The 9th Latin American Film Festival at the University of Queensland is a free, public event showcasing a sample of the creative best of Latin American cinema.

The Latin American Film Festival was proudly hosted by the School of Languages and Cultures with the generous support of the Latin American Embassies in Canberra.

This was an ‘Adults Only’ event. All films are rated R18+.

Films were in Spanish ands Portuguese with English subtitles.


Opening Night

This year, the festival opened on Wednesday 14 October with an official opening, screening of the film Mr Kaplan, followed by a small reception. The festival was officially opened by His Excellency Dr Ricardo Varela Fernandez, Ambassador, Embassy of Uruguay.

MR. KAPLAN (Uruguay) 

2014, R18+, 90 min, Comedy / Drama / Thriller 
Jacob Kaplan lives an ordinary life in Uruguay. Like many of his other Jewish friends, Jacob fled Europe for South America because of World War II. Now turning 76, he begins to question his worth. One beach bar may, however, provide him with an unexpected opportunity to achieve greatness and recover his family’s respect in the community: its owner, a quiet, elderly German, is suspected of being a runaway Nazi. Jacob secretly recruits Contreras, a more loyal than honest former police officer, to help him investigate. Together, they will try to repeat the historic capture of Adolf Eichmann: by unmasking and kidnapping the German.

Official Opening: 7:30pm
Film Screening: 7:35pm
Reception: 9:15pm - 9:45pm


Thursday 15 October

AZÚ / Azu (Venezuela) 

2013, R18+, 100 min, Drama / Adventure
In 1780, an African woman is forced into slavery and sold at an auction. Don Manuel Aguirre, the sugarcane farmer who buys her, becomes obsessed and has no idea her ancestral destiny will disrupt his plantation. A group of slaves flee the sugar plantation and they are now seeking refuge. Action, mysticism and the struggle for identity join in this story with a feminine edge filled with magic and the density of the forests.

Film Screening: 7:00pm


Friday 16 October

LAS ACACIAS / The Acacias (Argentinia) 

2011, R18+, 82 min, Drama
Rubén is a lonely truck driver, who has been covering for years the motorway from Asunción, Paraguay to Buenos Aires, Argentina. Yet this time is different. He has a passenger, Jacinta, whom he is taking as a favour for a friend. To his dismay, 8 months old Anahí, Jacinta’s daughter, will also travel with them. It’s not the best beginning. As kilometres go by, the relationship between Rubén and Jacinta will grow. They will slowly seep into each other's soul. None of them talks much about their lives. None asks much either. It’s a journey of few words, but it’s not a silent one.

Film Screening: 6:30pm


FLORES RARAS / Reaching For The Moon (Brazil) 

2014, R18+, 129min, Biography / Drama / Romance
Frustrated poet Elizabeth Bishop travels to Brazil and encounters the beguiling architect Lota de Macedo Soares. Initial hostilities make way for a complicated yet long-lasting love affair that dramatically alters Bishop’s relationship to the world around her. Anchored by magnificent lead performances from Miranda Otto and Gloria Pires, Reaching for the Moon is an intimate snapshot of the search for inspiration, wherever and however you find it.

Film Screening: 8:15pm


Saturday 17 October

EL REGALO / The Gift (Chile) 

2008, R18+, 108 min, Comedy
The Gift is the story of three close friends: Francisco, Pacheco and Tito. Francisco, a recently retired widower is going through a difficult time. To cheer him up, his two friends decide to give him a gift: they invite him to spend a weekend at a hot spring resort in Chillan. As a surprise, they invite Francisco’s school sweetheart, Lucy. But things do not always turn out as planned. The trip will hold many surprises. They will meet Carmen, Nicolas and Martin and this will change everyone’s plans, along with their lives.

Film Screening: 5:00pm


EL VIAJE DEL ACORDEON / The Accordion's Voyage (Columbia)

2013, R18+, 79 min, Feature Documentary
For sixteen years the Colombian accordion virtuoso Manuel Vega and his group have been trying to win the world’s most important Vallenato music festival in Valledupar. For sixteen years, success eludes them. One day a letter arrives: an invitation to play with the Hohner accordion orchestra in Germany. Manuel and his group embark on an epic journey that takes them to the origins of his accordion, a journey that will change their lives forever. After their return to Colombia, Manuel and his group will participate one last time at the Festival de la Leyenda Vallenata.

