Sundance Latino 2015: All Latino Films at the Festival by Section

Representing Latin American, U.S. Latino, and non-Latino artists who explore multicultural relationships from singular perspectives, the films at this year's Sundance Film Festival include an array of stories that showcase the diverse creative voices that exist within the Latino filmmaking community.

This list includes both films that have been created fully or partially by Latin American or U.S. Latino filmmakers, as well as those that deal with themes and ideas relevant to the Latino experience in or outside the Unites States, even if these were not created by Latino artists. The increasing interest in these stories testifies to how rapidly Latinos are becoming constant and strong voices in all areas of the film industry.

In order to highlight as many of these talented creators and films as possible, we’ve created a list that includes all the films at the festival that are helmed by or that incorporate Latino talent and those that focus on a specific aspect pertinent to the Latino community. Some are obvious standouts like Argentina's acclaimed dark comedy "Wild Tales" or Colombia's "Liveforever" from Carlos Moreno.

Then there are those who at first sight might not fit the parameters of what one could think is a Latino film. This is the case of films like Eli Roth's "Knock Knock," which is an English-language horror film whose co-writers, producers, and part of the cast are originally from Chile. There is also " Aloft," a drama in the Spotlight section, which is set between Canada and Minnesota and stars Jennifer Connelly. It was written and directed by Academy Award nominated Peruvian filmmaker Claudia Llosa.

The third case includes those films that deal with subjects that have Latino elements or that explore diversity in the U.S in some way. Examples of these are "The Strongest Man" from Kenny Riches, a film narrated in Spanish by its protagonist "Beef," a charming, yet lost Cuban-American man in Miami; or "Cartel Land" by Matthew Heineman, which focuses on the violence shared between Mexico and U.S due to the drug-fueled chaos that afflicts the region. On a lighter note, there are films like “City of Gold” by Laura Gabbert, in which Los Angeles is seen through its ethnic food and local idiosyncrasies.

In an effort to give exposure to those films in the program that don’t get as much attention, the list below starts with the Shorts Programs and ends with the Dramatic Premieres. Each title is linked to its page on the Sundance website where screening times and locations can be found. Regardless of what films you watch at the festival, it is likely that your eyes will be expose to the work of some amazingly talented Latino filmmaker, writer or actor, or those who appreciate our stories as much as we do.


"Spring" (Primavera) - Shorts Program 2

Latino Talent: Dir. Tania Claudia Castillo

Latino Theme: The short was created theough Mexico's renowned Centro de Capacitacion Cinematografica (Ccc), and it focuses on

Elba, an introverted, lonely 14-year-old, who wants to bond with her sister Fernanda before she leaves home.

"Papa Machete" - Shorts Program 3

Latino Theme: Two hundred years ago, Haitian slaves defeated Napoleon's armies with the same tool used to work the land: the machete. "Papa Machete" explores a martial art evolved from this victory through the practice of one of its few remaining masters.

"Making it in America" - Shorts Program 4

Latino Theme: A Salvadoran immigrant who fled to the United States as a teenager is now a single mother striving to build a future for her family in Los Angeles.

"Stop" - Shorts Program 5

Latino Talent: Dir. Reinaldo Marcus Green, Producer Rashaad Ernesto Green, Cinematographer Federico Cesca, Actors J.W. Cortes and Joshua Rivera.

Latino Theme: A young man's livelihood is put to the test when he is stopped by the police on his way home. Although not specific the Latino experience, the subject matter speaks to recent events involving minority groups and the use of excessive force by police

"Palm Rot" - Animation Spotlight

Latino Talent: Dir. Ryan Gillis Lizama

Latino Theme: An old Florida fumigator discovers a mysterious crate in the Everglades that ruins his day.

"The Sun Like a Big Dark Animal" (El Sol Como un Gran Animal Oscuro) - Animation Spotlight

Latino Talent: Directors Ronnie Rivera and Christina Felisgrau, Screenwriter Bernardo Britto, Producer Lucas Leyva

Latino Theme: This is Spanish-language short about a computer and a woman fall in love, only to be torn apart because of their inappropriate feelings for each other.

