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MSPIFF // This Is Not Berlin // Leto

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DESCRIPTION
It's 1986 in Mexico City and Carlos is a reserved teenager who finds himself slowly drifting into the world of adulthood, his transformation kickstarted by the city's underground punk rock scene and evolving culture. In the backdrop of this coming-of-age drama, the rage of social unrest surrounding the 1986 World Cup simmers alongside the inticements of art, drugs and punk music. Carlos decides to tag along with his best friend Gera to go the Aztec, a bar in the inner-city where Gera's sister is playing a show. The two friends soon find themselves heading down a rabbit hole of new influences, a path that leads them to discovery and exploration of their own identities, dreams and desires. The film saw its world premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.

DIRECTOR BIOGRAPHY
Hari Sama was born in Mexico City, 1967, with many of the influences in This Is Not Berlin modelled after his own life. His other films include Sunka Ranku - Evanescent Joy (15) and Awakening Dust (13).

PRESS
"Hari Sama's autobiographically inspired feature is a joyfully edgy dive in the Mexico City punk/New Wave underground of the mid-80s. With a coolness factor off the charts, this musically and otherwise seductive drama is likely to appeal to audiences who lived through the era as well as those who wish they had, both straight and gay." - Variety


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9:30 PM // Leto

DESCRIPTION
Leto is a rockin' fictionalized tale of the real life friendship and collaboration of legendary Soviet punk rockers Viktor Tsoi (played by Teo Yoo) and his idol Mike Naemenko (Roman Bilyk). Filmmaker Kirill Serebrennikov, who finished the film under house arrest in Russia and remains under home confinement, presents a love letter to early 80s Leningrad and the youth counterculture that smuggled in LPs of Bowie, Dylan, and Velvet Underground from the West. The film charts Viktor and Mike's rise in the Leningrad underground music scene, from rowdy backstage antics to wild beach parties and jam sessions. Infused with influential music of the era and dreamlike rock sequences including an unforgettable rendition of Talking Heads' "Psycho Killer" aboard a train, Leto is a film for music lovers and general audiences alike. Leto premiered in competition at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.

DIRECTOR BIOGRAPHY
Kirill Serebrennikov is a Russian filmmaker widely known and praised for his work in cinema, television and live theater. He is a graduate of Rostov State University and has been making film since 1994.

PRESS
"For all of its candied sketchiness, Leto nails the feeling -- or the memory -- of finding yourself in a world that isn't afraid of who you might become." - IndieWire


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MSPIFF is Minnesota’s largest film event and one of the longest running film festivals in the country. Showcasing the latest international independent documentary and fiction films from around the globe, #MSPIFF offers audiences countless opportunities to engage with visiting filmmakers and stars from around the world.