The 24th “Reel” Latin American Film Festival
F R E E    A D M I S S I O N    |    P U B L I C     W E L C O M E

[ Download schedule ] (pdf).

Director:  Robert Calzadilla, Colombia, Venezuela, 2016

Showtime(s) and location(s):
Thursday, October 12, 7:00 p.m., Floyd Theater
Friday, October 13, 11:00 a.m., 104W Ekstrom Library


In the Venezuelan town of El Amparo, near the border with Colombia, a group of fishermen sets off down the Aruca River. But only two men return, their friends shot down by the military, who claim they were clandestine guerrillas on a mission. The army soon arrives to claim the two survivors, held in the local jail, but they encounter an honorable policeman and fiercely loyal population who will do anything to protect the truth as the pressures to stick to the official story become overwhelming. Based on the true story of a 1988 massacre, this feature debut of filmmaker Rober Calzadilla is a searing drama, now more timely than ever. AFI Latin American Festival

Synopsis from From Pragda, Spanish Film Club promotional site.

Director:  Alex Santiago Pérez, Puerto Rico, 2014

Showtime(s) and location(s):
Thursday, November 9, 7:00 p.m., Gheens Science Hall & Rauch Planetarium
Friday, November 10, 11:00 a.m., 104W Ekstrom Library


Directed by one of the most talented emerging filmmakers coming out of the new wave of Puerto Rican cinema, Cows Wearing Glasses uses a subtle sense of humor to touch upon issues of aging.
Marso, a lonely, eccentric painter and art professor, is losing his sight. As the world as he knows it comes to an end, he is now forced to re-examine an existence filled with professional successes but unsatisfying personal relationships. He tries to reestablish a relationship with his only daughter while his thoughts are filled with longing for simpler times.
The fear and uncertainty of what lies ahead have left an imprint on his psyche, and maybe even on his morals.
With an impeccable performance by Daniel Lugo as Marso, Cows Wearing Glasses is a reflexive tale of a man facing the inevitable.
Synopsis from From Pragda, Spanish Film Club promotional site.

Director:  Multiple directors, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, El Salvador, 2015

Showtime(s) and location(s):
Thursday, October 12, 5:00 p.m., Floyd Theater
Thursday, November 2, 7:00 p.m., Floyd Theater


Nearly half of all young people in Latin America never finish high school. To explore this dropout crisis, creative director Gael García Bernal gathered 11 award-winning filmmakers who have created a captivating anthology of short films, both narrative and documentary. There is no easy solution to this complex issue, and each short delves into the underlying reasons, from poverty to societal traditions, that students aren't graduating.
This omnibus features films by multi awarded filmmakers Argentina's Lucrecia Martel (The Headless Woman) and Pablo Fendrik (Ardor), El Salvador's Tatiana Huezo (The Tiniest Place), Mexico's Mariana Chenillo (Pragda's own PARADISE) and Nicolas Pereda (Greatest Hits), Peru's Daniel and Diego Vega (The Mute), Uruguay's Pablo Stoll (Whiskey), Brazil's Eryk Rocha (Cinema Novo) and Flavia Castro (Diaries, Letters, Revolutions), Colombia's Carlos Gaviria (Portraits in a Sea of Lies).
Among many issues, the short films explore the links between the dropout crisis and violence; how to identify students at risk of dropping out of school in Latin America; the lack of interest in school that is preventing students from graduating; school exclusion in indigenous communities; the not-so-typical challenges to finishing high school faced by a deaf student; the relationship between the financial cost to staying in school and its benefits; and what happens when drop out students want to go back.
Synopsis from From Pragda, Spanish Film Club promotional site.

Director:  Tyffany Rhynard, USA, 2016

Showtime(s) and location(s):
Thursday, October 26, 7:00 p.m., Floyd Theater
Monday, October 30, 7:00 p.m., Elaine Chao Auditorium


Two hot-button issues come together in Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America. As Donald Trump rails against Mexican immigrants and LGBTQ community, we are introduced to Moises Serrano, who came to America from Mexico when he was 18 months old. Since he was not born in America, Moises is not a legal immigrant. We soon learn that Moises also happens to be gay, and in North Carolina, that presents another set of challenges.
Moises’ larger crusade as an activist is to expand the rights of undocumented people trying to survive in America. An urgent and necessary documentary, Forbidden humanizes the issues, proving eye-opening and inspiring to audiences.
Touching upon relevant issues such as DACA, the DREAM Act, and DOCA, Forbidden highlights the need for advocacy and awareness surrounding immigration reform and LGBTQ rights.

