Now in its 24th year, the AFI Latin American Film Festival showcases the best filmmaking from Latin America and, with the inclusion of films from Spain and Portugal, celebrates Ibero-American cultural connections. The 2013 festival features an expansive lineup of exciting new films making their local premieres. Opening and Closing Night films, and Special Presentations, are listed below; for the full film list, click here.

Highlights of the festival include Opening Night film VIOLA, an Argentine spin on Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night"; Argentina's THESIS ON A HOMICIDE, starring Ricardo Darín; BLESS ME, ULTIMA, the screen adaptation of Rudolfo Anaya's landmark Chicano novel; SUGAR KISSES, written and directed by Mexico's Carlos Cuarón (RUDO Y CURSI); THE FUTURE, Chilean filmmaker Alicia Scherson's adaptation of a novel by celebrated author Roberto Bolaño, set in Rome and starring Rutger Hauer; A GUN IN EACH HAND, Spanish filmmaker Cesc Gay's battle-of-the-sexes farce, starring Javier Camara, Eduardo Noriega and Ricardo Darín; SO MUCH WATER, a multi-award-winning coming-of-age tale from Uruguay; VIRAMUNDO, a documentary about Brazilian musical star-turned-Ministry of Culture Gilberto Gil; THE DEAD MAN AND BEING HAPPY, an oddball road movie across the Argentine countryside, directed by Spaniard Javier Rebollo; RIO 2096: A STORY OF LOVE AND FURY, a visionary animated film, awarded the top prize at this year's Annecy Animated Film Festival; and a free community screening of HARVEST OF EMPIRE: THE UNTOLD STORY OF LATINOS IN AMERICA.

Look for the fall issue of AFI Preview, featuring the AFI Latin American Film Festival, in the Washington Post on September 13!

Festival passes & Combo Ticket Packages!


Explore Latin American cinema with an AFI Latin American Film Festival pass – the Pase Especial! Want to see all the hottest films in the festival without having to worry about buying tickets in advance? With the Pase Especial, you have priority access to every film. NO TICKETS NEEDED. The all-access Pase Especial gives you admission for one to every screening in the AFI Latin American Film Festival, including Opening and Closing Night and festival Happy Hours. Valued at more than $500! 

Show Pase Especial at Nando's Peri Peri in Silver Spring during the festival, and receive 20% off your bill!

If you plan to buy eight or more tickets to films in the AFI Latin American Film Festival, in any combination, ask for the Combo Ticket Package discounted rate of just $10 per ticket. (Normal ticket price is $12) You can buy several tickets to one show, or one ticket to several shows! It's perfect for families attending shows together and festival-goers who have planned out their schedule of must-see shows in advance. Combo Ticket Package purchases must be completed in a single transaction at the AFI Silver box office for discount to apply. Offer does not apply to web sales, Special Presentations or shows with a higher ticket price.

$150 General Public/$125 for AFI Members and Students



Stop by the AFI Silver Café every Thursday and Friday during the festival from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. for Happy Hour! Happy Hours feature complimentary snacks courtesy of Nando's Peri Peri, Latin American drink specials and festive music. Enjoy a cold drink and a delicious appetizer before your film.

Happy Hour dates: September 20, 26 & 27; October 3 & 4
Happy Hour specials are valid only for AFI Latin American Film Festival pass holders and ticket holders to films playing on the given dates.

No passes accepted for screenings in the AFI Latin American Film Festival.

A NOTE TO AUDIENCES: Because films in the AFI Latin American Film Festival have not been evaluated by the MPAA rating system in the US, AFI has made its best effort to inform audiences about any content that could lead to a restricted rating if released here. The following is a guide:

S sexuality V violence D drug use L language

Opening Night:

Q&A with filmmaker Matías Piñeiro, plus post-screening reception sponsored by the Embassy of Argentina, on Sep 19


Matías Piñeiro's spritely adaptation of Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night," set among contemporary Buenos Aires hipsters, would make both the Bard and Eric Rohmer, the French New Wave's resident contempo-classicist, proud. The action shifts from an all-female Shakespeare production, to rehearsals, to reality and back again as the women contemplate love and relationships in the big city. Manohla Dargis of The New York Times proclaimed the film "wonderfully inventive...a triumph of narrative imagination and bottom line ingenuity." Official Selection, 2012 Toronto Film Festival; 2013 Berlin, New Director/New Films Film Festivals.

