Cinema Tropical Festival

February 24-26, 2017 at Museum of the Moving Image

Astoria, Queens, New York, February 16, 2017 - Museum of the Moving Image and Cinema Tropical, the acclaimed New York-based organization dedicated to promoting Latin American cinema in the United States, co-present the 2017 edition of the Cinema Tropical Festival, from February 24 through 26. This year's festival showcases six feature films-from Brazil, Dominican Republic, Mexico, and the United States-including winners and nominees from the 7th Annual Cinema Tropical Awards, which were announced in January.

Bringing the best of contemporary Latin American cinema to New York City audiences, the Cinema Tropical Festival offers a chance to experience the dynamic and inventive film productions from the region. Opening this year's festival is Tatiana Huezo's Tempestad, winner of the Cinema Tropical Award for Best Documentary, with the director in person. "A rich and original piece of work" (IndieWire) and one of the best undistributed films of 2016 (Film Comment), Tempestad is a lyrical and powerful take on the paralyzing effect of fear and reflects the impact of the violence and impunity that afflict Mexico.

Screening over the weekend will be veteran Mexican filmmaker Arturo Ripstein's dark comedy Bleak Street, Sundance favorite Maya Goded's Plaza de Soledad, young and upcoming U.S. Latino filmmaker Bernardo Britto's Jaqueline (Argentine), and the impressive debut feature Santa Teresa & Other Stories by Dominican filmmaker Nelson Carlo de los Santos. Filmmakers Goded and de los Santos will travel to New York to appear with their films.

Winner of the Cinema Tropical Award for Best Fiction Film and one of the best films of 2016 according to New York Times critic Stephen Holden, Neon Bull by Gabriel Mascaro will close out the Festival. Winner of countless prizes and honors on the festival circuit, the Brazilian film is a bold and transgressive look at sexual identity within the context of the vaquejada, an exhibition sport in which cowboys try to pull bulls to the ground by their tails.

The full schedule with descriptions is included below. Tickets are $15 (with discounts for seniors and students / free for Museum members at the Film Lover and Kids Premium levels and above.) Advance tickets are available online at Ticket purchase includes admission to the Museum's galleries.



All screenings take place in the Sumner M. Redstone Theater or the Bartos Screening Room at Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35 Avenue in Astoria, Queens, New York.

With director Tatiana Huezo in person
Winner, Best Documentary. Dir. Tatiana Huezo. Mexico, 2016, 105 min. DCP. In Spanish with English subtitles. Tatiana Huezo's second documentary feature (after her acclaimed debut The Tiniest Place) recounts the story of two women: Miriam, who was wrongly accused of human trafficking and imprisoned in a jail controlled by a drug cartel, and Adela, a circus performer who has been looking for her kidnapped daughter for over a decade. Through a subjective and emotional journey, and with striking cinematography by Ernesto Prado (who was nominated for an American Society of Cinematographers Award for his work in the film), Tempestad conveys the paralyzing power of fear and reflects the impact of the violence and impunity that afflict Mexico. Hailed as "a rich and original piece of work" (IndieWire), Tempestad was selected by Film Comment as one of the best undistributed films of 2016.

Jacqueline (Argentine)
Winner, Best U.S. Latino Film. Dir. Bernardo Britto. 2016, 87 mins. In English, Spanish, Arabic with English subtitles. In Bernardo Britto's "playful, lo-fi travelogue" (The New Yorker), a filmmaker receives a series of panicked emails and phone calls from a young French woman-Jacqueline Dumont. She implores him to travel to Argentina to document her self-imposed political exile after she supposedly leaks highly confidential government secrets detailing a planned assassination. Jacqueline expects severe fallout and wants the filmmaker recording everything in case anything happens to her. As soon as the filmmaker and his two interns arrive at Jacqueline's Argentine remote holistic center/safe haven, they begin to think she might be more interested in singing Britney Spears songs and hanging out with her new friend than helping the filmmakers unearth a huge government conspiracy. Nevertheless, they soldier on, desperately hoping they will somehow end up with some semblance of a worthwhile film and maybe-just maybe-find a kernel of truth in Jacqueline's paranoid ramblings.

Plaza de la Soledad
With director Maya Goded in person
Winner, Best Director, Documentary. Dir. Maya Goded. Mexico, 2016, 84 min. Digital projection. In Spanish with English subtitles. Internationally acclaimed photographer Maya Goded makes a promising film debut with Plaza de la Soledad, a continuation of her photography work in La Merced neighborhood in Mexico City, where prostitution has been present since the days of the Aztecs. "Beautiful, respectful, and celebratory" (Film Comment), the film follows four strong women-middle-aged and older-who want to break a vicious circle that began with abuse and abandonment suffered from an early age. Carmen, Lety, Raquel, and Esther aspire for a better life, and Goded's poignant lens follows their quest to find true love, their capacity to transform themselves, and above all, their resilience and solidarity.

