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In the Peruvian Andes, indigenous farmer Máxima Acuño lives in harmony with nature, farming her own land and raising sheep to support her family. Surrounded by crystalline lakes and rich meadows, Máxima considers the land her “mother”—providing everything she needs. Not far from this mountain paradise lies the enormous Yanacocha gold mine, owned by the American Newmont Mining Corporation and co-funded by the World Bank. When the mine seeks to expand its operations, Maxima’s land is in their way, and the mine owners enlist the services of the Peruvian government police to intimidate and pressure her into leaving her home. To defend her family and way of life, Máxima hires a lawyer and becomes an eco-warrior, enlisting the support of the local community. Máxima even wins the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize in her quest for justice in this stirring David-versus-Goliath document of environmental and human rights—which won the Audience Award at this year's Hot Docs.
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Colette the Artist

SPECIAL EVENT: For those looking to be uplifted and inspired: Join us for this special, online, international celebration of the premiere of the short film Colette the Artist. This special program will include the film premiere, a Q&A with special guests, and an art-making workshop where audiences will be encouraged to make their own pig art and join in Colette’s online International Pig Art Challenge!
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Babenco: Tell Me When I Die (Babenco: Alguém Tem que Ouvir o Coração e Dizer Parou)

The late Oscar®-nominated filmmaker Héctor Babenco says goodbye on his own terms—through cinema—in this meditative and often moving documentary, which won the Best Documentary on Film award at the Venice Film Festival. Directed by his wife, actress Bárbara Paz, Babenco: Tell Me When I Die chronicles Babenco’s final days as he faces cancer and reflects on movies, his childhood, and his encroaching mortality. Clips from his indelible films—including Pixote, Kiss of the Spider Woman, and Ironweed—interweave with moments from his daily routine. In between medical treatments, he focuses on his latest (and last) project, an autobiographical portrait of a dying artist starring Willem Dafoe. Tell Me When I Die is both playful and melancholy, with Babenco and Paz essentially collaborating on a film that celebrates their love while also offering a glimpse into how one prepares for the end. Babenco died in 2016 at the age of 70, but this thoughtful, dreamlike re
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The Heist of the Century (El robo del siglo)

OPENING NIGHT ONLINE: Buckle up for this wildly entertaining ride through the plotting, prepping, and execution of one of the greatest bank robberies in Argentinian history. Saturated with eye-popping color and infused with droll humor, director Ariel Winograd injects Hollywood heist tropes steeped in heavy doses of Tarantino and Ritchie, stylishly matching the sheer audacity of this real-life band of brothers’ ingenious criminal work. Based on the true story of the 2006 Banco Rio heist in Buenos Aires, the plot cleverly intertwines the thieves’ paths of assembling, planning, and implementing their plan to net a potential $25 million payday. The clever casting coup of Guillermo Francella (The Secret in Their Eyes) and Diego Peretti (The German Doctor, MVFF36) heightens the tale’s witty rapport, while Winograd showcases an incisive attention to detail and a mastery of
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I Carry You with Me

In this double prizewinner at Sundance, a single, knowing glance between two men in Puebla City, Mexico sets off an epic romance that spans multiple decades and thousands of miles. Leading decidedly different lifestyles, Iván (Armando Espitia, Our Mothers), an aspiring chef balancing thankless jobs with spending time with his young son, and Gerardo (Christian Vazquez, Trade), a handsome, out-and-proud teacher, find themselves at a fateful crossroads when Iván decides to risk everything by relocating to New York City, imploring Gerardo to leave his comfortable life behind for a chance at a new beginning together. Oscar®-nominated director Heidi Ewing (Jesus Camp; One of Us, MVFF41) makes her first venture into narrative cinema, while expertly weaving documentary footage of the real-life Iván and Gerardo who inspired the film. Chronicling the lives of these two remarkable men from childhood to the present day, this visually stunning mosaic is a heartfelt testa
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Los Hermanos/The Brothers

United by their passion for music, Cuban brothers Aldo and Ilmar López-Gávilan struggle to keep their familial and musical bonds alive even as geopolitical forces separate them. Sent to Russia to study as a teen, violinist Ilmar goes on to establish the Grammy®-winning classical string quartet, the Harlem Quintet, in New York City, while younger brother Aldo remains in Havana, where he develops a uniquely Cuban-infused style of piano composition. When Aldo receives permission to visit the US for the first time (thanks to the Obama-era thaw in US-Cuban relations), the brothers fulfill their lifelong dream of performing and recording together, but their triumphant reunion is shadowed by the future’s uncertainty. Culminating in a joyous and spirited July 4th performance, this exuberant and tender film is a paean to the enduring power of music, family, and home. With an original score by Aldo and Ilmar López-Gávilan,
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The Names of the Flowers (Los nombres de las flores)

Almost 50 years have passed since Che Guevara was executed in a Bolivian schoolhouse, and officials are staging an anniversary celebration. Determined to be a part of the event is Julia, the teacher who served captive Che his last meal, a bowl of soup, and to whom the revolutionary recited a poem about flowers. Every day, to stake her claim in this tiny patch of history, Julia shuffles up the dusty road to the school carrying a clay tureen of soup and a vase of flowers. The celebration’s planners however doubt her story, casting about for a more believable narrator for the tourists. But who’s to say whose version of history is true—and does it matter? With eye-popping cinematography, this film is like a series of paintings come to life, from still lifes in Julia’s kitchen to grand Andean landscapes. It is a rumination on truth’s fluidity and the realities of life on the arid plateau, and the film’s gorgeous imagery, like Julia’s story, endures.
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Three Summers (Três Verões)

Known for her understated portrayals of Brazil’s neglected classes, Sandra Kogut gives us a backstairs view of a luxury vacation home over the course of three summers. Star of award-winning hit The Second Mother, Regina Casé is our appealing guide as the gregariously quippy housekeeper Madá, whose boss has been implicated in a countrywide corruption scandal. Madá is no stranger herself to a little corruption, though on a much smaller scale, from running a covert food delivery service out of her employer’s kitchen to eventually maintaining the abandoned household by running boat tours of other homes whose owners have also been jailed. Director Kogut largely skirts the real-life scandal that helped topple Brazil’s most powerful politicians and ushered in an even more disastrous administration. Instead she focuses where she always has, on the folks at the bottom forced to find creative ways to get by no matter who’s at the top.
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¡Viva los Niños!

MVFF’s ¡Viva el Cine! initiative continues its annual celebration of Spanish-language and Latin American films and stories with this festive collection of shorts for families and younger viewers. These kid-centric animated, narrative, and documentary films are a visual feast for both Spanish and English speakers alike. Spelliasmous (Ben Garfield, Cuba/UK 2018, 3 min) takes to the streets of Cuba, where the magic of Harry Potter is alive and well for three wand-wielding friends. In the animated Ailín on the Moon (Claudia Ruiz, Argentina 2018, 5 min), a mother’s patience is tested by her young daughter. For two brothers, a birthday gift of a new watch leads to an anxious countdown to a special moment in time in 11:40 (Claudia Ruiz, Argentina 2018, 12 min). In the mountains of Colombia, an aspiring young bike racer goes to great lengths to cheer on his cycling idol in Champiñon (Luber Yesid Zuñiga Ordoñez, Colombia 2017, 8 min). With animated silhouettes agai
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