DIR/SCR Matías Piñeiro; PROD Melanie Schapiro. Argentina/US, 2012, color, 65 min, DCP. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED L

Screening with:

A precursor to VIOLA in both its joyful tone and imaginative vision, Matías Piñero's first brush with Shakespeare follows a troupe of young actors who retire to an island getaway to rehearse "As You Like It." The movie begins with heartbreak: Luisa, who plays Rosalinda, breaks up with her boyfriend on her cellphone. But as the day progresses and she gets deeper into character, the play starts to overtake reality, as she now finds herself the object of affection of her eccentric castmates. NOT RATED L

DIR/SCR Matías Piñeiro; PROD Iván Granovsky. Argentina, 2012, color, 43 min, HDCam. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED L

No passes accepted.

Opening Night: Thu, Sep 19, 7:30 (also screening Sat, Sep 21, 3:00)

Special Presentation:

THESIS ON A HOMICIDE [Tesis sobre un homicidio]


Roberto Bermúdez (Ricardo Darín, THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES) is a well-respected law professor and celebrated author whose life is changed forever when a young woman's body is found just outside his classroom window. Convinced that his star pupil, the all-too charming Gonzalo (Alberto Ammann), is behind the murder and plotting his next kill, Roberto risks his life, prestige and perhaps even his sanity to prove Gonzalo's guilt. Brimming with sex, murder and intrigue, this twist-filled thriller was a box office phenomenon in Argentina.

DIR Hernán Goldfrid; SCR Patricio Vega, from the book by Diego Paszkowski; PROD Diego Dubcovsky, Gerardo Herrero. Argentina/Spain, 2013, color, 106 min, 35mm. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED S V L

No passes accepted.

Special Presentation: Fri, Sep 20, 7:00 (also showing Tue, Sep 24, 9:10)

Special Presentation:

SUGAR KISSES [Besos de Azúcar]
Q&A with filmmaker Carlos Cuarón, plus post-screening reception sponsored by the Mexican Cultural Institute, on Sep 21


Mischievous tween Nacho can't seem to do anything right. His stepfather hates him, his mom never takes his side and, to make matters worse, he's in love with Mayra, the daughter of the most feared woman in the Tepito neighborhood of Mexico City. His only respite is hitting the arcade with his best friend and partner in crime, Cacayo. But as the harsh realities of inner-city life set in, can Nacho overcome all obstacles to keep his innocence and first romance alive? Featuring breakout performances by young leads César Kancino and Daniela Arce, filmmaker Carlos Cuarón (RUDO Y CURSI, Y TU MAMÁ TAMBIÉN) leavens this "Romeo and Juliet"-esque tale with good-hearted humor. Official Selection, 2013 Guadalajara Film Festival.

DIR/SCR/PROD Carlos Cuarón; SCR Luis Usabiaga; PROD Alex Garcia. Mexico, 2013, color, 86 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED V L

No passes accepted.

Special Presentation: Sat, Sep 21, 7:00 (also showing Sun, Sep 22, 5:00)

Special Presentation:



Adapted from Rudolfo Anaya's landmark Chicano novel, this sensitive coming-of-age story follows Antonio, a young boy in 1940s New Mexico, and Ultima, the village elder who becomes his curandera, mentor and protector. Despite rumors that Ultima is a witch who practices black magic, Antonio seeks out her teaching and she quickly opens his eyes to the wonders of the spiritual world. Director Carl Franklin (DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS) honors the book's spirit with handsome cinematography, lush period detail and moving performances, in a film which the late Roger Ebert gave one of his final four-star reviews. "A deeply satisfying feat of storytelling."—Kenneth Turan, The Los Angeles Times.

