Celebrating the New Wave of Ibero American Cinema


THE EMPTY CLASSROOM (El aula vacía)



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THE EMPTY CLASSROOM (El aula vacía)

Flavia Castro, Mariana Chenillo, Pablo Fendrik, Carlos Gaviria, Tatiana Huezo, Lucrecia Martel, Nicolás Pereda, Eryk Rocha, Pablo Stoll, Daniel Vega, Diego Vega, Gael García Bernal / Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, El Salvador / 111 min / 2015 / Spanish and Portuguese with English subtitles

Nearly half of all young people in Latin America never finish high school. To explore this dropout crisis, creative director Gael García Bernal gathered 11 award-winning filmmakers who have created a captivating anthology of short films, both narrative and documentary. There is no easy solution to this complex issue, and each short delves into the underlying reasons, from poverty to societal traditions, that students aren’t graduating. Among many issues, the short films explore the links between the dropout crisis and violence; how to identify students at risk of dropping out of school in Latin America; the lack of interest in school that is preventing students from graduating; school exclusion in indigenous communities; the not-so-typical challenges to finishing high school faced by a deaf student; the relationship between the financial cost to staying in school and its benefits; and what happens when drop out students want to go back.


THE FACILITATOR (El facilitador)

Victor Arregui / Ecuador, Chile, USA / 83 min / 2014 / Spanish with English subtitles 

When Miguel, a successful businessman finds out about his illness, he asks his estranged daughter Elena to come back to Ecuador. She complies, but keeps a cold and distant relationship with him, opting for spending most of her time with friends, between drugs and alcohol. After a close call with the law, Miguel sends her to spend some time with her grandfather at the family’s estate. In this nostalgic house that brings up so many memories and nightmares, Elena meets her childhood friend Galo, who now promotes water access rights for the indigenous community. She is compelled by their way of life and gets involved with the political organization of the community. When the nightmares intensify, Elena starts digging behind the reports of the car accident that supposedly killed her mother. She will gradually understand that among family secrets, crimes, corruption, and dark perversions, commitment and beauty can emerge. A political thriller about human rights, The Facilitator is one of the most successful films to come out of Ecuador in the last few years.




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