Vancouver Latin American Film Festival Announces 2017 Lineup


Cuba to be Guest Country at the Festival’s 15th Edition


The 15th Vancouver Latin American Film Festival (VLAFF), the largest festival of Latin American cinema in Canada, is proud to announce its 2017 lineup featuring Cuba as the guest country. The festival will be taking place from August 24 to September 3 across three main venues in downtown Vancouver, The Cinematheque, Vancity Theatre and SFU Woodward’s.


The creative team at VLAFF has curated a lineup of films from across Latin America that are original, groundbreaking and historic in its content. This year, festival-goers can look forward to 69 films, from 17 countries, including 31 feature-length films and 38 short films. The festival screenings have been organized in 8 feature sections including: Cuban Classics, International Hits, Women in ¡Activismo!, New Directors, Short Film Competition, Canada Looks South and Indigenous Film from BC & Beyond, among others.


This year’s opening film, THE DISTINGUISHED CITIZEN (El ciudadano ilustre) by directors Gastón Duprat and Mariano Cohn is an Argentinian Film that won the 2017 Goya Award for Best Iberoamerican Film. As part of this year’s guest country programing, VLAFF will be presenting an homage to Cuba’s distinguished EICTV (International School of Film and Television) Short Film program, by showcasing a retrospective on five short films. VLAFF is honoured to have the award winning Cuban Film SANTA & ANDRES by director Carlos Lechuga, as this year’s closing film. The political drama is rather controversial as it was removed from competition at the Havana Film Festival New York, and completely pulled from the festival by the filmmaker as a result.


“Having Cuba as a guest country this year is very significant, as the country has been in the spotlight and going through a lot of change since Castro’s death,” said Festival Director Christian Sida-Valenzuela. “Cuba is a country that has heavily contributed to Latin American film culture and production, as it has one of the most renowned international film schools in the world, EICTV. It’s an honour to host Cuba this year and focus on the talent from the region.”


This will be the sixth year VLAFF hosts the New Directors Competition, and the first year where there is an equal number of films by male and female directors. The Short Film Competition will be boasting 16 films with a $500 dollar cash prize for the winner. The festival is hosting the Canada Looks South program for the seventh year, highlighting film collaborations between Latin America and Canada. THE STRAWBERRY TREE and CEIBA are two films directed by SFU Professors, filmed in Cuba.


The section on Indigenous Film from BC & Beyond includes a short film program entitled Rhythms of Resistance, showcasing films by Indigenous filmmakers from Canada alongside Indigenous filmmakers from Latin America that explore music as an act of resistance. The section also includes the feature film BAD INFLUENCE (Mala junta), one of the first fiction films ever made by a Mapuche director who also happens to be female, director Claudia Huaiquimilla.


This year marks the festival’s 15th anniversary, also known as the “Quinceañera,” which is a common celebration in Latin American countries, as a right of passage for girls from childhood to adulthood. The “Quinceañera” celebration is symbolized on this year’s festival poster by the dress that is traditionally worn on these occasions. VLAFF takes this opportunity to place a focus on women leaders in film with the new section Women in ¡Activismo! that showcases films that discuss activism and dissent with strong female directors and protagonists.


VLAFF provides a unique opportunity for film lovers to experience the talent of Latin American filmmakers, as 98% of these films will not be commercially released in Canada. All films are subtitled in English and are open to the general public.


VLAFF is excited to announce its newest partnership with Scotiabank as a donor. Scotiabank will match all sales of the Festival Super Pass, which includes access to all film screenings for one person (early bird pricing Aug 1-15 at $120, regular price, after Aug 16, $140). Regular tickets will go on sale online on August 12 at


VLAFF 2017 Complete Film Listings:

Opening Night

THE DISTINGUISHED CITIZEN (El ciudadano ilustre)

Dir. Gastón Duprat & Mariano Cohn | Argentina


Closing Night


Dir. Carlos Lechuga | Cuba


Guest Country: Cuba


•THE DAMNED CIRCUMSTANCE (La maldita circunstancia), Dir. Eduardo Eimil

•TIDE (Marea), Dir. Adam Breier

•FUCKING LIFE (Pucha vida), Dir. Nazly López Díaz

•A PARADISE (Un paraíso), Dir. Jayisha Patel

•THE ENEMY (El enemigo), Dir. Aldemar Matias


Dir. Pavel Giroud & JuanMa Villar Betancort | Cuba/Spain

TWENTY YEARS (Vinte anos)

Dir. Alice de Andrade | Brazil/Cuba


Cuban Classics


Dir. Humberto Solás | Cuba

MEMORIES OF UNDERDEVELOPMENT (Memorias del subdesarrollo) | Cuba

Dir. Tomás Gutiérrez Alea

STRAWBERRY & CHOCOLATE (Fresa y chocolate) | Cuba

Dir. Tomás Gutiérrez Alea & Juan Carlos Tabío


IMCINE Film Archive Screening & Presentation

THE CASTLE OF PURITY (El castillo de la pureza)

Dir. Arturo Ripstein | Mexico

International Hits


Dir. Kleber Mendonça Filho | Brazil



Dir. Pablo Larraín | Chile


THE UNTAMED (La región salvaje)

