Photo via cinematropical.com
The Cinema Tropical Festival will take place at the Museum of the Moving Image from Feb. 2 through Feb. 4.

From Feb. 2 through Feb. 4, the Museum of the Moving Image (MoMI) in Astoria will screen award-winning Latin American films to a U.S. audience.

Cinema Tropical, a nonprofit formed in 2001 to promote and distribute films coming from the region, honored these films at the 8th annual Cinema Tropical Awards last month. In 2011, the nonprofit began partnering with MoMI in Astoria to screen the films.

On Feb. 2. at 7 p.m., MoMI will screen the Best First Film titled “La Soledad.” Directed by Jorge Thielen Armand, the film follows Jose, a young father who realizes that the dilapidated mansion he squats in in Venezuela will soon be demolished. To try to save his family from homelessness, he goes on a quest to find a cursed treasure that is said to be hidden in the mansion. Armand, who cast many of his friends in the film, sets out to create an “allegory of the desperate reality of today’s Venezuela.”

Two films will be screened on the second day of the festival. “Adriana’s Pact” will be screened at 2 p.m. The documentary by Lissette Orozco explores her relationship with Adriana, her aunt who moved to Australia in 2007. When Adriana comes back to Chile to visit family, she is arrested and accused for having worked for dictator Augusto Pinochet’s secret police, DINA.

Orozco investigate’s Adriana’s history as her aunt denies the charges and struggles to balance her role as both niece and filmmaker.

At 4 p.m., MoMI will screen the Best U.S. Latino Film titled “Memories of a Penitent Heart” and directed by Cecilia Aldarondo. The filmmaker explores what she expects is a dark family secret relating to her uncle Miguel. She searches for her uncle’s partner Robert to ask about her uncle’s death from AIDS years later. It takes the directer two years to find him and when she does, Robert has reinvented himself as Father Aquin, a Franciscan monk.

“Memories of a Penitent Heart” is described as “a cautionary tale about the unresolved conflicts wrought by AIDS, and a nuanced exploration of how faith is used and abused in times of crisis.”

On Feb. 4 at 3 p.m. the museum will screen “Araby” by directors Affonso Uchoa and João Dumans. Set in Brazil, the film follows teenager Andre who lives near an old aluminuim factory. When Cristiano, a factory worker, is injured Andre is asked to go to his house and pick up documents. He discovers the man’s journal and viewers are “plunged into Cristiano’s life, into stories of his wanderings, adventures and loves.”

The last film, which will be screened at 5 p.m. is titled “The Human Surge” and is directed by Eduardo Williams. Set in Buenos Aires, it follows 25-year-old Exe, who loses his job and connects online with a Alf, a boy from Mozambique who is bored with his job and plans on following his friend Archie, into the jungle. Viewers are also introduced to Chai, a Filipina who is trying to get back home and explore the ways in which these character’s journey’s connect or don’t.

Tickets for each screening are $15 or free for members at the Film Lover level and MoMI Kids Premium levels and above.


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