We are thrilled to announce the winners of the 2016 Arlington International Film Festival. Click here for program and ticket information.
Sunday, October 30th 6:35PM
East LA Interchange (56 min) AIFF JURY AWARD FOR “BEST OF FESTIVAL
Betsy Kalin, Director | U.S.A. | 2016 | Doc | East Coast Premiere
East LA Interchange tells the story of working-class, immigrant Boyle Heights, the oldest neighborhood in East Los Angeles. Targeted by government policies, real estate laws, and California planners, this quintessential immigrant neighborhood survived racially restrictive housing covenants, Japanese-American Internment, Federal redlining policies, lack of political representation, and the building of the largest and busiest freeway interchange system in the nation, the East L.A. Interchange. The documentary explores how the freeways – a symbol of Los Angeles ingrained in America’s popular imagination – impact Boyle Heights’ residents: literally, as an environmental hazard and structural blockade and figuratively, as a conversational interchange about why the future of their beloved community should matter to us all. The history of Boyle Heights is an example of the promise — and peril — of American progress.
Awards: Winner of the Award of Excellence IndieFest Film Awards; Best Feature New Urbanism Film Festival; 1st place jury award Frozen River Film Festival; Best Doc Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival.
Panel Discussion with Director/Producer Betsy Kalin and Associate Producer Ruby Gómez.
Opening Night | Thursday, October 27, 7:00PM
JIÀOLIÀN [COACH] (75 min) AIFF JURY AWARD FOR “BEST FEATURE DOCUMENTARY”
Esteban Argüello, Producer/Director | USA/China | 2015 | Doc
This is the story of 27-year-old Norman de Silva, who overnight was given the head coaching job of the Chinese Basketball Association’s (CBA) Foshan Long Lions. Although basketball has been in China for over a hundred years, their professional league is still very young. In an effort to make the CBA games more exciting and to enhance the training and development of local players, the CBA allows each team to contract up to two American players and an American coach. For Norman, China is an opportunity at the job he’s always wanted, but as he delves deeper into the lives of his players he sees kids that have been put through exhausting and mundane drills for years to become model athletes. In order to win, Norman has to help his players fall in love with basketball again. Jiàoliàn [Coach] is a rare time capsule of what it means to play basketball in China at a time when age-old Eastern practices are clashing with new Western methods. Official Selection of the Sebastopol Doc Fest, Ethnografilm Festival, Paris, D.C. Asian American FF, Washington DC and Frozen River Film Festival.
Panel Discussion with Esteban Argüello, Producer/Director and Norman de Silva
10:00 PM – midnight | VIP After-Party at Za Restaurant
Saturday, October 29, 4:00 PM
THE DAY OF THE BLEEDING GUMS (5 min) AIFF JURY AWARD FOR “BEST SHORT ANIMATION”
Dimitar Dimitrov-Animiter, Director | Bulgaria | 2014 | Animation | New England Premiere
An animation drawn frame by frame on a smartphone and the message of this short being, a painting has value only in the moment of its creation; the rest is just a postcard from a faraway voyage.
Saturday, October 29, 5:20 PM
PROGRAM 1 INTERNATIONAL SHORTS
THE TIME OF THE LUTHIERS (25 min) AIFF JURY AWARD FOR “BEST SHORT DOCUMENTARY”
Jorge Guerrero, Director | Spain | 2016 | Doc | USA Premiere
For over a century Felipe Conde’s family has been handcrafting Spanish guitars. From its small workshop in downtown Madrid, theirs has become one of the most prestigious brands, having among its clientele outstanding players such as Paco de Lucia and Al Di Meola, Leonard Cohen and Lenny Kravitz. Felipe’s 20-year-old children, Maria and Felipe Jr, are now the fourth generation of their family to join the legacy business. Their father has bequeathed to them all the secrets of the Luthier’s trade, paramount of which is the importance of patience and perseverance, two qualities lacking nowadays.