Santa Teresa & Other Stories (Santa Teresa y otras historias)
With director Nelson Carlo de los Santos in person
Winner, Best First Fiction Film. Dir. Nelson Carlo de los Santos. 2015, Dominican Republic/USA/Mexico, 65 min. Digital projection. In Spanish with English subtitles. As stories of violence in Mexican border towns continue to make international headlines, alternative ways of making sense of this brutal reality are more vital than ever. In his auspicious debut fiction film, Dominican ?lmmaker Nelson Carlo de los Santos cleverly extrapolates from Chilean author Roberto Bolaño's un?nished, posthumously published novel 2666 to explore a multiplicity of perspectives and voices in a town riven by bloodshed. In the fictional town of Santa Teresa (a stand-in for Ciudad Juárez) on the border between Mexico and the United States, the researcher Juan de Dios Martínez straddles the line between journalism and detective work, investigating a handful of crimes and abuses perpetrated on women and workers of the zone. Mixing fiction, nonfiction, and essay, Santa Teresa & Other Stories is a lyrical, experimental take on the humanitarian crisis in Mexico brought on by the drug wars.

Bleak Street (La calle de la amargura)
Winner, Best Director, Fiction. Dir. Arturo Ripstein. Mexico/Spain, 2015, 99 mins. Digital projection. In Spanish with English subtitles. Based on a true-yet bizarre-crime story, the latest film by veteran auteur Arturo Ripstein is a black-and-white lusciously shot noir melodrama that tells the story of two prostitutes (Patricia Reyes Spíndola and Nora Velásquez) who mistakenly kill two twin mini-luchadores in downtown Mexico City in a robbery attempt to make ends meet. "Ripstein plunges into a Mexico City demimonde of crime, prostitution, and wrestling...(and) imbues his Buñuelian tableaux with both empathy and dark humor" (Film Forum).

Neon Bull
(Boi neon)
Winner, Best Film. Dir. Gabriel Mascaro. Brazil, 2016, 101 min. In Portuguese with English subtitles. Aptly described as "wild, sensual, and utterly transporting" by the Toronto International Film Festival, where it had its world premiere, Neon Bull marks a great leap forward for Gabriel Mascaro, the Brazilian writer-director whose background as a documentary filmmaker is revealed in his deeply observational style. He is creating a form of poetic realism, and Neon Bull is a bold and transgressive look at sexual identity within the context of the vaquejada, an exhibition sport in which cowboys try to pull bulls to the ground by their tails. The freewheeling film revolves around a traveling group of performers, including a rugged cowhand who spends much of his time fashioning sexy outfits for a truck-driving female exotic dancer. 

[Top image: Tempestad]


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Press contacts:

Tomoko Kawamoto, MOMI: / 718 777 6830
Laura Schwab, Cinema Tropical: / 212 254 5474

For more information, screeners for review, hi-res images or to schedule an interview with the filmmakers, please contact Laura Schwab at or (212) 254-5474


Museum of the Moving Image ( advances the understanding, enjoyment, and appreciation of the art, history, technique, and technology of film, television, and digital media. In its stunning facilities-acclaimed for both its accessibility and bold design-the Museum presents exhibitions; screenings of significant works; discussion programs featuring actors, directors, craftspeople, and business leaders; and education programs which serve more than 50,000 students each year. The Museum also houses a significant collection of moving-image artifacts.

Hours: Wednesday-Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Friday, 10:30 to 8:00 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Holiday hours: The Museum will be open on Monday and Tuesday, February 15 and 16, from 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Museum Admission: $12.00 for adults; $9.00 for persons over 65 and for students with ID; $6.00 for children ages 3-12. Children under 3 and Museum members are admitted free. Admission to the galleries is free on Fridays, 4:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Film Screenings: Friday evenings, Saturdays and Sundays, and as scheduled. Unless otherwise noted, tickets are $12 adults / $9 students and seniors / $6 children 3-12 / free for Museum members at the Film Lover level and above. Advance purchase is available online. Tickets purchase may be applied toward same-day admission to the Museum's galleries.

Location: 36-01 35 Avenue (at 37 Street) in Astoria.

Subway: M (weekdays only) or R to Steinway Street. Q (weekdays only) or N to 36 Avenue.

Program Information: Telephone: 718 777 6888; Website:

Membership: or 718 777 6877

Museum of the Moving Image is housed in a building owned by the City of New York and has received significant support from the following public agencies: New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; New York City Economic Development Corporation; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; Institute of Museum and Library Services; National Endowment for the Humanities; National Endowment for the Arts; and Natural Heritage Trust (administered by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation).