“Neighboring Scenes: New Latin American Cinema," a film series co-presented with Cinema Tropical, unspools at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, January 7-10. The mini-festival, which presents a dozen shorts and features, includes sneak previews of two extremely worthwhile Oscar submissions, “Ixcanul” and “The Club,” from Guatemala and Chile, respectively. Here are some other highlights:
Soccer is key to Latin American life, and for Junior (Aricienes Barroso), the protagonist of Brazilian writer/director Ives Rosenfeld’s lowkey but affecting character study, Hopefuls, soccer may be his entree to a better life. This engrossing drama has the anxious Junior grappling with a pregnant girlfriend (Julia Bernat), a bad home situation, a menial job, and a best friend, Bento (Sergio Malheiros), who is his rival on the field. This is a powerful story about machismo and dreams, and the scenes on the soccer pitch are pure poetry. Jan. 10, 7:00 p.m.