TOP LATIN FILMS OF 2012, THOSE THAT WERE UNDERRATED, AND WHAT TO WATCH IN 2013!

The Vancouver Latin American Film Festival last year created its very own Best of the Year section, asking Latin American film professionals to choose their top 10 films of 2011.

This year we changed the rules a bit and asked professionals for their top 10 Narrative and Documentary films; which films they thought were underrated; which film festivals they liked the most in 2012; and what’s coming up in 2013.

We hope you find this listing helpful to learn more about Latin American cinema and to direct your attention to some films that you might not have heard of. We expect this year will once again be a great year for Latin Cinema!

Note: Films on the Top lists, are films which had their film festival premiere in late 2012 or 2013.

Sandro Fiorin.
Sandro is originally from Brazil and is based in Los Angeles where along with Alex Garcia, he founded FiGa Films, a sales agent and distribution company specializing in finding the best contemporary films from Latin and Ibero America. This year Sandro served as a juror at “Horizontes Latinos,” a section of the prestigious San Sebastian Film Festival.

Top 5 Narrative Films (In alphabetical order by country):
Los Salvajes (The Wild Ones) Director: Alejandro Fadel (Argentina)
Después de Lucía (After Lucia) Director: Michel Franco (Mexico / France)
O Som ao Redor (Neighboring Sounds) Director:  Kleber Mendonça Filho (Brazil) 
Post Tenebras Lux - Director: Carlos Reygadas (Mexico / France / Germany)
Tabu - Director:  Miguel Gomes (Portugal / Brazil / Germany)

Top 5 Documentary Films (In alphabetical order by country):
Doméstica (Housemaids) Director:  Gabriel Mascaro (Brazil)
Sibila - Director: Teresa Arredondo (Chile-Peru)
Canícula - Director: José Álvarez (Mexico)
Cuates de Australia (Drought) Director: Everardo González (Mexico)
Inori - Director: Pedro González-Rubio (Mexico / Japan)

Underrated films in 2012:
Malaventura - Director:  Michel Lipkes (Mexico)
Girimunho (Swirl) Director:  Clarissa Campolina, Helvécio Marins Jr. (Brazil, Spain, Germany)    

What to watch in 2013:
La Paz - Director: Santiago Loza (Argentina)
Eles Voltam (They'll Come Back) Director:  Marcelo Lordello (Brazil)

Film Festivals to make a note of in 2012:
Gothenburg International Film Festival (Sweden) & San Sebastian International Film Festival (Spain). “The former was a huge surprise due to its large Latin American lineup. A festival under the coldest weather conditions possible and yet very warm in their affection for our cinema. They will have a focus on Chile this year, very appropriately. The latter, has always been one of my favourites, but in 2012 it was exceptional (plus I was on the jury and have never been treated so kindly anywhere before).”

 

Gerardo Salcedo Romero.
Gerardo is the programming director of the Guadalajara International Film Festival in Mexico. He is a film critic and a film professor. For more than a decade he was the head programmer at the Cineteca Nacional (Mexico’s National Cinémathèque). In 2012 he served as a juror at the Havana Film Festival in Cuba.

Top 5 Narrative Films:
1.- Violeta se fue a los cielos (Violeta went to heaven) Director Andrés Wood, (Chile, Argentina, Brazil)
2.- No- Director: Pablo Larraín (Chile-México)
3.- Un mundo secreto (A secret world) Director: Gabriel Mariño, México)
4.- 7 cajas (7 Boxes) Directors: Juan Carlos Maneglia & Tana Schembori, (Paraguay)
5.- Era una vez Verônica (Once Upon a Time Was I, Verônica) Director: Marcelo Gomes, (Brazil, France)

Top 5 Documentary Films:
1.- Cuates de Australia (Drought) Director: Everardo González (Mexico)
2.- ¡Que vivan las Antípodas! (Director: Victor Kossakovsky (Argentina Germany, Chile, The Netherlands)
3.- Palabras Mágicas (Magic Words) Director: Mercedes Moncada (México Nicaragua)
4.- Paciente interno  (The convict patient) Director: Alejandro Solar (México)
5.- El huaso – Director: Carlo Guillermo Proti, (Chile, Canadá)

Underrated films in 2012:
Todo el mundo tiene a alguien menos yo (Everybody´s Got Somebody... Not Me) Director: Raúl Fuentes (México)
Los viejos (The parents) Director: Martin Boulocq, (Bolivia)

What to watch in 2013:
La Gorgona, historias fugadas - Director: Camilo Botero Jaramillo (Colombia)
Las mariposas de Sadourni (Sadourni’s Butterflies) Director: Dario Nardi (Argentina-Italia)

Film Festivals to make a note of in 2012:
Festival Internacional de Cine de Morelia (Mexico). “It is the first time that I saw that the movie theatre that was not downtown was getting a lot of people, because it was impossible to get tickets in the main movie theatre of the festival.”
Havana Film Festival of Latin American Cinema (Cuba). “The first time I went it was maybe 1998, and it was really hard to get information, to know which titles were screening… Now it is a really well-organized film festival, with a good selection of films.”

