Announcing the 7th Annual Neighboring Scenes Festival, February 24—28 at Film at Lincoln Center
Film still: Me & the Beasts

Announcing the 7th Annual Neighboring Scenes Festival, February 24—28 at Film at Lincoln Center

Neighboring Scenes, the annual wide-ranging showcase of contemporary Latin American cinema featuring established auteurs as well as fresh talent from the international festival scene

Film at Lincoln Center and Cinema Tropical
Announce the 7th Annual Neighboring Scenes:
New Latin American Cinema, February 24–28

Opening Night: Rodrigo Plá and Laura Santullo’s
THE OTHER TOM; Centerpiece: Lorenzo Vigas’s THE BOX

Including one international premiere, seven
North American premieres, and six U.S. premieres

Film at Lincoln Center and Cinema Tropical announce the seventh edition of Neighboring Scenes, the annual wide-ranging showcase of contemporary Latin American cinema featuring established auteurs as well as fresh talent from the international festival scene, February 24–28.

The selections in this year’s slate of premieres exhibit the expansive styles, techniques, and approaches of Latin American filmmakers today, representing a wide variety of countries including Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela.

Kicking off the festival is Opening Night selection The Other Tom, the fifth and most recent collaboration between Rodrigo Plá and Laura Santullo, who also wrote the novel on which it’s based. The Centerpiece selection is The BoxLorenzo Vigas’s complex psychological thriller that takes a critical look at Mexico’s maquiladora system.

Two Cannes 2021 Directors’ Fortnight selections to be presented are The Employer and the Employee, writer-director Manolo Nieto’s provocative Brazilian border-set drama starring Nahuel Pérez Biscayart [BPM (Beats Per Minute)]; and MedusaAnita Rocha da Silveira‘s visionary follow-up to Kill Me Please, a reinterpretation of the mythological Greek figure of the title in a misogynistic, Bolsonarist Brazil. Additional notable presentations include Aurora, director Paz Fábrega‘s delicate drama on motherhood and maternity; and Red StarSofía Bordenave‘s film essay revisiting the locations where the Russian Revolution occurred 100 years earlier.

The lineup showcases multiple New York, U.S., and international debuts such as the documentary Dirty Feathers, produced by Italian filmmaker Roberto Minervini and directed by Carlos Alfonso Corral, a sensitive portrayal of the residents of a homeless community on the U.S.-Mexico border; About Everything There Is to KnowSofía Velázquez‘s playful debut documentary set in Santiago de Chuco, birthplace of César Vallejo, one of the most important Latin American authors of the 20th century; Thais Fujinaga‘s The Joy of Things, from acclaimed Brazilian production collective Filmes de Plástico, portraying the routines of a middle-class family; Me & the Beasts, a deadpan comedy by Nico Manzano about finding meaning in the least expected of places; The Sky Is RedFrancina Carbonell’s powerful film about the 2010 fire at San Miguel prison in Santiago, Chile, using images from security cameras, archival audio, and extant documents; and Natalia Garayalde‘s potent 2021 Jeonju Film Festival Grand Prize–winner Splinters, revisiting footage she recorded in 1995 of a major military factory explosion in her hometown of Río Tercero (Argentina).

Neighboring Scenes also presents a dazzling array of short films, including León Siminiani‘s dystopian twist on Colombian history, The Stillness Syndrome, featuring filmmaker Luis Ospina; Dear Chantal, a moving tribute to filmmaker Chantal Akerman by Nicolás Pereda (Fauna); Sol de Campinas, from Jessica Sarah Rinland, following the work of a group of archeologists in a Brazilian city; Pablo Marin‘s mesmerizing Super-8-shot Light TrapAzucena Losana‘s Holiday, a visual journey through images of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo shot on 16mm; and Cristóbal León and Joaquín Cociña‘s (The Wolf House) stop-motion The Bones, winner of Best Short Film at the Venice Film Festival.

Organized by Carlos A. Gutiérrez and Cecilia Barrionuevo.

Acknowledgments:
The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at New York University, Daniella Schestatzky, Matias Piñeiro, Paola Buontempo,  Lydia Stevens, Mary Jane Marcasiano, Pilar Dirickson Garrett, Corey Sabourin.

Tickets will go on sale on February 11 at noon and are $15; $12 for students, seniors (62+), persons with disabilities, and Cinema Tropical subscribers; and $10 for Film at Lincoln Center members. See more and save with the purchase of an $80 All-Access Pass or $20 All-Access Pass for students. Learn more at filmlinc.org.

