Ism, Ism, Ism: Crossing Paths: Latina and Latin American Women Filmmakers in Los Angeles

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Ism, Ism, Ism: Crossing Paths: Latina and Latin American Women Filmmakers in Los Angeles

September 22nd, 2017 9:00 PM - 11:00 PM

, CalArts (California Institute of the Arts)
$12 general, $9 students, $6 Cal Arts students & faculty and Filmforum members.


Friday, September 22, 2017, 9:00pm

Los Angeles Filmforum and REDCAT present

Ism, Ism, Ism: Crossing Paths: Latina and Latin American Women Filmmakers in Los Angeles

At REDCAT, 631 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

This group of films and videos was created by Latina and Latin American women working in Los Angeles. Heroic male figures and fantasies often define Latino identity, and women artists, especially filmmakers, are challenging this through radically different subjects and by exploring their own artistic voices. In bringing together Chicana and Latin American women filmmakers, this program considers gender, race, queerness and ethnicity as vintage points to approach displacement, exile and ways of inhabiting/appropriating the space of immigration – as well as strategies of desire, patterns of longing/nostalgia/memory, a creative approach to story-telling and a bold (re)definition of the visual field. Program curated by Bérénice Reynaud, with Jesse Lerner and Luciano Piazza. The program includes films by Mariana Botey, Sofia Canales, Carolina Charry Quintero, Ilana Coleman, Brenda Contreras, Alex Cuesta, Caitlin Diaz, Andrea Franco, Regina Gonzalez Arroyo, Patricia Montoya, Chloe Reyes and Lourdes Villagómez. TRT 111’

This screening is part of Los Angeles Filmforum’s screening series Ism, Ism, Ism: Experimental Cinema in Latin America (Ismo, Ismo, Ismo: Cine Experimental en América Latina) at REDCAT. Ism, Ism, Ism is an unprecedented, five-month film series —the first in the U.S.—that surveys Latin America’s vibrant experimental production from the 1930s through today. Revisiting classic titles and introducing recent works by key figures and emerging artists, Ism, Ism, Ism takes viewers on a journey through a wealth of materials culled from unexpected corners of Latin American film archives.  Key historical and contemporary works from Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and the United States will be featured.  Many of the works in the series are largely unknown in the United States and most screenings will include national and area premieres, with many including Q&A discussions with filmmakers and scholars following the screening.  The film series will continue through January 2017 at multiple venues, organized by Filmforum.

Ism, Ism, Ism is accompanied by a bilingual publication (from University of California Press) placing Latino and Latin American experimental cinema within a broader dialogue that explores different periods, cultural contexts, image-making models, and considerations of these filmmakers within international cinema. 

Ism, Ism, Ism is part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles. Explore more at,, and

Lead support for Ism, Ism, Ism is provided through grants from the Getty Foundation.

Significant additional support comes from the Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts.


is located at 631 West 2nd Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012 - at the corner of 2nd and Hope Streets inside the Walt Disney Concert Hall complex. Parking is available in the Walt Disney Concert Hall parking structure and at adjacent lots. Unless otherwise specified, tickets are $12 for the general public, $9 for members. Tickets may be purchased by calling 213.237.2800 or at or in person at the REDCAT Box Office on the corner of 2nd and Hope Streets (30 minutes free parking with validation). Box Office Hours: Tue-Sat | noon–6 pm and two hours prior to curtain.

Major support for Ism Ism Ism is provided through grants from the Getty Foundation. Significant additional support comes from the Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts.
Pacific Standard Time is an initiative of the Getty. The presenting sponsor is Bank of America.

Tickets: $12 general, $9 students, $6 Cal Arts students & faculty and Filmforum members.  Available in advance at or at the door.


