Entertainment   Wed, September 11, 2019 12:00 PM

Silver Spring, MD — The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today the full slate of films for the 2019 AFI Latin American Film Festival, which will take place September 12–October 2 at the historic AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring, MD. Celebrating its 30th edition this year, the festival is one of the largest and long-running showcases of Latin America cinema in the United States. The festival presents Latin America's prolific and versatile talent and, with the inclusion of films from Spain and Portugal, honors Ibero-American cultural connections during National Hispanic Heritage Month.  This year's wide-ranging selection of 53 films spans international festival favorites and award winners, local box-office hits and dynamic debuts from a new generation of Latin American filmmakers. Nearly 40% of the films are directed by women.

The festival will open with the U.S. premiere of Argentinian box office sensation AN UNEXPECTED LOVE, directed by veteran producer Juan Vera (THE LAST SUIT, THE QUEEN OF FEAR) and led by Ricardo Darín (who also shares a producing credit his first) and Mercedes Morán (EL ANGEL, LA CIÉNAGA). The festival closes with the world premiere of DAYS OF LIGHT, a groundbreaking omnibus film directed by six emerging filmmakers from Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. The film, which won second prize in the Primera Mirada work-in-progress competition at the Panamá International Film Festival last year, has also participated in the Rotterdam Lab, Fundación Carolina's project development workshop and Costa Rica's Cine en Construcción.

Other festival highlights include the U.S. premiere of Gael García Bernal's bold sophomore feature CHICUAROTES; the Cannes-premiered documentary DIEGO MARADONA directed by Academy Award®-winning director Asif Kapadia (AMY); the North American Premiere of Melina León's powerful drama SONG WITHOUT A NAME, the first film by a female director from Peru to screen at the Cannes Film Festival; MARIGHELLA, the Fernando Meirelles-produced directorial debut of Brazilian actor Wagner Moura (NARCOS), starring Seu Jorge (CITY OF GOD); the U.S. premiere of Laura Amelia Guzmán and Israel Cárdenas (SAND DOLLARS) genre-bending meta-drama HOLY BEASTS, starring Geraldine Chaplin and Udo Kier; and MONOS, the acclaimed survivalist saga from Colombian-Ecuadorian director Alejandro Landes, which won the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury Award at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.

The festival also features several highly anticipated new works from established and emerging Latin American auteurs, including TEMBLORES, Guatemalan director Jayro Bustamante's follow-up to IXCANUL; TU ME MANQUES, directed by Bolivia's Rodrigo Bellott (SEXUAL DEPENDENCY) and starring Argentine actor Oscar Martinez (WILD TALES) and Pedro Almodóvar muse Rossy de Palma; THE GOOD GIRLS, a whip-smart satire from Mexican actress-turned-director Alejandra Márquez Abella (SEMANA SANTA); THE QUIETUDE, Argentine filmmaker Pablo Trapero's daring follow-up to THE CLAN; Brazilian director Gabriel Mascaro's (NEON BULL) dystopian romance DIVINE LOVE; and THE PROJECTIONIST, Dominican director José María Cabral's follow-up to WOODPECKERS, which closed the AFI Latin American Film Festival in 2017.

Documentary selections explore both the personal and the political, and include the U.S. premiere of Juan Solanas' Cannes-debuted LET IT BE LAW about Argentina's growing pro-choice movement; a sneak preview of Chilean documentarian Patricio Guzmán's (NOSTALGIA FOR THE LIGHT, THE PEARL BUTTON) THE CORDILLERA OF DREAMS, winner of the Golden Eye Documentary Prize at this year's Cannes Film Festival; SXSW Audience Award winner CACHADA: THE OPPORTUNITY about five Salvadoran women who take to the stage to explore personal trauma; the U.S. premiere of LEMEBEL, an intimate portrait of Chilean activist, poet and performance artist Pedro Lemebel, which won the Teddy Award for Best Documentary at this year's Berlinale; and powerfully inventive Sundance NEXT Audience Award winner THE INFILTRATORS, directed by Cristina Ibarra and Alex Rivera.

Complete list of U.S., North American and World Premieres:

·         AN UNEXPECTED LOVE [EL AMOR MENOS PENSADO] (DIR Juan Vera, Argentina) - U.S.

·         BEFORE THE FERRY ARRIVES [ANTES QUE LLEGUE EL FERRY] (DIR Juan Caunedo Domínguez, Vladimir García Herrera, Raul Escobar Delgado, Cuba) - U.S.

·         CHICUAROTES (DIR Gael García Bernal, Mexico) - U.S.

·         DAYS OF LIGHT [DÍAS DE LUZ] (DIR Mauro Borges, Enrique Pérez Him, Julio López, Enrique Medrano, Sergio Ramírez, Gloria Carrión, Costa Rica, Panamá, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua) – World

·         HOLY BEASTS [LA FIERA Y LA FIESTA] (DIR Laura Amelia Guzmán, Israel Cárdenas, Dominican Republic) - U.S.

·         INLAND [TIERRA ADENTRO] (Mauro Colombo, Panama) - U.S.

·         LEMEBEL (DIR Joanna Reposi Garibaldi, Chile) - U.S.

·         LET IT BE LAW [QUE SEA LEY] (DIR Juan Solanas, Argentina) - U.S.

·         LISBON BEAT [BATIDA DE LISBOA] (DIR Rita Maia, Vasco Viana, Portugal) - North American


·         ON THE STARTING LINE [LA ARRANCADA] (DIR Aldemar Matias, Cuba/Brazil) - U.S.

·         SONG WITHOUT A NAME [CANCIÓN SIN NOMBRE] (DIR Melina León, Peru) - North American

A complete slate of all festival screenings is below. For photos, contact Abbie Algar at For updated information, tickets and all-access passes, visit

About the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center

The AFI Silver and Cultural Center is one of the nation's premier film theatres, building an appreciation of the art and artists through exploring and celebrating new and classic films and filmmakers from around the globe.  AFI Silver offers a year-round program of the best in American and international cinema, featuring a dynamic mix of retrospectives, special events, tributes, on-stage guest appearances, specialty first-run movies, festivals, premieres and education and community-based programs in a theatrical setting of the highest standards.  Anchored by the stunningly restored 1938 Silver Theatre, the three-screen AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center is a state-of-the-art film and digital media exhibition venue that serves as a national model for preserving and honoring our shared film and film-going heritage.

About the American Film Institute (AFI)

Established in 1967, the American Film Institute is the nation’s non-profit organization dedicated to educating and inspiring artists and audiences through initiatives that champion the past, present and future of the moving image. AFI’s pioneering programs include filmmaker training at the AFI Conservatory; year-round exhibition at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center and at AFI Festivals across the nation; workshops aimed at increasing diversity in the storytelling community; honoring today’s masters through the AFI Life Achievement Award and AFI AWARDS; and scholarly efforts such as the AFI Catalog of Feature Films that uphold film history for future generations.  Read about all of these programs and more at and follow us on social media at,, Film and

Abbie Algar, AFI 301.495.6731