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The Redwood City International Latino Film Festival

Continuing with the tradition of offering the best in Latino cinema, Redwood City and the Latino Leadership Council are excited to be the sole hosts of the Redwood City International Latino Film Festival. For the fourth year in a row, the Festival brings three evenings of incredible, award-winning international Latino films and a fabulous gala kick-off event. The Redwood City International Latino Film Festival offers the best features, shorts, and documentaries from Latin America, Spain, and Latinos in the U.S. All films are with English subtitles.
All the details are at

The festival kicks off with a fabulous Gala Party “Noche de las Divas” followed by three evenings of exciting and award-winning international Latino films. The Redwood City International Latino Film Festival offers the best features, shorts, and documentaries from Latin America, Spain, and Latinos in the U.S.

The festival takes place November 6 - 8, 2009, in beautiful Downtown Redwood City. To start the festivities, the Gala Opening Reception “Noche de las Divas,” honors the opening film “Casi Divas” (Almost Divas). The reception is November 6 at 5 pm, in the San Mateo County History Museum in the dramatic rotunda under its magnificent stained glass dome.

Film screenings at the Century 20 Downtown Theatres are November 6th, 7th, and 8th. Special free community screenings are scheduled at Skyline College on November 4th, and Cañada College and College of San Mateo on November 5th. Film lovers from the local community and throughout the Bay Area will enjoy sixteen films including six features, five documentaries and five shorts from Mexico, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, San Salvador, Argentina and Spain. ALL FILMS ARE WITH ENGLISH SUBTITLES.

A great feast of films is promised at this renowned festival, as it brings a new level of culture and art to our community. The film festival showcases the best in new international Latino cinema, encourages emerging film talent, and pays tribute to celebrated Latino actors and directors – and Redwood City is pleased to host this fabulous event right in the heart of our Downtown.

Redwood City is fortunate to be collaborating with Sylvia Perel, the founder and long-time director of the International Latino Film Festival. Sylvia is curating the fabulous selection of movies for our Downtown festival, which celebrate the breadth and diversity of Latino culture through the powerful medium of film.

The entire community of the Bay Area is invited to join other film aficionados and festival novices alike at the Gala Opening Reception for Latino delicacies, wonderful beverages, and live entertainment, and then enjoy a fabulous weekend of award-winning Latino cinema. Tickets to each movie are $9 (Community College screenings are free).

Complete movie descriptions, event details, and ticket information are online now at

Here is the Festival’s schedule and great lineup of films at the Century 20 Downtown Theatres and free shows at three Community Colleges - the Redwood City International Latino Film Festival!

Friday, November 6th
5 pm - Gala Opening Reception! “NOCHE DE LAS DIVAS”
Under the Rotunda at the San Mateo County History Museum
$25 per person, includes Latino delicacies, beverages, and live entertainment

Friday, November 6th
6:45 pm - Casi Divas (Almost Divas) Directed by Issa Lopez, Mexico
A humorous and inspiring story about the dreams shared by four beautiful and ambitious women from four corners of Mexico. A shy indigenous girl from Oaxaca, a formerly chubby rich girl, a troubled factory worker from Ciudad Juarez, where women disappear and a flamboyant hairstylist from a poor section of Mexico City coincide in one thing: the search for fame and success. An intelligent comedy that touches on racism, gender identity, body image and the sex industry while it takes us on the road to the glamorous world of the “Almost Divas.” Winner of the Jury Award at the Los Angeles International Latino Film Festival.
9 pm - Calle 13: Sin Mapa (Calle 13: Without Maps) Directed by Marc De Beaufort, Puerto Rico
The band Calle 13’s innovative fusion of urban music with pan-regional sounds from across Latin America has garnered a Grammy, five Latin Grammy Awards, and worldwide critical acclaim. Calle 13’s lyrics are irreverent, their videos original, their concerts electrifying… We join the socially outspoken group on their journey across South America for an exploration of indigenous music and its ancestral culture.
Saturday, November 7th 

3:30 pm - La Vida Loca Directed by Christian Poveda, San Salvadore/France
140,000 gang members have torn apart life in California, Mexico and Central America. In Central America they are referred to as the “maras,” modeling themselves on Los Angeles youth gangs, these groups are now spreading terror in El Salvador and further afield. This phenomenon is, without a doubt, one of the most revealing aspects of Central American society, dominated for the past 30 years by "neo-liberal" governments; apostles. Cornered and lost, this generation’s answer is to repudiate everything through rebellion and death.
An homage to director Christian Poveda who was shot to death in El Salvador, the site of his documentary La Vida Loca about that country’s rampant gang activity.