DIR/SCR Carl Franklin, from the novel by Rudolfo Anaya; PROD Jesse Beaton, Sarah DiLeo, Mark Johnson. US, 2013, color, 106 min, DCP. In English and Spanish with English subtitles. RATED PG-13 V

No passes accepted.

Special Presentation: Fri, Sep 27, 7:00 (also showing Sat, Sep 28, 1:00)

Special Presentation:

2013 Oscar Submission for Best Foreign Language Film, Argentina


Patagonia, 1960. The infamous Nazi criminal Josef Mengele (Àlex Brendemühl), going by the alias Helmut Gregor, connects with an Argentine family and follows them to Bariloche, where they are set to open a new hotel. Chillingly interested in the mother, pregnant with twins, and their diminutive 12-year-old daughter, Mengele's dark passions are reignited. Unaware of his true identity, the family welcomes the charismatic man with open arms, until they discover his disturbing secret. Filmmaker Lucía Puenzo (XXY) adapts her own novel, loosely based on historical facts, to create a slow-boiling thriller. Official Selection, 2013 Cannes Film Festival.

DIR/SCR/PROD Lucía Puenzo; PROD Gudny Hummelvoll, Stan Jakubowicz, Axel Kuschevatzky, José María Morales, Fabienne Vonier. Argentina/France/Spain/Norway, 2013, color, 93 min. In Spanish, German and Hebrew with English subtitles. NOT RATED

Presented in cooperation with the Washington Jewish Film Festival.

No passes accepted.

Special Presentation: Sat, Sep 28, 7:15 (also showing Mon, Sep 30, 7:00)

Special Presentation:

THE DEAD MAN AND BEING HAPPY [El muerto y ser feliz]
Q&A with filmmaker Javier Rebollo, plus post-screening reception sponsored by SPAIN arts & culture, Embassy of Spain with support from Pragda, on Oct 4


Spanish filmmaker Javier Rebollo's oddball road movie centers on an aging, cancer-stricken hitman, Santos (José Sacristán), who goes on the lam in his Ford Falcon after flaking out on his most recent assignment. Stealing away from his Buenos Aires hospital bed, he hits the road and heads north, hoping to make it to Bolivia. Along the way he's joined by fellow traveler Alejandra (Lisa Caligaris), a woman seeking change in her own life, who impulsively jumps in the car with Santos at a highway gas station. Making their way across the stunning Argentine landscape, stumbling upon decrepit resort towns described as "a strange mix of paradise and apocalypse," Rebollo's quirky picaresque has both an offhand charm and a light sense of gravitas. Best Actor for Sacristán, 2012 Goya Awards; Official Selection, 2012 San Sebastian, New York Film Festivals; 2013 Rotterdam, Karlovy Vary Film Festivals.

DIR/SCR Javier Rebollo; SCR Lola Mayo, Salvador Roselli, PROD Luis Miñarro, José Nolla, Damián París. Spain/Argentina/France, 2013, color, 92 min. In Spanish with English subtitles. NOT RATED V

No passes accepted.

Special Presentation: Fri, Oct 4, 7:00 (also showing Wed, Oct 9, 6:30)

Closing Night:



August 3, 2010. An unidentified body is found just over the Mexican border in the arid desert of Arizona, a tattoo on the man's chest, "Dayani Cristal," the only clue to his identity. As forensic scientists in the U.S. do their best to solve the mystery, Gael García Bernal (Y TU MAMÁ TAMBIEN, THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES) retraces the man's tough journey from Honduras, hopping on trains and hoofing it on foot through Mexico toward the border. A potent docu-drama, filmmaker Marc Silver gracefully breathes life into the story of the undocumented and underrepresented, just one story in a sea of thousands who set out for a better life for themselves and their families. Cinematography Award, World Cinema Documentary, 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

DIR Marc Silver; SCR Mark Monroe; PROD Thomas Benski, Gael García Bernal, Luca Ochoa. Mexico/UK, 2013, color, 85 min. In English. NOT RATED V L

No passes accepted.

Closing Night: Sat, Oct 5, 7:00 (also showing Sun, Oct 6, 1:00)

AFI would like to thank the following supporters: