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La Mirada Invisible

Courtesy of latinofilm.org

Set in Argentina, 1982, as the rigid military dictatorship declines in power, the inner conflicts of Maria Elena, a 23-year-old teacher’s assistant at a prestigious college, unfolds in this dramatic fiction. Marita embodies the educational institution’s ethic: clean cut, introverted, obedient, repressed. However, loneliness and hormones take over.

Using surveillance as her excuse, she obsesses over a student, spending time in the boy’s restroom in order to get a glimpse of him. When her sexual desires are awakened by curiosity, jealousy, and plain biological behaviors, she purchases the boy’s cologne and even sniffs his underwear during his swim class.

Beautifully crafted, this film presents a moving personal story about a repressed girl struggling with the meaning of personal freedom, paralleled with the crumbling military dictatorship in the background. The end of blind obedience, and the end of the dictatorship, brings a free but dangerous world to fruition. Those who take control of their own lives will be successful, but those trained under the “invisible eye” lack the skills and mindset to do so.

The creation of this film was an international effort, with credit to Argentina, Spain, and France. The story is adapted from Martin Kohan’s prize-winning novel “Moral Sciences” (2006). The film has been featured in several renowned film festivals around the world.

La Mirada Invisible

Courtesy of latinofilm.org

Set in Argentina, 1982, as the rigid military dictatorship declines in power, the inner conflicts of Maria Elena, a 23-year-old teacher’s assistant at a prestigious college, unfolds in this dramatic fiction. Marita embodies the educational institution’s ethic: clean cut, introverted, obedient, repressed. However, loneliness and hormones take over.

Using surveillance as her excuse, she obsesses over a student, spending time in the boy’s restroom in order to get a glimpse of him. When her sexual desires are awakened by curiosity, jealousy, and plain biological behaviors, she purchases the boy’s cologne and even sniffs his underwear during his swim class.

Beautifully crafted, this film presents a moving personal story about a repressed girl struggling with the meaning of personal freedom, paralleled with the crumbling military dictatorship in the background. The end of blind obedience, and the end of the dictatorship, brings a free but dangerous world to fruition. Those who take control of their own lives will be successful, but those trained under the “invisible eye” lack the skills and mindset to do so.

The creation of this film was an international effort, with credit to Argentina, Spain, and France. The story is adapted from Martin Kohan’s prize-winning novel “Moral Sciences” (2006). The film has been featured in several renowned film festivals around the world.

The Business of Entertainment, Breaking In and Succeeding

The Creative Artists Agency (CAA) hosted a panel on July 18 about how agencies work and the ways to get involved in CAA at the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF). The panel was composed of seven CAA representatives from different departments.

Diversity was the message at this discussion. The representatives joked that the ethnic composition at CAA was displayed on the panel with only one white male. The talent they represent is equally as diverse, in backgrounds and forms of entertainment. With the changes that technology and communications has brought to the industry, CAA has expanded from film and TV to include sports, products, and online content.

“We all have to try and advance us,” Edward James Olmos, co-director of LALIFF said, “especially females and minorities.”

By having more minority representation in talent agencies, we can have more representation of talent from our communities. This in turn can bring major change to the entertainment industry, changing the faces we see in film and television.

The panel concluded with this advice: Getting a job at an agency calls for dedication and persistence. You have to work your way from bottom, and even some experienced people come in and start in the mailroom, but the payoff is invaluable. Spending a year or two interning at an agency is like earning a Master’s in entertainment.

15th Annual Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival

Nos Invitan a la Quinceañera!

Today marks the official commencement for the 15th annual Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF) at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. The exclusive opening night gala will feature the film “Aqui Entre Nos (Between Us)” by Mexican director Patricia Martinez de Velasco.

The festival will run through Monday, July 25, featuring dozens of films by new and established talent from the USA, Latin American and Spain.

The festival also includes panels such as “The Business of Entertainment, Breaking In and Succeeding” and “New Modes and Old Distribution for Latino Films.”

Patrons can participate through the series “Café Con…,” featuring Sandra Pedlow, Executive Director LPB, Pan’s Labyrinth photographer, Guillermo Navarro.

You can check out LALIFF’s website for a full list of screenings and events, more information about the festival, and on how to become a member of this non-profit organization.


Hermano Kicks-off Latino Film Festival

Hollywood’s Grauman’s Chinese Theater hosted Latino talent and supporters for the opening night of the 14th Annual Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF) providing an outlet and distribution opportunities for exceptional new stories created by or about Latinos.

The festival commenced with the film Hermano, Venezuelan filmmaker Marcel Rasquin’s first feature-length film, a family drama and sports film about disillusionment and motivation.

Hermano follows two Venezuelan teenagers, brothers by fate, after Julio and his mother saved Daniel from a dump when he was a baby. In a destitute neighborhood ruled by crime, making it on to the Caracas Futbol Club is the only way out for these brothers. They both have proven his talent, but each must make his own decisions about life, growing up, and getting out.

More than a compelling film about family, survival, and determination, Hermano exhibits incredible story-telling, outstanding actors in demanding roles, and impressive cinematography. The slum of La Ceniza is transformed into a central character, engulfing and spitting out its distressed inhabitants, as well as a rich postcard-like backdrop for viewers.

Rasquin described his process of reconnecting with his Venezuelan identity as personal motivation for Hermano. While studying film in Australia, Rasquin was exoticized because of where he came from, although growing up he was always interested in the world outside of Venezuela. This sparked a growth in interest for his culture.
LALIFF Opening night

Edward James Olmos, co-director of LALIFF, actor, and director, noted that audiences do not have the opportunity to view about 90% of the films featured by the festival in commercial venues. Olmos stressed that audiences should come out to support and “see the best films that they can see from outside the United States of America.”

Marlene Dermer, executive director of LALIFF commented on the importance of showcasing foreign and independent Latino films. “We [as Latinos] need to define ourselves. I love Hollywood films as much as anyone else, but it makes me feel good when I see a film about my community,” she said.

Find out more about the program, schedule, and tickets at www.latinofilm.org