Monday, 30 July 2018


From the dark and mysterious, to the downright fun and profoundly beautiful, the 13th annual Sydney Latin American Film Festival (SLAFF) is back this September (6—15). Returning to the Dendy Opera Quays, Addison Road Picture House and PYT Fairfield, the Festival will screen a specially curated program of contemporary Latin American cinema: nine feature films, one documentary and a shorts package, along with vibrant opening and closing night parties, over nine festive days.

From side-splitting comedies, to touching true-stories and dark fantasies, the 2018 program features an array of films that shine a light on social justice and aims to highlight the immense talent coming from Latin America.
“This year’s program is a true testament to the talent and range of contemporary Latin American filmmakers. We’re bringing in films from Chile, Cuba, UruguayPeruPanamaBrazilVenezuelaArgentinaColombia and Mexico—so there’s a real breadth of films on offer,” saidFestival Programmer, Gisselle Gallego.

“In what could be considered a sign of the times, many of this year’s films explore the inequalities faced in Latin American and aim to stimulate conversation around the need for social change. We’re also extremely happy to be presenting a line-up where the majority of films were made by female directors or producers,” she said.

The Festival opens with the Australian premiere of Spider Thieves. Based off a true story, the film follows a group of teenage girls who, after breaking into wealthy apartments and stealing a few luxuries, are thrust into the public spotlight as the “Niñas Araña”, making them media sensations.

The Opening Night Fiesta will kick on after the film screening at the ever-trendy Café del Mar. Overlooking Sydney’s glistening waterfront, guests will be entertained by the Latino king of spin DJ Willie Sabor and friends. Get set for a night of great film, live music, percussions, food and drink!

Retablo is a masterful coming-of-age story that follows 14-year-old Segundo as he is groomed to follow in his father’s footsteps in the traditional folk art of retablo-making, which he soon discovers is embedded with the reality of his deeply religious and conservative upbringing in Peru. The film explores the weight of heritage, the boundaries of love, and the burdens of family expectations.

As the first Venezuelan film to be part of the Cannes Critics’ Week competition, La Familia is an urgent look at life in Caracas through the eyes of a single father. After he flees the city with his son, their shaky bond is tested as he tries to protect his headstrong son from falling into a life of absolute hopelessness.

Melbourne film graduate, Laura Mora’s Killing Jesus is a real-life revenge drama set in MedellínThe film follows 22-year-old Paula as the sole witness of her father’s assassination. After spotting the murderer at a party, she deftly befriends him to exact vengeance. But as time goes on, she realizes Jesus is just as much a victim of their violent society as she is.

On a lighter note, Get the Weed is a hilarious mockumentary following President José (Pepe) Muijca as he orders a secret mission to find fifty tonnes of cannabis to supply Uruguay with after its legalization. A brownie-making pharmacist is enlisted to travel to the USA as the head of the fake Uruguayan Chamber of Legal Marijuana.

Based on the bestselling suspenseful thriller novel of the same name, A Crack in the Wall, follows the beautiful Leonor who enters the office of Buenos Aires architect Pablo, seeking the firm’s ex-client Nelson Jara. Her arrival starts to unravel a secret long thought buried. A Crack in the Wallwill be accompanied by pre-screening drinks and food.

In this family feature—based on the bestselling novel—Home Teama 13-year old small-town soccer prodigy gets the chance of his life to follow his dreams and get his humble family out of poverty.

Tigers Are Not Afraid is a haunting film that tells the story of Estrella, an 11-year-old whose mother suddenly disappears. Left alone with no one to care for her, young Estrella ends up on the street and joins a gang of children, triggering a dangerous and tragic chain of events. Guillermo Del Torro and Stephen King have both heaped praise on Director Issa Lopez for this enchanting feature.  This is the third feature from Mexican filmmaker Issa Lopez.

The animated comedy, Underdogs, centres on a shy but talented foosball player who must defend his town and the girl he loves, Laura from the nefarious soccer player and town bully. He's aided by the figures on his foosball table, who magically come to life. The film will be screened atAddison Road Picture House and accompanied by a fun-filled special event that includes games of street fútbol, traditional food, and much more.

