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CINEFEST 2015: Hispanic Film Festival (Day 2)

Friday, March 13, 2015 at 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Wollman Hall, Eugene Lang College 65 West 11th Street Room B500, New York, NY 10003

CineFest 2015 will take place on March 6 and 13 and will feature four films and one documentary covering a broad spectrum of topics: immigration, environmental exploitation, coming of age and cultural identities. We hope that through these films we give voice to the unheard stories of many different cultures in the Spanish-speaking world. 

Opening remarks: 4:15pm

4:30-6:00 p.m.
¿Quién es Dayani Cristal? / Who is Dayani Cristal? (1:25)
Director: Marc Silver / Mexico
Deep in the sun-blistered Sonora desert beneath a cicada tree, Arizona border police discover a decomposing male body. Lifting a tattered T-shirt they expose a tattoo that reads “Dayani Cristal.” Who is this person? What brought him here? How did he die? And who—or what—is Dayani Cristal? Following a team of dedicated forensic anthropologists from the Pima County Morgue in Arizona, director Marc Silver seeks to answer these questions and give this anonymous man an identity. As the forensic investigation unfolds, Mexican actor and activist Gael Garcia Bernal retraces this man’s steps along the migrant trail in Central America.

6:15-7:45 p.m.
El Facilitador / The Facilitator
(1:23)
Director: Victor Arregui / Ecuador, Chile, USA
A political thriller about human rights, The Facilitator is one of the most successful films to come out of Ecuador in the last few years. When Miguel, a successful businessman, learns he is ill, he asks his estranged daughter Elena to come back to Ecuador. She agrees, but maintains a cold and distant relationship with him, opting to spend most of her time with friends using drugs and alcohol. After a close call with the law, Miguel sends her to spend some time with her grandfather at the family’s estate.

In this nostalgic house that brings up so many memories and nightmares, Elena meets her childhood friend Galo, who now promotes water access rights for the indigenous community. Elena is compelled by their way of life and gets involved with the political organization of the community.

When her nightmares intensify, Elena starts digging behind the reports of the car accident that supposedly killed her mother. Elena will gradually understand that among family secrets, crimes, corruption, and dark perversions, commitment and beauty can emerge.

8:00-10:00 p.m.
Yvy Maraey, Tierra Sin Mal / Yvy Maraey, A Land Without Evil
(1:47)
Director: Juan Carlos Valdivia / Bolivia
A Bolivian filmmaker and a Guaraní Indian travel together through the forests of southeastern Bolivia to make a film about the Guaraní people. The starting point is a 1911 film by Swedish explorer Erland Nordenskiöld. But today’s reality turns out to be much more intense than the nostalgia for a lost world. In Yvy Maraey, the white man (the director) and the Indian create and interpret their own characters, walking the thin line between documentary, fiction, and performance. Far from observing another culture, we are watched and questioned about our identity in a country undergoing enormous social, political, and historical change as it struggles to create an intercultural society. Yvy Maraey is a quest for the knowledge within, seen through the eyes of the other. Here learning comes from another form of seeing—listening. The film combines reality with the epic tale of a heroic indigenous nation.

CineFest 2015 is sponsored and was made possible by the generous contribution of Pragda, the Embassy of Spain in Washington, D.C. and the Secretary of State for Culture of Spain. Special thanks go to the Foreign Language Department and the Politics Department at Eugene Lang and the School of Media Studies at the New School for Public Engagement.

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