It's Friday night in the capital city of Asunción and the temperature is 40ºC. Víctor, a 17-year-old delivery boy in the bustling Mercado 4, dreams of becoming famous. He's offered a chance to transport seven boxes with unknown contents on his wheelbarrow in exchange for a quick US$100. But what sounds like an easy job soon gets complicated. Something in the boxes is highly coveted and Víctor and his pursuers quickly find themselves caught up in a crime they know nothing about.
Official Selection 2013
Needing a place to stay after a fight with his wife, a man knocks on his father’s door and is coldly welcomed by an old man and his sole companion, a dog named Whale. In the modest house, the son digs up memories of a missing brother, concealed in old Super 8 reels and LPs. Avanti Popolo approaches themes common to many Latin American countries: military dictatorships and the eternal wait for the return of the exiled and disappeared.
Chocó is 27 years old; she has two children, a tiny hut on the edge of a Colombian village, an underpaid job in a gold mine, a second job laundering clothes, and a marimba-playing husband who gambles away their money and forces himself onto her at night when he’s had too much to drink. Nonetheless, Chocó is a fighter and she is determined to make a better life for her family. As her daughter’s seventh birthday approaches, Chocó promises to buy her a cake. However, fulfilling that promise proves to be much more difficult than expected.
The ruggedly beautiful Fogo Island lies off the northeast coast of Newfoundland. In this remote corner of Canada, traces of Elizabethan English and Old Irish dialects may still be heard, and remnants of ancient folk customs shape the lives of its inhabitants. However, in recent years, economic hardship has taken a toll, forcing many to leave. Homes once full of fiddle music, are now decaying, becoming part of the tundra landscape.
Juan’s passion is bodybuilding, but he earns his living working in a garment factory where he is constantly bullied by his boss and co-workers for his muscular physique. He keeps to himself and quietly dreams of quitting to set up his own gym. But first, he needs to come up with the money. One night, Juan witnesses a crime. Stunned and confused, he must contemplate what to do with the information now in his possession.
A family lives off the land, selling fruit to tourists at a humble roadside stall by a motorway that crosses a rural community in the Brazilian Amazon. Unlike his carefree older brother Juliano, Jonathas is an exemplary son, dedicated to his studies and to helping his parents make a living. Lured into a camping trip by his brother and by the sensuality of a Ukrainian girl, his life poignantly changes as he enters the realm of the powerful and deceiving rainforest. A beautifully shot drama of faith and nature, tradition and youth. - Vitor Borba
With the enchantment and intensity of an edgy urban fairy tale, La Playa D.C. follows three brothers - Tomás, Jairo, and Chaco - as they face growing up in Bogotá, with its eight million inhabitants and endless asphalt, far from their home in the lush coastal town of Buenaventura. When Jairo disappears, Tomás takes to the streets in a bold attempt to rescue him. But first, he must find a way to rescue himself. The intricately designed close shaves that are popular in the local barber shop spark an idea, but like everything in La Playa, nothing comes easily.
In the Cuban village of Melaza, the least of a couple’s worries is to find a private place to make love. The once prosperous sugar mill has been shut down, and the local economy has come to a standstill. Monica, the only worker left at the mill, and Aldo, a swimming teacher without a functioning pool, live in a one-room house with Monica’s daughter and her grandmother. They urgently need to make some extra money, but the safest options open to them are rapidly disappearing.
Carla, a young postal worker in Havana, spends her days postmarking thousands of letters and dreaming of the day when she can be reunited with her parents, who moved to the US when she was fifteen. To fulfill her longing for intimacy, she opens random letters and rewrites them into soulful prose, believing she is helping her fellow Cubans understand one another better. Beautifully filmed in black and white accented by brilliant colours, Nada+ has a stunning visual composition.
Tito, a young boy, lives on the streets of La Paz, Bolivia, but when his shoeshine box is stolen, he is left with no means of survival. Collapsed on a bench, a vision of another reality comes to him, where a mysterious woman leads him along ancient Inca paths and teaches him the ways of the ancestors. Meanwhile, the city itself explodes in a social uprising, as the indigenous population make a stand for their rights and the police answer with tear gas and bullets. Tito’s personal struggle for peace becomes a profound reflection of the need for a greater social awakening.