El dedal de rosas: The Magic of the Smoked Mirror

Mariana Botey, 1998, 13 min, digital, USA

Conceived as a film documenting a performative action in the channels of Xochimilco, El dedal de rosas follows the journey of a drifting boat and its enigmatic passengers. Build in a cyclical, fragmented and repetitive structure, the dream narrative flows in a slow crescendo while disavowing a linear narrative and never yielding the secret of its plot or the key for its imaginary. Juan Jose Gurrola officiates over the enactment of a dream: a late Indigenist hallucination under the spell of a few and disjointed lines from Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, or perhaps, a ritual passage that renders in a lyrical and avant-garde language a secret of arcane resistance. These concepts put together make a dreamy reality of modern and indigenous culture.


From Brooklyn Ave to South Broadway

Brenda Contreras, 2017, 7’16”, digital.

In the same vein of the traditional Mexican folklore I grew up listening to, here I explore the themes of hopes and fears with stories of Death, the Devil, and baby mommas, using mixed media (16mm, super 8, and 4K drone).
The title "From Brooklyn Ave to South Broadway" is a reference to the street that I was born on (Brooklyn Ave which was renamed to Cesar E. Chavez Ave in 1994) and the street I now live on.

Hence, the content is a journey from these two points — including street names, driving directions, and modes of transport —that are deeply-rooted in the Los Angeles experience.” (BC)



Caitlin Diaz, 2015, 5’42”, digital.

Dejar is a series of meditations that constantly seeks balance between extremes. The film oscillates between the calm and the chaotic, pitting abstract direct animation on 35MM against documentary footage shot on Super 8. Similar to a Rorschach test, it allows for individual interpretation and its relationship to thought patterns and processes. 



Carolina Charry Quintero, 2017, 22’, digital.

Humanity and animality are enigmatically confronted and entwined.

Combining rich high-contrast 16mm images with crisp digital color scenes, and unfolding like a tapestry, Blua composes an uncanny entry into the relationship between human and animal existence. The frontiers between animal and human, observation and fiction are transgressed. Reaching for equal beauty and strangeness, Blua is an assertion of the uncanny, a cine-poetic philosophical speculation.



Regina Gonzalez Arroyo, 2014, 5:30, digital.

“This is concrete. This is it. I only saw the black. After you, I began to live for coincidences.” (RGA)


La Mujer y el Pescado (The Mujer and the Fish)

Ilana Coleman, 2014, 1’35”, b/w, digital

A girl encounters sex and death by the shore.



Patricia Montoya, 2009, 10’, digital.

Candide is an experimental narrative video about lesbian love and emigrant longing, performed on a rooftop in Tijuana. It is part of Terrazas Triptych – three interconnected short videos that examine the city landscape from the perspective of rooftops, lookouts and terraces in Medellín, Colombia and Tijuana, México. “With the triptych I explore the iconicity of the city of Tijuana, as a conglomerate of memory traces of my childhood in Medellín, Colombia. Terrazas superimposes memory and chance, theatricality and documentary in a personal representation of the journey of becoming. It combines text, sound and image in the recurrence of time that the medium of video exhibits to provoke a critical dialogue about the nature of migration.” (PM)


Notes on Connection I

Andrea Franco, 2016, 6’, digital.

Shot along the California coastline, Notes on Connection is a contemplative exploration and an active reflection on materiality and connection. “I decided to make new work by limiting myself to filming here in Los Angeles, the space of my present, vs. my previous work all being shot in Perú, past and nostalgia. Studying Kabbalah for several years connected my interest in separation and fragmentation of land and people, with ideas of totality in consciousness, and how it is then reflected in physical reality and the relationship between these two. The film Notes on Connection I contains images and sound of the Pacific, which has been the place of connection/disconnection into these new thoughts on limitation/totality.” (AF)


Piensa en Mí

Alexandra Cuesta, 2009, 15’30”, 2009, 16mm.

“Moving from east to west and back, the windows of a bus frame fleeting sections of urban landscape. Throughout the day, images of riders, textures of light and fragments of bodies in space come together to weave a portrait in motion; a contemplative journey of public transport in the city of Los Angeles. Focusing primarily on the Hispanic population, daily travel is captured in the details. Isolation, routine and everyday splendor, create the backdrop of this journey, while the intermittent sounds of cars subtly construct the soundscape.” (AC)



Sofia Canales, 2012, 9:56, b/w 16mm.

