City’s first Latino film fest to feature landmark movies, special guest directors

| September 21, 2016
Andrés Montenegro

Andrés Montenegro

By William Bryant Rozier

Special to Frost Illustrated

FORT WAYNE—Chilean Andrés Montenegro, filmmaker of animated movies, associate professor of computer animation at IPFW, is always a painter.

“I started painting very, very early as a child, at 10. I was so motivated with oil painting that I asked my dad to buy me a kit. I never stopped from that day,” explained Montenegro.

Twenty-seven years ago, he transitioned to computer animation.

“I actually turned my practice of [being an] artist into a more diverse set of tools that includes digital tools, software, computer,” He said.

Montenegro was able to craft entire universes.

“I put in motion my world of a painter.”

13920671_1054480954639546_544099261794521727_nThe long process wasn’t always easy. Montenegro had to learn a brand new set of skills, using early versions of technologies that we now take for granted.

“All the tools we see today…iPads, computers, graphical interfaces…were available at the time. The difference was that they were restricted to small circles, to engineers, researchers, scientists, more avant-garde artists.”

Montenegro’s journey has taken him from the University of Chile to Oregon to Wisconsin, to Fort Wayne, Indiana. Montenegro’s craft and passion will be on display over the course of the first Latino Film Festival, presented by the El Mexicano Newspapers, Scrambled Egg(s) Productions, and Zapari Productions, sponsored by Parkview Hospital and the Auto Liquidation Center, with additional sponsorship by Cinema Center, Indiana Tech, IPFW, Voices of Unity Choir (UPAF), Greater Fort Wayne Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and Agaves Mexican Grill.

The Latino Film Festival celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month, that began Sept. 15 and runs through Oct. 15. The four-day event kicks off Sept. 22 at the Cinema Center, 437 East Berry, with an invite-only opening night. Award-winning Mexican filmmaker Alan Jonsson will present his film “La Carga (The Load)” about a Tameme Indian man, a noble Spanish woman and their escape through the forests of the New World in search of freedom in the 16th century.

The film will be preceded by a seven-minute 1908 silent film, by Spanish filmmaker Segundo de Chomon, accompanied by a Latin jazz ensemble, led by Frost Illustrated’s Michael Patterson and featuring veteran Salsa multi-instrumentalist and singer Hector Mercedes, with percussionist Victor Zápari and pianist Tommy Saul. Montenegro will also present the first of his animated short films, “The Secret of the Lost Station,” about a robot looking for buried treasure.

“It’s kind of a metaphorical tale,” described Montenegro. “Looking for treasure of an impossible dream, there’s always a chance to end up with disappointment.”

Filmmaker Jonsson will conclude the night with a discussion of his film.

The festival continues the next night, Sept. 23, at 6 p.m., at the Cinema Center with the screening of “The German Doctor,” the (fictionalized) story of the last days of Nazi war criminal Josef Mengele hiding out in Argentina while evading Israeli and West German agents. The presentation, sponsored by Hispanos Unidos and IPFW, will be followed by a panel discussion.

Montenegro will present another animated short film the same night, a film noir called “The Little Quest of Petrovsky,” about a private detective looking for a mysterious woman. The film’s animation was inspired by a painting from the famous French painter Balthus.

A third Montenegro animated short, “Absurd Garden,” will screen over the weekend. In the film, three characters contribute to a garden without knowing each other. Their garden is judged to be “absurd” by a bully.

Saturday, Sept. 24, sees an encore screening of “La Carga,” at 6:15 p.m., and the premiere of Alan Jonsson’s “La Morenita” at 8:30 p.m., at Indiana Tech’s Magee-O’Connor Theater, located in Andorfer Commons, 1600 East Washington Blvd. “La Morenita” tells the story of a family man who steals the venerated image of the Virgin Mary to save his family from drug dealers. Jonsson will speak again after the films.

The festival concludes Sunday, Sept. 25, with a family day at Indiana Tech. Starting at 2 p.m., piñatas, games and crafts will be available for kids. Food can also be purchased from an authentic Latino food truck. The band Maxico Musical is set to play as well.

At 2 p.m., and again at 4:30 p.m., family film “La Misma Luna (Under the Same Moon)” will be shown, followed by a free screening of the biopic “Cesar Chavez” at 6 p.m., centering on the actions of a young Chavez, as he attempts to win labor and civil rights, mostly in California, through nonviolent social action, in the same vein as contemporary Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

All movies will be presented in Spanish with English subtitles. Adults and student rates are available. Tickets can be purchased the day of the showings at the Cinema Center and at Indiana Tech.

For fest information, visit the event’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/FortWayneLatinoFilmFest or visit www.elmexicanonews.com. Or, call Fernando Zápari for direct inquires at (260) 704-0682.

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Frost Illustrated is Fort Wayne's oldest weekly newspaper. Your Independent Voice in the Community, featuring news & views of African Americans since 1968.

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