Now that DOMA has been ruled
unconstitutional, the City of Angels keeps the celebration going with The 31st
Annual Outfest Film Festival showcasing the best in LGBT filmmaking from the US
& across the world. Outfest has also been consistent in its support for the
Latino gay & lesbian film community which, sad to say, is more than most
Latino film festivals have shown (Really?! Still? I’ve never met your family
but trust me, one of your primos is gay). This year Outfest solidifies that
commitment by not only having an diverse range of gay themed or gay helmed
films, but the opening night film is C.O.G written and directed by Kyle Patrick
Alvarez, winner of the
prestigious “Someone to Watch” Award at the 2010 Independent Spirit
Awards for his writing and directorial debut film Easier With Practice. C.O.G is the first film adaptation of the
highly esteemed author David Sedaris’ work. Festivals like Outfest (and its
life partner Newfest in NYC) exist to promote, share and foster LGBT visibility
in the media from all races and places. LatinoBuzz checked out the line-up at
this years Outfest to see WTF is Latino!
C.O.G – Dir. by Kyle Patrick Alvarez
has it all figured out. His plan—more a Steinbeckian dream—is to spend his
summer working on an apple farm in Oregon with his best friend, Jennifer. When
she bails out on him, David is left to dirty his hands alone, watched over by
Hobbs, the old farm owner and the first in a series of questionable mentors he
encounters. First there’s Curly, the friendly forklift operator with a
unique hobby, and then Jon, the born-again rock hound who helps David in a time
of need. C.O.G tells the story of a prideful young man and what’s left of him
after all he believes is chipped away piece by piece.
– Dir. by Yen Tan (USA)
from an ill-fated affair with a married man, Gabe finds solace in the
relationship he maintains with his ex-wife and daughter. On the other side of
town, Ernesto evades life at home with his current live-in ex-boyfriend by
spending much of his spare time in the hospital with an ailing past love.
Impervious to the monotony of their blue-collar world, they maintain an
unwavering yearning for romance.
AFRAID OF VAGINA WOLF? – Dir. by Anna Margarita
another birthday rolls around, forty-year-old filmmaker Anna returns to her
never-changing list of resolutions: lose twenty pounds, get a girlfriend, and
direct a feature film. This year, Anna plans to knock (at least) two of those
resolutions out with one stone, as she begins writing a lesbian remake of Who’s
Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, devised to win the affections of her leading lady,
Katia. With Anna planning to act opposite her beautiful crush, her two best
friends, Penelope and Chloe, round out the four-person cast. Unfortunately,
things don’t run smoothly, as egos begin to clash and crew members start
sleeping with one another. Will Anna go yet-another year without accomplishing
any of her resolutions?
– Dir. by Lares Feliciano, Dia Felix etc. (USA)
Valencia the novel put the experiences of an entire generation
of lesbians on paper through the lens of one hard-loving and hard-drinking
dyke. Punk rockers, riot grrls, and simple, artsy freaks suddenly had a heroine
to look up to and a mecca to head toward. This highly anticipated film
adaptation of Valencia gives a whole new generation
of fabulous, artsy, genderqueer folks an opportunity to reinterpret and
reinvent the tales of this iconic novel one chapter at a time.
FOR THE MOON (Flores Raras) – Dir. by Bruno Barreto (Brazil)
Brazilian helmer Bruno Barreto brings to life 1950s Rio in this beautifully
drawn tale of poet Elizabeth Bishop and her love affair with architect Lota de
Macedo Soares, the designer of Rio’s famed Flamengo Park. Based on the
bestselling Brazilian novel Rare and Commonplace Flowers, the film follows
Bishop as a creative block prompts her to accept the invitation of a college
friend to stay with her and her partner, Lota, on a sprawling country estate.
Quintessentially American Bishop is a fish out of water in her new lush and
bohemian setting, until the instant chemistry between her and Lota boils over.
– Dir. by Marçal Forés (Spain)
are maladjusted teens, and then there’s Pol, whose best friend is a walking,
talking stuffed bear who sounds like HAL, the evil computer in 2001: A SPACE
ODYSSEY. (TED, this ain’t.) As Pol tries to unravel the meaning behind a
strange series of circumstances involving his gay friend, a local girl’s death,
a sexy new transfer student and his English teacher (Martin Freeman, THE
HOBBIT), he finds that nothing in this weird, weird world is what it seems.
Evoking the strange and sometimes sinister mood of DONNIE DARKO, AMERICAN
BEAUTY, ELEPHANT and KABOOM, ANIMALS is like a mysterious dream you’ll want to
have over and over again
(Igloo) – Dir. by Diego Ruiz (Chile)
a young, handsome and talented illustrator, is deeply depressed in the
aftermath of his relationship with an older man, his college professor.
Salvation comes through his neighbor Paula, an agoraphobic therapist, with whom
Daniel begins an intense relationship. IGLOO explores a young man’s complex
relationships with sexuality, intimacy and addiction, and how his memories and
present day relationships help him embrace a new life. In his directorial
debut, established Chilean actor Diego Ruiz plays the lead role of Daniel (he also
co-wrote the script) in an imaginative and moving story of identity and
PARTIDA (The Last March) – Dir. by Antonio Hens (Cuba)
works as a callboy in order to support his wife and child, but he ends up
gambling most of his money away. Sex with men is strictly business until he
befriends a cute soccer player named Yosvani, who works for his girlfriend’s
father, a corrupt debt collector. When Reinier’s gambling habit gets him in
serious trouble, Yosvani tries to convince Reinier to run away with him. Set in
the bustling streets of Cuba, THE LAST MATCH offers a visceral romance ripe
with unexpected turns and dangerous temptations.
CIELO (To Heaven) – Dir. by Diego Prado (Argentina)
breezy and beautifully crafted Argentine feature, a punk-loving teenager
wrestles with the nerve-wracking uncertainty of first love. Torn between
accepting the strict teachings of his church and embracing a handsome local
guitarist, Andrés finds himself in existential limbo, unable to make a move
without instantly regretting his choices. Balancing teen angst with warm
observations, TO HEAVEN concludes in strikingly romantic fashion, satisfying
our expectations in ways only the best of coming-of-age dramas can do.
Bamby Salcedo Story – Dir. by Dante
of L.A.’s transgender community, Latina activist Bamby Salcedo sparkles in
Dante Alencastre’s candid documentary. Beginning with Bamby’s life on the
drug-addled streets of Guadalajara and then journeying through her recovery and
out-spoken activism, TRANSVISIBLE’s riveting one-on-one interviews reveal a
selfless HIV advocate and tireless transgender community spokeswoman. (Her work
at the Children’s Hospital, Los Angeles and as a coordinator for Angels of
Change are just two of many notable causes.) Bamby’s story is one of
inspiration and hope.
And rounding out the Latino hotness are the Short
Tableau (USA), You’re
Dead to Me (USA), Scaffolding (Spain), The Companion (Peru),
Elliot King is Third (USA), Miguel Alvarez Wears a Wig (Greece/Spain) Rad
OutFest runs July 11th-21st. For more info on
OUTFEST please visit: www.Outfest.org
Written by Juan
Caceres and Vanessa
Erazo, LatinoBuzz is a weekly feature on SydneysBuzz that highlights Latino indie talent and upcoming trends
in Latino film with the specific objective of presenting a broad range of
Latino voices. Follow @LatinoBuzz on Twitter and Facebook.