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Casa Grande kicks off Latinbeat at Lincoln Center

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The Film Society of Lincoln Center will present Latinbeat, a Latin American film festival running from July 11-20. The festival features award-winning films as well as some newcomers that are sure to surprise the audience with cinematic risk-tasking.

“Fifteen years after the reawakening of Latin American cinema in the 1990s there is greater and more varied film production, more interconnectedness among national cinemas, more organized governmental funding, more young people studying film, and more film festivals in the region,” Remarked Marcela Goglio, Latinbeat programmer. “However, it is exciting to see that the formal exploration and sense of urgency of those early films persists in the works of many new directors today, giving the region a sense of perpetual cinematic rebirth.”

Fellipe Barbosa’s sweet coming of age film Casa Grande kicks off the festival. A Brazilian film, Casa Grande features up and coming star Thales Cavalcanti. Cavalcanti portrays a teenager who is trying to break away from his rich family. The film also stars a variety of Brazilian TV stars as well as some new faces. This casting choice was made in order to point out class differences and racism.

Casa Grande is the first of the festival's films that talks about young adulthood. Another film that sheds light on the adolescent experience comes out of Argentina. Matías Lucchesi’s Natural Sciences tells the story of a young teenage girl who escapes her boarding school to search for her long lost father. This film won the Grand Prix of the Generation Kplus at the Berlinale.

Samuel Kishi Leopo’s We Are Mari Pepa takes place in Mexico. A group of spunky 16-year-olds in a punk band who spend every day rehearsing their completed song. They then write a second song and debate whether they should participate in a battles-of-the-bands contest.

There are some experimental films in this year's festival including Neto Villalobos’s debut feature, All About the Feathers, a wacky comedy sure to keep the audience guessing at tall times. My Straight Son features Telenovela star Miguel Ferrari. This film is both out of the box and heartwarming. It is reminiscent of Almodóvar. My Straight Son is the first Venezuelan film to portray gay and transgender issues overtly. The film features performances from some of Venezula's famous television personalities.

There are some wonderful gems in this festival and these are just a few. Visit www.filmlinc.com for complete film festival information.

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