Latin culture highlighted at Filadelphia film fest

"Pelo Malo" is about much more than having a bad hair day.
“Pelo Malo” is about much more than having a bad hair day.
Credit: Provided

Get ready to have a “Bad Hair” day at the upcoming Filadelphia Latin American Film Festival.

We mean that in the best possible way. The Venezuela drama “Pelo Malo,” or “Bad Hair,” portrays the dynamics of a precocious young boy and his single mom.

It plays 4:45 p.m. Saturday, April 26, at the International House on Chestnut Street.

“The little boy is trying to straighten his hair for a picture at school — he wants to look like a famous singer on TV and the mother doesn’t want him to straighten his hair because it makes him look effeminate,” says festival co-founder Beatriz Vieira. “There’s a lot of stuff about race, homophobia and about the mom trying to protect the kids from being ridiculed.”

The film is racking up awards at film festivals around the world and Variety has referred to it as an “impressively powerful multilayered drama.” Director and producer Mariana Rondon will be on hand to introduce and discuss the film.

“It’s so bittersweet,” Vieira says. “The little boy is amazing. It’s also an interesting way to look at mothers in Latin America. She’s not your traditional Latin American mother. She’s very powerful —  she’s really fighting to survive in life and there are moments you really don’t like her.”

This year’s Filadelphia fest spotlights more than 12 Latin-American features at four venues across the city. The bulk of the films are at the International House and University of the Arts on South Broad yet the Chilean thriller “Matar a un Hombre,” or “To Kill a Man,” plays 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 26, at the Perelman Theater in the Kimmel Center. All the films have English subtitles. Highlights include the Cesar Chavez documentary, “Cesar’s Last Fast,” which shows 2:30 p.m. Saturday, April 26, at the International House; the Nuyorican family crime drama “The House That Jack Built,” 5 p.m. Sunday, April 27, at the University of the Arts and “Anina,” an animated film from Uruguay, 10:30 a.m. Sunday, April 27, at the University of the Arts.

“Latin America is not known for animation, there’s not a lot of animation that comes out, so we’re really excited,” Vieira says. “This is about young girls and they get into trouble and they have an experience that transforms them. It’s so sweet and the animation is incredible.”

Filadelfia Latin American Film Festival
April 25-April 27
Locations: University of the Arts, 401 S. Broad St; International House, 3701 Chestnut St.; Chima Restaurant, 1901 John F Kennedy Blvd.; Kimmel Center, 300 S. Broad St.; Old City Coffee, Reading Terminal Market, 51 N. 12th St.
$10 for individual movies/$110 for weekend pass


Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.


Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…


OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…


MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.


Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."


'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.


'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."


TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.


Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.


Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.


Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”


Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.


Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.


Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…


NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.


The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.