17th edition of the Vancouver Latin American Film Festival!!

The 17th edition of VLAFF will take place from August 22 – September 1, 2019, presenting more than 80 films from 16 different countries, being among one of the largest and longest running Latin American film festivals in North America.

The festival will take place at four different venues: SFU Woodward’s, The Cinematheque, VIFF Vancity Theatre, and this year we welcome a new venue – the legendary Rio Theatre on East Broadway and Commercial Drive. 

On August 29 at the Rio Theatre, we will screen Buy Me a Gun (Mexico) with actor-composer Rogelio Sosa in attendance, who will perform a sound art piece after the screening. That same evening at the Rio we screen El Ángel (Argentina), a thrilling, erotic true story of an angel-faced killer in 1970s Buenos Aires.

VLAFF presents some new programming sections such as Movimientos, films that explore movement through the lens of dance and music. On Aug 24, the Movimientos – Shorts Program will be accompanied by a pop-up performance by Danza Descalza from Montreal, followed by a screening of Dantza (Basque Country) by Telmo Esnal.

As part of the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages, VLAFF presents Languages of Sovereignty, a series of extraordinary Indigenous-language films from First Nations, Metis, Inuit, Indigenous and Afro-Indigenous filmmakers from across Turtle Island and Abya Yala. On Aug 27 at the VIFF Vancity Theatre, we will present a shorts program, post-screening dialogue, and reception catered by BigHeart Bannock.

In addition to the shorts program, VLAFF presents Birds of Passage (Wayuu/Colombia), the latest film by Cristina Gallego and Ciro Guerra (Embrace of the Serpent). The Languages of Sovereignty program also includes free screenings at SFU Woodward’s on Aug 31 of SGAAWAAY K’UUNA – Edge of the Knife (Haida/Haida Gwaii) and Mataindios (Quechua/Peru).f

Latin-Canadian Filmmakers have a special place at VLAFF and this year our section Canada Looks South will showcase more local short films than ever before: 4.30 María (by Cuban-Canadian Yoel Ortega), Estelas (by Costa Rican-Canadian Milena Salazar), Boulevard (by Ecuadorian-Canadian David Bercovici-Artieda), Media Luna (by Peruvian-Canadian Ana Carrizales), Ó Criatura: Navigating (dis)location (by Brazilian-Canadian Andréa Monteiro), and Shango: The Will to Overcome (by director-composer Obediya Jones-Darrell).

VLAFF also presents a site-specific exhibit by Vancouver-based, Mexican-Canadian artist Carlos Colín in the courtyard of The Cinematheque from Aug 23-Sept 1, called Cámara de Combate, a series of new artworks inspired by Third Cinema and Latin American conceptualism.

As part of the Spotlight on Costa Rica, VLAFF presents the Canadian premiere of The Awakening of the Ants (Best Ibero-American Film, SIFF, 2019) with director Antonella Sudasassi in attendance, as well as Cold Water of the Sea by Costa Rica’s most renowned filmmaker Paz Fábrega.

In our signature section International Hits, we feature award-winning films starring festival favourites Gael García Bernal in Museo (Mexico), Guillermo Francella in My Masterpiece (Argentina), and Alfredo Castro in Rojo (Argentina).

Once again VLAFF features a dynamic program of Queer Latinx films that includes Yo, imposible (Venezuela/Colombia) about an intersex woman, with producer Jhonny Hendrix in attendance. This series also includes acclaimed films such as Fireflies (Mexico/Iran), The Heiresses (Paraguay) and Chavela (Mexico), as well as the Queer Pix Shorts Program, and a special co-presentation with the Vancouver Queer Film Festival of Socrates (Brazil) on Aug 23.  

A highlight of the ¡Activismo! section is The Infiltrators, winner of the NEXT Innovator Award and Audience Award at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, about a group of activist DREAMers who self-deport into detention centres in the US to save others from deportation.

The Closing Night Film is the Canadian premiere of Asfixia (Mexico) by director Kenya Márquez, one of the first films to feature an albino woman as the lead, with actor Johana Fragoso and producer Iliana Reyes in attendance.