Migration Metamorphoses

This emotive shorts program highlights different points along the human migration journey from leaving one’s homeland to arriving in a new country to honouring the traditions of your ancestors even in a land far from where you began.

Program running time: 65 min

Monday, Sept 11 at 4:30 PM

Time in Between Pills (El tiempo en las pastillas)

Dir. Carol Rodríguez Allende
Toronto/Chile, 2022 | 4 min
English and Spanish with English subtitles

“This short experimental documentary narrates the personal stories of my mother, grandmother, and myself as we have all experienced intergenerational mobility (both upward and downward). Through these stories, I explore some of the factors that have contributed to this, such as education, access to resources, and immigration. At the heart core of it, this is a way to honour those who came before me because I would not be where I am today without them.”

Carol Rodríguez Allende is a Chilean artist based in Toronto, Canada. As a multidisciplinary artist, her mediums range from photography, film production, editing, and screenwriting. Her work explores themes such as mental health, immigration, and feminism in both historical and contemporary contexts to create awareness and incentivize change.

Azúcar (Sugar)

Dir. Joshua Gunn & Jen Sánchez
USA, 2023 | 7 min
English and Spanish with English subtitles

Azúcar is the story of a mother and son searching for a better life. They have travelled more than 1500 miles from Honduras to the US border and tonight they will attempt to cross the Rio Grande. However, nothing goes as planned.

Joshua Gunn (co-director) founded Planet Nutshell in 2008 with the goal of producing media that serves the public interest in the areas of education, healthcare, and the nonprofit sector. His work has screened at the Ottawa International Animation Festival and has been selected for the prestigious Animation Show of Shows. In his spare time, he has written for major publications including The Atlantic and Vox.com. Josh holds a BA in English from Colorado College and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Washington.

Jen Sánchez (art director and co-director) holds a BFA in Animation and Storyboarding from the Savannah College of Art & Design, from which she graduated magna cum laude. Her short film, Papi’s Bakery has screened at animation festivals across the USA.

Wandering (Errance)

Dir. Karla Meza
Montreal/Mexico, 2022 | 13 min
Zapotec & French with English subtitles

For the past three years, a young Mexican-Zapotec refugee in Montreal has been forced to put his academic career and his dream of becoming a police officer on hold due to his immigration status. Socially isolated, he clings to the daily life he shares with his family and tries, as best he can, to occupy his time while waiting for the documents that will decide his future.

Karla Meza is a Mexican-Canadian filmmaker based in Montreal. She began directing and producing documentary films in 2019 as an independent journalist while reporting on issues related to forced migration and challenges faced by marginalized communities. In 2021, thanks to a Netflix scholarship, she enrolled in the Institut national de l’image et du son (INIS) documentary filmmaking program. She is currently working on her next short documentary aimed to be screened in 2024.

Saturday Fuego Diablo (Sabado Fuego Diablo)

Dir. Anita Abbasi
Montreal/El Salvador, 2023 | 12 min
Spanish with English subtitles

Montreal, 1981. Four Salvadoran siblings, new to Canada, seek distance from the uprisings occurring in their home country by hitting a night club, but it does not go as planned.

Anita Abbasi is a writer-director based in Tiohti:áke (Montreal). Hailing from two disparate immigrant backgrounds — Pakistan & El Salvador — Anita’s work explores diasporic identity, (dis)connection to the “motherland”, our desire to be loved, and Western popular culture. Cinema, music and laughter have always been places of belonging for her. As such, her stories, though mainly drama, often cross genres into comedy and dance musicals.

She holds a BA in Creative Writing and Art History, and studied film directing under Deepa Mehta. She has produced and directed three short films with co-director, Martin Baena: The Talent Scout (2015), French Poutine (2016) and Mariah ¡qué baile! (2017). Her short film, Sinvergüenzilla in First Kiss (2021), a sci-fi queer romance, premiered at the Inside Out LGBT Film Festival.


La Tumba Mambi

Dir. Alexandrine Boudreault-Fournier & DJ Jigüe
Victoria/Cuba, 2023 | 28 min | Spanish with English subtitles

As a result of the Haitian Revolution (1791-1804), many French settlers travelled to Eastern Cuba with enslaved African people to escape the revolt. The Tumba Francesa Societies, which were known as a brotherhood and a mutual aid network, emerged from these waves of slave migrations. Eventually, they became integral constituents of Cuban culture.

La Tumba Mambi is a docu-fiction film based on the Tumba Francesa La Caridad de Oriente, which is located in the city of Santiago de Cuba. Through the society’s youngest member, Flavio, who is gathering information about the Tumba Francesa for a school project, we meet his grandmother, Andrea and mother, Queli, two charismatic knowledge keepers of their rich cultural traditions.

The original film soundtrack composed and produced by Cuban based DJ Jigüe, in collaboration with the Tumba Francesa members, is a rhythmic and striking reminder that the present is grounded in a history of struggles for freedom.

DJ Jigüe
Sent from an alternate future to connect different dimensions, DJ Jigüe combines ancestral rhythms with the live presence of Afro-Cuban drums, Afro-futuristic and electronic waves. DJ Jigüe is the creator behind Guámpara Music, the first independent urban music label in Cuba, which allowed him to experiment with new sounds. He has produced several albums, including Havana Cultura and Súbelo Cuba produced in conjunction with Gilles Peterson. He is currently one of the most well-known DJs within the electronic scene in Cuba, developing his own aesthetic called Tropical Afrofuturism.

Alexandrine Boudreault-Fournier
Alexandrine is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Victoria, located on the West Coast of Canada, on the territory of the lək̓ʷəŋən, the Songhees, Esquimalt and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day. She is the author of Aerial Imagination in Cuba: Stories from Above the Rooftop in Cuba (2020). As a visual anthropologist, she is interested in how sound –including music –connects with social life, and with media.

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.