"{The And} Marcela & Rock" - Documentary Shorts Program 1

Latino Talent: Dir. Topaz Adizes, Assistant Directors Armando Croda and Sebastian Diaz

Latino Theme: Exploring the intimate spaces of modern-day relationships, this is the best couples therapy session you'll ever witness.

Special Events

Sundance Institute Short Film Challenge

Latino Talent: Directors Diego Luna, Gael García Bernal, Marialy Rivas

Latino Theme: Sundance Institute Short Film Challenge presents five winning narrative and documentary short films selected from 1,387 submissions representing 69 different countries.The project was designed to use the transformative power of storytelling to generate discussion, shift perceptions around extreme hunger and poverty, and harness the power of independent film to create a global conversation about these issues.

Sundance Kids

"The Game Maker" (El Inventor de Juegos)

Latino Talent: Dir. Juan Pablo Buscarini

New Frontier

"Liveforever" (Que Viva la Musica)

Latino Talent: Dir. Carlos Moreno, Screenwriters Alberto Ferreras and Alonso Torres, alongside the crew and cast.

Latino Theme: Hovering over the river that segregates Cali, Colombia, into haves and have-nots, a haunting presence identifies a perilous willingness among the populace to do anything that is asked of it. A blonde teenage girl, knowing she must change her life, leaves her well-appointed house and flagrantly gives herself over to this tolerant city, saying "yes" to everything provocative it offers her. Only the music tethers her body and spirit together, even as she reaches for redemption through a bold, delicious, and resplendent self-destruction. Inspired by the 1977 best-selling cult novel by Andres Caicedo.

Park City Midnight

"Knock Knock"

Latino Talent: Screenwriters Guillermo Amoedo & Nicolás López, Producers Miguel Asensio and Nicolás López, Cinematographer Antonio Quercia, Actresses Lorenza Izzo and Ana de Armas


Latino Talent: Dir. José Manuel Cravioto, Producers Alex Garcia, Rodolfo Marquez and Daniel Posada, Editor Jorge Macaya, Actress Bianca Malinowski



Latino Talent: Dir. Claudia Llosa

"Wild Tales" (Relatos Salvajes)

Latino Talent: Dir. Damián Szifrón, as well as most of the cast and crew.

Latino Theme: Nominated for the Best Foreign Language Academy Award, this Argentine marvel is conformed of 6 stories about people giving in to their most savage instincts. Forgiveness is out o the question because revenge has never been so deranged and insanely comedic.

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Latino Talent: Dir. Daniel Garcia

"Nasty Baby"

Latino Talent: Dir. Sebastián Silva, Producers David Hinojosa, Juan de Dios Larraín and Pablo Larraín

Latino Theme: Brooklyn artist Freddy (Sebastian Silva) is baby obsessed. His new project centers around newborns, and he and his boyfriend, Mo, have recruited their best friend, Polly (Kristen Wiig), to help them have a baby. On top of dealing with the stress of opening an art installation and the complications of conceiving a child via artificial insemination, the three begin to be harassed by The Bishop, a mentally ill neighborhood man. An escalating series of incidents threaten to derail the comfortable lives these people have built for themselves.


Latino Talent: Actress Kiki Kitana Rodriguez

Latino Theme: It's Christmas Eve in Tinseltown, and Sin-Dee is back on the block. Upon hearing that her pimp boyfriend hasn't been faithful during the 28 days she was locked up, the working girl and her best friend, Alexandra, embark on a mission to get to the bottom of the scandalous rumor. Their rip-roaring odyssey leads them through various subcultures of Los Angeles, including an Armenian family dealing with their own repercussions of infidelity.

"The Strongest Man"

Latino Talent: Actor Robert Lorie

Latino Theme: Beef is a beefy Cuban man who believes that he is The Strongest Man in the World. He doesn’t want children, but he wants to tell his grandchildren about his life as The Strongest Man in the World. His best friend is a slight Korean man named Conan. Conan makes him think about things he normally doesn’t think, like the fact that Beef thinks in Spanish, rather than English. Illy, the adopted daughter of a rich art collector, brings out an anxious side in Beef. But it is when his prized possession—a solid gold BMX bicycle—is stolen from him that Beef finds and loses so much more than he thought he could.