Proof of full vaccination is required for all staff, audiences, and filmmakers at FLC venues. FLC requires all guests to maintain face coverings consistent with the current CDC guidelines inside their spaces regardless of vaccination status. Additionally, FLC will adhere to a comprehensive series of health and safety policies in coordination with Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and state and city medical experts, while adapting as necessary to the current health crisis. Visit filmlinc.org/safety for more information.

announcing the 7th annual neighboring scenes festival february 24 28 at film at lincoln center
Film still: Me & the Beasts

FILMS & DESCRIPTIONS
All screenings will take place in the Walter Reade Theater (165 W. 65th St.) unless otherwise noted.

Opening Night
THE OTHER TOM / EL OTRO TOM
(Rodrigo Plá and Laura Santullo, Mexico/USA, 2021, 111 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. New York Premiere)
The fifth collaboration between the Uruguayan-Mexican creative duo of Rodrigo Plá and Laura Santullo (A Monster with a Thousand Heads), based on a novel by Santullo, tells the story of Elena, a working-class single mom and her nine-year-old son, Tom, who has been diagnosed with ADHD. Elena risks losing custody when she refuses to continue medicating Tom after an accident alerts her of his treatment’s side effects. Set in the border city of El Paso, Texas, this gripping and intimate drama is anchored by potent performances from Julia Chávez and Israel Rodriguez Bertorelli. 
Friday, February 24, 7pm (Q&A with Rodrigo Plá)

Centerpiece
THE BOX / LA CAJA
(Lorenzo Vigas, Mexico/USA, 2021, 92 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. New York Premiere)
The second fiction feature by Venezuelan director Lorenzo Vigas, whose From Afar was the first Latin American film to win the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, tells the story of Hatzín, a teenager from Mexico City who travels to the north of the country to collect the remains of his estranged father, who died under unknown circumstances. Yet an encounter with a man who shares a physical resemblance with his father fills him with doubts and hope about his dad’s true whereabouts. Vigas builds a complex psychological thriller around paternity while offering a critical look at Mexico’s maquiladora system.
Saturday, February 26, 9pm

ABOUT EVERYTHING THERE IS TO KNOW / DE TODAS LAS COSAS QUE SE HAN DE SABER
(Sofía Velázquez, Peru, 2021, 90 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. North American Premiere)
Sofia Velázquez’s playful documentary debut was made in Santiago de Chuco, an Andean town in northern Peru, where the writer César Vallejo—one of the most important Latin American authors of the 20th century—was born and raised. The isolated town was also the main setting for the writer’s poems. Using the pretense of a casting call, the filmmaker records first-person tales to portray the memories of different people and, through them, that of an entire town. About Everything There Is to Know is an endearing film about fortuitous encounters informed by the legacy and aura of a literary icon.

Preceded by THE STILLNESS SYNDROME / SÍNDROME DE LOS QUIETOS(León Siminiani, Colombia/Spain, 2021, 31 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. U.S. Premiere)
Using a hypothetical syndrome of stillness as an anchor, filmmaker Léon Siminiani delves into the idiosyncrasies and history of Colombia, a playful dystopian essay featuring the late filmmaker Luis Ospina as its protagonist.
Saturday, February 26, 1:15pm

AURORA
(Paz Fábrega, Costa Rica/Mexico/Panama, 2021, 93 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. North American Premiere)
At 17, Yuliana has become pregnant, though she doesn’t want to be, and she doesn’t want to know who the father is. After her teacher Luisa discovers Yuliana’s secret, she decides to help, though this alters their lives and fosters a complex and intense relationship. In her third feature, Costa Rican director Paz Fábrega delicately dramatizes different perspectives on motherhood and maternity, creating a film about the limits afforded by social structures, established mandates, legal resources, and acquired responsibilities.
Sunday, February 27, 2pm

DIRTY FEATHERS
(Carlos Alfonso Corral, Mexico/USA, 2021, 75 min. In Spanish and English with English subtitles. New York Premiere)
This remarkable debut feature by Mexican-American photographer and director Carlos Alfonso Corral, produced by Italian filmmaker Roberto Minervini, is a lyrical and sensitive documentary that intimately portrays the residents of a homeless community on the U.S.-Mexico border, including a recently married couple, a grieving father, a war veteran, and a 16-year-old girl. Shot on the streets of El Paso and Ciudad Juárez in sobering black and white, this vérité-style film is a raw yet profoundly compassionate and respectful portrait of people living on the edge. A selection of the Panorama at Berlinale Film Festival in 2021. 

