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Caribbean and Cuban programming to be featured at the 29th annual New Orleans Film Festival

September 05, 2018 12:00 PM
Riley Moran

The 29th annual New Orleans Film Festival will be held from October 17 – October 25, 2018, in participating venues across New Orleans. Born in a city known for its eclectic and artistic vibrancy, the New Orleans Film Festival (NOFF) has sought out bold and passionate storytellers since 1989. It is the longest-running festival of its kind in the state of Louisiana and one of the largest film festivals in the South. Now in its 29th year, the New Orleans Film Festival has grown into an internationally respected annual event.

The 2018 lineup boasts the most diverse line-up in the festival's history featuring thought-provoking films that represent a wealth of perspectives. The Stone Center for Latin American Studies and the Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute are sponsoring a number of films from and about the Caribbean and the Caribbean diaspora, particularly those that speak to the historical and cultural ties between New Orleans and the Caribbean in a series titled Caribbean Voices.

On Thursday, October 25, the closing film A Tuba to Cuba follows New Orleans’ famed Preservation Hall Jazz Band as they retrace their musical roots from the storied city of jazz to the shores of Cuba where they explore their musical roots and connection between the Crescent City and the island. The film will be followed with a special performance from the band.

For more information on tickets, passes, and film packages, visit the NOFF website.

Below are the films that feature Latinx experiences set in the Americas. A full list of film selections and synopses may be found here.

Closing Night Film
Thursday, October 25
A Tuba to Cuba

dir. T.G. Herrington, Danny Clinch
A Tuba to Cuba follows New Orleans' famed Preservation Hall Jazz Band as they retrace their musical roots from the storied city of jazz to the shores of Cuba and in turn discover a connection that runs much deeper than could have been imagined.

Caribbean Voices
Black Mother
dir. Khalik Allah

Part film, part baptism, this non-fiction work explores the threshold between the prostitutes and churches of Jamaica, creating a visual symphony of poignant human portraits.

Cabeza Madre (Mother’s Head)
dir. Edouard Salier

John, an ordinary American guy receives word that his estranged mother has passed away in her home country of Cuba. On his arrival in the Caribbean, the straight-laced John is a fish out of water, discovering that his mother was mixed up with a motley crew of criminals.

Los Viejos (The Oldies)
dir. Rosana Matecki

A timeless look at art, love and beauty, The Oldies follows three elderly Cuban musicians as they relate their stories of struggle and reveal their undying passion for life. Watch the trailer here.

dir. Kristian Mercado

An estranged family tries to reconnect amid the wreckage of post-Hurricane Maria Puerto Rico.

Pèp Souvren (Sovereign People)
dir. Jose Hiriart

Two Haitian grassroots activists take different approaches to struggling with their country's obstacle-riddled election process. Watch the trailer here.

Tourments d’Amour (Torments of Love)
dir. Caroline Jules

A film from Guadeloupe based on hidden love and untold feelings between two sisters in their thirties and their distant father. Watch the trailer here.

Ser Grande (When I Grow Up)
dir. Karen Rossi

Three Caribbean teenagers face limitations and fears as they dive into their emotional selves. Watch the trailer here.

Change Makers
This Taco Trunk Kills Fascists
dir. Rodrigo Dorfman

Jose Torres-Tama is on a mission: to create a revolutionary Taco Truck Theatre with a simple message: ‘No guacamole for immigrant haters.' Watch the trailer here.

Documentary Features
dir. Erick Stoll, Chase Whiteside

América is a story of brothers confronting the chasm between adolescent yearning and adult realities when brought together to care for their ailing 93-year-old grandmother.

The Unafraid
dir. Heather Courtney, Anayansi Prado

A look at the personal lives of three DACA students in Georgia, a state that has banned them from attending their top state universities and disqualifies them from receiving in-state tuition at any other public college. Watch the trailer here.

Narrative Shorts
And We Stood Still
dir. Ilana Coleman

Veronica travels to a town in the Mexican jungle to search for her daughter, encountering a microcosm of failed bureaucracy, corruption, and villagers who search for and remember those who have disappeared.

dir. Juan Pablo Daranas Molina

A Cuban immigrant tries to find her place in New York City. Watch the trailer here.

dir. Thais Drassinower

An unnerving encounter with her estranged father at a night club while on a weekend back home in Lima is enough to remind Lia that there are many unhealed wounds.

Documentary Shorts
American Dreaming
dir. Matthew Hashiguchi

Undocumented immigrants strive to obtain a college degree in the state of Georgia, where they are barred from enrolling in its most selective colleges and universities. Watch the trailer here.

De Colores
dir. Luz Marina Zamora

A portrait of a woman who came to the United States as a sweet lamb and became a fierce tiger. Watch trailer here.

Karukéra Blues
dir. Pierre Huberson

An immersive journey through the islands of Guadeloupe from a diasporic vantage. Watch the trailer here.

La Flaca (The Bony Lady)
dir. Adriana Barbosa, Thiago Zanato

A film about Arely Vazquez, a transgender woman and leader of the Santa Muerte (Saint Death) Cult in Queens, New York. Watch the trailer here.

Negra Soy (Black, I Am)
dir. Laura Bermudez

Three women and a little girl symbolize through their stories the yearning of the Garífuna community of punta gorda, the first Garífuna community in the history of Honduras. Watch the trailer here.

dir. Sebastián Pinzón Silva

An ode to a small town that has greatly contributed to the collective memory of Colombia: San Basilio de Palenque, the first town in the Americas to have broken free from European domination. Watch the trailer here.

Santuario (Sanctuary)
dir. Christine Delp, Pilar Timpane

In Greensboro, NC, a small church community offers sanctuary to Juana Luz Tobar Ortega, a Guatemalan grandmother threatened with deportation after 25 years of living and working in the United States. Watch the trailer here.

Louisiana Shorts
Miedo de Monos (Fear of Monkeys)
dir. Michael Arcos

My father told me a story about why he is afraid of monkeys. His fear dates back to 1958 in Ecuador. This is what happened. Watch the trailer here.

Experimental Shorts
Armageddon 2
dir. Corey Hughes

In Cuba, where internet is very slow, movies, television, and information are exchanged through a black market system of media distribution via external hard drives known as el paquete semanal. Watch the trailer here.