Nov 2-9, 2020

Fandango at the Wall

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Fandango at the Wall follows Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra founder/conductor Arturo O'Farrill to the remotest regions of Veracruz, Mexico, where he meets and jams with the masters of son jarocho. Son jarocho is 300-year-old folk music rooted in the land that combines Indigenous, Spanish and African traditions. After Arturo's inspiring journey to a place where time seems to stands still, he and his orchestra join the masters of son jarocho at the border between the United States and Mexico for a son jarocho music and dance festival called Fandango Fronterizo (founded by Jorge Francisco Castillo). The festival takes place simultaneously on both sides of the United States-Mexico border transforming this object that divides to one that unites. With a poetic musical approach inspired by the son jarocho tradition, Fandango at the Wall reveals a Mexico seldom depicted. The story reveals a culturally rich portrait of Mexico and Mexicans and presents US-Mexico relations in a positive light, showing how art and culture can bring our countries and people together.

Filmmaker Biographies

Award-winning director Varda Bar-Kar (Director, Co-Writer) creates uplifting work that explores what it means to be human. Her childhood spanned a myriad of countries and cultures, gifting her with a distinct point-of-view and an eclectic embrace of humanity. It all began, on a summer’s eve, when she witnessed her first epic screen kiss—a larger than life projection at a beach-side drive-in theater. Soon, Varda put her own 8mm camera to the test and began crafting. Her childhood love art gave way to her professional path as a filmmaker.

Varda is a global citizen having lived in three different continents and ten cities by the time she was 15 years old. Varda became a director after working as a Script Supervisor for maverick feature directors like Jim Jarmusch, Wayne Wang, and Carroll Ballard. She's written and directed web series, branded content & short films, including standouts Window, What Kind of Planet Are We On? and Ode to Los Angeles. Her work explores what it means to be human in the most unexpected ways. Varda’s feature documentary Big Voice chronicling a challenging year in the life of a determined high school choir director was picked up by Netflix, Amazon Prime, and aired on PBS winning a Bronze Telly Award. The Heartland Film Festival, New Filmmakers LA and the South Dakota Film Festival honored Big Voice with "Best Feature Documentary" awards. Varda participated in Ryan Murphy’s Half Foundation television directing program and has since directed an episode of Fox's hit show 9-1-1. Having dedicated much of her career to independent filmmaking, Varda is excited to be expanding into TV.

Varda completed Fandango at the Wall, a feature documentary about a musical convergence on both sides of the United States/Mexico border inspired by a mystical 300-year-old musical tradition from Veracruz, Mexico called son jarocho. The documentary funded in part by the Ford Foundation & Miranda Foundation is beginning its festival run.

Varda is a member of the Directors Guild of America. She sits on the board of New Filmmakers Los Angeles and is a member of Film Fatales and the International Documentary Association.


Online Screenings

This online screening and Q&A with the filmmaker will be available for a limited time only. The film and Q&A will be accessible at the following dates and times. Viewers may start the film up to one hour after the time listed.