Lucile de Calan.
Lucile is currently one of the head programmers at the Biarritz Film Festival. She is a great connoisseur of Latin Cinema and is working on her third year as a programmer at the Biarritz Festival.

Top 5 Narrative Films:
1.- No- Director: Pablo Larraín (Chile-México)
2.- Los Salvajes (The Wild Ones) Director: Alejandro Fadel (Argentina)
3.- La Demora (The Delay) Director: Rodrigo Plá (Uruguay-Mexico)
4.- El último Elvis (The last Elvis). Director: Armando Bo (Argentina)
5.- Histórias que só existem quando lembradas (Found memories) Director: Júlia Murat (Brazil, Argentina, France)

Top 5 Documentary Films:
1.- Miradas Múltiples. Director: Emilio Maillé. (Mexico, France, Spain)
2.- El Etnógrafo (The Etnographer) Director: Ulises Rosell (Argentina)
3.- Una vida sin palabras (A life without words) Director: Adam Isenberg (Turkey-Nicaragua)
4.- Sibila - Director: Teresa Arredondo (Chile-Peru)
5.- ¡Que vivan las Antípodas! (Director: Victor Kossakovsky (Argentina Germany, Chile, The Netherlands)

Underrated films in 2012:
De martes a martes (From Tuesday to Tuesday) Director: Gustavo Triviño (Argentina)
Edificio Royal. Director: Iván Wild (Colombia)

What to watch in 2013:
El Crítico (The Critic) Director: Hernán Guerschuny (Argentina)
Los insólitos peces gato. Director: Claudia Sainte-Luce (Mexico)

Film Festivals to make a note of in 2012:
Ventana Sur (Argentina) After three successful editions, Ventana Sur has indisputably become the main Latin American Film Market.
Brussels Short Film Festival (Belgium)

Hebe Tebachnik
Hebe is currently the Ibero American Programmer at Los Angeles and Palm Springs Film Festivals, she is also the Short Film Programmer at Los Angeles Festival; she is a Member of the Screening Committee of the International Documentary Association (IDA) Awards and a Member of the Board of Directors of Dance Camera West. In 2012 she served as a juror at the Guadalajara Film Festival in Mexico, the Antofagasta Film Festival in Chile, the Havana Film Festival in Cuba and the Tel Aviv International Student Film Festival.

Top 5 Narrative Films:
(Note: Hebe decided to include 6)
1.- Las mariposas de Sadourni (Sadourni’s Butterflies) Director: Dario Nardi (Argentina-Italia)
2.- 7 cajas (7 Boxes) Directors: Juan Carlos Maneglia & Tana Schembori, (Paraguay)
3.- No - Director: Pablo Larraín (Chile-México)
4.-  El Limpiador (The Cleaner) Director: Adrian Saba (Peru)
5.- El último Elvis (The last Elvis). Director: Armando Bo (Argentina)
6.- O Som ao Redor (Neighboring Sounds) Director: Kleber Mendonça Filho (Brazil)

Top 5 Documentary Films:
1.- Cuates de Australia- (Droughst) Director: Everardo González (México)
2.-Miradas Múltiples. Director: Emilio Maillé. (Mexico, France, Spain)
3.- Canícula - Director: José Álvarez  (Mexico)
4.- El Etnógrafo (The Etnographer) Director: Ulises Rosell (Argentina)
5.- El Albergue(The Shelter) Director: Alejandra Islas (Mexico)

Underrated films in 2012:
Girimunho (Swirl) Director:  Clarissa Campolina, Helvécio Marins Jr. (Brazil, Spain, Germany)    
El último Elvis (The last Elvis). Director: Armando Bo (Argentina)

What to watch in 2013:
Purgatorio (Purgatory). Director: Rodrigo Reyes (Mexico)
El Elefante Desaparece (The Vanished Elephant) Director: Javier Fuentes-León (Peru, Colombia, Spain)

Film Festivals to make a note of in 2012:
Guadalajara International Film Festival (Mexico) "It was the first time I attended the festival and I was surpised by the size and scope of its film and industry program, it is indeed one of the largest festivals in Latin America. However the fact that it is also part of the University of Guadalajara is what makes it a rather unique festival and tranforms it into a key cultural event regionally and internationally"
Tel Aviv International Film Festival (Israel) "This is one of the largest festivals in the world for student films, and is organized by the students from the Tel Aviv University. If someone wants to see the up and coming talent from the world, this is the festival to attend."   

