Entertainment   Sun, September 09, 2018 09:43 PM

Silver Spring, MD – The American Film Institute (AFI) announced today the full slate of films for the 2018 AFI Latin American Film Festival, which will take place September 13–October 3 at the historic AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring, MD.  Now celebrating its 29th edition, the festival showcases Latin America's prolific and varied filmmaking talent and, with the inclusion of films from Spain and Portugal, celebrates Ibero-American cultural connections during National Hispanic Heritage Month.  This year's diverse selection of 43 films range from international festival favorites and award winners to local box-office hits and exciting debuts from a new generation of Latin American filmmakers.

The festival opens with the acclaimed crime saga BIRDS OF PASSAGE, the latest from Colombia's Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra (2015's Oscar®-nominated EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT).  A unique take on the mafia epic, the film explores the burgeoning Colombian drug trade of the 1970s, as told through the story of an indigenous Wayúu family.  Earlier this year, the film became the first Latin American production ever to open the prestigious Directors' Fortnight sidebar at the Cannes Film Festival.

The Closing Night film, RUBEN BLADES IS NOT MY NAME, is Panamanian director Abner Benaim's intimate look at the life and musical legacy of living Latin American legend Rubén Blades, who spearheaded the New York Salsa revolution in the 1970s, advancing Latinx identity, unity and empowerment on the international stage with his socially conscious interpretation of the art form.  The film received the Audience Award in the 24 Beats Per Second section of this year's SXSW Film Festival and was selected to open the 2018 New York Latino Film Festival earlier this month.

Additional Festival Highlights

Additional festival highlights include MUSEO, Mexican filmmaker Alonso Ruizpalacios' acclaimed heist comedy starring Gael García Bernal; the Pedro Almodóvar-produced thriller THE ANGEL, starring newcomer Lorenzo Ferro as famed Argentinian serial killer Carlos Robledo Puch and Chino Darín as his partner in crime; celebrated Brazilian werewolf romance GOOD MANNERS, 2017 Locarno Special Jury Prize winner; critical favorite THE HEIRESSES, the narrative debut of Paraguayan filmmaker Marcelo Martinessi and winner of the Silver Bear for Best Actress (Ana Brun) at the 2018 Berlinale; SXSW Audience Award winner VIRUS TROPICAL, an animated coming-of-age tale based on the graphic novel by Colombian-Ecuadorian artist Power Paola; and TIME SHARE, one of several Sundance favorites playing at the festival, with director Sebastián Hofmann in attendance and a post-screening reception sponsored by the Mexican Cultural Institute.

The festival will also feature the U.S. premiere of WIÑAYPACHA, the debut of Aymaran filmmaker Óscar Catacora and the first Peruvian film shot in the indigenous Aymara language; THE WANDERING SOAP OPERA, the final work by the late Chilean filmmaker Raúl Ruiz posthumously completed by his widow and longtime collaborator Valeria Sarmiento; the U.S. premiere of Bolivian feminist dramedy EUGENIA, with director Martín Boulocq in attendance; and Chilean stop-motion experimental horror-fantasy THE WOLF HOUSE, winner of the Caligari Film Prize at the 2018 Berlinale, with co-director Cristóbal León in attendance and a post-screening reception sponsored by the Embassy of Chile.

Other highlights include the U.S. premieres of Julio Hernández Cordón's Cannes-debuted dystopian fable BUY ME A GUN and Argentine dramedy THE SNATCH THIEF, winner of the Best Picture Award at the 2018 Santiago International Film Festival; Uruguay's 2018 Oscar® selection ANOTHER STORY OF THE WORLD; Peruvian drama RETABLO, winner of the Crystal Bear and Teddy Jury Award for Best Feature Film at the 2018 Berlinale; the U.S. premiere of historical epic MORAZÁN, Honduras' first official Oscar® submission, with director Hispano Durón in attendance; and father-son chase thriller LA FAMILIA, the first Venezuelan film to be included in Cannes Critics' Week.

Documentary selections highlight several powerful female-centered stories and include the North American premiere of FLORA'S LIFE IS NO PICNIC, Argentine documentarian Iair Said's unconventional tribute to his eccentric 90-year-old great-aunt; SEÑORITA MARÍA, LA FALDA DE LA MONTAÑA, an intimate portrait of Maria Luisa Fuentes, a trans woman living in the mountains of a conservative town in Colombia; HEIRESS OF THE WIND, filmmaker Gloria Carrión Fonseca's highly personal account of growing up during the Sandinista Revolution (1979-1989) in Nicaragua; the U.S. premiere of AWAY FROM MEANING, a poignant exploration of mental illness from Mexican cinematographer Olivia Luengas; and AGAVE: THE SPIRIT OF A NATION, a look at Mexico's deep connection to the agave plant, with directors Nicholas Kovacic and Matthew Riggieri in attendance.

A complete slate of all festival screenings is below.  For photos, contact Abbie Algar at AAlgar@AFI.com.  For updated information, tickets and all-access passes, visit AFI.com/Silver/LAFF

Abbie Algar, AFI AAlgar@AFI.com 301.495.6731