Cinema Tropical, in partnership with Museum of the Moving Image, is proud to present the 2015 annual edition of the Cinema Tropical Festival celebrating the year’s best Latin American film productions. The Cinema Tropical Festival will feature the winners of the 5th Cinema Tropical Awards that were announced at a special ceremony at The New York Times Company headquarters few days ago.

February 6-8, 2015
136-01 35 Avenue, Astoria, New York City
(718) 777-6888 /

These eight winning films represent the vitality and the artistic excellence of contemporary Latin American cinema, and the festival offers a great platform for local audiences to discover the renewed and exciting world of the film production coming out from the region.

The Cinema Tropical Festival is presented in partnership with Museum of the Moving Image, the National Association of Latino Independent Producers and The New York Times Company Latino Network. The Cinema Tropical Festival is sponsored by Hôtel Americano. Media Sponsor: Remezcla.

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Cinema Tropical 2015

Friday, February 6, 7pm
(Manolo Nieto, Uruguay/Argentina, 2013, 120 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)
Winner – Best Fiction Film
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Co-produced by acclaimed Argentinean filmmaker Lisandro Alonso (Jauja), the second feature film by Uruguayan director Manolo Nieto is “a powerful and thought-provoking film” (The Hollywood Reporter) and a poignant meditation on legacy. The film tells the story of Ariel (played by non-professional actor Felipe Dieste), a university student involved in militant leftist activism who is faced with some difficult decisions when his father suddenly dies, leaving him in charge of their troubled ranch and forcing him to take on the role of a middle class bourgeois. Set in 2002 –the year of a major financial crisis in the small South American nation– The Militant is “a cinematic essay on the grasp and the limits of activism” (Howard Feinstein, Screen Daily).

Saturday, February 7, 3pm
(Rodrigo Reyes, US/Mexico, 2013, 86 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)
Winner – Best U.S. Latino Film (ex aequo)
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Hailed as an “exquisitely crafted film with poetic overtones and a wide sweeping vision” by documentary filmmaker Alan Berliner, Rodrigo Reyes’ provocative essay film reimagines the U.S./Mexico border as a mythical place comparable to Dante’s purgatory, and leaving politics aside, he takes a fresh look at the brutal beauty of the border and the people caught in its spell. By capturing a stunning mosaic of compelling characters and broken landscapes that live on the both sides of the border, Reyes –one of Filmmaker Magazine’s New Faces of Independent Cinema– reflects on the flaws of human nature and the powerful absurdities of the modern world. An unusual border film in the auteur tradition of caméra-stylo, Purgatorio ultimately becomes a fable of humanity, an epic and visceral experience with powerful and lingering images.

Saturday, February 7, 6pm – Q&A with filmmaker Cristina Ibarra
(Cristina Ibarra, US, 2014, 68 min. In English and Spanish with English subtitles)
Winner – Best U.S. Latino Film (ex aequo)
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The annual debutante ball in Laredo, Texas is unlike any other in the country. In 1939, the Society of Martha Washington was founded to usher each year’s debutantes (called “Marthas”) into proper society at the Colonial Pageant and Ball. The girls’ attendants also dress as figures from America’s colonial history and participate in traditional ceremonies. The centerpiece of the festivities is the Martha Washington Pageant and Ball, when the girls are presented in elaborate dresses that take up to a year to create. Celebrated as “a striking alternative portrait of border-town life” (New York Times), Cristina Ibarra’s Las Marthas, follows two Mexican American girls carrying this gilded tradition on their shoulders during a time of economic uncertainty and tension over immigration.

Sunday, February 8, 3pm
(Sebastián Sepúlveda, Chile/France/Argentina, 2013, 80 min. In Spanish with English subtitles)
Winner – Best First Film
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Escena de Las niñas quispe.

Escena de Las niñas quispe.

“In the remote, almost primeval world of a nearly isolated Chilean mountainscape in 1974, three goat-herding sisters survive, somewhat rootlessly after the death of a fourth sister. Pinochet’s rise to power is a distant echo, and the new dictator’s edict against herding threatens their meager livelihood. The aging matriarch, Justa, is suspicious of the clothing salesman who visits occasionally; the youngest sister, Luciana, holds on to her romantic desires. Using a mix of actors (including Catalina Saavedra from The Maid) and non-actors, including Digna Quispe, the real sisters’ niece, this mesmerizing film, based on a true and tragic story, tells an intimate tale against a stark yet magnificent landscape. The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival as part of Critics’ Week.” – First Look

Sunday, February 8, 6pm – New York Premiere
(Gustavo Fontán, Argentina, 2014, 64 min. In Spanish with English subtitles).
Winner – Best Director (Fiction Film)
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Directed by Gustavo Fontán –an accomplished Argentine filmmaker whose work is little known in this country– The Face is a lyrical and personal film shot in stunning black and white, where past and present, fiction and non-fiction mix together. A man who sails alone approaches an island on the Paraná River. Once he lands, he’s no longer alone. He shares a meal with another man –his father. There will also be a woman. And some kids. And nature, in the form of birds, plants, and the river, which is always present through its quietness and constant flowing. Fontán’s elegant and enigmatic feature film, was a selection of the Rome Film Festival, and was awarded the Best Director prize at the Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival (BAFICI).