Latin-Canadian Short Films

Recent works by Latin-Canadian filmmakers screening before features.

Doing and Undoing: Poems from within:
#1 Radiotherapy

Dir. Alexandra Gelis
Toronto/Colombia/Panama, 2022 | 1 min
Spanish with English titles

A series of creative interventions that Alexandra Gelis made with her mother, Cristina Lombana, during her cancer healing process.

#1 Radiotherapy is part of the larger media installation project “Doing and Undoing: Poems from within.”

Screens before I Will Never Be the Same

Alexandra Gelis is a Colombian-Venezuelan artist living and working in Toronto, Ontario. Her studio practice combines new media, installation, and photography with custom-built interactive electronics. Her projects incorporate personal field research as a tool to investigate the ecologies of various landscapes by examining the traces left by various socio-political interventions. She uses data capture techniques, video, sound, and spatial and electronic media to create documentary based immersive installations, single-channel videos, and experimental photography.

Escucho Rap

Dir. Yordanis Dominguez Baez
Cuba/Canada, 2021 | 2 min
Spanish with English subtitles

For Yordanis, video-poetry has become a necessary extension of the spirit; a kind of liberating tool and at the same time, social and intimate reflection. Escucho Rap (I’m listening to rap) is a border and a bridge where the metaphor is the protagonist.

Screens before Nocaut

Yordanis Dominguez Baez (Bayamo, Cuba, 1983) is a Cuban writer, photographer, and audiovisual producer residing in Canada. He has participated in numerous festivals and literary events in his country and has published two books of short stories: El Señor Enigma (2006) and Dos Sillas y un Cadaver (2010). Some of his poems have been published in various Latin American anthologies. His audiovisuals move between minimal, cinema essay, and poetic-experimental video art.

Final Shipwreck

Final Shipwreck (Naufragio final)

Dir. Yordanis Dominguez Baez
Cuba/Canada, 2019 | 2 min
Spanish & French with English subtitles

Three poems that address friendship, politics, and despair are agglutinated in Final Shipwreck where its author, Yordanis Dominguez Baez, proposes a different approach to poetry and audiovisual.

Screens before Sin La Habana

Josefa and Her Sweetheart

Josefa y Su Amorcito (Josefa and Her Sweetheart)

Dir. Sebastian Ortiz Wilkins
Vancouver/Mexico, 2022 | 6 min
Spanish with English subtitles

Josefa y Su Amorcito tells the story of a lonely Mexican woman who lives in a trailer somewhere in the streets of Canada. Finding herself far away from her culture, she finds happiness and love in simple pleasure accompanied by her loyal friend “Pepe” the cat.

Screens before La Llorona

Sebastian Ortiz Wilkins began acting in indie short films in his hometown of Guadalajara, Mexico and began writing and directing his own projects at the age of 15. He then moved to Vancouver, BC, and has since directed more than eight short films, one web series, and numerous music videos.

His surrealistic storylines have attracted attention, garnering awards at the 2019 Mighty Asian Movie-Making Marathon and the 2019 Los Angeles Independent Short Film Festival, as well as being selected as a judge for the Berlin & Beyond Film Festival. In 2021, Sebastian was selected to be one of the directors for the Crazy 8s Film Competition with his film Cuello.

Sebastian Ortiz Wilkins

Rhythms of Mother Earth

Rhythms of Mother Earth

Dir. Karina Arbelaez
Montreal/Colombia, 2022 | 2 min
No dialogue

An experimental short film that merges documentary nature footage from the Prelinger archives with a video performance exploring the issue of exile. This combination creates a dreamlike atmosphere that is inspired by the loss of connection to the earth, bodies without roots, ignored rhythms.

Screens before Wild Symphony

Karina Arbelaez photo

Karina Arbelaez is a visual artist of Colombian origin with a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts from the National University of Colombia. She has lived and worked in Montreal since 2012.
She uses video and illustration as tools to express her experiences from a migratory point of view by highlighting questions of identity, social constructions, and relations with the Other – the “Other” being the unknown that frightens or attracts us, people, communities, or simply the earth itself.

Sacred Jurema (Jurema Sagrada)

Dir. Rodrigo D’Alcântara
Montreal/Brazil, 2021 | 8 min
Portuguese with English subtitles

Sacred Jurema is an experimental symbolist film shot independently with a single camera during pandemic times. The symbolic legacy of the syncretist Jurema is exposed through dreams within dreams before she awakens from her quarantine context in the Brazilian savanna.

Screens before Sin La Habana

Rodrigo D’Alcântara is a Brazilian visual artist, film/video-maker, and PhD student in the Interuniversity Doctoral Program in Art History at Concordia University in Montreal. He holds a Master’s degree in Visual Arts from the School of Fine Arts of Federal University of Rio de Janeiro and a Bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts from the University of Brasília. His works, which shed light in counter-hegemonic narratives, have been screened internationally, in countries such as Austria, Brazil, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Germany, Greece, and Italy.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

Vancouver Latin American Film Festival is located on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.