Preceded by HOLIDAY / FERIADO (Azucena Losana, Brazil/Argentina/Mexico, 2021, 2 min. In Portuguese with English subtitles. North American Premiere)
Images from Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo filmed in 16mm are set to the words of Bruno Negrão’s poem “E se Jesus fosse preto?”
Sunday, February 27, 4:15pm (Introduction by producer Roberto Minervini)

THE EMPLOYER AND THE EMPLOYEE / EL EMPLEADO Y EL PATRÓN
(Manolo Nieto, Uruguay/Argentina/Brazil/France, 2021, 110 min. In Spanish, Portuguese and French with English subtitles. U.S. Premiere)
In his third feature, Uruguayan writer-director Manolo Nieto (The Dog PoundThe Militant) continues his insightful and provocative examination of class conflict with a slow-burn drama set in the countryside, close to the Brazilian border. Acclaimed Argentine actor Nahuel Pérez Biscayart [BPM (Beats Per Minute)] stars as Rodrigo, a young landowner whose most pressing concern is his baby’s health. He hires Carlos, an inexperienced teenager looking for a job to support his own newborn. Despite a growing connection between them, an unexpected event will strain their bond and put their families in danger.
Monday, February 28, 8:45pm

THE JOY OF THINGS / A FELICIDADE DAS COISAS
(Thais Fujinaga, Brazil, 2021, 87 min. In Portuguese with English subtitles. North American Premiere)
During a suffocating summer, the very pregnant Paula heads off to a remote beach house with her two children and mother. Paula means to install a large pool on the property, but after the huge ditch is dug there’s no money left to finish the project. Crises both economic and marital loom. In this debut feature, produced by acclaimed Brazilian production collective Filmes de Plástico, Thais Fujinaga portrays the routines of a middle-class family, full of broken promise, in search of escape and happiness.

Preceded by DEAR CHANTAL / QUERIDA CHANTAL (Nicolás Pereda, Mexico/Spain, 2021, 5 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. U.S. Premiere)
Some unanswered letters, an apartment for rent in the Mexico City neighborhood of Coyoacán, a painting that doesn’t quite find its place, and reflections on cinema and life. The latest film from New York Film Festival alum Nicolas Péreda is a moving tribute to filmmaker Chantal Akerman.
Monday, February 28, 6:15pm (Q&A with Thais Fujinaga)  

ME & THE BEASTS / YO Y LAS BESTIAS
(Nico Manzano, Venezuela, 2021, 78 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. North American Premiere)
Andrés is a frustrated musician still living with his mother and unhappy at his job. To make things worse, he’s kicked out of his band for political differences with the other members. Meanwhile, Venezuela’s economic crisis worsens, and many of his friends flee the country looking for opportunities abroad. One day, he encounters two mysterious masked beings who inspire him to compose music. This debut feature by director Nico Manzano, who also wrote the film’s songs and served as cinematographer, is a deadpan comedy about finding meaning in the least expected of places.
Saturday, February 26, 6:45pm 

MEDUSA
(Anita Rocha da Silveira, Brazil, 2021, 127 min. In Portuguese with English subtitles. New York Premiere)
During the day a clique of female teenagers dedicate themselves to prayer, choreography, singing, and recording videos for social networks. At night, wearing white masks, they hunt down sinful women and punish them by cutting their faces, a mark of eternal damnation. Set against the darkness of night and the glow of neon lights, Anita Rocha da Silveira’s visionary follow-up to Kill Me Please reinterprets the myth of Medusa in a conservative, misogynistic, Bolsonarist Brazil. A selection of the Cannes Film Festival’s Directors’ Fortnight in 2021. A Music Box Films release.
Friday, February 25, 6:15pm (Q&A with Anita Rocha da Silveira) 

MY BROTHERS DREAM AWAKE / MIS HERMANOS SUEÑAN DESPIERTOS
(Claudia Huaiquimilla, Chile, 2021, 85 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. New York Premiere)
Winner of the Best Film Awards at the Guadalajara and Valdivia film festivals, the second feature by Mapuche director Claudia Huaiquimilla follows Ángel and his younger brother Franco, who are incarcerated in a juvenile prison. Despite the difficulties, they have formed a group of friends with whom they spend their days sharing dreams of freedom. Everything changes when the arrival of a rebellious young man offers a possible escape. Inspired by real events, the film features a cast that includes nonprofessional actors Iván Cáceres and César Herrera and popular star Paulina García (Gloria).
Sunday, February 27, 8:30pm

RED STAR / ESTRELLA ROJA
(Sofía Bordenave, Argentina, 2021, 73 min. In English with Spanish subtitles. International Premiere)
A leading Bolshevik physician and philosopher once imagined a Communist future on Mars. This film essay by Sofía Bordenave journeys into the past, revisiting the locations where the Russian Revolution occurred 100 years earlier, using different present-day perspectives: Katya recounts events at Saint Petersburg’s Field of Mars, while Nikita and Karl move along the rooftops of the city looking for historical traces. Red Star brings the past into the present, stopping at the moment when “the future was infinite.” Winner of the Critics Award for Best First Film at the Mar del Plata Film Festival.

