El Gringuito and Q&A with Director Sergio M. Castilla

March 9, 2007 - 5:00 pm

Ivan is an eight year old New Yorker who is very upset that his Chilean parents are making him leave his city, where he has a full life, to go live in Chile. He has heard that bad things, that he cannot fully understand, have happened in that country, stories of people disappearing in the hands of the police. Once in Santiago, Chile, he dislikes everything he sees and experiences. Besides, he feels lonely and jealous, as his mother is ready to give birth to a new sibling.
The day his father and mother go to the hospital for the delivery Ivan runs away from home. As he wanders in the city he meets Flaco, a poor street vendor. Later on, when the man wants to drop him, Ivan, who senses he can’t make it alone, and has escaped with his saved dollars, hires Flaco to take care of him. The problem is that Flaco will drop him again.

Sergio M. Castilla, Director, Writer, Actor, Producer

Jerry Carlson, The City College and The Graduate Center, CUNY

Sergio M. Castilla was born in Santiago, Chile. His mother is a lawyer who was born in a small town in the South of Chile. His father, a European Jew, arrived in Chile escaping first the Spanish Civil War and then the Nazis. He started two film theaters in Chile, where he was the first one to use “el rotativo,” the continuous show.
Castilla studied film in France, at the IDHEC (Institut des Hautes Etudes Cinematographiques). He went back to Chile to make films, participating actively in the Chilean film community during Allende’s government. He was in exile during the Pinochet regime. Has lived in Chile, France, Sweden and, since 1979, in the USA. In every country, he has produced and directed films, for a total of eight features and a number of shorts. His films have been selected for leading film festivals, including New Directors New Films at MoMA, New York Film Festival and the Sundance Film Festival in three separate occasions.
He taught film directing at Columbia University, Graduate Program, during ’91-’94 and NYU in ‘95. He has two sons and lives in New York.

Jerry Carlson is a film historian specializing in Cuban and Latin American cinema. In January 2003 he was a visiting professor at the EICTV (Escuela Internacional de Cine y Television) in San Antonio de los Banos, Cuba. In the past he has produced television interviews with Cuban writers and directors such as Julio Garcia Espinosa, Sergio Giral, and Humberto Solas. In the fall of 2003 he produced and hosted a six part series on CUNY-TV about Cuban cinema.


Cartagena Film Festival, 2000
Honorable Mention of the Children’s Cinema Competition Jury
Havana Film Festival, 1998
OCIC Special Award