvar Film Retrospective at MoMA (Tuesday, November 29th to Saturday, December 17th). The MoMA will play all of Pedro Almodóvar’s 20 films starting with his first film, Pepi, Luci, Bom, y otras chicas del montón from 1980. The first night will open with the director’s latest film, Julieta (2016).
Julieta, opening nationwide on Wednesday, December 21st. Pedro Almodóvar’s latest film about Julieta, a mother who is abandoned by her daughter and realizes she doesn’t know her as well as she thought she did after the death of her husband.