Juan Sebastian Jacome – Cenizas AKA Ashes (2018)

As Cotopaxi spews ash, issuing an eerie penumbra over Quito, a young woman confronts dormant familial conflicts. Desperate for a place to store her things as volcanic disaster looms, Caridad turns to her long-estranged father Galo for help. Galo abandoned Caridad’s mother long ago and is eager to make amends, but questions concerning the nature of his transgressions linger, straining communication between father and daughter and casting grave doubts over the possibility of reconciliation. Read More »

Micaela Rueda – UIO: Sácame a Pasear AKA Take Me for a Ride (2016)

High school can be horrible, especially when your classmates make you feel like a freak. But sometimes that pain only means that finding the person who gets you is all the sweeter. Loner Sara is in her last year of high school and is miserable. She is shunned by the girls in her class for being “weird” and spends her lunches smoking in a hiding place behind the school. That is, until the new girl, Andrea, invades her hideout one day. Andrea and Sara fall for each other instantly, bonding over their love of books and solitude. Things might actually start to look up for Sara, but then the world intrudes and threatens their happiness. Can their love survive homophobic classmates and parents? Read More »

Ana Cristina Barragán – Alba (2016)

Alba is eleven years old and terribly shy. She has great difficulty standing up for herself among the precocious girls in her class, who talk like little adults about relationships but keep making fun of Alba with the cruelty of children. The fact that she gets nosebleeds at inconvenient moments doesn’t help. To make matters worse, when her ailing mother is hospitalised she is dumped with her eccentric father Igor, who she never knew and of whom she is very ashamed. Very slowly and cautiously, the father and daughter get to know each other. Alba is a coming-of-age film that is both heart-rending and unsentimental. It’s striking that such a mature and powerful debut comes from Ecuador, the country that until the beginning of this century had only made one film a year. Young leading actress Macarena Arias is one to keep an eye on. She manages to use a minimum of dialogue to devastating effect.

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María Fernanda Restrepo – Con mi corazón en Yambo AKA With My Heart in Yambo (2011)


“On January 8, 1988, when I was ten years old, my parents decided to go on vacation and leave me with my brothers Santiago and Andrés who were 17 and 14 years old. That day I went to a friend’s birthday party and they were to pick me up in the afternoon. Night fell and dawn found me still waiting and watching at the window. They never arrived.” Read More »

Camilo Luzuriaga – La tigra AKA The Tigress (1990)


Three sisters – stereotypically the whore, the saint and the virgin – own a cafe in an isolated area of Ecuador. The Tigress (the whore) has supernatural powers which she will keep as long as her younger sister remains a virgin. The Tigress becomes increasingly “macho” until her sisters forsake her and the local police move in. Read More »