REEL TIME AT GALA: Showcasing Films from Mexico, Chile & Argentina

Presented at GALA Hispanic Theatre, by the Embassy of Mexico, Mexican Cultural Institute, Embassy of Chile, and Embassy of Argentina

Presented at GALA Hispanic Theatre, by the Embassy of Mexico, Mexican Cultural Institute, Embassy of Chile, and Embassy of Argentina 

Washington, D.C. — Celebrating its 40th anniversary, GALA Hispanic Theatre is pleased to present its 4th annual international film festival, REEL TIME AT GALA. Running December 9 through 13, 2015, the festival will screen seven films: five contemporary films (one U.S. premiere and four D.C. premieres) that focus on social and political issues that will resonate with audiences of many cultures, and two of Mexico’s greatest Golden Age classics. The festival will also include an art exhibition by an award-winning Chilean painter, prize drawings, post-film discussions with actors and directors, and receptions.

Hugo Medrano, GALA’s co-founder and producing artistic director, says, “We are proud to present our film series as part of our anniversary season. The festival is a showcase to explore the classics of Latin American cinema, as well as the works of new directors who have been shaped by those masterpieces. There are many young, adventurous filmmakers in Latin America today who have flourished, against all odds, and who are gaining recognition at international festivals. Their works combine a unique aesthetic with an astute socio-political perspective that deepens our understanding of issues confronting the region today. At GALA, we are carving a niche where these films and their creators can be seen and appreciated in a stimulating, intimate setting.” The festival is curated by Paulina Suarez of New York University, Cinema Studies.

All films will be shown in Spanish with English subtitles. The schedule is as follows:

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2015 (MEXICO)

7:00 p.m. — DISTINTO AMANECER (ANOTHER DAWN)
Directed by Julio Bracho, Mexico, 1943, 108 min. Classic Film.
Starring Andrea Palma and Pedro Armendáriz.

Considered one of the greatest Mexican movies of all time, this suspense-filled film noir tells the story of a union leader who is murdered by a corrupt governor. As his best friend and ex-flame try to piece together the evidence and expose the crime, they descend, during the course of a single night, into the Mexican underworld, full of shocking murders, shady characters, and, of course, sensational cabaret numbers.

Recently restored to its lustrous splendor, the film was hailed at the Museum of Modern Art’s recent “Mexico at Midnight” series. Post-film discussion with film critic and programmer Anne Wakefield. Wine reception follows.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2015 (CHILE)

6:00 p.m. — Reception for exhibit by Chilean painter Max Sir
Join Max Sir for the opening of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz Project, a series of paintings that pays homage to Latin American color and the fiery soul of Mexico’s Tenth Muse, the first feminist writer of the Hemisphere.

7:00 p.m. — PROPAGANDA
Directed by Christopher Murray, Chile, 2014, 82 min. Documentary.

This ground-breaking documentary tracks the fascinating, disturbing, and at times hilarious propaganda machine that was mobilized in the Chilean presidential campaign of 2013, during a period of major social turmoil. It offers an insightful and often wry glimpse into each of the political campaigns as it explores the meaning of politics and democracy in our contemporary world.

Winner, Special Jury Prize at the 2014 Santiago International Documentary Film Festival. Post-film Q&A with director Christopher Murray. Reception follows, hosted by the Embassy of Chile.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2015 (MEXICO)

7:00 p.m. — EN LA ESTANCIA (THE LAND OF SILENCE)
Directed by Carlos Armella, Mexico, 2014, 106 min.
Produced by Alejandro González Iñárritu.
Starring Gilberto Barraza, Waldo Facco, Jesús Vallejo, and Natalia Gatto.

When documentary filmmaker Sebastian travels to the dusty village of La Estancia, he discovers two sole inhabitants: the aged Don Jesús Vallejo and his son Juan Diego. Fascinated by their isolated lives, Sebastian begins to record their daily rituals. The intense friendship that arises is disrupted when Sebastian goes back to the city. Returning years later as promised, Juan Diego is mysteriously nowhere to be found. Winner, Best Director at the 2015 San Diego Latino Film Festival.

Post-film discussion with actor Gilberto Barraza. Reception follows, hosted by the Mexican Cultural Institute.

SATURDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2015 (MEXICO & ARGENTINA)

2:00 p.m. — LA GUERRA DE MANUELA JANKOVIC (MANUELA JANKOVIC’S WAR) (Mexico)
Directed by Diana Cardozo, Mexico, 2014, 93 min.
Starring Karina Gidi, Hector Kotsifakis, and Mimi Vukovic-Kuric.

Manuela, a Mexican woman of Yugoslavian descent, works as a cook and lives with her grandmother, a Serbian immigrant who escaped to Mexico during World War II. When the military conflict in the Balkans explodes in 1991, Manuela and her grandmother relive the anxious moments of war, preparing themselves as if the conflict were happening around the corner.

Nominated, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Art Direction at the 2015 Ariel Awards (Mexico). Post-film discussion.

7:00 p.m. — LULU (Argentina)

Directed by Luis Ortega, Argentina, 2014, 84 min.
Starring Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, Ailín Salas, and Daniel Melingo.

Lucas and Ludmilla are young, in love, and living a freewheeling existence on the streets of Buenos Aires. Oblivious to the working people around them, the city is a playground whose societal rules apply to all but them. For their mutual entertainment, Lucas engages in whimsical yet decidedly criminal activity, like impulsively robbing a pharmacy and peppering public monuments with gun blasts. Vibrant and flaunting an “anything-goes” quality, Lulu is a truly unique love story.

Nominated, Best Film in Progress (Encuentros Award), at the 2014 Miami International Film Festival. Post-film discussion. Reception follows, hosted by the Embassy of Argentina.

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 13, 2015 (MEXICO & CHILE)

2:00 p.m. — EN LA PALMA DE TU MANO (IN THE PALM OF YOUR HAND) (Mexico)
Directed by Roberto Gavaldón, Mexico, 1951, 90 min. Classic Film.
Starring Arturo de Córdova, Leticia Palma, and Ramón Gay.

One of the most spectacular crime dramas of the Golden Age, this film noir centers on fake fortune-teller Jaime Karin, who uses his wife to get information on future clients. When he learns that millionaire Vitto Romano has died after learning of his wife’s infidelity, Karin befriends the widow and inadvertently gets tangled in a web of passion, intrigue, and ambition. The film was a hit at the Museum of Modern Art’s recent “Mexico at Midnight” series.

Post-film discussion with film critic and programmer Anne Wakefield.

7:00 p.m. — LAS NIÑAS QUISPE (THE QUISPE GIRLS) (Chile)

Directed by Sebastián Sepúlveda, Chile, 2013, 80 min.
Starring Francisca Gavilán, Digna Quispe, Catalina Saavedra, and Alfredo Castro.

Based on a true story from 1974, this film tells the tale of sisters Justa, Lucia, and Luciana Quispe, three goat-herders in the Chilean altiplano who lead a solitary life. Deeply affected by the loss of another sister, they feel menaced by both news of a military expansion and a new law that might change their way of life. As history unfolds in the background, the women question their existence and course of action.

Winner, Best Cinematography (International Film Critics Week) at the 2013 Venice Film Festival. Post-film discussion.

TICKETS: General admission, $10. Purchase tickets at the door or at BookOfficeTickets.com
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Go to www.galatheatre.org or call (202) 234-7174.
LOCATION & PARKING: GALA Theatre is located at 3333 14th Street, NW in Columbia Heights. Unlimited parking is available for $4 after 5:00 p.m. in the Giant supermarket garage on Park Road NW, or one hour discount before 5:00 p.m. You must have ticket stamped at the theatre. GALA Theatre is also one block from the Columbia Heights Metro on the Green and Yellow lines.

ACCESSIBILITY: GALA Theatre is wheelchair accessible with elevator to both lobby and theatre seating.

SUPPORTERS/SPONSORS: Anonymous Donor, Embassy of Mexico in the United States, Embassy of Chile, and Embassy of Argentina, and Mexican Cultural Institute,

COMMUNITY PARTNERS: DC Independent Film Festival, Filmfest DC, Washington DC Film Society, and Women in Film & Video.

GALA MEDIA PARTNERS: Washington Hispanic, Capital Wire PR, El Informador News, LATINO, DC Latino News

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