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Sundance en Español : Celebrating Latin Cinema

The Sundance Institute has a long history of support for Latin films. This year, they have launched Sundance en Español, a celebration of Latin films and filmmakers participating in the Sundance Film Festival. This year, the program features a collection of six Spanish Language films and four films in English by Hispanic and Latino directors. The films were selected to screen in Salt Lake City, which has a sizable Spanish-speaking community. Earlier this week, a press conference, information panel and a private reception were hoeld to highlight the importance of Latinos in filmmaking. Participants included Alex Garcia, Rodrigo Guerrero, Diego Luna, Lucrecia Martel, Eileen Rodriguez, Diego Ojeda, Alejandro Fernandes Almendras, and Carlos Brandao. Most of the films in the series were World or International Premieres.

2008 Sundance en Español Films:

ANYWHERE, U.S.A . (Director: Chusy Haney-Jardine; Screenwriters: Chusy Haney-Jardine, Jennifer Macdonald)—Told in three segments ranging from satirical to tragic, the film is a wildly original look at American manners, prejudices, and family dynamics.

BLUE EYELIDS (PÁRPADOS AZULES) / Mexico (Director: Ernesto Contreras) In this warm comedy, a woman wins a beach getaway trip for two, but her desperate search for someone to take with her leads to a complicated relationship and the revelation that she might be better off on her own.

MÁNCORA / Spain/Peru (Director: Ricardo de Montreuil)– A young man mourning the death of his father sets out with his estranged stepsister and her arrogant husband for adventures in the lush, picturesque beach town of Máncora, Peru.

PERRO COME PERRO (DOG EAT DOG)/Colombia (Director: Carlos Moreno)----In the crime world of Colombia, there is an unwritten code. When Víctor and Eusebio, two hoods who bungle a shake-down job, break that code, they unwittingly sign their own death sentence.

SLEEP DEALER/US-Mexico (Director: Alex Rivera)— Set in a near-future, militarizedworld marked by closed borders, virtual labor and a global digital network that joins minds and experiences, three strangers risk their lives to connect with each other and break the barriers of technology.

SMART PEOPLE PEOPLE/U.S.A. (Director: Noam Murro; Screenwriter: Mark Jude Poirier)—An acerbic and self-absorbed literature professor has alienated his son and turned his daughter into an overachieving, friendless teen. When his brother unexpectedly shows up at his door, the man is forced is to confront his own life. The film has a stellar cast including: Dennis Quaid, Sarah Jessica Parker, Thomas Haden Church and Ellen Page.

STRANDED: I’VE COME FROM A PLANE THAT CRASHED ON THE MOUNTAINS MOUNTAINS/ France (Director: Gonzalo Arijon)— For the first time ever, survivors of the famous 1974 Andes plane crash of the Uruguyan rugby team tell in their own words their harrowing story of survival, which included murder, cannibalism and a test of moral convictions.

SUGAR/US (Directors and Screenwriters: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck)—The filmmakers, who last teamed up for the Oscar-nominated HALF NELSON, chronicle the journey of Dominican baseball star Miguel "Sugar" Santos recruited from his native country to play in the U.S. minor leagues.

THE WOMEN OF BRUKMAN (LES FEMMES DE LA BRUKMAN) / Canada (Director: Issac Isitan)—Amidst Argentina’s financial collapse, workers take over a Buenos Aires men’s clothing factory and continue producing clothing on a self-management model. As the formerly poor become business managers, their lives are changed forever.

Sandy Mandelberger, Sundance FF Editor on

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