OLA Expands Film Fest Content and Geographic Reach

The festival will kick off Friday, Nov. 17, at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill
In the Ecuadorean film “Translucido,” Ruben (Roberto Manrique), who has been given three months to live, decides to take his own life before his cancer symptoms become evident.

For the first time in its 14-year history, OLA, the Organizacion Latino-Americana of Eastern Long Island, will extend the reach of its film festival to the Vail-Levitt Music Hall in Riverhead, one of three East End sites where it will present four feature films next weekend. 

The festival will kick off Friday, Nov. 17, at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill with “Neruda,” a biographical drama by Pablo Larrain from Chile, and “Desde el Principio,” an award-winning short by Miguel J. Soliman, who lives in Jersey City and will attend the screening.

“Neruda,” set at the start of the Cold War, is about Pablo Neruda, a Chilean poet and Communist senator, who was threatened with arrest after criticizing the country’s president. He was forced into hiding for 13 months before fleeing to Buenos Aires, eventually becoming a symbol of liberty at home and around the world. He was able to return to Chile in 1952, and went on to win the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1971, among other accolades.

“Desde el Principio” takes place in a dark recording studio, where two actors deal with a shared tragedy. The Parrish’s doors will open at 5 p.m., with a bilingual tour of its exhibitions taking place at 5:30. A reception will follow from 6 to 7, and the screening will begin at 7. Tickets are $12, free for members and students.

“Translucido,” a drama from Ecuador, will be shown at Guild Hall on Nov. 18 at 7, and two films, “El Jeremias” and “Los Nadie,” will be screened on Nov. 19 at the Vail-Levitt Music Hall. “El Jeremias,” a family film, will be shown at 1 p.m., and “Los Nadie,” recommended for those at least 16 years old, will be screened at 8.

“We’ve been searching for opportunities to be more impactful on the North Fork,” Minerva Perez, OLA’s executive director, said, “so I reached out to Vail-Levitt. Their board was so supportive, so happy to be doing something like this.”

“Translucido” is the story of a man with cancer who is given three months to live, perhaps longer if he accepts treatment. Instead, he decides to take his own life before the symptoms become apparent. The film’s Venezuelan director, Leonard Zelig, has won numerous awards for theater and film. He will be at Guild Hall with several of the actors, and a question-and-answer session will follow the screening. Tickets are $10, $20 for preferred seating.

“El Jeremias” is a Mexican comedy directed by Anwar Safa about an 8-year-old boy who finds out he is gifted and starts a journey of self-discovery that eventually leads him to a choice between an exciting but lonely world opened up for him by a physiologist or returning home. Tickets to the 1 p.m. screening are $5.

“Los Nadie,” Juan Sebastian Mesa’s story about five friends emerging from adolescence in Medellin, a hard city that both attracts and excludes them, will conclude the festival. A concert with Carolina Fuentes, a percussionist, and food and refreshments will follow the 8 p.m. screening.

“This program is definitely for teenagers,” Ms. Perez said. “We wanted to make something special happen for an age group that never seems to have anything offered to it.” Tickets, which include the party, are $10, $20 for preferred seats.

In planning the festival, OLA put out a call for submissions through the website Withoutabox to filmmakers around the world. “It’s been cool because we have made connections to brand-new filmmakers whose voices might not normally be heard,” Ms. Perez said.