Dir. Amat Escalante | Mexico


WHIRLPOOL (Redemoinho)

Dir. José Luiz Villamarim | Brazil


YOU’RE KILLING ME SUSANA (Me estás matando Susana)

Dir. Roberto Sneider | Mexico



ALL ABOUT ASADO (Todo sobre el asado)

Dir. Gastón Duprat & Mariano Cohn | Argentina


Dir. Yanillys Pérez | Dominican Republic


New Directors Competition


Dir. Ana Cristina Barragán | Ecuador

BAD INFLUENCE (Mala junta)

Dir. Claudia Huaiquimilla | Chile



Rober Calzadilla | Venezuela/Colombia

THE FUTURE PERFECT (El futuro perfecto)

Dir. Nele Wohlatz | Argentina


KILL ME PLEASE (Mate-me por favor)

Dir. Anita Rocha da Silveira | Brazil


PANAMERICAN MACHINERY (Maquinaria Panamericana)

Dir. Joaquín del Paso | Mexico

TIME WAS ENDLESS (Antes o tempo não acabava)

Dir. Sérgio Andrade & Fábio Baldo | Brazil

X500 (X Quinientos)

Dir. Juan Andrés Arango | Canada/Colombia/Mexico

Women in ¡Activismo!

ADRIANA’S PACT (El pacto de Adriana)

Dir. Lissette Orozco | Chile


THE CAMBRIDGE SQUATTER (Era o Hotel Cambridge)

Dir. Eliane Caffé | Brazil



Dir. Peter Bratt | USA



Dir. Tatiana Huezo | Mexico


Indigenous Film from BC & Beyond

BAD INFLUENCE (Mala junta) – also in New Directors Competition

Dir. Claudia Huaiquimilla | Mapuche/Chile


MARA’AKAME’S DREAM (El sueño de Mara’akame)

Dir. Federico Cecchetti | Wixáritari/Mexico

TIME WAS ENDLESS (Antes o tempo não acabava) — also in New Directors Competition

Dir. Sérgio Andrade & Fábio Baldo | Tikuna/Brazil

Mid-length and short films:

NATIVE PLANET – Season 2, Episode Durango, Mexico

Dir. Carmen Henríquez & Denis Paquette | O’Dam/Mexicaneros/Wirrarika

TEKOHA – SOUND OF THE EARTH (Tekoha – Som da Terra)

Dir. Rodrigo Arajeju & Valdelice Veron | Guarani-Kaiowá/Brazil


Rhythms of Resilience: Shorts Program

•FEAST OF THE ENCHANTED (A Festa dos Encantados) by Masanori Ohashy

•THE GRANDFATHER DRUM by Michelle Deroiser

•HILA by Adam Bentley and Tiffany Ayalik

•REGALIA: PRIDE IN TWO SPIRITS by Love Intersections

•WAY OF GIANTS (Caminho dos Gigantes) by Alois Di Leo


Videoteca de las Culturas  – Participatory Films from Peru

Canada Looks South

Canada Looks South: Short Films

•CEIBA by Noé Rodríguez | Canada/Cuba

•CLOSE-UP by Yoel Ortega | Canada

•THE ROSETTI STREET MASSACRE by Ana María Tonso | Canada/Argentina

•THE SPACE SHUTTLE CHALLENGER by Cecilia Araneda | Canada/Chile


Dir. Carlo Guillermo Proto | Quebec


THE STRAWBERRY TREE (El árbol de las fresas)

Dir. Simone Rapisarda Casanova | Canada/Cuba

Short Films in Competition



1THE DIVER (El buzo) by Esteban Arrangoiz | Mexico

2AYA by Francesca Canepa Sarmiento | Peru

3LANDSCAPE FOR A PERSON (Paisaje para una persona) by Florencia Levy | Argentina

4CÅSUCKA by Dalia Huerta Cano & Iván Puig | Mexico

5CENTAUR (Centauro) by Nicolás Suárez | Argentina

6THE HOMICIDE (El Homicida) by Maysel Bello | Cuba

7THE CATS (Los gatos) by Alejandro Ríos | Mexico

8THE SWEDISH COUSIN (La prima sueca) by Inés Barrionuevo & Agustina San Martín | Argentina


1TAILOR by Calí dos Anjos | Brazil

2GUAMUCHIL SEEDS (Semillas de Guamúchil) by Carolina Corral Paredes | Mexico

3TIMELESS (Tiempo va) by Raúl Zendejas Escandón | Mexico

4GRIEF (Un alud) by Cecilia Cartasegna | Argentina

5MISSING (Desaparecido) by Carlos Trujano | Mexico

6MOTHER (Madre) by Simón Mesa Soto | Colombia

7THE FUTURE IS IRREVOCABLE (El porvenir es tan irrevocable) by Silvina Estévez | Argentina

8ROSINHA by Gui Campos | Brazil

About the Vancouver Latin American Film Festival:

VLAFF is a registered not-for-profit charitable organization and the largest annual festival of Latin American film in Canada. The festival promotes dialogue among cultures and explores the art of contemporary Latin American cinema through the eyes of its filmmakers. Since 2003, VLAFF has provided audiences with the unique opportunity to watch inspiring films and interact with guest filmmakers from across Latin America and the diaspora. For more information please visit:


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