vicious(in)existence: New Queer Latino Cinema
Programmed by Daniel Eduvijes Carrera; hosted by ChimMaya,
in conjunction with our 2nd Annual Out-and-Out LGBT exhibition and TELASOFA’s East LA Film Festival.
1) having the nature or quality of vice or immorality
2) defective, faulty; also: invalid
3) impure, noxious
4) dangerously aggressive, savage, marked by violence
This program of short films showcases the work of emerging directors who, while challenging the boundaries of genre and style, shed a light on the complex intersection of “Queer/Latino.” Produced both locally and internationally, these works are a testament to the diversity of our politics, yet common themes emerge. From avenging housewives to romance gone rogue, socio-cultural injustice to existential ruminations on identity or death, these films share the common preoccupations of violence, revenge and a quest for redemption. In exploring the deepest concerns from which we mine our inspiration, visions of dangerous aggression emerge: “vicious,” perhaps, but also determining our own salvation.
Questions of visibility and acceptance are at the heart of this redemptive undertaking. So what to make of queer Latino films that, on the surface, are neither queer nor Latino? Upon first inspection, a number of these works may seem reticent to speak of identity, resigned to a “love that dare not speak its name,” suggesting the injustice of having to sublimate our voices. Truly “defective” or “faulty” is a society where our sexual and cultural identities are suppressed. In this way, vicious is our very inexistence.
But perhaps this is why we make films in the first place. By harnessing the power of cinema, we cannot be rendered invisible. Beyond politics and narrative choices, this collection of short films demonstrates skill and aesthetic sensibilities that are a direct reflection of who we are as a unique community. At stake when considering new queer Latino cinema is not simply what stories we choose to tell, but how we approach storytelling to begin with—how our rich sexual and cultural complexity informs a creativity that, in turn, contributes to the magnificent history of cinema language and cinema activism. Gone are the days of propaganda. Whether through painful explorations of a vicious world or our own vicious, punk rock punch in your face, these films announce that we’ve arrived, not simply as an underrepresented minority group, but as cinema artists.
-Daniel Eduvijes Carrera
A woman’s emancipation from her ungrateful family.
Directed by Anna Margarita Albelo
Cuban-American, Anna Margarita Albelo is an award-winning filmmaker, journalist and cultural activist. LA Weekly calls her work, “Riveting” and IndieWire.com spotlighted Anna as a 2011, “Filmmaker to watch!” Her work, shown in over 45 international film festivals (including Cannes, Tribeca, Tokyo LGFF), blends narrative, documentary, experimental, and comedic elements in to a unique story-telling style that has become her trademark. Anna’s work has aired on Canal Plus (as a regular collaborator), ARTE, Pink TV, MCM, Paris Premier and has been selected for some of the most prestigious development programs in the US. She was an Honoree at the Tribeca Film Festival’s ALL ACCESS program for Narratives, the Tribeca Film Festival’s ON TRACK program, and the 2010 Miami International Film Festival’s “Encuentros” program for her feature Cuban-American coming-of-age script, “Sweet 15/The Papaya Factory”. Anna currently lives in Los Angeles and is in post-production of her first feature narrative “I’m Afraid of Virginia Wolf” a dark comedy about turning 40 and wanting it all.
Orgasm, onanism, existentialism and God as seen in a concurrent sexual pursuit throughout the cities of the world.
Directed by David Rodriguez Estrada
David grew up in Durango, Mexico. He attended the Art Institute of Los Angeles where he received a B.S. degree in Digital Filmmaking and accepted the Outstanding Achievement Award for both of his narrative short films. His portfolio piece: “Suripanta”, earned a nomination for an Imagen Award in 2008 and was part of the official selection of Frameline 33, the largest LGBT film festival in the U.S. ¿Existes?, his thesis film, screened in numerous film festivals including Lakino Berlin, Alucine Toronto, Mix Brasil and Palm Springs Shorts Fest. It won best experimental short and the audience award at the Kinoki film festival in Mexico city in 2011. David is currently in post production of his third short film titled Metástasis, a true story about a kidnappings in Durango, Mexico.
A bullied schoolboy seeks refuge in his imagination.
Directed by Jose Yapur
Born in Mexico City, José Yapur found himself in London at the age of 19 where he studied film and continued to work professionally. Writer, director and collaborator with prominent figures in both the British and Mexican film industries, Jose is also an accomplished artist and designer. He is currently residing and developing a new short film in Los Angeles.
Remember Me in Red
A group of transgender Latinas must find a way to honor how their deceased friend wanted to be remembered.
Directed by Hector Ceballos
Hector Ceballos hails from the bordertown of Nogales, AZ. He’s worked in film, TV and documentary and devoted many years to managing HIV prevention programs for gay and transgender Latino immigrants in San Francisco, CA—the inspiration behind “Remember Me In Red,” which has garnered numerous prizes and accolades, including an audience award at the Frameline34 San Francisco International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. Hector has BA from Columbia University and an MFA from the University of Southern California.
