Opening Performance: Panama Ballet Folklorico
20 Years Later- Anais Taracena
In 1996, peace was signed in Guatemala. As part of the agreements, 5,200 guerrilleros leaved their weapons and joined civilian life leaving behind 36 years of internal war. 20 years after unfulfilled peace agreements and a country traumatized by violence, the memory of the revolutionary movement was diluted in silence. Where are those ex-combatants today?
Time Running: 52:10
Jose - Cecilia Hua
Time Running: 23:20
JOSE is a short student documentary about a man caught between the broken mechanisms of the prison-industrial complex and the American immigration system, trying to find himself and his community.
Jose Olmedo spent the last twenty years in prison for a crime he played accomplice to as part of a Salvadorean gang. He fled his home country as a child to escape civil war, finding refuge in Los Angeles with nowhere else to go. After reconnecting with his long lost family while incarcerated, he worked to one day see himself free and atone for a past he wants to leave behind. Unfortunately, even after being released on parole, Jose still has to contend with his status as an undocumented immigrant, creating an intersection of restrictions that leave him floating in a sea of red tape and limited recourse. He presently volunteers with the Center for Restorative Justice Works, as part of his commitment to moving forward and transforming the people around him for the better, in spite of his own dire straits.
Jose's case highlights the need for a more compassionate lens on the public discourse surrounding both incarceration and undocumented immigration, as well as, on the community level, the importance of thinking about restorative/transformative justice as a framework for healing damage inflicted by larger systems.
As filmmakers, we had a very special connection and bond with Jose throughout the course of documenting and following his life. Though there was little we could do in the legal field, we felt that we had power while holding camera in hand and gave the voice to Jose, or friends for him to talk to. Jose said we were the first friends he met after he got out of prison, so he fought hard also because he didn't want to bring us down. Jose's story has moved many, and I wish it could inspire more.
Stray Animals - Maju de Paiva
Olivia and Arthur spend their days away from home. They walk around the condominium, listen to music and dream of somewhere far away. The day Olivia discovers a stray cat in the woods is the first step into a journey of loss of innocence
Time Running: 13:21
The Battle For Matheny Tract
- Samuel Contreras
The Battle for Matheny Tract- a rural social documentary that reveals the on-going organizing and advocacy efforts by residents of the disadvantaged unincorporated community of Matheny Tract in Tulare County to have access to clean, safe and affordable drinking water.
Time Running: 20:00
Vaenquish - Carlos Mats
Vaenquish is a story that's been in my head for years, aching to be told as my first independent short. Started living in Amsterdam in 2015 where I met Daniel, Rob and Ben (Kingsway) - and I knew it was the right time and place to finally bring it out and into a screen. They jumped on board without hesitation. The resulting film is my very pride and joy.
Time Running: 9:03
The Earth Did Not Speak - Javier Briones
Survivors of The Rio Negro Massacres in Guatemala fight to rebuild their lives on the bank of their flooded ancestral homelands.
Time Running: 20:00
2500KM - Daniela Arguello
Based on a true story. 2,500 kilometers from the U.S border in a small town in Guatemala. Sandra, a young mother of two is faced with the decision between keep trying to fix her relationship with her abusive husband or run away to U.S in the hopes to find the American dream of a better life.
Time Running: 22:00
Manna - Daniel Edward Hyde
An isolated Watchman lords over a small caye in the Caribbean, living off the land and sea, as cruise ships and civilization float by.
Time Running: 11:33
My Treasure - Michael Flores
A cleaning woman steals a Salvadoran Civil War map and hunts for a treasure in the hopes of reuniting with her son.
Time Running: 20:00
Welcome 2 My World - Rafael Tres
His passion is electronic dance music and he will face himself and make an important decision in his life to achieve his dreams
Time Running: 1:25:00
Central American Film Festival All Rights Reserved 2017