Washington, D.C. — GALA Hispanic Theatre is pleased to present its 8th annual international film festival, REEL TIME AT GALA. Running November 20-24, the festival will screen seven films: six contemporary films (all D.C. premieres) by directors who have garnered international attention, and one classic comedy with one of Mexico’s most iconic actors. The festival will include post-screening discussions with directors, actors, and film experts and host several receptions.
Hugo Medrano, GALA’s co-founder and producing artistic director, says: “In this 8th edition of our film festival REEL TIME AT GALA, we introduce you to innovative new films with socially-conscious and provocative content bravely explored by directors and producers. And, in our festival’s tradition, we will celebrate the Golden Age of Mexican Cinema with a screening of one of the best films from the memorable character Tin Tan. This year we are particularly honored to have support from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, which will provide audiences more opportunities to engage with directors, producers, and actors from Latin America in a variety of post-performance talks and receptions.”
The festival is curated by Carlos Gutiérrez, co-founder and executive director of Cinema Tropical, a New York-based non-profit media arts organization that has become the leading presenter of Latin American cinema in the United States. Cinema Tropical brought U.S. audiences some of the first screenings of films such as Amores Perros and Y Tu Mamá También.
All films will be shown in Spanish or Portuguese with English subtitles. The schedule is as follows (subject to change):
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 20, 2019 (BOLIVIA/ECUADOR
7:00 p.m. — EL RÍO (THE RIVER) D.C. Premiere!
Directed by Juan Pablo Richter, Bolivia/Ecuador, 2018, 92 min. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Starring Santiago Rozo, Fernando Arze Echalar, and Julia Hernandez.
Sebastian (Santiago Rozo), an introverted teenager, leaves a fraught situation in the city to live with his long-estranged father on his ranch in a small tropical-jungle town. While trying to determine his place as the boss's son, he finds himself in a world packed with violence, lies and power games in which women are pawns and victims.
“Flowing with intrigue, beauty and brutality…” —MIAMI FILM FESTIVAL
Post-screening Q&A with lead actor Santiago Rozo.
Reception courtesy of the Embassy of Bolivia.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2019 (BRAZIL/USA)
7:00 p.m. — SOCRATES D.C. Premiere!
Directed by Alexandre Moratto, Brazil/USA, 2018, 71 min. In Portuguese with English subtitles.
Starring Christian Malheiros, Tales Ordakji, and Caio Martinez Pacheco.
Appropriate for audiences 16 and up.
After his mother's sudden death, Socrates (Christian Malheiros), a 15-year-old living on the margins of São Paulo's coast, must survive on his own while coming to terms with his grief. As he faces isolation because of his sexuality, his search for a decent, worthy life reaches a breaking point. In the longstanding Brazilian film tradition of social-realism, Sócrates is a refreshing and vigorous take on the coming-of-age tale.
“Passionate first feature.” —Jeannette Catsoulis, THE NEW YORK TIMES (New York Times Critic’s Pick))
Winner of the Independent Spirit Award.
Post-screening Q&A with lead actor Christian Malheiros.
Reception following the screening.
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2019 (MEXICO/DOMINICAN REPUBLIC)
7:00 p.m. — CINDERELO D.C. Premiere!
Directed by Beto Gómez, Mexico/Dominican Republic, 2017, 91 min. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Starring William Levy, Miguel Rodarte, and Joaquín Cosío.
This screwball comedy follows Marlon Flores (Miguel Rodarte), a talented photographer with an amazing ability to highlight anyone's inner beauty, but not his own. His ugliness attracts the rejection and ridicule of all women, except his assistant Maria, who can see him for who he really is. Tired of constant contempt, he unexpectedly encounters his fairy godfather (Joaquín Cosío), a mysterious man who casts a spell on him, transforming him into an irresistible hunk named Brando (William Levy). The catch? His good looks only take effect at night and disappear at the stroke of midnight. With the help of his best friend Felix, Marlon turns the handsome Brando into the most coveted man in the city. But can you find true love with a double identity? From Beto Gómez, director of Saving Private Perez and last year’s festival favorite Me Gusta Pero Me Asusta (I Like It, But It Scares Me).
Post-screening Q&A with director Beto Gómez and festival curator Carlos Gutierrez.
Reception courtesy of the Mexican Cultural Institute and the Embassy of Mexico.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2019 (BOLIVIA & BRAZIL)
4:00 p.m. — ALGO QUEMA (STILL BURN) D.C. Premiere!
Directed by Mauricio Alfredo Ovando, Bolivia, 2018, 77 min. Documentary. In Spanish with English subtitles
Alfredo Ovando Candia was a military general and Co-President of Bolivia whose political and military service connected him to the largest massacre of workers in the country’s history and the military campaign in which Che Guevara was killed. In this courageous documentary, his grandson incorporates archival footage, home movies, and interviews with relatives to study the many profiles of his grandfather. He shows how collective and personal memories are created from—and ultimately shape—a complicated legacy.
“This is a film about the infinite images of my grandfather, captured during his dictatorial government in Bolivia during the 1960s. My family's version is confronted with the official history: The massacres of miners, the nationalization of oil, Che Guevara and the Teoponte guerrilla. As in the movies of celluloid, every time I stop to look at an image more carefully, something burns inside me.” —Director Mauricio Alfredo Ovando
Winner of Best Director and FIPRESCI awards at the Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema.
Post-screening Q&A with director Mauricio Alfredo Ovando.
7:00 p.m. — AS DUAS IRENES (THE TWO IRENES) D.C. Premiere!
Directed by Fabio Meira, Brazil, 2017, 89 min. In Portuguese with English subtitles.
Starring Priscila Bittencourt, Isabela Torres, and Marco Ricca.
13-year-old Irene is bored by her ho-hum, small-town existence until she discovers her father’s double life with a second, secret family. Keeping this to herself, she strikes up a friendship with her half-sister, a girl her age who is also named Irene. What follows is a delicate dance of identity, betrayal, and self-discovery as Irene must manage her own duplicitous existence.
Winner of Best First Feature and Best Cinematography Awards at the Guadalajara Film Festival.
Post-screening Q&A with director Fabio Meira.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 24, 2019 (MEXICO)
4:00 p.m. — EL REY DEL BARRIO (THE KING OF THE NEIGHBORHOOD)
Directed by Gilberto Martínez Solares, Mexico, 1949, 100 min. In Spanish with English subtitles.
Starring Germán Valdés and Silvia Pinal.
In this classic comedy, Mexican icon “Tin Tan” (Germán Valdés) leads a gang of small-time con artists whose crimes include conning wealthy women by acting as musicians. Things get complicated when one of his would-be victims (Silvia Pinal) falls in love with him and is hell-bent on marrying him.
The persona of Tin Tan was intimately linked to Hollywood through his trademark character of the pachuco. With his zoot suit, swagger, streetwise sensibility, bilingual wordplay and embrace of swing, Tin Tan became the cinematic embodiment of a cultural figure forged between two nations.
This movie is considered one of the top five comedies in the Spanish language by many critics.
Post-screening Q&A with film critic Anne Wakefield Hoyt.
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