World Dramatic Competition

"The Second Mother"

Latino Talent: Dir. Anna Muylaert and her cast and crew

Latino Theme: Val is the kind of live-in housekeeper who takes her work seriously. She wears a crisp maid's uniform while serving perfect canapés; she serves her wealthy São Paulo employers day in and day out while lovingly nannying their teenage son whom she's raised since toddlerhood. Everyone and everything in the elegant house has its place until one day, Val’s ambitious, clever daughter Jessica arrives from Val’s hometown to take the college entrance exams. Jessica’s confident, youthful presence upsets the unspoken yet strict balance of power in the household; Val must decide where her allegiances lie and what she's willing to sacrifice.

U.S. Documentary Competition

"Cartel Land"

Latino Theme: In the Mexican state of Michoacán, Dr. Jose Mireles, a small-town physician known as "El Doctor," shepherds a citizen uprising against the Knights Templar, the violent drug cartel that has wreaked havoc on the region for years. Meanwhile, in Arizona's Altar Valley—a narrow, 52-mile-long desert corridor known as Cocaine Alley—Tim "Nailer" Foley, an American veteran, heads a small paramilitary group called Arizona Border Recon, whose goal is to halt Mexico’s drug wars from seeping across our border.

"City of Gold"

Latino Theme: As the unabashed cradle of Hollywood superficiality and smoggy urban sprawl, Los Angeles has long been condemned as a cultural wasteland. In the richly penetrating documentary odyssey City of Gold, Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold shows us another Los Angeles, where ethnic cooking is a kaleidoscopic portal to the mysteries of an unwieldy city and the soul of America.


Latino Theme: In his classic novel A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens famously wrote "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." That line sums up the story ofWestern, the latest film from Bill and Turner Ross, a documentary destined to become a classic itself. Eagle Pass, Texas, and Piedras Negras, Mexico, two towns on opposite sides of the border have shared a harmonious history until the specter of cartel violence threatens to divide them.

U.S. Dramatic Competition

"Me and Earl and the Dying Girl"

Latino Talent: Dir. Alfonso Gomez-Rejon


Latino Talent: Actors Tony Revolori, Michael Flores, Allen Maldonado, Lidia Porto, and Sergio Garcia

Latino Theme: Malcolm is a high school geek with a high-top fade, carefully navigating life in The Bottoms, one of the toughest neighborhoods in Inglewood, California. He and his fellow outcasts share a voracious appreciation for all things '90s hip-hop, opting to sport Cross-Colours and Z. Cavariccis at the risk of being clowned at school. He dreams of attending Harvard, but first he has to make it home every day. When a drug dealer takes a shine to Malcolm and invites him to his birthday party, Malcolm’s crew is swirled into a hilarious blender of offbeat characters and bad choices where redemption can only be found in Bitcoin.

"The Stanford Prison Experiment"

Latino Talent: Dir. Kyle Patrick Alvarez, Actors Moises Arias and Armand Vasquez

Documentary Premieres

"Fresh Dressed"

Latino Theme: With funky, fat-laced Adidas, Kangol hats, and Cazal shades, a totally original look was born—Fresh—and it came from the black and brown side of town where another cultural force was revving up in the streets to take the world by storm. Hip-hop, and its aspirational relationship to fashion, would become such a force on the market that Tommy Hilfiger, in an effort to associate their brand with the cultural swell, would drive through the streets and hand out free clothing to kids on the corner.

Dramatic Premieres


Latino Talent: Dir. Michael Almereyda and Actor John Leguizamo

"Last Days in the Desert"

Latino Talent: Dir. Rodrigo García and Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki

"Lila & Eve"

Latino Talent: Producers Tanya Lopez and Priscilla Porianda, Actors Jennifer Lopez, Andre Royo, Marisela Zumbado and Rey Hernandez

Latino Theme: When teenage Stephon is killed in a drive-by shooting, his mother, Lila, slips into a paralyzing grief. She joins a support group for women who have lost children to crime and meets Eve, a woman whose little girl was killed the same night as Stephon. Lila and Eve form a friendship, and Lila begins to crawl out of her depression. She develops a burning desire to find justice for her son, and she presses the authorities for answers, but they are slow-moving and ineffective. It’s Eve who has the idea first—join together, find the drug dealers who shot Stephon dead, and bring them to justice themselves.

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