Spanish Film Festival poster with movie titles and viewing dates.

Welcome to the Central Michigan University 2021 Spanish Film Festival! We invite you to join us as we view six films this semester. The films are recent releases in Spanish with English subtitles. All but one (*) will stream online via digital streaming platforms. All of the films are multiple award and prize-winners, each at multiple international film festivals.


Perro Bomba

STREAMING ACCESS WEEK: February 22 - 28
DIR. JUAN CÁCERES / CHILE, FRANCE / 2019 / 80 MIN / Spanish and Creole with English subtitles
Download Perro Bomba CMU event poster

With Steevens Benjamin, Alfredo Castro, Blanca Lewin, Gastón Salgado, Junior Valcin, Erto Pantoja, Daniel Antivilo

Steevens is a young Haitian immigrant living a challenging, but somewhat stable life in Santiago de Chile. He has a construction job, a home, friends, and fun. This precariously balanced life is disrupted when Junior, a childhood friend from Haiti, arrives in Chile seeking assistance from Steevens to establish himself. Junior has entered Chile without papers and doesn’t speak any Spanish. Steevens does everything he can to support his friend and even manages to get him a job with his employer. When an incident at their workplace erupts racial tensions and stokes a large anti-immigration sentiment in the city, Steveens loses his working documents. Now without a job, Steveens has to vacate his home and is left to wander the city, looking for a chance to restart his life beyond the margins of society. 

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Juan Cáceres graduated from the University of Chile and started his career as a filmmaker directing the short fiction film Desiderium in 2016, which premiered at the Santiago International Film Festival (SANFIC). In 2017 he directed La Duda, which also premiered at SANFIC and then went on to an international tour that included Havana, São Paulo, and Toulouse film fests. Perro Bomba is his feature film debut. The film was selected for some of the most prestigious Work in Progress industry events and won several development awards. It was the biggest winner at Guadalajara Construye, the festival’s Works in Progress section. Perro Bomba had its world premiere at the 2019 HBO Ibero-American Feature Film Competition at the Miami International Film Festival.

Streaming Access for Perro Bomba

User Name: SFC@CentralMichiganUniversity
Password: 6peliculas

  • Beginning Feb. 18 in Spanish Film Festival at CMU 2021 TEAM: View recorded introduction by Dr. Vania Barraza Toledo (Chile-U of Memphis), specialist in Latin American cinematography.

  • Monday, March 1 at 7 p.m. in Spanish Film Festival at CMU 2021 TEAM: Discussion and Q&A with film director Juan Cáceres and Central Michigan University panelists Stan Shingles, Interim Chief Diversity Officer from the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, Dr. Nikita Murry, Director of the Office of Diversity Education, Mimi González-Barillas, Diversity Communications Specialist from the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, and Dr. Cedric Taylor, faculty member in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work.

Monos

 

*ON CAMPUS SCREENING DATES:
Tuesday, March 9 at 7 p.m. in Pearce 127 and
Thursday, March 11 at 6 p.m. in Pearce 127
DIR. ALEJANDRO LANDES / COLOMBIA /103 MIN / 2019 / Spanish with English subtitles.
Download Monos CMU event poster

With Sofía Buenaventura, Julián Giraldo, Karen Quintero, Laura Castrillón, Deiby Rueda, Paul Cubides, Sneider Castro, Moises Arías, Julianne Nicholson, Wilson Salazar, Jorge Román, Valeria Solomonoff. 

Monos is a breathtaking survivalist saga set on a remote mountain in Latin America. The film tracks a young group of soldiers and rebels -- bearing names like Rambo, Smurf, Bigfoot, Wolf and Boom-Boom -- who keep watch over an American hostage, Doctora (Julianne Nicholson).

