MI3NTE (2009) is one of the most recent calling cards for Puerto Rico’s film industry; and an unexpected one for audiences not familiar with movies from that Caribbean island. A psychological thriller, the film is designed with an edge and with young urban Latinos in mind, says director Rafi Mercado (from House Of Mercado Entertainment and NYC Sound Factory). These elements must be working on its favor: MI3NTE is scheduled for screenings at Austin’s Cine Las Americas, Havana Film Festival New York, and the Chicago Latino Film Festival, among other international festivals.
Do not expect idyllic beaches, adds Mercado, who lived and worked in New York City for almost 20 years. Do expect a complex story, a super sexy cast of Latinos, engaging Rock music (in Spanish and English) and stunning visuals (designed by Mercado and Mailara Santana, and photographed by Sonnel Velásquez).
MI3NTE is the story of Henry (Puerto Rican Oscar Guerrero), a shy artist with a dull life who works at a video store. Paula (Argentinean Mariana Santangelo) and Diff (Dominican Frank Perozo) come into his life and turn it upside down with big doses of lies and surprises, blurring the line between fantasy and reality. The film is based on the novel Different, by Puerto Rican Javier Ávila. It was produced by Puerto Rican house Isla Films.
A cast of Latin American actors is one of MI3NTE’s highlights. Guerrero’s movie career in the United States started with ‘I Witness’ (2002), in which he worked with Jeff Daniels, James Spader and Portia de Rossi. He became a darling all over Latin America in 2007, with his performance as Pablo Manuel in the Chilean-Puerto Rican soap opera Don Amor. That year he also appeared in ‘Around June’, directed by James Savoca, in which he was June’s lover.
On the other hand, Argentinean Mariana Santangelo already is an international star because of her leading role in the movie ‘En la puta vida’ (Tricky Life) as Elisa, a single mother who started working as a prostitute in order to survive. ‘Tricky Life’ became the first Uruguayan movie to be nominated to an Oscar as Best Foreign Film. Santangelo has won several Best Actress Awards, including various festivals in Spain, as well as the Viña del Mar Festival in Chile.
As for Dominican Frank Perozo, he is considered the hippest actor in the Dominican Republic right now. His recent films include ‘The Lost City’, with Andy García; ‘Espejismo’, with Zoe Saldana; and movies in the Dominican Republic like the comedy ‘Yuniol’ and ‘La maldición del Padre Cardona’—for which he won several Best Actor Awards in his country.
For those interested, a screening will take place as part of Cine Las Americas International Film Festival on April 22nd (6 p.m.) at Regal Metropolitan 14, #901 Little Texas Ln.
Check out the official trailer here: