The Film Business

5 Reasons Why Filmmakers Should Watch Latin American Films

Latin American Film

Photo by: Kevin Dooley

Anybody remotely interested in the film business can see that the Latin presence in film and media is expanding at a phenomenal rate.

I’m not a fan of watching a film just because it’s from a certain country, yet it’s a fact that we should all be paying attention to what is being created in Latin America. Why? Here are 5 basic reasons.

1 – International recognition

Cannes Festival has just finished and, man, was Latin America present at the Awards. You may not be aware but the Mexican director of photography, Emmanuel Lubezki, filmed Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life. This DP is the prodigious son of Mexico, working for directors like Tim Burton, Michael Mann and Alfonso Cuarón. He comes from UNAM Centro Universitario de Estudios Cinematográficos; a great school that is the seed plot for great national and international talents.

That is not all, the Camera d’Or for best first film went to Pablo Giorgelli’s Las Acacias. This Argentinean film was created with pure Hispanic talent and money, something that has been reoccurring in the past years.

That’s just Cannes, yet festivals around the world have recognized the talent emanating from this part of the world.

2 – Richness in culture

Film, to a certain degree, is a reflection of reality. Latin American culture is particularly diverse in its traditions and history, but what makes it even more interesting is the reality that every Hispanic country is currently facing. The circumstances are so diverse and fascinating that we should all observe them, analyze them and learn from them.

Current films have been able to grasp these conditions, making them that much more attractive to international viewers.

3 – Latin American market increase

Immigration plays a huge role on this one. Broadcasters like Univision and Telemundo have grown for one reason and one reason only: the Latin American population in the US has increased and will keep increasing. This market is key for the future of the entertainment business.

Tip: if you are in the entertainment biz, you should want to learn more about this market and one of the best ways to do so is watching films from Latin countries.

4 – Alfonso Cuarón, Guillermo del Toro, and Alejandro González Iñárritu

The three musketeers for Mexican film abroad, if you ever ask a non-Latin to mention a Latin American film director 3 out of 4 will mention one of these names.

Titles like Children of Men, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Great Expectations, Hellboy II, Pan’s Labyrinth, Biutiful, Babel, and Amores Perros are recognized at an international level and are the equals of any European or North American film.

I would even dare to say that it is greatly thanks to these three directors that Latin American presence in film has sky rocketed in the past years.

5 – Discover Latin America with just a movie ticket

There is no business or snobbish film reason for my #5. It’s simple—film like literature, can take you to places never before seen (or to places you’ve never been before). Latin American film can fly you to beautiful countries and landscapes, introducing you to new cultures, languages, and people. Every one of the films created in these countries reflects a different aspect of this, some the nice and others the ugly, but all 100% passionate and worthwhile.

Related posts:

   Ken Rodgers said on June 1, 2011 at 3:06 pm


Nice work here. I ahve been watching Latin-American films for years. Vibrant, vivacious and often outlandish in the good sense, the sense that rattles our American ideas of what is creative.




   Rebeca Ricoy Paramo said on June 1, 2011 at 5:25 pm

Thanks for your comment Ken! I’m glad you appreciate all that Latin American films have to offer.



   Valente said on June 2, 2011 at 10:14 am

Very nice work..



   Olish said on June 2, 2011 at 1:05 pm

hell yeah! double congratulations ! Professor Rebecca and Bloquera…

   Lorena Cuadra said on June 2, 2011 at 2:22 pm

It’s a pleasure to read this kind of posts, they remind us as Mexicans or Latins, our all way creative capacity. Congrats, because this is a success in your career that allow us to know about things we are not involved at all.

Love so much my friend,


   josie rodriguez said on June 4, 2011 at 3:05 pm

go bend a taco honey!

   Karen Watts said on June 8, 2011 at 5:41 pm

Very well stated. Also, filming in these Latin American countries has grown and the main reason is not just the cost but the quality of the services, the film commissions, the crew and the gorgeous locations.
Karen Watts
Shoot Latin America

Tell us what you think!

Latest Tweets

Stay Informed

Click here to register with Focal Press to receive updates.

about MasteringFilm

MasteringFilm, powered by bestselling Routledge authors and industry experts, features tips, advice, articles, video tutorials, interviews, and other resources for aspiring and current filmmakers. No matter what your filmmaking interest is, including directing, screenwriting, postproduction, cinematography, producing, or the film business, MasteringFilm has you covered. You’ll learn from professionals at the forefront of filmmaking, allowing you to take your skills to the next level.