FILM SYNOPSIS
A crossroad between Apocalypse Now, Lord of the Flies, and Embrace of the Serpent, Alejandro Landes’s Monos tracks a young group of soldiers and rebels who run wild in the mountains of an unspecified South American country, while keeping watch over an American hostage, Doctora. The teenage commandos perform military training exercises by day and indulge in youthful hedonism by night, an unconventional family bound together under a shadowy force known only as The Organization. After an ambush drives the squadron into the jungle, both the mission and the intricate bonds between the group begin to disintegrate. Order descends into chaos and, within Monos, the strong begin to prey on the weak in this vivid, cautionary fever-dream.

In his awe-inspiring third feature, Landes examines the chaos and absurdity of war from the unique perspective of adolescence in a way that feels wholly original, thrusting his diverse young cast into an unforgiving, irrational, and often surreal environment where anything can happen — even peace. The film’s sense of surreal menace is amplified by Mica Levi’s discordant soundscape and Jasper Wolf’s cinematography.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Alejandro Landes is a Colombian director, writer, and producer. His directorial debut Cocalero, a documentary about Bolivian coca grower Evo Morales’s unlikely campaign to become the country’s first Indigenous president, was theatrically released in over 20 countries. His second film, Porfirio, went on to premiere in Cannes Directors’ Fortnight 2011 and won top prizes at many international film festivals. Monos, Landes’ third film, had its World Premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, where it won a Special Jury Prize. In addition to filmmaking, Landes has a passion for architecture and designed a modernist house in Miami, Casa Bahia, which won an Architizer award in 2016.

Screening Information for Monos

*This film will be screened for in-person viewing only, in Pearce 127 Auditorium. Limited audience capacity of 25 viewers each night; social distancing will be assured and mask wearing will be required.  Register your attendance here.
 


The Infiltrators

 


STREAMING ACCESS WEEK: March 20-26
DIR. ALEX RIVERA & CRISTINA IBARRA / USA / 95 MIN / 2019 / Spanish with English subtitles

With Maynor Alvarado, Chelsea Rendon, Manuel Uriza, Juan Gabriel Pareja, Vik Sahay

A true story of young immigrants who get detained by U.S. Border Patrol—on purpose—and put in a shadowy for-profit detention center. Marco and Viri are members of a group of radical Dreamers on a mission to stop deportations, and they believe the best place to do that is in detention.

FILM SYNOPSIS
Cristina Ibarra and Alex Rivera’s powerfully inventive docu-thriller — a prison escape drama in reverse — tells the incredible true story of Marco and Viri, two members of the Dreamer-led National Immigrant Youth Alliance who embark on a mission to stop deportations from within a for-profit immigration detention center. Intentionally getting themselves detained, the two young activists find themselves living among hundreds of multinational immigrants — all imprisoned without trial. As they discover a nightmarishly complex institution, they work undercover to impede some of the imminent deportations. Interlacing documentary footage of the real “infiltrators” with scripted re-enactments, The Infiltrators is both a gripping account of a high-stakes mission and an urgent, vital portrait of a group of inspirational young people fighting for change.

Note: Since the film’s debut at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, ICE has deported Claudio Rojas back to Argentina in what the filmmakers believe to be an act of retaliation for his participation in the film.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Alex Rivera has been telling new, urgent, and visually adventurous Latino stories for more than twenty years. His first feature film, Sleep Dealer, won multiple awards at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival and the Berlin International Film Festival. Rivera’s second feature film, The Infiltrators, won both the Audience Award and the Innovators Award in the NEXT section of the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.

Cristina Ibarra is a brown border crosser and an award-winning independent filmmaker with roots along the Texas/Mexico border. The New York Times called her previous documentary, Las Marthas, “a striking alternative portrait of border life.” It premiered on Independent Lens in 2014 and was awarded the Best US Latino Film by Cinema Tropical. USA Today describes The Last Conquistador, her feature documentary collaboration that premiered on POV in 2008, as “Heroic”. Her directorial debut, Dirty Laundry: A Homemade Telenovela, was broadcast on PBS.