The Rookie and the Runner
A jogger in the park gets more than he bargained for when he encounters two handsome strangers.
Directed by Augie Robles
Originally from Sacramento, CA, Augie Robles is coming off of a ten year stint editing C.S.I: Crime Scene Investigation (CBS Productions/ Jerry Brukheimer TV) and is making his move into independent filmmaking with the release of his short film THE ROOKIE AND THE RUNNER
(San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Film Festival, OutFest, Los Angeles). In addition to his work in commercial television, Augie edited the independent feature MOSQUITA Y MARI with director Aurora Guerrero (Sundance Film Festival 2012). He’s also edited several independent short films including Aurora Guerrero’s short films, PURA LENGUA (Official Sundance selection 2005), VIERNES GIRL (HBO/ New York International Latino Film Festival 2006), and Dino Dinco’s short film EL ABUELO (2008). Augie Robles is a graduate of both the American Film Institute and the University of California at Berkeley.
A young outsider confronts the harsh rituals of a cruel, if also Catholic village.
Directed by Daniel Eduvijes Carrera
From prestigious recognition by the Rockefeller Foundation and the Fulbright Program, professional training from the Produire au Sud Seminar in France to accolades from the Directors Guild of America, the Imagen Foundation and the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts, Daniel Eduvijes Carrera continues to gain momentum as a bold international voice among emerging filmmakers. His latest film PRIMERA COMUNIÓN screened at numerous festivals and art museums around the world in cities including London, Rome, New York, Morelia, Guadalajara, Huesca, La Habana and Toronto. The Tribeca Film Institute’s Karen Wang described the film as “one of those rare cinematic debuts which heralds to the world the arrival of an exciting new talent.” From a large family that hails originally from the Mexican state of Durango, Daniel holds advanced film degrees from the University of California at Berkeley and Columbia University’s Graduate School of the Arts.
A young Xicana searches for ways to heal maladies of the heart.
Directed by Aurora Guerrero
Aurora Guerrero has over 10 years of filmmaking experience. She directed award-winning short narrative films, including PURA LENGUA (official selection 2005 Sundance Film Festival) and VIERNES GIRL (winner of the 2005 HBO/NYLIFF short film competition). Based on the strength of her first feature length script, MOSQUITA Y MARI, Aurora was awarded the 2005 Sundance/Ford Fellowship, the 2005 Paul Robeson Development Grant, was selected to participate in the 2005 Sundance Native/Indigenous Lab; 2006 Tribeca All Access Filmmaker Program; 2009 Film Independent Producer’s Lab. Her accomplishments as an emerging writer/director earned her a slot in Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film.” She has also had the honor of assisting directors Patricia Cardoso (REAL WOMEN HAVE CURVES, 2002) and Peter Bratt (LA MISSION, 2009). Aurora received her B.A. in Psychology and Chicano Studies from UC Berkeley and her M.F.A in Film Directing from Cal Arts in Los Angeles.
The Perfect Ones
An amnesia stricken housewife wanders into a lesbian punk club and discovers a new way of life.
Directed by Nao Bustamante and Matt Johnstone
Nao Bustamante is an internationally known and beloved artist, originally from California; she cut her teeth as an artist in the San Francisco “Art Scene” of between 1984-2001. She attended San Francisco Art Institute, where she was under the influence of the notorious New Genres department. She now resides in upstate New York, where she teaches and canoes with her poodle, Fufu (who also has an IMDB page). Bustamante’s at times precarious and radically vulnerable work encompasses performance art, video installation, visual art, filmmaking, and writing. Bustamante has presented in galleries, museums, universities and underground sites all around the world. Bustamante has been published by the Theatre Communications Group in the book, Out of the Fringe, as well as the Theatre Drama Review, published by the MIT Press. She is the recipient of the the GLBT Historical Society Arts Award, the prestigious Anonymous Was a Woman fellowship and was named a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow, as well as a Lambent Fellow. Currently, Bustamante holds the position of Associate Professor of New Media and Live Art at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Matt Johnstone is a Los Angeles based experimental film director, writer, and producer interested in telling stories that fracture cultural stereotypes and subvert mainstream cinema. His directorial work includes several acclaimed short films; ‘The Perfect Ones’ (2006), which he co-wrote and co-directed with international filmmaker/artist Nao Bustamante (world premiere 2006 Outfest Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival), ‘Untitled (for Derek Jarman)’, starring performance artist Heather Cassils, (world premiere 2008 Outfest); and ‘Sexology After Dark’ (2013), filmed in Mexico City, starring LA performance artist Samuel Vazquez. His work as a film producer includes the short films ‘The Rookie and The Runner’, directed by Augie Robles (2012 world premiere, Frameline San Francisco LBGT Film Festival), and Wu Tsang and Alexandro Segade’s ‘Mishima In Mexico’, to world premiere at the Gwangju Biennial, South Korea, in September 2012. He is also producing artist Steve Fagin’s feature length experimental film ‘A Cloud of Hope’ (2013), currently in post-production.