New York Latino Film Festival Starts Today


Wednesday, August 23rd (Opening Night)
Movie: Ruben Blades Is Not My Name

Screening Location: AMC Empire 25 Theater
Photo Opp/Red Carpet: 6:30pm (Ruben Blades, Residente from Calle 13, Allen Maldinado, Abner Benaim, Flaco Navaja, Chris Mulkey, Paola Baldion and others)
Screening: 7:30pm (Q&A with filmmaker Abner Benaim and Ruben Blades to follow)

About Ruben Blades Is Not My Name: This star-studded documentary offers an intimate portrait of Ruben Blades, revealing a living legend and his struggle to come to terms with his legacy.

Latin American icon Ruben Blades was at the center of the New York Salsa revolution in the 1970s. His socially charged lyrics and explosive rhythms brought Salsa music to an international audience. Blades won 17 Grammys, acted in Hollywood, earned a law degree from Harvard and even ran for President of his native Panama. He lives in NY, where he granted us exclusive access to his life at home and on tour. Critically acclaimed director Abner Benaim takes us on a journey through Ruben’s 50-year career, revealing that Ruben might still have both musical and political ambitions.


Thursday, August 23rd (Day 2)
Movie: The Sentence

Screening Location: AMC Empire 25 Theater
Photo Opp/Red Carpet: 7:30pm
Screening: 8:30pm (Q&A with filmmaker Rudy Valdez to follow)

About The Sentence: Drawing from hundreds of hours of footage, filmmaker Rudy Valdez shows the aftermath of his sister Cindy’s 15-year sentence for conspiracy charges related to crimes committed by her deceased ex-boyfriend—something known, in legal terms, as “the girlfriend problem.” Valdez’s method of coping with this tragedy is to film his sister’s family for her, both the everyday details and the milestones—moments Cindy herself can no longer share in. But in the midst of this nightmare, Valdez finds his voice as both a filmmaker and activist, and he and his family begin to fight for Cindy’s release during the last months of the Obama administration’s clemency initiative. Whether their attempts will allow Cindy to break free of her draconian sentence becomes the aching question at the core of this deeply personal portrait of a family in crisis.


Friday, August 24th (Day 3) 
Movie: Canal Street

Screening Location: AMC Empire 25 Theater
Photo Opp/Red Carpet: TBC
Available for interviews Star Chris Mulkey and Producer Alex AgraSanchez
Screening: 8:00pm

About Canal Street: In this provocative, unsettling thriller, a high school teen from the South Side finds himself at the center of a murder investigation. It’s up to his father, an up-and-coming Chicago lawyer, to defend his son in court and battle an outraged public before time runs out. Starring Empire’s Bryshere Gray, Canal Street is a heart-pounding tale of faith, justice, and the relationship between a father and his son.


Saturday, August 25th (Day 4) 
Movie:  Make Love Great Again 

Screening Location: AMC Empire 25 Theater
Photo Opp/Red Carpet: TBC
Available for interviews Star Chris Mulkey, Producer Alex AgraSanchez
Screening: 4:00pm

About Make Love Great Again: Mexican-born director Aaron Agrasanchez’s second feature is a pointed comedy about transnational lovers in a dangerous time. Set in Miami during the Trump ascendancy, Make Love Great Again pits adorable newlyweds Chris and Natalie against a pair of unduly suspicious federal agents charged with approving the verity of their marriage. Chris is American, Natalie is a Mexican in the U.S. on a student visa; their nuptials can grant her that coveted permanent residency — but only if their love story proves credible. Darting between fun and tumultuous flashbacks and the unnerving weirdness of Chris and Natalie’s interrogation, Make Love Great Again shows that sometimes you need to lie in order to tell the truth – and how, with a little luck and tenacity, love trumps all.