Streaming Access for The Infiltrators
User Name: SFC@CentralMichiganUniversity
Password: 6peliculas


The Queen of Spain

 


STREAMING ACCESS WEEK: March 29 - April 4
DIR. FERNANDO TRUEBA / SPAIN / 128 min / 2017 / Spanish with English subtitles

With Penélope Cruz, Antonio Resines, Jorge Sanz, Clive Revill, Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Arturo Ripstein, Santiago Segura, Javier Cámara, Loles León, Rosa María Sardà, Neus Asensi, Chino Darín

Famous movie star Macarena Granada (Penelope Cruz) flees the glitz and glamour of 1950s Hollywood to return to her roots in Spain, where she has signed on to star in an epic film as Queen Isabella of Spain.

FILM SYNOPSIS
Oscar®-winning director Fernando Trueba, brings together an all-star cast for a lavish homage to 1950s Spanish cinema. A spirited film-within-a-film, The Queen of Spain is an artful rendering of breathtaking costumes, rich visuals and madcap fun, unpredictably melding Hollywood’s studio system with that of fascist-era Spain.

After enjoying a successful career in Hollywood, Spanish actress Macarena Granada (a luminous Penélope Cruz) returns home to play Queen Isabella in an epic period film that has the local media buzzing. Once in Spain, she runs into former friends and colleagues while the film production goes through a roller coaster of emotional scenarios, including the return of a once-famous director, passionate affairs between crew members, and the hovering presence of Franco’s regime.

The film is brimming with intriguing historical references, such as a blacklisted American screenwriter (Mandy Patinkin) who, in an apparent nod to Hollywood Ten member Alvah Bessie, is said to have fought with the Abraham Lincoln Brigade during the Spanish Civil War. The Glamorous movie stars, blacklisted writers, campy production designers, fabulous sets, and hunky grips all coming together to make movies and snub their noses at Generalissimo Franco. This is a delight from first moment to last—a mixture of affectionate and not-so-affectionate satire that hits its targets dead center.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Fernando Trueba was born in Madrid, Spain, in 1955. Since making his directing debut with Opera prima in 1980, this director and screenwriter has made a further 15 award-winning films. Belle Epoque won the Oscar® for Best Foreign Language Film as well as nine Goyas; his animated film Chico & Rita was also nominated for an Oscar®. His films have screened frequently at the Berlinale. He won a Silver Bear in 1987 for El año de las luces, and Belle Epoque and La niña de tus ojos also screened in the Competition. He has so far won two Grammys and five Latin Grammys for his work as a music producer.

Streaming Access for The Queen of Spain

User Name: SFC@CentralMichiganUniversity
Password: 6peliculas


Don't Call Me Son

 


STREAMING ACCESS WEEK: April 10-16
DIR. ANNA MUYLAERT / BRAZIL / 82 min / 2016 / Portuguese with English subtitles

With Naomi Nero, Daniel Botelho, Dani Nefussi, Matheus Nachtergaele, Lais Dias, Luciana Paes, Helena Albergaria, June Dantas, Renan Tenca, Luciano Bortoluzzi

Tall, dark, androgynously handsome, Pierre wears eyeliner and a black lace g-string, while having sex with both boys and girls. The confusion only goes deeper when the teenager’s single, working-class mom is arrested for having stolen him (and his “sister”) at birth. Thanks to the wonders of DNA, he’s returned to his biological parents: bourgeois, straight-laced and thrilled to have him back—at least until he joins them at a bowling alley in a zebra-print mini dress. 

FILM SYNOPSIS
This poignant coming-of-age film from Brazil is focused on Pierre, seventeen and in the middle of puberty. Ever since his father’s death, his mother Aracy has looked after him and his younger sister Jacqueline, spoiling them both. But when his mother is arrested for having stolen him from a hospital when he was a newborn baby, Pierre’s life changes dramatically. His biological parents Gloria and Matheus have spent seventeen years searching for him; they are now desperate to make up for the lost years and spend time with their eldest son, whom they call Felipe. Observed from a critical distance by his younger brother Joca, Pierre/Felipe moves in with his well-heeled new family, who are determined to mould him according to their ideals. But Pierre has his own designs for his life.

