Your Guide to Yale’s Latino and Iberian Film Festival

By Jessica Spinelli 

Ready to expand your cinematic horizons?

The 2016 edition of the Latino and Iberian Film Festival at Yale (LIFFY) will take place from Wed., Nov 9, until Sun. Nov 13, at Yale University in New Haven. The free event is open to the public, and all the screened films will have English subtitles.

Over the summer, we interviewed festival organizer and Yale professor Margherita Tortora, who created the festival in order to bring awareness of Spanish and Portuguese speaking cultures to the greater New Haven area.


Now, with LIFFY right around the corner, we’ve got you covered: Here’s our guide to the festival’s can’t-miss films.

Pinches actores (Freakin’ Actors)

This comedic drama by director Hermanos Dufour has both Mexican and French ties. In the film, six friends face challenges as they each struggle to become successful actors.

According to the program, “One [character] dreams of being a soap opera star; another puts up with a jealous wife and less than promising roles; a young actress believes in the power of acting as an art form but has
 to deal with the industry’s sexism; a leading man doesn’t care who he has to step on as he climbs to the top; and a family man’s acting dreams begin to slip away. Then there’s the eccentric Mad who shares these stories and his own in this love letter to acting.”

The film will be followed by a Q&A session with actor Grecia Monroc and editor Katery Gutiérrez Rincón.

Wednesday, Nov. 9, 7 p.m., Luce Hall Auditorium, 34 Hillhouse Ave. (between Sachem & Trumbull), New Haven.


This documentary follows Professor Luis Felipe Díaz, who after more than 20 years of teaching at the University of Puerto Rico as a man, began arriving to teach while presenting as a woman.

Following the screening, a panel discussion titled “Cinematic and Literary Expressions of Gender and Identity” will feature both Díaz and the film’s director, Joelle González Laguer.

Thurs., Nov. 10, 8 p.m., Linsly-Chittenden Hall, 63 High St. (between Chapel and Elm) Room 101, New Haven.

Friday programming

In addition to a series of short films from Spain at 2 p.m. with topics ranging from love to disease, LIFFY’s Friday programming features several events worth catching.

  • Trasnazarín (Retracing Nazarín), an enthralling documentary about the great surrealist filmmaker, Luis Buñuel. A Q&A session with director Javier Espada will follow the screening. (4 p.m.)
  • La Sargento Matacho (Sargent Matacho), which tells stories from within a bloody war in Colombia (7:30 p.m.)
  • Internet Junkiea feature film from director Alexander Katzowicz, who has ties to Argentina, Mexico and Israel (10 p.m.)

Fri., Nov. 11, Luce Hall Auditorium, 34 Hillhouse Ave., New Haven. 


This family-friendly film from Chilean director Sergio Castilla is sure to capture hearts as it tells the story of an abandoned dog who slowly changes the lives of its initially reluctant adopters.

Saturday’s festival lineup also features two collections of films from Cuba, which certainly piqued our interest as well.

Sat., Nov. 12, 12 p.m., Luce Hall Auditorium, 34 Hillhouse Ave., New Haven.

Dream Town 

Described as “underdog story about how soccer has transformed an Afro-Ecuadorian community in El Chota Valley,” Dream Town follows seven unlikely soccer players who battle poverty and racism to lead Ecuador‘s national soccer team to its first-ever World Cup.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Betty Bastidas, producer/editor Jorge Torre and producer Giovanna Aguilar.

Sun., Nov. 13, 6:30 p.m., Luce Hall Auditorium, 34 Hillhouse Ave., New Haven.

La Gunguna (The Gunguna)

What do a construction worker, a border patrol sergeant, a merciless loan shark, a mobster, an arms dealer and a bar owner have in common? They all wind up in possession of The Gunguna: a legendary .22 caliber pistol sought worldwide by collectors who are willing to pay up — and even kill — for it.

This Dominican dark comedy, directed by Ernesto Alemany, is LIFFY’s closing film. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the director and a closing reception.

Sun., Nov. 13, 8 p.m., Luce Hall Auditorium, 34 Hillhouse Ave., New Haven.

Visit LIFFY on Facebook to stay up-to-date with the festival all week.

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