2009 Long Island Latino International Film Festival

This year’s Long Island Latino International Film Festival–or LILIFF–was held at the Wang Center on November 6, 7 and 8. The festival was full of interesting, independent films that included short movies, documentaries, comedies and dramas from all around the world. Some examples are:

– “A Class Apart” by Carlos Sandoval: A documentary regarding the struggle and civil rights history of Mexican-American made by the director of “Farmingville”

– “Taught to Hate” by James Garcia Sotomayor: The story of a Hispanic immigrant trying to find a job in America and an American family who’s uncle’s racial intolerance has a strong effect on his nephew. Inspired by the murder of Marcelo Lucero, in Patchogue Long Island.

– “Stereo Typed” by Frances Lozada Gonzalez: Stereotypes surrounding actors/actresses in the entertainment industry. Produced by Frankie G.

-“TrashDay” by Sam Lerma: A 3 min. short film based on a real-life Craigslist ad that tells the story of a woman longing for the affections of her trash man.

And many, many more…check out the video!


Afghan Pop Star…a big step towards democracy

After 30 years of war and Taliban rule, Afghanistan is seeing for the first time glimpses of hope. These come in the most unusual ways, but when life and freedom of expression are at stake, many will risk the impossible to achieve that dream.

Such is the case of Aghan Pop Star. This is the documentary of four contestants who risk more than their voices when they decide to participate in the Afghan version of American idol. The country has been riveted by this show. Thousands of people sending their votes through text messages and pouring over their TV’s every night waiting for the results are not only being participants in the fate of their favorite contestant,  but in the fate of their country. Voting, even for Afghan Pop Star, is seen as hope, as democracy.

The contestants will have to fight against the established institutions that will do anything in their power to stop the show.

The documentary is directed by Havana Marking and has won the directing prize and the audience award at Sundance’s World Documentary section in 2009

Afghan Pop Star has been bought by HBO and will be screening it in the Spring. Don’t miss it!

Hollywood…this is not working

I just looove movies. But not any type of movie, but those that stir something good and profound in you. It can be laugh, or sadness, or shock, or solidarity, or love…an emotion… isn’t that the purpose of all movie-making? You could argue that the SAW series inspires disgust and fear and therefore must qualify into my kind of movies, but the truth is that it doesn’t (I actually hate SAW and all of the likes.) I’m not talking about sensationalism, gore, demagoguery, cliched stories. I’m talking about real, original emotion. There are great horror/thriller movies that have become instant classics (i.e. Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, see synopsis here), but that doesn’t mean that all movies that follow The Shining formula should be good. Continue reading

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

cloudy-with-a-chance-of-meatballsPut your 3-D glasses on and get ready to see cheeseburgers flying from the sky, an ice cream snow day and be sucked in by a giant spaghetti and meatball twister.  Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs came out on September 18 and it is a must see!

Columbia Pictures’ and Sony Pictures Animation’s have an extraordinary imagination that makes Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs a box office hit. The film is based on the book Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs by Judi Barrett and  illustrated by Ron Barrett. It’s an animation filled with laughter, imagination, and perfect for any age group. It will leave your tummy rumbling for a giant hot dog or a big stack of jumbo pancakes with syrup and melted butter. Continue reading