Carlos A. Gutiérrez
Carlos is originally from Mexico. He is based in New York, where together with Monika Wagenberg they launched Cinema Tropical in February 2001. Cinema Tropical has played a major role in introducing U.S. audiences to the burgeoning Latin American cinema. This year the organization celebrated the third edition of the Cinema Tropical awards, recognizing the best of Latin American Cinema.

Top 5 Narrative Films (In alphabetical order by country):
Viola - Director: Matías Piñeiro (Argentina)
O Som ao Redor (Neighboring Sounds) Director: Kleber Mendoca Filho (Brazil)
De Jueves a Domingo (Thursday Through Sunday) Director: Dominga Sotomayor (Chile- The Netherlands)
Los Mejores Temas (Greatest Hits) Director: Nicolás Pereda (Mexico -  The Netherlands)
Hasta el sol tiene manchas (Even the sun has spots)  Director: Julio Hernández (Guatemala-Mexico)

Top 5 Documentary Films (In alphabetical order by country):
Escuela Normal - Director: Celina Murga (Argentina)
Olhe para mim de novo (Look at me again) Director: Claudia Priscilla & Kiko Goifman (Brazil)
Reportero (Journalist) Bernardo Ruíz (USA-México)
Cuates de Australia (Drought) Director: Everardo González (Mexico)
El Alcalde (The mayor)  Director: Emiliano Altuna, Carlos Rossini & Diego Osorno (Mexico)

Underrated films in 2012:

Los Mejores Temas (Greatest Hits) Director: Nicolás Pereda (Mexico -  The Netherlands)
Hasta el sol tiene manchas (Even the sun has spots) Director: Julio Hernández (Guatemala-Mexico)

What to watch in 2013:
O Som ao Redor (Neighboring Sounds) Director: Kleber Mendonça Filho (Brazil) 
Viola - Director: Matías Piñeiro (Argentina)
No - Director: Pablo Larraín (Chile-México)

Film Festivals to make a note of in 2012:
Cartagena International Film Festival (Colombia): “(disclaimer: Its director, Monika Wagenberg, is Cinema Tropical's co-founder)”
Riviera Maya Film Festival (Mexico), “It was a very impressive first film festival with great programming and noteworthy special guests”.

Chrlstian Sida-Valenzuela
Christian is the director of the Vancouver Latin American Film Festival & the programmer of the Latin American and Spanish Film Week at the University of Victoria. In 2012, he served as a juror at the Film Festivals of Valladolid (Spain), Guadalajara (Mexico) Trinidad and Tobago & Icaro (Guatemala).

Top 5 Narrative Films (In alphabetical order by country):
Los Salvajes (The Wild Ones) Director: Alejandro Fadel (Argentina)
El último Elvis (The last Elvis). Director: Armando Bo (Argentina)
No - Director: Pablo Larraín (Chile-México)
La Demora (The Delay) Director: Rodrigo Plá (Uruguay-Mexico)
Post Tenebras Lux - Director: Carlos Reygadas (Mexico / France / Germany)

Top 5 Documentary Films (In alphabetical order by country):
La chica del sur (The girl from the south) Director: José Luis García (Argentina)
As hiper mulheres (The Hyperwoman) Directors: Carlos Fausto, Leonardo Sette & Takumã Kuikuro (Brazil)
Sibila - Director: Teresa Arredondo (Chile-Peru)
La Revolución de los Alcatraces ( Eufrosina's Revolution) Director: Luciana Kaplan (Mexico)
Cuates de Australia- Director: Everardo González (Mexico)

Underrated films in 2012:
Las cosas como son - Director: Fernando Lavanderos (Chile)
Todo el mundo tiene a alguien menos yo (Everybody´s Got Somebody... Not Me) Director: Raúl Fuentes (México)

What to watch in 2013:
Rezeta - Director: Fernando Frías (Mexico)
Solo - Director: Guillermo Rocamora (Uruguay)

Film Festivals to make a note of in 2012:
Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival. “This was a great experience for me to learn about the non-Hispanic islands in the Caribbean. The audiences were great and this is what makes a festival.”
Morelia International Film Festival (Mexico).” This was the first time I attended this event- great venues, audiences and amazing staff-.”