12th San Diego Latino Fest Kicks Off with Three Films
by Brian Brooks
Opening night attendees of the 12th annual San Diego Latino Film Festival tonight will have a choice of three films to attend, prior to the fest's launch party, taking place in the city's historic Gaslamp district. The events will usher in the festival, which will feature 100 films from the United States, Spain as well as Latin America, in addition to other events.
Mexican director Beto Gómez's "Puños Rosas" story of macho mafiosos running stolen cars across the Mexican border is among the opening night's offerings. The film stars Jose Yenque ("Traffic") as a tough smuggler who ends up in prison after being accused of murder by a "pocho" hotshot. From Chile, director Andrés Wood's "Machuca" also screens opening night. The coming-of-age story takes a look at life before and after the military coup in Chile, seen from the point-of-view of three school children from different class backgrounds, and is based on Wood's own childhood experiences.
Also on tap for Thursday night is Spanish director Pablo Carbonell's "Atún y Chocolate." Starring Carbonell as Manuel, a Spanish fisherman, the film revolves around his decision to stop "living in sin" with his partner, Maria, when their son decides he wants to take the Eucharist. The comedy, which takes place on the Cadiz coast, manifests as Manuel and his friends plan the wedding amidst a severe economic crisis.
Director Luis Mondoki will spearhead SDLFF's "Guest Director" series this year, including three 35mm classics that have "influenced his career." The filmmaker's feature, "Voces Inocentes," will also screen as part of this year's line up. This year's festival tribute will go to Mexican actress Dolores del Rio. SDLFF will screen three of her most well-known films, including "La Otra," "Flying Down to Rio," and "The Fugitive."
"The wealth of talent and films to be highlighted at this year's festival once again reaffirms what we've been saying all along -- Latino cinema plays a leading role in the world of film," commented SDLFF founder and director Ethan van Thillo in a statement. The festival will take place March 10-20 at the Mann Theatres at Hazard Center in San Diego.
[ For more information, please visit http://www.sdlatinofilm.com. ]