Sixty domestic and international titles are slated for this year's New York International Latino Film Festival, including director Carlos Bolado's "Solo Dios Sabe" (Only God Knows), which will open the event July 2th5 in Gotham. The 2006 Sundance world cinema feature stars Diego Luna ("Y Tu Mama Tambien"). It is the story of a Brazilian art student who crosses paths with a Mexican journalist (Luna), which unleashes a long journey of love and struggle through Latin America.
Also on tap is the world premiere of Alfredo de Villa's "Yellow." The film follows the story of an aspiring young dancer (Roselyn Sanchez) who despite all odds, succeeds in New York City. "La Republica de Baseball: Los Gigantes Dominicanos" (Republic of Baseball: The Dominican Giants), meanwhile, will screen in conjunction with NYILFF's Dominican Night, spotlighting Dominican culture. Directed by Daniel Manatt, the film is a "passionate" tale of the first generation of players from the Dominican Republic, who overcome poverty, government brutality and racism in America to achieve their dreams.
Other programs include a Cinema Under the Stars screening of the classic "West Side Story" (1961) by Jerome Robbins and Robert Wise co-presented with Turner Classic Movies as well as NYILFF Family Weekend, co-presented with the Cartoon Network.
Additional film highlights include Morgan J. Freeman's "Just Like the Son" about a petty thief who kidnaps an orphan he has been mentoring and drives him cross-country to his sister's home in Texas, and Dave Rodriguez's thriller "Push." NYLIFF international titles include Leonardo Ricagni's "A Dios Momo," Manuel Martin Cuenca's "Malas Temporados" and Steve Carillo and Eduardo Ortega del Rio's "Tumba Y Tumbao."
Closing the fest July 30th is Wash Westmoreland and Richard Glatzer's Sundance 2006 jury and audience award-winner "Quinceanera." Starring Emily Rios and Jesse Garcia, the film explores issues of tradition, teenage sexuality and neighborhood gentrification in Los Angeles.
"It has always been our mission to provide opportunity and a supportive atmosphere for Latino filmmakers from around the world to showcase their work," commented NYILFF executive director Calixto Chinchilla in a statement. "This year's offerings address major issues affecting Latinos today and help to spread awareness of Latino culture and contributions to American society."
Launched in 1999, NYILFF has grown into one of the largest urban Latino film events in the country. Its mission is to support Latino filmmakers and "offer expansive images of the Latino experience and celebrate the diversity and spirit of the Latino community." NYILFF's current annual programming line-up includes the flagship weeklong film festival in New York, a touring arm, an annual screenwriters' lab, a new music showcase, special one-off screening events, a short film competition in partnership with HBO, and a high school scholarship program sponsored by Time Warner.
[For more information and a full line up, visit the festival's website.]