Director:  Miguel Courtois Paternina, Colombia, France, Spain, 2012

Showtime(s) and location(s):
Thursday, October 5, 7:00 p.m., Floyd Theater
Thursday, November 2, 5:00 p.m., Floyd Theater


A controversial film in Colombia due to the real event on which it is based (the kidnapping of Clara Rojas and Ingrid Betancourt), Operation E was at risk of being banned but was finally released in the country after a politicized trial.
Crisanto (a magnificent Luis Tosar) is a poor cocaine farmer who lives with his family in the Guaviare jungle, a region ruled by the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias de Colombia (FARC). A group of guerrilla fighters give them a moribund baby and tell them to take care of him. The doctors heal the baby, but believing he's been abandoned and abused, and they take it away.
Two years later, the guerrilla asks urgently for the child as he is at the center of an exchange of hostages, negotiated between the presidents of Colombia and Venezuela that is bringing both countries to the brink of war. This international political crisis has significant media impact and is widely reported across the globe. They give him three days to find the boy or he and his family will be killed. This is a political thriller which shows what happens away from the cameras and microphones, a contrasting view of the official version.
Spanish star Luis Tosar (Even the Rain, Cell 211) lived in the Colombian jungle in order to prepare for this role, based on the real man who was charged with Emmanuel, Clara Rojas' son.

Synopsis from From Pragda, Spanish Film Club promotional site.

Director:  Tatiana Hueso, México, 2016

Showtime(s) and location(s):
Saturday, October 14, 5:00 p.m., Floyd Theater
Thursday, October 26, 5:00 p.m., Floyd Theater


A poignant doc by celebrated filmmaker Tatiana Huezo, Tempest narrates the parallel journey of two women. Mirror-like, it reflects the impact of the violence and impunity that afflict Mexico. Through their voices, we are drawn into the heart of their feelings, steeped in loss and pain, but also love, dignity, and resistance.
On a normal day on her way to work, Miriam is arrested on suspicion of human trafficking. While the government reports that a criminal gang has been rounded up, in reality a group of innocent Mexicans has fallen victim to the vagaries of a corrupt system. After her detention, she is handed over to a private prison controlled by the Organized Crime, where she is forced to pay a monthly fee to remain alive.
Adela works as a clown in a traveling circus. Ten years ago, her life was irreversibly transformed; every night during the show, she evokes her missing daughter, Monica.
Tempest has screened at more than 60 film festivals worldwide, collecting awards in Berlin, Lima, Havana, Madrid, Cork, and many others.

Synopsis from From Pragda, Spanish Film Club promotional site.

Director:  Marc Silver, Mexico/USA, 2014

Showtime(s) and location(s):
Thursday, October 5, 5:00 p.m., Floyd Theater
Friday, October 27, 11:00 a.m., 104W Ekstrom Library


Deep in the sun-blistered Sonora desert beneath a cicada tree, Arizona border police discover a decomposing male body. Lifting a tattered T-shirt they expose a tattoo that reads 'Dayani Cristal.' Who is this person? What brought him here? How did he die? And who? or what? is Dayani Cristal?
Following a team of dedicated forensic anthropologists from the Pima County Morgue in Arizona, director Marc Silver seeks to answer these questions and give this anonymous man an identity. As the forensic investigation unfolds, Mexican actor and activist Gael Garcia Bernal retraces this man's steps along the migrant trail in Central America. In an effort to understand what it must have felt like to make this final journey, he embeds himself among migrant travelers on their own mission to cross the border. He experiences first-hand the dangers they face and learns of their motivations, hopes and fears. As we travel north, these voices from the other side of the border wall give us a rare insight into the human stories which are so often ignored in the immigration debate.
Winner of the Sundance 2013 Cinematography award and nominated in the World Documentary Competition, Who Is Dayani Cristal? shows how one life becomes testimony to the tragic results of the U.S. war on immigration.
Synopsis from From Pragda, Spanish Film Club promotional site.