September is a good month for Latin film lovers. In New York, Latinbeat 2007, "featuring 23 films from Central and South American countries," as Eric D. Snider told us last week, has been running since September 7; it closes tonight. In Oregon, the first Portland Latin American Film Festival gets underway on Thursday with the very fine Antonia; Eric provided details earlier this month. And in Dallas, the ninth edition of the Vistas Latino Film Festival will open tomorrow night with El Benny, a biopic about Cuban singer Benny Moré.

Dallas has a huge, diverse Latino population -- at least 35% of the city -- and Vistas reflects that diversity with a program that features Spanish-language films from throughout Central and South America, as well as Spain and the Caribbean. Highlights include the b-boy doc Inside the Circle (with director Marcy Garriott in attendance), soccer-themed comedy La Gran Final, Peruvian terrorism doc State of Fear (with writer / editor Peter Kinoy in attendance) and La Vida Immune, which Robert Koehler of Variety described as "a grimly evocative study in the decline of a family ... suffused with a doomy Mexican Gothic vibe that also retains some of the tradition of Federico Garcia Lorca's dramas, Ramon Cervantes' film immerses the viewer in the matriarch's emotional devolution."

Six filmmaker workshops, an equal number of "Coffee With ..." sessions, nightly receptions and after-parties have also been planned. One of my favorite films from last year, Your Life in 65', will close the festival on Sunday, September 23. More information can be found at the official site.
categories Cinematical