Get ready to party like it’s Cinco de Mayo at Elephant Park. South Social Meets Latin America is celebrating all things Latino with two days of independent cinema, dance, world music, art, and regional cuisine, writes Laura Burgoine…
Held in the brand new Elephant Park, which holds 500 people, the first day (Friday 29 June) is dedicated to Argentina, while the second day (Saturday 30 June) is devoted to Colombia.
Festival director Paola Melli said this is the first time the South Social Film Festival has been held outdoors. “The Latin American community is really tight in London,” Paola told the Weekender. “Elephant and Castle was a very poor area with cheap housing when people moved there, and the Latin American community formed naturally and organically. The Colombian community is particularly tight knit.”
“We’re going to have everything possible to represent the culture,” she continued. “There’s dance workshops, music that needs a big band and makes lots of noise, children’s activities in the park, volunteers doing face-painting, and then at 8:30pm we’re using the LCD screen in the park to show films.”
The Argentine film is the popular Wild Tales. “It’s a classic with lots of black humour and really weird situations,” Paola said. “I wanted to focus more on comedy.”
For the second day, themed around Colombia, 82-year-old Elsa Perez is teaching a dance workshop. “She’s got loads to teach us,” Paola said. “She’ll teach people the movements and afterwards a big band of seven or eight musicians is playing.”
The Colombian film, Amalia the Secretary is a “very delicate comedy about a woman trying to deal with being single, in a huge city. It tells a lot about society there,” Paola said.
South Social started two years ago as a “very classic festival” with 12 screenings. It’s expanded to incorporate other cultural elements: music, food, and dance.
“We have different food stalls: Argentine, Chilean, Mexican, and cocktails form Latin America,” Paola said. “It’s Pisco Sours all the way.”
We’ll drink to that!
Friday 29 June: Argentina
-The day kicks off with a Latin American dance workshop led by dancer and choreographer Damarys Farres.
-The 7pm concert, with Brixton Cumbia Association, brings the best songs from Argentina to London.
-The event culminates at 8:30pm with a screening of the classic black humour comedy Wild Tales by Damián Szifron.
Saturday 30 June: Colombia
-Dancer Elsa Perez gets the event started with her internationally renowned Latin American dance workshop from 6pm-7pm.
-Nirk Molina Vallenato King, a star of the Colombian vallenato London scene, is performing a concert from 7pm.
-The festival culminates with the UK premiere of Colombian comedy Amalia the Secretary by Andrés Burgos.
For more information visit the website.