5:30 pm – Espiral (Spiral) Directed by Jorge Pérez Solano, Mexico
(Preceded by award winner short Carretera del Norte/ Northern Highway Dir. Ruben Rojo).
This is the story of Diamantina and Araceli, two young women from the Oaxacan Mixtec who watch their men, Santiago and Macario, leave for the north in search of a better life. Santiago tries to raise money in order to marry Diamantina, whose father abides by the tradition of a marriage dowry. Macario is looking to alleviate his family’s poverty. When the men return to the village they try to recover what they had left behind, but things are no longer the same. Spiral is a generational story about patriarchal society, the power of community and family and the role of women who become the head of the family. Nominated for Best Film Award- Golden India Catalina, at the 2009 Cartagena Film

8 pm - Conozca la Cabeza de Juan Perez (Meet the Head of Juan Perez)
Directed by Emilio Portes, Mexico
(Preceded by award winner Café Paraíso, Dir. Alonso Ruizpalacios, Mexico)
In this hilarious comedy the severed head of Juan Perez the Great (a low life magician of a small urban circus) lies on a straw basket detached from its body, while recalling what led to its own decapitation. With Mexican dark humor and extraordinary acting, this film won the Mayahuel at the XXIII Guadalajara Film Festival, Mexico.

Sunday, November 8th
3 pm - La Estación del Olvido (The Station of the Forgotten)
Directed by Christian Molina, Spain
(Preceded by Made in Japan Dir. Ciro Altabán Spain)
This US premiere is the story of an unusual relationship between an old sailor distanced from the sea and a troubled youth. For one of them the path will be to forge the transition from adolescence to maturity, for the other, to understand the transition from old age to death.
5:15 pm – Malos Hábitos (Bad Habits)
Directed by Simón Bross, Mexico
(Preceded by Buen Provecho / Bon Appetite Dir. Eduardo Canto, Mexico)
A hit at Cannes and an award winner at Guadalajara, “Malos hábitos” is a deeply layered and visually stunning parable about food and faith, obsessions and appetite. Set in Mexico City during torrential rains, as the action builds to a crescendo, the constant downpour gives this film a magical edge and a claustrophobic beauty. This award-winning film is a drama with moments of humor and irony that gives us food for thought about our own eating habits. Winner at AFI Dallas Itn’l, Bogota, CineVegas Itn’l, Mayahuel Guadalajara, Los Angeles Latino Int’l, Silver Zenith Montreal World Film Festival, Grand Prix Bratislava Int’l.

7:45 pm - Un Novio para Mi Mujer (A Boyfriend for My Wife)
Directed by Juan Taratuto, Argentina
(Preceded by award winner Boletos por favor / Tickets Please Dir. Lucas Figueroa, Argentina)
A Boyfriend for my Wife, is a comedy that was the biggest hit of 2008 in Argentina. The film explores a couple’s relationship with and fresh, witty humor. “El Tenso” does not know how to face his wife, “La Tana” to tell her that he wants a divorce. Their relationship has become impossible. Will he finally find a solution to his problem?
Community College films – FREE:

November 4th
Skyline College, 6 pm - Ella es el Matador (She is the Matador) Directed by Celeste Carrasco/Gemma Cubero, Spain
For Spaniards — and for the world — nothing has expressed their country's traditionally rigid gender roles more powerfully than the image of the male matador. So sacred was the bullfighter's masculinity to Spanish identity that a 1908 law barred women from the sport. Ella es el matador reveals the surprising history of the women who made such a law necessary.

November 5th
College of San Mateo, 6 pm - Yai Wanonabalewa (The Enemy God) Directed by Christopher Bessette, Belize/USA/Venezuela
In the Amazon rainy forest of Venezuela, where the spirit world and the natural world merge, Shake reached the highest honor of a Yanomamö shaman by learning to send the Spirits to destroy his enemies. But this power brought bloody feuds with neighboring villages. reenacted and filmed in a Mayan village in Belize, and produced with the supported of US and Canadian filmmakers, for an international collaboration. Enemy God project is a multi-faceted initiative to raise awareness on behalf of indigenous people groups.
Cañada College, 6 pm - Quijote: Cabalgando por el Cine (Don Quijote: Galloping through the Movies) Directed by Javier Rioyo, Spain
Quijote cabalgando por el cine tells the adventures of the most famous knight and of his proud squire by following the graphic testimonies of about 40 productions from more than 15 countries which show the great influence the figure has had in the cinematographic creation. A fun, dynamic film that is faithful to adventurous spirit of the classic novel “galloping” from the silent to the current cinema.

Visit Redwood City’s award-winning website at for information about the City and its services, the community, recreation programs, education, and local business. Subscribe to Redwood City’s electronic newsletter or other City documents at

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