Saturday, October 29, 5:20 PM
PROGRAM 1 INTERNATIONAL SHORTS
EDEN HOSTEL (14 min) AIFF JURY AWARD FOR “BEST SHORT NARRATIVE”
Gonzaga Manso, Director | Spain | 2016 | Nar | New England Premiere
Hanging from the wall of one of its rooms there’s a statuette of the Virgin Mary who narrates from her peculiar point of view, the stories of the various guests who stayed there.
Official Selection at the Seattle International Film Festival and Vancouver International Film Festival
Saturday, October 29, 10:00 PM
CLIMAS (84) AIFF JURY AWARD FOR “BEST FEATURE NARRATIVE”
Enrica Pérez, Director | Peru | 2014 | Nar | USA Premiere
Three women of vastly differing ages and origins cope with life in three distinct regions of Peru. Eva, a young girl from the lush tropics of the Amazonian jungle, experiences a sexual awakening by way of a forbidden relationship with her uncle. Victoria, a wealthy socialite from Lima, suffers a terrible secret that renders her inner life as grey and melancholic as the city surrounding her. Zoraida, an elderly peasant from a destitute village in the Andean Mountains, confronts her worst fears in the wake of the unexpected return of her estranged son. Three unconnected regions, three introverted women, three stories of discovery shaped by three different geographies, societies and climates of the same fragmented country.
Premiered at the Warsaw Film Festival; Official Selection of the Festival del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano de Cuba; Epic Award for upcoming Filmmakers at the Festival de Cine de Lima.
Sunday, October 30, 6:35 PM
EAST LA INTERCHANGE (56 min) AIFF JURY AWARD FOR “BEST OF FESTIVAL”
Betsy Kalin, Director | U.S.A. | 2016 | Doc | East Coast Premiere
East LA Interchange tells the story of working-class, immigrant Boyle Heights, the oldest neighborhood in East Los Angeles. Targeted by government policies, real estate laws, and California planners, this quintessential immigrant neighborhood survived racially restrictive housing covenants, Japanese-American Internment, Federal redlining policies, lack of political representation, and the building of the largest and busiest freeway interchange system in the nation, the East L.A. Interchange. The documentary explores how the freeways – a symbol of Los Angeles ingrained in America’s popular imagination – impact Boyle Heights’ residents: literally, as an environmental hazard and structural blockade and figuratively, as a conversational interchange about why the future of their beloved community should matter to us all. The history of Boyle Heights is an example of the promise — and peril — of American progress. The film features narration by Danny Trejo (Machete) and interviews with will.i.am (The Black Eyed Peas), Father Greg Boyle (Homeboy Industries), and Josefina López (Real Women Have Curves) as well as an original song by Raul Pacheco (Ozomatli).
Awards: East LA Interchange won Best Feature Film at the New Urbanism Film Festival, the Audience Award for Best Feature Documentary at the Downtown Film Festival L.A., the Audience Choice Award for Best Feature Documentary at the Highland Park Independent Film Festival, the Award of Excellence for Documentary Feature at Indie FEST, and the Honorable Mention at the Richmond International Film Festival.
Panel Discussion with Director/Producer Betsy Kalin and Associate Producer Ruby Gómez
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 28,
Paper Lanterns (60 min)
Barry Frechette, Director | USA | 2015 | Doc
On August 6, 1945, the atomic bomb exploded over Hiroshima. Little known is the fact that among the estimated 140,000 casualties of that day were 12 American prisoners of war held at the Hiroshima Military Police Headquarters since July 28, when they had been shot down during a bombing raid. For decades, many of the families of these 12 Americans were never informed as to the fate of their loved ones. Thanks to the tireless efforts of Mr. Shigeaki Mori, himself a hibakusha (A-bomb survivor), the names of these 12 are now included in the Hiroshima Peace Museum, and the relatives have learned the truth. Paper Lanterns documents the story of Mr. Mori and his dream of reaching out to the relatives of these lost American airmen.
An Official selection of the United Nations Association Film Festival and Hiroshima International Film Festival 2016.
