AMBULANTE Film Festival

September 24, 2011 - September 25, 2011, Varied

The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108, George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007

In L.A. for the first time, this groundbreaking festival features provocative documentaries that are socially or cinematically relevant.

Join actor, producer and director Diego Luna as the international documentary film festival AMBULANTE comes to Los Angeles. Luna, who starred in such films as Y Tu Mama Tambien, Milk, The Terminal and Frida, co-founded Ambulante in 2005 with Gael Garcia Bernal and Pablo Cruz.


AMBULANTE is a nonprofit organization focused on producing, distributing and exhibiting documentaries in Mexico. Each year, the Ambulante organization, in collaboration with Canana, Cinepolis and the Morelia International Film Festival, organizes a touring film festival that brings more than 70 documentaries to nearly 200 venues across 12 states in Mexico. By traveling with these works, sharing them in different cities and towns, and bringing communities together, Ambulante fosters a critical vision, generating a collective consciousness about how we perceive and understand our realities.




5 p.m. Welcome by Diego Luna and Screening of The Two Escobars
Directed by Jeff and Michael Zimbalist, Colombia and United States, 100 minutes
Followed by a discussion with filmmaker Michael Zimbalist
RSVP by clicking USC students, staff and faculty or general public.

7:30 p.m. Reception

8:30 p.m. Benda Bilili! (Beyond Appearances)
Directed by Renaud Barret and Florent de La Tullaye, France, 2010, 84 minutes
Followed by a discussion with Florent de La Tullaye
RSVP by clicking USC students, staff and faculty or general public.


5 p.m. Documentaries Without Borders (Panel Discussion)
Join us for a conversation featuring actor and Ambulante co-founder Diego Luna, filmmakers Lucas Marcheggiano and Jeff Zimbalist, and USC Annenberg School Professor Josh Kun, about the role of documentaries in bringing communities together and creating international awareness.
RSVP by clicking USC students, staff and faculty or general public.

6 p.m. Reception
Please note that the reception will be open to attendees of Documentaries Without Borders only.

6:45 p.m. El Ambulante (The Peddler)
Directed by Eduardo de la Serna, Lucas Marcheggiano & Adriana Yurcovich, Argentina, 2009, 84 min.
Followed by a discussion with filmmaker Lucas Marcheggiano
RSVP by clicking USC students, staff and faculty or general public.

9 p.m. El Lugar Mas Pequeno (The Tiniest Place)
Directed by Tatiana Huezo, Mexico, 2011, 104 minutes
RSVP by clicking USC students, staff and faculty or general public.


The Two Escobars
While rival drug cartels warred in the streets and Colombia’s murder rate climbed to the highest in the world, the Colombian national soccer team set out to blaze a new image for the country. What followed was a mysteriously rapid rise to glory, as the team catapulted out of decades of obscurity to become one of the best teams in the world. Central to this success were two men named Escobar: Andres, the captain and poster child of the national team, and Pablo, the infamous drug baron who pioneered the phenomenon known in the underworld as “narco-soccer.”

Benda Bilili! (Beyond Appearances)
Ricky has a dream: to make Staff Benda Bilili the best band in Kinshasa, Congo. Roger, a street child, wants to join these stars of the ghetto, who get around in customized tricycles due to a physical disability. Together, they must avoid the pitfalls of the street, stay united and find hope in the music. From the first rehearsals five years before to their triumph in international festivals, Benda Bilili! is the story of a dream come true.

El Ambulante (The Peddler)
Driving his dilapidated car, a man arrives at a small village. He proposes to the village authorities that he make a feature film with the village people, including the authorities themselves, as main characters. In return, the traveler only asks for lodging and meals until the film’s release, 30 days later. The offer is accepted and for the next month, the small town lives by the rhythm set by the lonely filmmaker.

El Lugar Mas Pequeno (The Tiniest Place)
To walk into the jungle-shrouded village of Cinquera, El Salvador, is to enter a world where ghosts walk, passing back and forth between the past and present. Here, decades after a brutal civil war annihilated the village, survivors return to bury their dead and rebuild the community from the ashes. During the 1980–92 civil war, Cinquera was literally wiped off of the map, disappearing temporarily from official charts in a conflict that resulted in 80,000 deaths and tens of thousands of disappearances. Now sowing new seeds in the devastated village, survivors recall horrifying ordeals of rape, mutilation, torture and the resulting madness. A remarkable example of Mexico’s burgeoning documentary scene, El Lugar Mas Pequeno guides us through this landscape with a contemplative, poetic eye, as the deep forest looms in mute witness to the testimonies we overhear. Battle scars and wounds may run deep, but they prove unable to destroy the soul of Cinquera.

Co-sponsored by the USC School of Cinematic Arts, the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, and the Latina/o Student Assembly.

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