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Los Angeles International Latino Film Festival to begin Sept. 12

September 7, 2008 | 10:35 am


In the film "Paraíso Travel,” a young immigrant named Marlon finds himself lost and broke shortly after arriving in New York and being separated from his girlfriend, the cunning and sexy Reina, played by Angélica Blandón. He meets an older man, a fixer for new arrivals, who helps him find shelter and asks the naive illegal what else he might need, writes Agustin Gurza.

"How do I get rid of this fear?" asks Marlon, somewhat overplayed by Aldemar Correa.

Of course, the old man can't help him with the dread that haunts strangers in a strange land, except to say that in time it goes away. That small, intimate moment in this occasionally overwrought drama offers a glimpse into the emotional and mental toll of the immigrant experience, which is often seen through ideological eyes.

"Paraíso," the year's biggest box office hit in Colombia, will have its West Coast premiere during the 12th annual Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival, which begins Friday. It's one of 132 films that will screen at the festival, co-founded by Edward James Olmos, Marlene Dermer and the late George Hernández to spotlight Latino films. Ironically, the festival has suffered from the very success it has sought as top Latino filmmakers now find themselves courted by other festivals. Still, many consider the festival (which counts The Times as a sponsor) as a special opportunity to show their work in the U.S.

Read more about the Los Angeles Latino Film Festival here.

For more on film on La Plaza, click here.

Image: The film, featuring Aldemar Correa and Angélica Blandón, middle, is one of seven from Colombia that is screening at the festival. Camilo George Jimeno / Grand Illusions Entertainment