Three Latina women of different generations take pleasure in helping each other bathe, dress up, and cook a meal for themselves. Mujer flows like a dream, guided by the small mutual generosities of domestic life. It is less of an observational analysis and more of an up-close intimate experience.


New Sun Breathing In

Chloe Reyes, 2017, 5’30”, silent, 16mm, USA

“A portrait of my grandmother in her home in North Hollywood, where she's lived since the 1940s. I lived with her and started making this movie when I was moving out.” (CR)

Síndrome de Línea Blanca

Lourdes Villagómez Oviedo, 2007, 8:00, 35mm

A girl wakes up like a princess in a fairy tale, looking for her happy ending. “Línea Blanca is used in Mexico as a generic term for electric household appliances (white goods). The film was made with objects and cutouts in life size sets using the original wedding dress worn by my (Texan) grandmother in 1941, and my mother and two of my aunts in the late sixties. I also used the ironing board owned by my grandmother on my father’s side, and the washing machine of one of my great aunts. My work is mostly done with stop motion and I usually work with materials found at home (various objects, food, ants, myself...)” (LVO)

Filmmaker Bios:

Mariana Botey is an art historian/ artist/ curator born in Mexico City in 1969. She is Associate Professor in Modern / Contemporary Latin American Art History at the Visual Arts Department at UCSD. Botey received her Ph.D. in Visual Studies at the University of California, Irvine in 2010. Her experimental video documentaries have been shown at the Guggenheim Museum in New York and Bilbao, The Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, The Anthology Film Archives in New York, The Museo Carrillo Gil in Mexico City, REDCAT among other museums, galleries and festivals. Botey is Co-Editor of Fantasma, Fetiche, Fantasmagoría: Ensayos en Estética y Emancipación, Zona Crítica Collection Series. (Mexico: Siglo XXI Editores-UNAM.) In the same collection series, she is the author of Zonas de Disturbio: espectros del México indígena en la modernidad, Siglo XXI Editores, México (2014). Botey lives and works in San Diego, California.

Brenda Contreras (1984, Los Angeles, USA) is a visual artist working with 16mm, archival film, and digital video. Her interests lie in exploring the point where the personal and the extrinsic cross paths. Alongside of being the Project Coordinator for LA Filmforum’s Ism Ism Ism series, she continues teaching and developing independent programming as a co-op member of the Echo Park Film Center, spins vinyl on Dublab, and works on her own short films in DTLA.

Cailin Díaz is a filmmaker, colorist and archivist from the Rio Grande Valley, Texas. She currently lives and works in Los Angeles. Combining digital, analog and direct filmmaking techniques, her films explore the human psyche and the processes that surround individual experience.

Carolina Charry Quintero is an experimental filmmaker from Cali,

Colombia, whose work is concerned with the experience of the unmeasurable, and the idea of the limit of comprehension. She is interested in the human-animal border as a place of thought – from which to revise the grand definitions of what is human, as well as the ethical, political and epistemological issues that are born at this border. Her work has screened at cinema festivals and venues including Edinburgh International Film Festival, Ann Arbor, Slamdance, Chicago Underground and the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art. She is the recipient of the Jack Oakie Foundation Grant, and the Emerging Artists Creative Grant from Colombia's Ministry of Culture. She holds a BA in Philosophy from Universidad del Valle in Cali and an MFA in Film and Video from the California Institute of the Arts.

Regina Gonzalez-Arroyo is a queer writer and multimedia artist based in Southern California and Guanajuato Mexico. Their process mines through a multi-disciplinary analysis of traumatic memory, imperial history, and narrative storytelling.

Ilana Coleman (Mexico City, 1987) is recent graduate in Film Directing from California Institute of the Arts. Her work has screened in Guanajuato International Film Festival, Oaxaca Film Festival, Fantasia Film Festival and REDCAT. Her short film De tierra had an honorable mention in the Latin-American Film Festival in Sao Paulo. She often collaborates as a cinematographer and producer.