Film Screening: 6:45pm


Y, SIN EMBARGO / And, However (Cuba) 

2012, R18+, 86min, Fiction 
A boy is late for his Math exam and makes up a fantasy story to justify his lateness. This story provokes chaos amongst students and worries teachers. In order to stop his leadership in the strict school, the Principal forces him into an agreement that suits her: this will be the boy’s only option or else he faces expulsion. The development of events generates doubts over the veracity of his story.

Film Screening: 8:30pm


Sunday 18 October

MEJOR NO HABLAR (DE CIERTAS COSAS) / Porcelain Horse (Ecuador)

2012, R18+, 100min, Drama
Shot in a freewheeling, semi-documentary style, the film centres on two brothers from a wealthy but dysfunctional family. Both brothers are drug addicts; the older brother, Paco, is a playboy slacker who narrates the story and the younger brother, Luis, is a hot-tempered singer with an amateurish rock band. After stealing a valuable family horse statuette from their parent’s home to fuel their drug habit, the film follows how consequences of that night change the direction of the brothers’ lives.

Film Screening: 6:30pm


EN EL OMBLIGO DEL CIELO / In The Middle Of Heaven (Mexico)

2012, R18+, 106min, Comedy
A young executive, Andrea, gets stuck during a weekend on the roof of the building where she works in the company of Gualberto, a cleaner. True castaways in a sea of concrete and glass, the characters reflect on their lives and their scale of values. The film sets out to show us that we are human beings with emotions and sensibilities that are common to us all, independent of social class. These feelings bring us closer to each other and allow us to grow.

Film Screening: 8:30pm


Monday 19 October

EL TIEMPO NUBLADO / Cloudy Times (Paraguay)

2014, R18+, 92 min, Documentary
For as long as Arami can remember, her mother suffers from epilepsy and Pakinson’s disease. As the only child of an absent father, Arami had to be responsible for herself and her mother at a very young age. Then, several years ago, she could somehow cut the cord, as she found her own happiness in Switzerland. However, her mother’s health is deteriorating. Will she be able to find a solution for her mother in a country where the caretaking of the elderly is mainly up to their relatives? And if so, should she give up her happiness in Europe and go back to her mother?

Film Screening: 6:30pm


Tuesday 20 October

COMO QUIEN NO QUIERE LA COSA / That Thing You Love (Peru)

2013, R18+, 79 min, Comedy/ Drama/ Fantasy
In order to pay the mortgage, Fortunato and his wife turned their house by the beach into a summer hotel. A bitter woman, Mrs Misterfair, and her gang of freaks living in a lighthouse plan to destroy the life of her childhood sweetheart, Fortunato, who has now completely forgotten her. Mrs Misterfair rents a room with the intention of scaring the other hotel guests and replacing them with members of her gang, thus ruining Fortunato’s chance to save his house. That Thing You Love is an aesthetic and humorous adventure that portrays evil as a consequence of unrequited love and the incapacity of understanding reality beyond one's fears.

Film Screening: 6:30pm


CUATRO PUNTOS CARDINALES / The Four Cardinal Points (El Salvador)

2014, R18+, 55 min, Documentary
The Four Cardinal Points is a documentary project that aspires to portray four moving stories from northern, southern, eastern and western parts of this Central American country. The objective is to show the cultural, social and ecological diversity of the region – and to create a film that distances itself from media discourses characteristic of Central America often monopolized by violence. From communities near the sea where surf is practiced up to coffee fields, from former guerrilla zones all the way to crafts towns. There are lots to see and tell in such a small country!

Film Screening: 8:10pm

Latin American Film Festival

Wed 14 Oct 2015 7:30pmTue 20 Oct 2015 11:00pm


Steele Building (Building #3), Room 206, The University of Queensland, St Lucia Campus