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Latin American Film Festival kicks off next Thursday

Photo of Detrás del milagro, courtesy of VLAFF.

Cinephiles can rejoice as the 9th annual Vancouver Latin American Film  Festival is around the corner (September 1-11). The festival will showcase the most compelling Latin American productions of the past two years.

For the first time, the festival will have three competitions for best documentary, short and feature-length films.

The best documentary section is sponsored by Al Jazeera Documentary Channel and will award the winning director with $3,500. In addition, a jury comprised of seven post-secondary students will select the recipient of the Youth Choice Award for a fiction film made by an emerging filmmaker.

This year's festival opener is El hombre de al lado (The Man Next Door), directed by Gastón Duprat and Mariano Cohn from Argentina. The festival's coveted closing spot goes to Chicogrande, directed by renowned Mexican filmmaker, Felipe Cazals.

Keep an eye out for the following Canadian-directed films:

Beyond de Miracle (Detrás del milagro): Directed by Montreal-based Chilean filmmaker, Orlando Arriagada, the film is a documentary about the 33 miners (a.k.a. Los 33) who were trapped in a Chilean mine last year. The event attracted worldwide publicity during which the media frequently touted the miners as “heroes”. The men gained the admiration of Hollywood celebrities which further bolstered their public profile. The film features interviews with four of the miners in an effort to showcase insight into their lives and newfound fame.

The Devil Operation (Operación Diablo): Directed by Ontario-born filmmaker, Stephanie Boyd, this film is a political thriller that focuses on attacks again environmental activists and Peruvian farmers by U.S. and British-owned gold mines. The film features elements of murder, harassment, persecution, and 24/7 surveillance. Father Marco Arana, aka “El Diablo” (The Devil), the film's protagonist, has advocated for the farmers’ rights for 20 years and was proclaimed “Hero of the Environment” by TIME Magazine in 2009.

Visit the VLAFF website to purchase tickets and view the festival's comprehensive schedule.

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