FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Eugenio del Bosque
Cine Las Americas
P.O. Box 1626, Austin Texas 78767 USA
press(@)cinelasamericas.org
Tel: +1-512-535-0765

Cine Las Americas presents:

AÑO BISIESTO (LEAP YEAR)
A film by Michael Rowe
Starring Mónica del Carmen, Gustavo Sánchez Parra, and Marco Zapata

Winner of the "Camera d'Or" Prize for Best First Film at the Cannes Film Festival.

Monday February 28, 7 PM
Alamo Drafthouse Ritz
320 East 6th Street, Austin 78701

For tickets, trailer and more information go to www.cinelasamericas.org

Presented as part of the Cine Las Americas Signature Series at the Alamo Drafthouse.  This series features regular premieres of the greatest Spanish and Portuguese language releases, bringing to Austin audiences some of the newest and greatest international titles all year round.

AÑO BISIESTO (LEAP YEAR)
Directed by Michael Rowe

2010, Mexico, Drama
92 min, Red One, Color
Starring Mónica del Carmen, Gustavo Sánchez Parra, and Marco Zapata

In Spanish with English Subtitles

Laura is 25 years old.  She's a journalist, she's single and lives in a small apartment in Mexico City.  After a series of short-lived affairs, Laura meets Arturo.  After the first time they make love, she is left deeply unsettled.  They embark on an intense and passionate sexual relationship, in which pleasure, pain and love merge.  As days go by which Laura conscientiously crosses out in a calendar, her secret past resurfaces, pushing Arturo to the limit.

En español:
Laura tiene 25 años. Es periodista, está soltera y vive en un pequeño apartamento en México D.F. Después de una larga serie de aventuras amorosas sin futuro, conoce a Arturo. La primera vez que hacen el amor, ella queda profundamente conmovida. Entonces comienza una relación intensa, apasionada y sexual en la que se mezclan el placer, el dolor y el amor. Pasan los días, que Laura tacha uno a uno en un calendario, y el pasado de la mujer vuelve a surgir, acosando a Arturo.

AWARDS AND RECOGNITION

Winner of the "Camera d'Or" Prize for Best First Film at the Cannes Film Festival.

Official Selection:
Moscow International Film Festival, Ale Kino World Cinema International Film Festival, and Haifa International Film Festival

PHOTOS

To download high resolution film stills go to  http://www.cinelasamericas.org/press-room/95-2011-season-press-releases/443-stills-ano-bisiesto-leap-year

ABOUT MICHAEL ROWE

Australian director living in Mexico. He studied English and post colonial literature at La Trobe University, he is the author of three stage sctipts: "Impudence and Innocence," "Reprise For Godot," and "Sexual Harassment." He is the winner of the Melbourne Fringe Festival Poetry Prize. In 2005 he wins the Mexican Film Instituion Stimulus program for writers with his script "Naturalezas Muertas." "Ano Bisiesto" is the director's feature film debut, a powerful sex drama about a captivating crude painful love story.

EXCERPTS FROM AN INTERVIEW WITH MICHAEL ROWE

I'm always interested in marginal characters, who live and die well outside the circles of power, seeking out a living in whatever sphere is available to them. Five hundred years after the Spanish conquest, the socioeconomic divisions in Mexico still follow the country's racial breakdown very closely. The top 5 percent of the wealthiest people are generally from European families, and the 70 percent of the poorest people in the country are, by and large, indigenous. This film is about a relationship of power between a woman and a man, but at the same time in many ways it's a metaphor for the complex victimizer-victim dichotomy that I think is at the very heart of Mexican national identity.

I had two great actors. One hundred percent committed, one hundred percent focused. Gustavo (Sánchez Parra) was working on another movie and his dates were so tight that we barely had a few hours together to have lunch the day before we began filming. But when you're working with somebody as talented and professional as he is, it's just a sheer delight. We'd discussed the tone of his character, and that was enough. He just picked it up and ran with it.

And Mónica (del Carmen)... At the casting, Mónica made me cry. If there was one thing I knew I could depend on in this shoot, it was her brilliant acting. We worked together practically every day for two months before we started the shoot, until she knew the character as well as I did. Sometimes even better, I think.

I do feel Mexican... I've been living in Mexico for 16 years, and the film was written in Spanish, about Mexican characters, and filmed entirely with Mexican resources, cast, and crew. And yet at the same time I know that my narrative sensibility was formed in Australia. When I arrived in Mexico I was already a writer. And I think of course that being born outside Mexico gives me a distance on Mexican society a lot of Mexicans don't have.

CREDITS

Directed by MICHAEL ROWE
Screenplay by MICHAEL ROWE AND LUCIA CARRERAS
Produced by EDHER CAMPOS AND LUIS SALINAS
Co-producers OLGA GONZALES AND GUSTAVO CAMPOS
Executive Producer MARTINA GUSMAN
First Assistant Director RODRIGO BELLO NOBLE
Director of Photography JUAN MANUEL SEPULVEDA
Sound by ANTONIO DIEGO
Sound designer MIGUEL ANGEL MOLINA GUTIERREZ
Edited by OSCAR FIGUEROA JARA
Art director ALISARINE DUCOLOMB

CAST
MONICA DEL CARMEN        Laura
GUSTAVO SANCHEZ PARRA    Arturo
MARCO ZAPATA            Raul



Cine Las Americas is a multi-cultural, 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Austin Texas. The mission of Cine Las Americas is to promote cross-cultural understanding and growth by educating, entertaining and challenging diverse audiences through film and media arts.
This project is funded and supported in part by the City of Austin through the Cultural Arts Division and by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts and an award from the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.



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