The turmoil of adolescence is plumbed with wit and compassion by award winning director Anna Muylaert, whose earlier film, THE SECOND MOTHER, also in Pragda´s catalog, dealt with familial loyalty and class tensions as well.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Born in São Paulo in 1964, Anna Muylaert studied cinema at ECA/ USP where she directed many shorts, among them the awarded The Origin of Babies (winner best film São Paulo Film Festival). She has directed the feature films Durval Discos (2002), winner of the Jury, Critics and Audience awards for Best Film at Festival de Gramado; É Proibido Fumar (2008), winner of the Jury and Critics awards for Best Film at Festival de Brasilia; Collect Call (2013); and The Second Mother (2015) which won the Special Jury Award for Acting at Sundance Film Festival and the Audience Award for Best Film in the Panorama Section at the Berlin Film Festival. The Second Mother was sold to over 30 countries. Don’t Call Me Son is her newest film.

Muylaert was a film reviewer at Estadão and Isto É. She was on the creation team of the children’s TV series Mundo da Lua and the hugely successful Castelo Ratimbum, at TV Cultura. She also collaborated on the scripts of the features O Ano em que Meus Pais saíram de Férias and Xingu by Cao Hamburger, Praia do Futuro by Karim Ainouz, and the TV series Filhos do Carnaval, Alice and Preamar, at HBO. In 2013 she directed the teleplay Alem de tudo me deixou mudo o violão and was the director the TV series As Canalhas.

Streaming Access for Don't Call Me Son

User Name: SFC@CentralMichiganUniversity
Password: 6peliculas


Perfect Strangers

 


Perfect Strangers (Manolo Caro, Mexico, 2018)
STREAMING ACCESS WEEK: April 19-26

With Cecilia Suárez, Manuel García Rulfo, Mariana Treviño, Miguel Rodarte, Bruno Bichir, Ana Claudia Talancon, Franky Martin.

FILM SYNOPSIS
From Mexican director Manolo Caro (Netflix’s The House of Flowers) comes the electrifying comedy about a seemingly simple dinner party. When a group of best friends gets together during a lunar eclipse to share an intimate meal in the tasteful house of Eva and Antonio, they suspect it’s just another typical night, until the hostess proposes a game. All guests must lay their cell phones on the table and read aloud all incoming messages and answer all incoming phone calls in front of the entire group. What begins as a provocative party game quickly becomes a wild ride full of twists and “textual tension” in this over the top comedy about the secrets we all carry in our pockets.

Cecilia Suárez and Bruno Bichir lead a stellar ensemble of some of Mexico’s most respected actors in this adaptation of Perfetti Sconosciuti by Paolo Genovese, the Italian film that has become a global sensation inspiring remakes in countries like Greece, Spain, China, and France among others.

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR
Manolo Caro is a Mexican director best known as the creator, executive producer, and director of Netflix’s The House of Flowers. Other credits include The Immoral Life of the Perfect Couple, Perfect Strangers, and the upcoming show Someone Has To Die. All of these star Caro’s frequent collaborator and muse, Cecilia Suárez.


Streaming Access for Perfect Strangers
User Name: SFC@CentralMichiganUniversity
Password: 6peliculas



Streaming Access

User Name: SFC@CentralMichiganUniversity
Password: 6peliculas


Contact Us

Contact k.kulawik@cmich.edu for more information, for access to films, introductions, presentations, Q & As with filmmakers, and discussion forums.

Sponsors

The Spanish Film Club series was made possible with the support of Pragda, SPAIN Arts & Culture, and the Secretary of State for Culture of Spain.

Central Michigan University logo

Thank you to our Central Michigan University partners for their generous support of this festival: