Vancouver Latin American Film Festival Announces 2021 Lineup
Revel in an exhilarating array of cinematic storytelling at the 19th edition
Vancouver, BC (July 26, 2021) – The 19th edition of the Vancouver Latin American Film Festival (VLAFF) will take place from August 26 – September 5, 2021 as a hybrid festival with events both online and in-person. As one of the largest and longest running Latin American film festivals in North America, we will be presenting more than 60 films from 19 countries in 21 languages (always with English subtitles), with 52% of the films directed by women and non-binary directors.
Most of the films will be available for viewing online throughout the festival dates via our streaming platform CineSend. Beginning on August 27, we will also be screening two feature films each evening at The Cinematheque in downtown Vancouver (1131 Howe Street, between Helmcken and Davie). 
“This year and a half of the pandemic has been rough, but thanks to community and government support, we’re still here and all of us at VLAFF are super thrilled to be able to present this hybrid festival, with a really eclectic array of independent cinema that otherwise might never be seen in Vancouver.” – Christian Sida Valenzuela, Festival & Artistic Director. 
Eight films will compete in the NEW DIRECTORS COMPETITION including five narrative features: Nudo Mixteco (Ángeles Cruz, Mixtec/Mexico), My Name is Baghdad (Caru Alves de Souza, Brazil); Window Boy Would Also Like to Have a Submarine (Alex Piperno, Uruguay); Implosion (Javier Van de Couter, Argentina); 1991 (Sergio Ramírez, Guatemala); and three documentaries: The Calm After the Storm (Mercedes Gaviria Jaramillo, Colombia); Canela (Cecilia del Valle, Argentina); and Soldier’s Woman (Patricia Wiesse Risso, Peru). 
The 2021 YOUTH JURY made up of twenty students from Canada and Latin America will engage in online dialogues with all of the directors and choose the winner of the Best New Director Award.
Selected from over 190 submissions, 16 short films will compete in the SHORT FILM COMPETITION. The Official Jury will be announced in August.
VLAFF will present an expanded series of INDIGENOUS FILMS from across the continent. As the Guest Festival this year, we welcome a curated program by FICWALLMAPU International Festival of Cinema and Indigenous Arts in Wallmapu, the ancestral territory of the Mapuche peoples in southern Chile and Argentina. We will also present A Matter of Life, which centres on themes of self-love and features the Toronto-based documentary Healing the Nation, and a revelatory shorts program Future Ancestors: Storytelling as Ceremony.
“Curated with the intent to spark an appreciation for the complex and diverse experiences and expressions of culture through film, Future Ancestors: Storytelling as Ceremony aims to honour and uplift stories centering Indigenous youth, girls, women, queers, femmes and matriarchs across many territories.” – Karmella Cen Benedito de Barros, Curator.
A highlight of the ¡Activismo! section is The Spokeswoman (La Vocera) (Luciana Kaplan, Mexico), about María de Jesús “Marichuy” Patricio Martínez of the Nahua Nation, who as an independent candidate in the 2018 election, was the first Indigenous woman ever to run for the presidency of Mexico.
As part of Canada Looks South, which showcases the work of Latin-Canadian filmmakers, we will present Fauna, the arthouse feature film by award-winning Mexican-Canadian director Nicolás Pereda. We will also present a program of short films The Age of Memory featuring: Jatun LLaxta, Noh Kaah… (Marcos Arriaga, Toronto/Peru), Unarchive (Cecilia Araneda, Winnipeg/Chile), With Time (Eva Urrutia, Montreal/Argentina), Solitude (Yoel Ortega, Vancouver/Cuba), and Sol (Andy Alvarez, Vancouver/Colombia); as well as the shorts Dreaming in Blue (Olga Barrios,Toronto/Colombia), Bodies (Triana Segovia, Vancouver/Mexico), and Objectified (Vanesa Tomasino, Toronto/El Salvador).
VLAFF features a dynamic program of Queer Latinx films that includes three outstanding films featuring gender non-conforming and trans leads: My Name is Baghdad (Caru Alves de Souza, Brazil), Valentina (Cássio Pereira dos Santos, Brazil), and the documentary Canela (Cecilia del Valle, Argentina). 
Special Presentations include a Spotlight on Ana Katz, one of Argentina’s leading indie directors, featuring the Canadian premiere of her absurdist drama The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be Quiet (El perro que no calla), which had its world premiere at Rotterdam (IFFR) where it won the Big Screen Award. In addition, we will screen her 2018 highly entertaining drama-comedy Florianópolis Dream. Ana Katz will participate in an online artist talk and dialogue during the festival.
Other Special Presentations include the Canadian premiere of The Best Families, a delightful dark comedy by Peruvian director Javier Fuentes-León; and A Diamond is for Viridiana, a special screening and online talk to mark the 60th anniversary of Spanish-Mexican director Luis Buñuel’s gothic masterpiece Viridiana, co-winner of the Palme d’Or at the 1961 Cannes Film Festival. We are also happy to introduce the work of Mexican experimental filmmaker Rubén Gámez to the Vancouver audiences with two of his films and a talk. 
Earlybird Festival Passes and Ticket Packs are on sale now. Individual tickets for both online and in-person screenings will go on sale on August 5.
Complete Official Selection available at:
About the Vancouver Latin American Film Festival:
VLAFF is a registered charitable organization and the largest annual festival of Latin American film in Canada. The festival promotes dialogue among cultures and explores the art of contemporary Latin American cinema through the eyes of its filmmakers. Since 2003, VLAFF has provided audiences with the unique opportunity to watch inspiring films and interact with guest filmmakers from across Latin America and the diaspora. For more information please visit:
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Media contact:
Christian Sida Valenzuela
VLAFF Festival & Artistic Director | 778-886-2979