filmfest > program > focus mexico > los ángeles


by Damian John Harper
Germany 2014 97 min. Zapotect-Spanish original version with German subtitles

sat 22 nov 10:00 pm Caligari FilmBühne

Script: Damian John Harper, DoP: Friede Clausz, Editor: Lorna Hoefler Steffen, Production: Weydemann Bros., Producers: Jonas Weydemann, Jakob D. Weydemann, Cast: Mateo Bautista Matías, Marcos Rodríguez Ruíz, Lidia García, Daniel Bautista, Donaciano Bautista Matías (Chamoy), Valentina Ojeda

The perilous ambitions for a better life weigh heavy on the youth of a Zapotec community in rural Oaxaca. Young Mateo plans to raise money for the coyote who will smuggle him across the border and ingratiates himself with the local gang, seeking protection on the other side. Yet when his conscience catches up with him, not even the fearless mothers of their agrarian village can protect him.

"Writer-director Damian John Harper mostly avoids the sensationalism that can come easy to migration stories without effacing the violence and economic pressure that attend to those journeys. He does this by focusing on the homefront and showing the communities that the migrants leave behind, return to, and support." (Slant Magazine)

Biography: Harper is a US-born director and anthropologist who spent one year researching the culture and social structures of the Southern Mexican community in which the story of LOS ÁNGELES is set. He moved on to study directing at Munich’s Hochschule für Fernsehen und Film (HFF). LOS ÁNGELES is his directorial debut and was produced by the Cologne/Berlin-based Weydemann Bros. In the film, he works through some of his experiences during his one-year stay in Mexico. TEARDROP, his graduating film at the HFF, already won numerous awards at over 50 festivals worldwide.

Filmography (selection): 2006 THE CYCLE OF HARM, 2007 THE FUEL OF LIFE, 2008 MANIA, 2011 TEARDROP (ex 25) (Short films), 2014 LOS ÁNGELES

Awards: Nomination for Best First Feature Award (Berlin International Film Festival, Germany 2014), Mayahuel Award for Best First Work (Guadalajara Mexican Film Festival, Mexico 2014), Special Jury Award "La Muse" (Los Angeles Film Festival, USA 2014), Award for Best Feature Film (FIRST STEPS Award, Berlin/Germany 2014)

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