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Latinos Light Up Sundance Screens

Festival ignites indie flicks

En español | The Latino presence at the Sundance Film Festival continues to gain momentum 25 years after its debut, when founder Robert Redford set up a category dedicated to Hispanic artists. Award winners include international box-office hits such as Quinceañera and Maria Full of Grace. Peter Bratt, whose La Mission, about San Francisco’s Mission District, premiered at Sundance last year, says the festival has grown even more diverse than when he and brother Benjamin brought Follow Me Home there in 1996. “It’s now an environment where all are welcome, as long as your story is a good one,” says Bratt, whose mother is Peruvian. “This reflects the festival’s ongoing commitment to nurturing and promoting unique stories.” Specifically Latin American stories, says festival director John Cooper: “There’s a real hunger for [them]. They need to be told.” The stage is set for the 2011 festival in January.

The following Sundance 2009 and 2010 films are available for armchair or theater viewing:

Buried: Spanish director Rodrigo Cortés’s second feature is set in a coffin and still manages to captivate.

Contracorriente (Undertow): Javier Fuentes-León’s ghost story is set on the Peruvian seaside.

The Maid (La nana): A drama from Chile centered on a maid trying to hold on to her position after having served a family for 23 years.

Sins of My Father: A son’s account of Pablo Escobar, the infamous boss of Colombia’s Medellin drug cartel.

Waste Land: In this documentary, Brazilian artist Vik Muniz creates photographic images of people using found materials.

Me Too (Yo, también): Pablo Pineda, the first European with Down syndrome to graduate from college, plays Daniel, who starts a social services job in Seville where he meets free-spirited coworker Laura.