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Arts & Culture

Exitos Del Cine Latino Extends San Diego Latino Film Fest Into Summer

Carlos Saura's documentary "Argentina" takes us on a tour of the country through its music and folklore.
First Run Features
Carlos Saura's documentary "Argentina" takes us on a tour of the country through its music and folklore.

The showcase kicks off Friday

Exitos Del Cine Latino Extends San Diego Latino Film Fest Into Summer
The San Diego Latino Film Festival runs every March but sometimes there’s just not enough room to showcase all that’s good. Exitos Del Cine Latino provides a summer showcase for the overflow.

The San Diego Latino Festival runs every March but sometimes there's not enough room to showcase all that is good. KPBS art reporter Beth [ Name Indiscernible ] says exit else was born. This brands itself as a summer celebration of film music and art. Programming manager says the emphasis is definitely on film. It is the biggest hits from Latin America. We keep in mind it takes place during the summer so we try to cater to what audiences what to watch during the summer. That means comedies where it ex-con takes on a job as a substitute teacher. And and creaking old traditions in Catholic Church are challenged by young man who wants to remove himself from the church database there are smart drillers like the desert and Paradise lost. Also our selection shows is that a movie does not have to be dumbed down to be accessed by audience members. The idea for summer film Festival is not new. That using the AMC as a venue is. Different this year is we are launching a whole new San Diego community got a national city, so we are hoping this can be Festival for this community which is predominantly Latino and we are excited to share programming and our concept. One film he is especially proud of his from Carlos Sara. They are choreographed films, Argentina, the name of the film essentially traces folklore through music and dance. It is such a stunning piece of work and it is shot so well, and it is beautiful. The way he segues from musical segment to musical segment is a testament of a master and control of his graph. The film is a journey through Argentina it highlights full diversity of musical styles with the passion of the artists performing an is an inspiring sense of unity. [ Music ] this burrows deep into one country's musical culture, but those like Mr. Pig attribute to sensible foreign items. American stars Danny Glover and my Rudolph also star in her. She plays Glover's daughter who tracks the father down in a Mexican hotel where he is rooming with his prize heart. Why is there a halt in your hotel room? What are you doing here next I am looking for you. Close the door. It is essentially taking a US experience and moving it to Mexico. It is like a road film which is rooted in strict Americana it is exciting to see it in a different setting. Diego Luna a Mexican director and actor made this film and I think it really goes to show how he has been influenced at the cinema he has worked on stateside but also how much he feels the need to pay homage to Mexico. The vessel -- the festival also makes room for others. This is a moving melodrama and you really get to see stunning cinematography in the film with sugarcane fields burning. In addition to films running every night will also be music that anyone in the Plaza can't enjoy. If you are hungry for Latin spice and flavor, satisfy yourself with the summer buffet of cinema. KPBS news.

The San Diego Latino Film Festival runs every March but sometimes there’s just not enough room to showcase all that’s good. Exitos del Cine Latino provides a summer showcase for the overflow.

Exitos Del Cine Latino brands itself as a summer celebration of film, music and art. But programming manager Moises Esparza said the emphasis is definitely on film.

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"There was a list of content that we desperately wanted to screen here in San Diego and didn’t want to wait a whole year for," Esparza said. "Exitos, the word means hits, the biggest hits from Latin America, but we keep in mind that it is taking place during the summer so we are trying to cater to what audiences want to watch during the summer."

That means comedies like “No Manches Frida” in which an ex-con takes on a job as a substitute teacher so he can retrieve the loot he hid on a high school campus and “El Apostata" where creakingly old traditions in the Catholic Church are challenged by a young man who tries to remove himself from the church’s database.

There are also smart thrillers like "Desierto," directed by Jonas Cuaron and starring Gael Garcia Bernal, and "Paraíso Perdido."

Esparza said the film selections don't underestimate the intelligence of the audience.

"Also our selections show that a movie doesn’t have to be dumbed down to be accessed by audience members," he said.

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The idea for a summer film festival is not new but using the AMC Plaza Bonita Theaters as a venue is.

"For this year we’re launching it in a whole new community, which is National City," Esparza said. "So we’re hoping that this can be a festival for them, for this community that is predominantly Latino and we’re really excited to share our programming and content with them."

One film Esparza is particularly proud to showcase is the latest documentary from acclaimed Spanish filmmaker Carlos Saura.

"He’s making these very choreographed concert films and 'Argentina,' the name of his latest film, is such a stunning piece of work and shot so well and is so beautiful. The way he segues from musical segment to musical segment reveals a master in control of his craft."

The film is a journey through Argentina by way of its music and folklore. It highlights the bold diversity of musical styles but the passion of the artists performing gives the film an inspiring sense of unity.

Danny Glover plays a man traveling in Mexico with his prize pig. Maya Rudolph plays his daughter in "Mr. Pig."
Canana Films
Danny Glover plays a man traveling in Mexico with his prize pig. Maya Rudolph plays his daughter in "Mr. Pig."

Saura’s "Argentina" burrows deep into one country’s musical culture but films like "Mr. Pig" attest to the increasingly global sensibilities of contemporary foreign cinema. The film serves up a Mexican director in Diego Luna and American stars in Danny Glover and Maya Rudolph. Rudolph plays Glover’s daughter who tracks down her father in a Mexican hotel where he's rooming with his prize hog.

"This idea of a road film is rooted in Americana, so it’s exciting to see it in a different setting. Diego Luna is a Mexican actor and a director, and it shows how he has been influenced by the films he’s made stateside and how much he feels a need to pay an homage to Mexico," Ezparza said.

The festival also has room for stunning art house dramas like "La Tierra y la Sombra" from Colombia.

"It’s essentially a melodrama abut a father who returns home after years of being away. You get to see some stunning cinematography with the sugar cane fields burning," Esparza said.

Burning sugar cane fields help create a suffocating atmosphere in the family drama "Land and Shade" from Colombia.
Pyramide Films
Burning sugar cane fields help create a suffocating atmosphere in the family drama "Land and Shade" from Colombia.

In addition to films running every night of the festival there will also be music that anyone in the Plaza Bonita mall can stop by to enjoy. If you are hungering for some Latin spice and flavors then you can satisfy yourself with this summer buffet of films.

Exitos del Cine Latino runs Friday through Sept. 1 at AMC Plaza Bonita.