Aruba 2015 Wrap-Up: More Reviews, Awards Announced, And Final Impressions From One Happy Island

Editor, U.S.; Los Angeles, California (@benumstead)
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Sunday, October 11, 2015 -- Just beyond the surf and the sand, the lights dim inside a movie theater. Then comes the digital coo of a projector and one final round of images thrust upon the screen for the audience to behold. And so it went that the 2015 Aruba International Film Festival came to a close.

On hand for the One Happy Island's annual celebration of both Caribbean and international cinema, I experienced many exciting moments both onscreen and off. For more impressions on the island of Aruba and of opening night please be sure to go back and read my festival diary and my Q&A with programming director Aaron Hose.

What follows are a series of capsule reviews of all the feature films I saw during AIFF 2015, news on the awards and events, plus my final impressions on the island, the festival and many of the people, from near and far, I met during my wonderful visit -- until next year...

VIAJE

One of my most anticipated titles at AIFF 2015, director Paz Fabrega did not disappoint in the slightest, and her second feature is one of the indie film world's best discoveries of 2015.

Effortlessly witty and sensual with an easy charm that slowly evolves into a deep reflective wonder of true selves, or perhaps shadow selves, Viaje charts one of those romantic chance encounters that could either be fleeting or else life-changing. But unlike many of their modern siblings at the cinema Fabrega and her leads Kattia Gonzalez and Fernando Bolaños go beyond that mere notion, and instead offer up the more confounding, perhaps less romantic, and definitely more human notion of "why can't it be both?"

Read my Full Review

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