One Way or Another director Sara Gomez behind the camera. Gomez's film will be a part of Jacob Burns Film Centers new Latin American Film Series

Jacob Burns launches new Latin American film series

Jacob Burns Film Center will begin the year with a new series that celebrates the diversity of Latin American filmmaking. 

Photo still from The Chambermaid, a film from the new Latin American Film Series at Jacob Burns Film Center

Nuestro Cine: Shining a New Light on Latine Cinema will launch on January 30 with five films by women directors from the United States, Brazil, Chile, Cuba and Mexico, all who represent filmmaking’s present and past. Three of the films represent directorial or feature debuts.

“We’re starting with a restoration of a Cuban film by the island’s first woman director,” said series curator Monica Castillo. “Then we are including more contemporary work, because I want people to see.…how varied [these women’s] stories are. Some push the boundaries between fiction and non-fiction; others play with magical realism; and some are more straight-forward.”

Photo still from One Way or Another, a film from the new Latin American Film Series at Jacob Burns Film Center

The restored film—De cierta manera (One Way or Another)—charts the rocky romance between a teacher and factory worker in Cuba around 1974. If film lovers can only see one of the first five films, Castillo recommends that it be this one.

“It wasn’t widely available before,” said Castillo. “There are interesting ideas that this director was working on that we can still discuss today: the expectations of women in the household and whether or not they get to have a career…that is still a conversation that families are having today.”

One of the other films represents a homecoming. Francisca Alegria, a former artist in residences at the Jacob Burns Film Center, directed The Cow Who Sang a Song into the Future.  The film, screening on February 5, is the only English-language film in the first installment of this series.

Photo still from BEBA, a film from the new Latin American Film Series at Jacob Burns Film Center

“We’re proud of her for what she has accomplished,” said Castillo. “For her to be able to get out into the festival circuit and distribution is no small feat. We are thrilled to be able to shine a spotlight on this artist.”

The New York City-raised Rebeca Huntt’s shot her film Beba, screening on January 30, in English and Spanish. Huntt explores her identity in a coming-of-age story that blends documentary with cinematic memoir.

Photo still from Dry Ground Burning, a film from the new Latin American Film Series at Jacob Burns Film Center

On February 12, Dry Ground Burning blends documentary with narrative fiction to portray Brazil’s dystopian present and its potential future.

On February 13, The Chambermaid depicts the work day of a housekeeper at a high-end Mexico City hotel with rich detail and observation.

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