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January through April traditionally denotes a slow time at the movies. Studios dribble out their precious awards contenders and winners, all of which I've already logged. You don't want to be around me if I can't see at least 3 new films a week projected on a big screen. Life would be hell were it not for the analgesic effects of our local film festivals.

The San Diego Jewish Film Festival just concluded its 22nd season and next month the 19th Annual San Diego Latino Film Festival roars through town.


Included in the SDLFF's 2012 lineup are over 150 shorts and features, many of which will see guest celebrities, filmmakers, and industry professionals putting in personal appearances.

This year's special showcases feature U.S. Latino Cinema, New Chilean Directors, Jewish Latino Cinema, Documania, Cine Gay, and Cine’Mation. Click for a complete list of dates and titles.


Alfredo Castro stars in Pablo Larraín's Post Mortem.

Forget everything else: all roads lead to Post Mortem, the new film by Pablo Larraín, the Chilean mastermind behind my beloved Tony Manero. TM screened a few Latino Film Festivals ago and not a month has passed where the brilliance, power, and all-encompassing venality of the film hasn't crossed my mind and cheered my disposition.

Alfredo Castro once again stars, but don't expect the same type of sexual liberation to surface in this tale of a repressed cipher whose job as a morgue transcriber becomes complicated when the cabaret dancer of his dreams becomes a permanent fixture in his reality. Wait until you see the way Larraín handles a 'Scope lens! I'll have more to say when the film opens. In the meantime mark your calendars for Friday, March 9 at 8:30 p.m. and/or Sunday, March 18 at 2:30 p.m.

The festival runs March 8 - 18 at the UltraStar Mission Valley Cinemas Hazard Center. General admission tickets are $10.00, and $8.00 for students, seniors, military and Media Arts Center members. Festival passes are also available. Click for more information.

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