The main themes of this year's Latin American Film festival (LAFF) are 'Youth in Latin America' and ‘200 Years of Independence'. Festival director Jessica de Jaeger: "We were struck by the fact that many films that are currently being made in Latin America deal with bored adolescents who do not know what to do with their lives. The opening film Os Famosos e os Duendes da Morte Os Famosos e os Duendes da Morte by Esmir Filho."
"Arij Ouweneel of the Centre for Study and Documentation for Latin America (CEDLA) at the University of Amsterdam is currently writing a book about this phenomenon. On 7 May 2010, the origins of this extraordinary preoccupation on the part of Latin American filmmakers will be explored as part of a debate."
During the nine-day festival, fifty recent films will be shown from different parts of Latin America. It is striking that the majority of the films are from Argentina, Chile, Brazil and Mexico. De Jaeger: "These countries collectively produce several thousand films per year. We attempt to offer a cross-section of all the films made in Latin America, but it is logical that films from these countries are more likely to be represented than films from countries with more modest film production."
This accounts for the fact that three prize-winning Central American films that were co-produced by Hivos will not be shown at the festival: Del amor y otros demonios, La Yuma and Agua fria de mar. De Jaeger: "I see between two and three hundred films every year; other employees compile a list of their favourites, as well. We want to show films that have stood the test of time. Yuma is one such film, but it was so expensive that we were unable to include it. We simply did not think that Del amor y otros demonios was good enough to include in the festival. Agua fria de mar has already been shown at the Rotterdam International Film Festival, which is why we elected not to include it."
LAFF takes place May 6 - 14, 2010 in Utrecht.