11 Movies To Watch at the San Diego Latino Film Festival

San Diego Latino Film Festival
The 22nd San Diego Latino Film Festival (March 12 – March 22) kicked off last Thursday at its new venue, AMC Fashion Valley 18. The festival showcases Latin American filmmakers and features a multitude of film genres such as documentaries, drama, LGBTQ cinema, horror, and comedy.

To help you navigate through the long list of movies screening at this years San Diego Latino Film Festival we’ve curated a list of our must see films. Most films are in Spanish with English subtitles. Need more of an incentive to check out the festival? For the past two consecutive years the ‘Best Director’ award at the Oscars have been taken home by Latin American directors, Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity) and Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman).

Please note that all films are being screened at AMC Fashion Valley 18 unless otherwise stated. Tickets can be purchased online or at the AMC box office. Tickets for general admission are just $11.50 and $9.50 for students and seniors.

1. Gloria
Showtimes: March 21 (7pm)
We start off with a bio-pic of Gloria Trevi, one of the most controversial pop icons to ever exist in Latin America. Gloria Trevi’s roller coaster life is on full display in Christian Keller’s debut feature film. Whatever you know about Gloria won’t prepare you for what you’re about to see. Watch Trailer

2. Antes de que Nos Olviden (HBO Latino Presents)
Showtimes: March 19 (9pm) *DGC & March 20 (4:30pm)
The film, directed by Matias Gueilburt, documents the violent aftermath of Felipe Calderón’s (Mexico’s ex-president), six-year war on drug trafficking. Over 121,000 people died and thousands were forced into exile, kidnapped, or disappeared. Antes de que Nos Olviden is a raw documentary about those who experienced this war, which still continues today. Watch Trailer

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3. Chaldean voices
Showtimes: March 21 (11am)
Chaldean Voices, directed by Miguel-Angel Soria; Peter Alkatib is part of the Fronteras Showcase which helps emerging local filmmakers of the San Diego-Tijuana region. This documentary chronicles the experiences of several Chaldean high school students as they assimilate to life in the United States, and exercise their right to become civically engaged with their community. Watch Trailer

4. Visitantes
Showtimes: March 22 (10pm)
The San Diego Latino Film Festival opened with the screening of Visitantes, a thriller directed by Acan Coen and stars Kate del Castillo who was also present at the screening. Dr. Ana Moreno (Kate del Castillo) has managed to leave her tumultuous past behind, successfully building a strong and happy family. Her husband, Daniel (Raúl Méndez) is a successful engineer, and they are blessed with their great son, Sebastian (André Collin). Her established tranquility begins to crumble when dark spirits begin to torment her. As these apparitions begin to prey on her family, Ana must do whatever it takes to ensure the safety of her loved ones in this unforgettable supernatural thriller. Watch Trailer

5. El Objeto Antes Llamada Disco – Café Tacvba
Showtimes: March 19 (9:45pm) and March 21 (6pm)
This concert documentary, directed by Gregory Allen follows Mexican rock band Café Tacvba as they record their most recent album, El Objeto Antes Llamado Disco. The film merges live concert footage with the band’s philosophical musings on the methods they’re utilizing to record their album. What results is pure visual lyricism as the music comes to life, and the audience is engaged with the intimate creative process of Café Tacvba. Watch Trailer

6. Ulises Y Los 10,000 Bigotes
Showtimes: March 18 at the *DGC (4:30pm) & March 22 (11:30am)
Looking for a family-friendly movie? Then don’t miss Ulises Y Los 10,000 Bigotes, directed by Manuel Carames. This family-friendly comedy tells the story of 9-year old Ulises who grows a huge mustache from one day to the next. This situation starts a series of extraordinary events for him, his mother and his best friends; Marcelino and Lula. Watch Trailer

7. Climas
Showtimes: March 19 at *DGC (7pm)
Part of ‘Viva Mujeres!’ which showcases Latino women filmmakers on the rise. Climas, directed by Enrica Perez tells the story of three unrelated women in Peru that are affected by life-altering experiences. Watch Trailer

8. Cuatro Lunas
Showtimes: March 21 (7:30pm)
One of the featured films for ‘Cine Gay’ which showcases LGBTQ Latino filmmakers. Cuatro Lunas, directed by Sergio Tovar Velarde is a mosaic of four stories about love, acceptance, heartbreak, and regret. Watch Trailer

SEE ALSO: Don’t Miss Oscar Winning Actress Diane Keaton Coming To La Jolla

9. Desastres Naturales
Showtimes: March 22 (2:10pm)
Desastres Naturales, directed by Bernardo Quesney tells the story of Raquel, a teacher who refuses to go calmly into retirement and finds out she’s been replaced by a much younger instructor. The students vow to hold the the youthful teacher hostage until Raquel gets her old job back. This inadvertently strikes a match that ignites a small revolution at their school in this wild and endlessly entertaining satire. Watch Trailer

10. The Hand That Feeds
Showtimes: March 18 (5pm) & March 20 at (5pm)
Sponsored by the Latino Public Broadcasting, this documentary follows the life of an undocumented employee, Mahoma Lopez and his attempt to unite his coworkers to fight against the abusive conditions at a popular New York restaurant chain. This epic power struggle turns a single city block into a battlefield in America’s new wage wars, and becomes the microcosm of an even greater issue. Directed by Rachel Lears & Robin Blotnick. Watch Trailer

11. The Spanish Version of Dracula
Showtimes: Sunday March 22 at *DGC (1pm)
The San Diego Latino Film Festival and the Film Geeks at the Digital Gym Cinema present the Spanish Version of the Universal Studios classic Dracula! As part of The Universal Suspects, a year-long series reviving the best of Universal’s classic monster cycle, The “Spanish Dracula” marks an interesting practice in filmmaking. In 1931, while Tod Browning was directing Bela Lugosi in his timeless film, another cast and crew would take over the sets at night to shoot their own version of the same film in Spanish language with Spanish-speaking actors. The cast and crew were mostly from Spanish-speaking countries, including Mexico, Spain, and different parts of Central and South America. The Mexican director Enrique Tovar Ávalos was uncredited in favor of his American co-director George Melford, who couldn’t speak Spanish. Since it was filmed at night after Tod Browning wrapped his version for the day, the Spanish version’s crew had access to dailies, which they were able to improve upon for their own version. This has led to many people concluding that the Spanish version is a more dynamic cinematic achievement than it’s better-known counterpart. This film was thought lost until a print was found in the 1970s. Buy tickets here. Watch Trailer

*DGC: Digital Gold Cinema is located at 2921 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, CA 92104.

[Source: San Diego Latino Film Festival]

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Vanessa Turkeltaub
Vanessa Turkeltaub graduated from UC San Diego with a BA in Communication. She has been with Blue Book Publishers for over 5 years, and has written over five-hundred La Jolla related articles. She enjoys going to concerts, art, and traveling. (vanessa@lajollabluebook.com)

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