Festival Week
October 20 – November 2
All events free and open to the public

The 2019 NCLAFF – dedicated to the concept of Time Machines – examines the Latin American experience through 33 films from Latin America and the United States. The films will explore past and present stories from the region through memory, re-enactment, historical revisions, fiction, science fiction, animation, among others. This festival presented a selection of short films from or about indigenous nations exploring the transformative nature of their stories of origins, experiences of displacement, and violence. In addition, a number of contemporary films reviewed the past and the formation of modern nations from individual and collective experiences.  Issues such as autocracy, the drug trade, corruption, race, gender, and mobility are present as expressions of the multiplicity of ways of being in Latin America. NCLAFF 2019 offered a glimpse of the vast selection of Latin American film production.

Special guests (in alphabetical order):

Charles Bicalho. Filmmaker, Professor Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (Brazil).

Pablo Celis-Castillo. Film Critic, Elon University World Languages and Culture.

Gustavo Furtado. Author, Documentary Filmmaking in Contemporary Brazil. Cinematic Archives of the Present. Duke Romance Studies.

Sarah Garrahan. Filmmaker, Co-producer The Infiltrators, editor Building the American Dream.

Chelsea Hernández. Filmmaker, Director Building the American Dream.

Miguel La Serna. Coauthor, The Shining Path: Love, madness and revolution in the Andes. UNC-CH History.

María López. Director of programming, Chicago International Latino Film Festival.

Sharon Mújica. Founding Director, NC Latin American Film Festival.

Cecilio Ortiz García. Professor of Political Science. Co-Founder National Institute of Energy and Island Sustainability, University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez.

Alex Rivera. Filmmaker and Co-director, The Infiltrators. (CANCELLED)

Roque Nonini. Filmmaker, Director of Dis.em.POWER.ed.

Sandy Smith-Nonini. Filmmaker, Co-director and writer Dis.em.POWER.ed. UNC-CH Anthropology.

Orin Starn. Coauthor, The Shining Path: Love, madness and revolution in the Andes. Duke Cultural Anthropology.

Pepe Vargas. Director and founder Chicago International Latino Film Festival (Chicago).

UNC-CH and Duke Undergraduate and Graduate Students

Special Events

Three decades of Latin American Film Festivals in the U.S.

As the NC Latin American Film Festival (NCLAFF) celebrated its 34th anniversary we joined forces with the longest-running Latin American Film Festival in the country, the Chicago Latino Film Festival, which in May 2019 celebrated its 35th anniversary. Created by Pepe Vargas, the Chicago Latino Film Festival (CLFF) has grown to be one of the premier venues presenting films of cultural and social significance from Latin America, Spain, Portugal, and the United States.

The NCLAFF organized special forums with the creator and director of the CLFF, Mr. Vargas, and the founder of the NCLAFF, Sharon Mújica, to reflect on the work of these visionary cultural leaders. A special program of short films, animation, fiction, and documentaries from Latin America, curated by María López ( director of programming of the CLFF), shared visions on the most recent explorations of a new generation of audiovisual producers coming for the 35th CLFF. Another group of short films, celebrating the International Year of Indigenous Languages, was programmed to precede screenings of the featured films throughout the main festival week. A special exhibit ENCANTADA | ENCHANTED shared the process of creation of an indigenous story by members of the Maxakali people of Brazil.

Also during the main festival week:  Professor Gustavo Furtado (Duke Romance Studies) gave a talk about his latest book Documentary Filmmaking in Contemporary Brazil. Cinematic Archives of the Present, and introduced his new research on indigenous documentaries in Brazil with participation of Professor Charles Bicalho (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais). Bicalho visited classes and libraries and donated a set of collaborative art books created alongside the Maxakali communities in the Brazilian Amazon.

Professors Orin Starn (Duke Cultural Anthropology) and Miguel La Serna (UNC-CH History) presented their most recent book The Shining Path: Love, madness and revolution in the Andes (2019). Professor Pablo CelisCastillo (Elon University World Languages & Cultures) discussed the film Caiga quien caiga (2018).

A special panel on Puerto Rico’s energy system and Puerto Rican reconstruction after Hurricane María was paired with the screening of the film Dis.Em.POWER.ed (Roque Nonini, 2019). With participation of the director, script writer and producer Sandy Smith-Nonini (Anthropology, UNC-CH), and scientists, such as Cecilio Ortíz García (University or Puerto Rico Mayaguez) and Dalia Patiño-Echeverrí (Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke) among others looking at the issues of energy and sustainability in the island. They were joined as well by student groups from UNC-CH and Duke working on Puerto Rico.

The festival featured two of the most important documentary films on the current situation of Latino migration. They explore issues of the broken migration system, detention centers, and the participation of migrant communities in the reconstruction of communities after major natural disasters. Director and Latina filmmaker Chelsea Hernández discussed her work making Building the American Dream along with editor Sarah Garrahan (Duke Alum 2014). For the screening of The Infiltrators, co-producer Sarah Garrahan was present.

Another conversation on The Infiltrators and Building the American Dream happened at the Rubenstein Arts Center at Duke University on November 1st, with the presence of Sarah Garrahan, as part of DEMAN weekend.

Special programming on the current situation in Venezuela was introduced by former U.S. Ambassador to Venezuela and Duke Professor Patrick Duddy at the ERC Auditorium at Durham Tech Community College, along with the screening of the film I Am the People: Venezuela Under Populism.

Finally, the NCLAFF was proud to partner with the North Carolina Museum of Art on a film series (four titles) parallel to the exhibition Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, and Mexican Modernism from the Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection.

Festival director: Miguel Rojas-Sotelo

Invited Curator: María López
PRAGDA Series curated by Cristina Carrasco, Manuel Sánchez-Cabrera and Miguel Rojas-Sotelo

Presented by the Consortium in Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University, with the generous support of the U.S. Department of Education and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Co-sponsors include:  Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at Duke, Institute for the Study of the Americas at UNC-CH, Department of Romance Studies at UNC-CH, The Energy Initiative at Duke, PRAGDA, Duke Arts of the Moving Image and Screen/Society, Duke MFA EDA program, Duke AAHVS Speaker Series, FHI Social Practice Lab at Duke, Forum for Scholars and Publics at Duke, The Program in Latino/a Studies in the Global South at Duke, the Carolina Theatre in Durham, Chelsea Theatre in Chapel Hill, and the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh. 

Special thanks to the Chicago Latino Film Festival.