Q&A with Director Barry Frechette
Friday, October 28th 8:30 PM
Clarence (76 min)
Kristin Catalano, Director | USA | 2015 | Doc
After 50 years away from academia, 85-year-old WWII Vet, Clarence Garrett, returns to UW-Milwaukee to fulfill his biggest regret–not earning his Bachelor’s Degree. While Clarence’s drive and determination are idealistic, the reality of his age is undeniable. When unforeseen circumstances land him in the hospital, he is forced to abandon his goal of graduation to survive a critical operation.
An Official selection of the Rome International Film Festival, Skyline Indie Film Festival, Austin Film Festival and winner of the Best Doc Feature in the Beloit International Film Festival.
Saturday, October 29th 7:02PM
Najia Beta (50 min)
Arthur Musah, Writer/Director/Producer | Ghana/Nigeria/USA | 2016 | Doc
Arthur Musah is a filmmaker from Ghana and Ukraine. His latest documentary NAIJA BETA premiered in April 2016 at the Pan African International Film Festival in Cannes. Arthur studied filmmaking in the MFA program at the University of Southern California as an Annenberg Fellow, and holds a bachelor’s and a master’s in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Dreaming of shaking up education in Nigeria, a team of Nigerian and Nigerian-American MIT students heads home one summer to teach technology to high-schoolers through a competitive robotics camp in Lagos. As they seek to contribute to a new and better Nigeria, their ideals are tested by reality master’s in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Q&A with Writer/Director Arthur Musah
HIGH SCHOOL FILMMAKER AWARDS
ATTACHED AT THE SOUL (9 min) BEST OF FESTIVAL
William Leon, Writer/Director | USA/CA | 2016 | Narrative
Donald Kline struggles with having to leave his wife Margie’s death bed in order to attend a ceremony where he and his wife will be honored for their life time achievements, which include promoting diversity, equal rights, and acceptance. Donald’s daughter, Theresa, however, convinces him that going to the ceremony is the right thing to do. Donald reluctantly goes to the ceremony, but he is only there physically; mentally, he is back in time to the 1950’s when he first met Margie. We see their struggles as two teenagers from different ethnic backgrounds growing up in the racially divided South. They open their hearts to find acceptance, friendship, compassion, and love. When Donald finally becomes both physically and mentally present, we realize just how close and attached he and the love of his life, Margie, really are.
TODO TIENE SU TIEMPO/EVERYTHING HAS ITS TIME (6min) Best Documentary
Marylys Merida, Director | USA/Massachusetts | 2015 | Doc
A woman opens up about her struggles and how her hard work manifested into her life’s accomplishments. According to AIFF Judge, Michael Mahin, “Todo Tiene Su Tiempo” has been chosen as Best Doc for its simplicity, its technical efficiency, and its pertinent message. “In an age of growing anti-immigrant sentiment, the film acts as an important reminder that these are people, families, human beings who we are discussing. Without pretension or artifice,“Todo Tiene Su Tiempo” explores what it means to make a new home in a new place with those closest to us.” — Director Marlyss Merid
TEACH ME FISH (10 min) BEST NARRATIVE
Asa Minter, Director | USA/Massachusetts | 2016 | Narrative
A lonely boy obsessed with geology gets more than he asks for when he goes out on one of his daily rock hunts. Kevin Wetmore, AIFF Judge, speaks about the film; “It tells a cohesive visual story and is also very funny and likable. All of the performances work well, especially that of the alien visitor. The sound production, sound editing, and music choices all work wonderfully. The cinematography is also a highlight. All the shots seem carefully com- posed and there is a consistent style throughout the film. Overall this film is an accomplishment to be proud of, and the filmmaker should not hesitate to create new work.”
I DON’T NEED U (4 min) BEST EXPERIMENTAL
Alyssa Peguero, Director | USA/Massachusetts | 2015 | Experimental
A girl who grew up without her father writes a letter about her deepest and most sincere feelings about him. “With simple but elegant camerawork and effective voice-over narration, ‘I Don’t Need U’ subtly but powerfully underscores the primordial bond between parent and child – and the pain that can be caused by the absence of this bond,” said film judge Michael Mahin.
October 27 – 30 | Capitol Theatre | Arlington MA