Maysles Documentary Center
343 Malcolm X Blvd/Lenox Avenue bet. 127th and 128th Streets New York, NY 10027


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Jul 11 2024


5:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Formats (virtual, in person, hybrid)


Anhell69 + Raw Sessions



Thursday, July 11th at 5PM / 7PM

Sentient.Art.Film, a filmmaker-focused distribution model, presents a diptych of genre-defying independent films from South America: the New York premiere of Theo Montoya’s acclaimed ANHELL69, and the world premiere of As Talavistas and’s mini-DV opus RAW SESSION, previously screened at the 2022 IDFA in Amsterdam.


Theo Montoya, 2022, 72 min.


A few years back, director Theo Montoya cast several people from Medellín’s queer scene for his first feature film, a vampire movie about a dystopian city where ghosts coexist with the living. He chose charismatic 21-year-old Camilo Najar for the starring role, but a week later Camilo died of an overdose. The director lost many friends in the same manner.

Montoya previously filmed a portrait of Camilo in his powerful, punky short Son of Sodom (2020). In ANHELL69, he dives deeper into a no-future generation torn apart by drugs and suicide in a city defined by violence. All hope is gone, and getting stoned is all that’s left. Montoya sees Medellín as a ghost town lost in the mountains, a place where you can’t see the horizon, and from which you can never escape.

After attending more funerals than birthdays among his circle of friends, Montoya descends into an existential void. But he picks up the camera again anyway, and—in emulation of his great inspiration Victor Gaviria—makes a film without borders or genders: a “trans film” about all those people who don’t belong to anything or anyone.


As Talavistas and, 2022, 88 min.


Shot with a Mini-DV camera without major preparations but with a great deal of sweat and beer, RAW SESSION presents itself as a succession of prologues of a film always yet to be made.

“A Brazilian collective of cross-dresser, transgender and non-binary friends filmed themselves in 2018 with a Mini DV camera, spontaneously and with little preparation. Four years later, the collective, As Talavistas &, edited the raw material to create a succession of prologues to a film that, as they say themselves, is continually in progress.

The result so far is a playful, personal, political and uncompromising self-portrait. The friends, all multiracial and thus doubly marginalized, talk frankly about themselves and the issues they struggle with, in a society that poses a constant danger to trans people. Brazil has the highest murder rate of transgender people in the world.” – IDFA 2022