Patricia Montoya is a video maker and educator transplanted to Western Mass via San Diego, California, to which she was transplanted via Brooklyn, NY, in turn transplanted via Queens, NY, from Medellin, Colombia. In her videos, she draws on her bi-national identity and her Queer, US/Mexico border and East-West North American experience to tackle the existential conditions and cultural contradictions experienced by immigrants from Latin America who are living in the United States. Her work addresses issues of migration, memory and identity through lyrical explorations of text, dialogue, theatrical adaptations and the depiction of intimate human relations within the context of urban landscapes. Montoya has shown her work in several venues in New York, Los Angeles, Mexico and Canada. She holds an MFA from University of California, San Diego and teaches documentary production and various forms of non-fiction, experimental and narrative film and video at Hampshire College.

Andrea Franco (b. 1981, Lima, Peru) is a filmmaker, artist, curator and film programmer. Her work makes use of an observational lens and non-fiction to create a body of work based on her relationship with the places and people she portrays, and the exploration of boundaries, lines and fragmentation, visible and invisible, physical and intangible. She received her BFA at the University of Miami and MFA from California Institute of the Arts. She has presented work at the Guggenheim Museum (New York), Harvard Sensory Ethnography Lab (Harvard), LACA (Los Angeles), BAFICI (Buenos Aires), MALI Museo de Arte de Lima (Peru), REDCAT Los Angeles, Lima Film Festival, Santiago International Film Festival, among other festivals and galleries.

Alexandra Cuesta is a filmmaker and photographer born in Cuenca, Ecuador who lives and works between Los Angeles and Quito. Her poetic films and videos combine experimental film traditions with documentary practices, and often comment on social diasporas and displacement. Her work has screened at The New York Film Festival, Fronteira Festival, Guggenheim Museum, MOCA Museum of Contemporary Art, Viennale, Palacio Nacioanl de Bellas Artes, Oberhausen, FiD Marseille, Anthology Film Archives, among others.

She has an M.F.A in Film and Video from CalArts.

Sofia Canales is a filmmaker and artist born and based in Los Angeles. She holds a BFA in Film/Video and an MFA in Experimental Sound Practices from the California Institute of the Arts. Her work lovingly explores familial narratives and images through wide eyes and open ears. Her films have shown at Slamdance Film Festival, Morelia International Film Festival, and LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes.

Chloe Reyes is a filmmaker from Los Angeles, California. She studied at the California Institute of the Arts and currently works at the Echo Park Film Center.

Lourdes Villagómez Oviedo (born Nuevo Laredo, México) is an animator and filmmaker. She studied Communication at the Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana in Mexico City and has a master’s degree in Experimental Animation from CalArts. She directs and produces animation that combines imagery, objects and sounds from everyday life using different animation techniques in film, video and installation. Her works have screened at a variety of venues including the National Museum of Art in Mexico City, the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid, MAK Center in Los Angeles, La Fabbrica del Vapore in Milan, Barcelona´s CCCB and in nearly a hundred festivals that include Annecy and Animamundi animation festivals, Morelia International Film Festival, Tricky Women, Animac, Animadrid, Creteil´s Women´s Film Festival, Rio de Janeiro´s Femina Film Festival, and the Mostra Internacional de Films de Dones de Barcelona. She has been a Fulbright, Rockefeller and MacArthur Foundations and Sistema Nacional de Arte/FONCA grantee. 


This program is supported by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission; the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles. We also depend on our members, ticket buyers, and individual donors.

Los Angeles Filmforum is the city’s longest-running organization dedicated to weekly screenings of experimental film, documentaries, video art, and experimental animation. 2017 is our 42nd year.

Coming Soon to Los Angeles Filmforum:


Sept 28 - Raúl Ruiz: Anthropology’s Trembling Images (Part of Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA) – at MOCA Grand

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