Preceded by SOL DE CAMPINAS (Jessica Sarah Rinland, Brazil, 2021, 26 min. In Portuguese with English subtitles. North American Premiere)
This film brings to light the work of a group of archeologists carrying out excavations in a square in a Brazilian city. The soil and the objects move from the ground to the laboratory, fragments that hold the memory of a people.
Saturday, February 26, 4pm (Q&A with Sofía Bordenave and Jessica Sarah Rinland)

THE SKY IS RED / EL CIELO ESTÁ ROJO 
(Francina Carbonell, Chile, 2021, 75 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. U.S. Premiere)
Francina Carbonell’s powerful debut feature uses images from security cameras, archival audio, and extant documents, all part of a court filing, to narrate the story of the 2010 fire at San Miguel prison in Santiago, Chile, where 81 people died. “I feel that the officers working then executed our sons, they condemned them to death,” says a voice in one of the recordings. “A group of people who didn’t open the gates at the right time, who didn’t have their protocols in check, who didn’t even know who was on the tower.” Through the smoke, The Sky Is Red extrapolates images, mixes temporalities, and renders the invisible visible: the daily lives of those who already lost the right to everything.

Preceded by THE BONES / LOS HUESOS
(Cristóbal León and Joaquín Cociña, Chile, 2021, 14 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. U.S. Premiere)
Winner of the Best Short Award at the Venice Film Festival, this animated stop-motion film narrates the unearthing of corpses for an expiatory ritual that seeks to free Chile from its authoritarian and oligarchic past.
Friday, February 25, 9:15pm

SPLINTERS / ESQUIRLAS
(Natalia Garayalde, Argentina, 2020, 70 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. U.S. Premiere)
In November 1995, 12-year-old Natalia Garayalde used a camcorder to capture a major explosion at a nearby military factory in her hometown of Río Tercero. The accident, which destroyed part of the city, left seven people dead, injured over 300, and became a major political scandal as it exposed a cover-up: Argentina’s sale of missiles to Croatia and Ecuador. Decades later, director Garayalde revisits that archival footage to tell a poignant story of memory, family, and history. Her potent debut feature has won numerous awards, including the Grand Prize for Best Film at the Jeonju Film Festival and the Cinema Tropical Award for Best Documentary.

Preceded by LIGHT TRAP / TRAMPA DE LUZ
(Pablo Marin, Argentina, 2021, 9 min. North American Premiere)
A fragment of the world offered to the light, the very essence of a life, shot on Super-8mm film. “Fire insubstantial, sacred and enclosed, earthly fragment to the light exposed.” (Paul Valéry, The Graveyard by the Sea). Winner of the Principal Online Prize at the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen.
Sunday, February 27, 6:15pm (Q&A with Natalia Garayalde)

WHO

About Cinema Tropical
New York-based Cinema Tropical is the leading presenter of Latin American cinema in the United States. Founded in 2001 with the mission of distributing, programming, and promoting what has become the largest boom of Latin American cinema in decades, CT brought U.S. audiences some of the first screenings of films such as Amores perros and Y tu mamá también. Through a diversity of programs and initiatives, CT is thriving as a dynamic and groundbreaking 501(c)(3) non-profit media arts organization experimenting in the creation of better and more effective strategies for the distribution, exhibition, and support of foreign cinema and its communities in this country. In 2021 and 2011, coinciding with Cinema Tropical's 20th and 10th anniversaries, respectively, the Museum of Modern Art paid tribute to the organization with two retrospective series.

About Film at Lincoln Center
Film at Lincoln Center is dedicated to supporting the art and elevating the craft of cinema and enriching film culture. Film at Lincoln Center fulfills its mission through the programming of festivals, series, retrospectives, and new releases; the publication of Film Comment; and the presentation of podcasts, talks, special events, and artist initiatives. Since its founding in 1969, this nonprofit organization has brought the celebration of American and international film to the world-renowned Lincoln Center arts complex, making the discussion and appreciation of cinema accessible to a broad audience and ensuring that it remains an essential art form for years to come.

Cinema Tropical's programs are made possible with the support of the
New York State Council on the Arts. They are also supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership
with the City Council, the National Endowments for the Arts, the Academy o
f Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, and the Sundance Institute.
WHEN
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