In Liquid Truth, a charismatic and popular swimming coach, Ruben, is accused of inappropriate affection toward one of his students by a parent, without evidence. Ruben’s reputation and career unravels. His guilt or innocence is unknown, and impossible to determine, but the consequences of the allegations are all too real in this tense drama.

New Female Voices is a collection of diverse and whimsical short films from Latin American female directors, showcasing wonderful slices of life. From documentaries, animations, comedies to dramas, these short films herald an exciting future for Latin American cinema that isn’t to be missed.

SLAFF's inaugural Youth Jury will judge the short film competition New Female Voices, awarding the winner a cash prize. The Youth jury is comprised of a diverse group of young filmmaking students from across Sydney. 

Closing the festival is the documentary-feature, Ruben Blades Is Not My Name. The film follows Latin American icon Ruben Blades. Blades, a Grammy winner, actor, lawyer and Panama Presidential Candidate, burst onto the New York salsa scene in the 1970’s and quickly became a much loved figure. With unprecedented access, this documentary reveals a soft-spoken rebel, and a living legend struggling to come to terms with his legacy. The screening is accompanied with drinks and a special performance by Oscar Gonzalez and friends.

Three wonderful shorts will screen before some of the festival’s feature films. Méndigo Ruido will play with Liquid TruthAlteridad+ with La Familia; and Samburu Moran will screen before Get the Weed.

Liquid TruthRetabloLa Familia, Tigers Are Not Afraid and Killing Jesus will all be competing for the Jury Award for Best Feature Film. Associate Professor of Cinema Studies at Western Sydney University Anne Rutherford, SBS World Movies Programmer John Paul Murray and the Marketing Manager at Panavision Australia Nicolas Godoy will announce the winner on closing night, awarding a cash prize presented by theSydney Latin American Film Festival.

The 13th Sydney Latin American Film Festival will take place at the Dendy Opera QuaysAddison Road Picture House and PYT Fairfieldfrom Thursday 6 September – Saturday 15 September 2018, screening the very best award-winning Latin American cinema.

Stay up to date with the Sydney Latin American Film Festival (SLAFF)
What:     13th Sydney Latin American Film Festival
Where:   Dendy Opera Quays, Sydney
               Addison Road Picture House, Sydney
               PYT Fairfield  

When:    Thursday 6 September – Saturday 15 September 2018

Dendy Opera Quays –
Adult: $19.90 & Concession: $17
$50 Full Price Opening Night + Drink & Bite + Fiesta – Conc. $45
$30 Full Price Closing Night + Drink on Arrival + Live Performance – Conc. $27
$25 Full Price A Crack In the Wall Screening + Drink + Bite – Conc. $22

Addison Road Picture House –
Film, Futbol, Fun: $10 / New Female Voices: $12 / Get the Weed: $15

PYT Fairfield—
Adult: $17 & Concession: $15
$51 Flexipass-3* (excludes opening and closing fiesta)

Thursday 6 September        6:15pm                 Spider Thieves
Friday 7 September            7pm                      Liquid Truth (+ Méndigo Ruido)
Friday 7 September            9pm                      Retablo
Saturday 8 September        11am                    Film, Fun & Fútbol!
Saturday 8 September        6:30pm                 La Familia (+ Alteridad+)
Saturday 8 September        7pm                      Killing Jesus
Saturday 8 September        9pm                      Tigers Are Not Afraid
Sunday 9 September          6pm                      Home Team
Sunday 9 September          8pm                      A Crack in the Wall
Tuesday 11 September       6:30pm                 New Female Voices

Tuesday 11 September       8:30pm                 Get the Weed (+ Samburu Moran)
Wednesday 12 September  6:45pm                  Ruben Blades Is Not My Name
Saturday 15 September      6pm                      Home Team
Saturday 15 September      8:30pm                 Spider Thieves    

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