Official Selection


by Li Cheng
Guatemala, 2018, 85', color, DCP
Screenplay: Li Cheng, George F Roberson
17:00 Sala Perla Press, Industry
11:30 Sala Perla Tickets, All Accreditations
Followed by Q&A
20:00 Sala Perla 2 Tickets, All Accreditations

Li Cheng
George F Roberson
Paolo Giron
Lenz Claure

Yao Chen
Omar Juarez

Enrique Salanic (José)
Manolo Herrera (Luis)
Ana Cecilia Mota (Mom)

YQstudio LLC
George F Roberson
Li Cheng

press office

George F. Roberson
+1 720.878.1698

José (19 years old) lives with his mother (50s) in Guatemala: a tough life in one of the world's most dangerous, religious, and impoverished countries. José is her youngest and favorite child, and her life is going to church and selling sandwiches. Jose spends his days on crowded buses and in the streets delivering food. Resigned and aloof, in free moments he plays with his phone and looks for random sex. When he meets Luis, Jose is thrust into a dimension of passion and pain and self-reflection that was previously unimaginable.


2018 José
2014 Joshua Tree

"Close relationships between mother and son are a key feature of Latino culture - a traditional morality co-existing with extreme machismo, violence, and religiosity. Extensive interviews in twelve Latin American countries led us to Guatemala. José re thinks popular images of Latin America that often feature idyllic places and white faces but where most people are urbanized, poor and dark-skinned. It's a deeply troubled place, and the film elucidates what young people told us - finding a relationship here is an ‘impossible dream'".
Originally from China, Li Cheng moved to the United States in 1999 and is now a global nomad. Key references: Italian neorealism, Hou Hsiao-hsien. Key themes: struggle, crisis, hope. Cheng left bio-tech in 2007 to focus on film and his first feature, Joshua Tree (2014), is on the crisis of the American Dream. For his current film, José, he conducted research in twelve Latin American countries and lived in Guatemala for almost two years.

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