Movies and Music at the 10th Annual NYILFF

The New York International Latino Film Festival kicks off today and the schedule is brimming with movies about (and starring) some of our favorite musicians. Here’s what I’m looking forward to checking out:

Calle 13: Sin Mapa (July 29) follows the Puerto Rican reggaetoneros as they travel across South America exploring indigenous music and culture with only a cameraman in tow. I can’t wait to see if anyone recognizes the guys as they make their way through Macchu Picchu and other sacred sites.

Los Bandoleros
(July 29) is a short prequel to the Fast & Furious, directed by Vin Diesel and starring Don Omar, Tego Calderon and Michelle Rodriguez. Filmed in the Dominican Republic, it tells the story behind the explosive oil truck heist in the summer blockbuster. I’ll let you know what I think about the action star’s directorial chops after I see it.

La Clave
(July 30 and 31) is a documentary about the similarities between salsa and reggaeton featuring Willie Colon, Gilberto Santa Rosa, Julio Voltio, Hector “El Father” and other musicians discussing the Afro-Cuban based genres. It’d be cool to see some musical collaborations in this flick, but we may have to settle for a history lesson instead.  

The Fania All Stars: Live in Africa (August 1) captures a 1974 performance by Celia Cruz, Johnny Pacheco, Cheo Feliciano, Hector Lavoe and other Fania greats in front of an audience of 80,000 in Kinshasa, Zaire. Watch out for La Reina de la Salsa singing “Guantanamera” in one of her signature, over-the-top gowns.

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Grace Bastidas, Deputy Editor

Born and raised in Queens, New York, where more languages are spoken than anywhere in the world, Grace Bastidas is Latina’s Deputy Editor. She oversees lifestyle content, including topics as diverse as career, health and relationships, and occasionally writes about her own experiences in The Good Life section. As a writer, Grace’s work has appeared in The New York TimesNew York magazine, The Wall Street Journal and Travel + Leisure. She is fluent in Spanish.

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