With compelling coming-of-age movies like Kyle Patrick Alvarez’s “C.O.G.” and biting political dramas like Gael Garcia Bernal’s “No,” Latino stars brought fresh ideas to the lineup of this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Filmmakers, actors and writers descended on Park City, Utah to showcase the best in independent film-making at the moment. Scroll down to take a look at Hollywood‘s newest and most innovative stars.
Hot mama Jessica Alba flashed her megawatt smile at the Sundance premiere of her new comedy “A.C.O.D.,” a film about a man entangled in his parents’ 15-year-divorce. Alba has been keeping busy at home with her husband Cash Warren and two children — Honor, 4 and Haven, 1. She plans to publish a book in March 2013 called “The Honest Life: Living Naturally and True to You,” about creating a toxin-free environment for her little ones.
Crossover sensation Fernanda Romero got her start on the telenovela Ley del Silencio and made the crossover to American theaters with a role in the 2008 horror film “The Eye.” The Mexican model, singer and actress is now starring in the independent comedy “Ghost Team One,” a ghost-hunting documentary gone wrong.
Director Sebastián Silva debuted two movies at Sundance, both filmed in his native Chile and both starring the nerdy and lovable Michael Cera. “Crystal Fairy,” inspired by Silva’s life, follows Cera on a quest through the desert to find a druggie’s dream — the San Pedro cactus. According to Cera, they filmed “Crystal Fairy” while waiting for funding for their other film premiering at the festival, “Magic Magic.”
“Magic Magic,” the second Sebastián Silva film premiering at Sundance, stars Colombian beauty Catalina Sandino Moreno. She’ll appear in the psychological thriller with Michael Cera, Emily Browning and Juno Temple. You might recognize the 32-year-old stunner from the drama “Maria Full of Grace,” which earned her an Oscar nomination for Best Actress.
Brazilian actress Kaya Scodelario has been wowing British audiences with her role as the mysterious femme fatale Effy Stonem in the TV series Skins. She makes her debut across the pond in the dark thriller “Emanuel and the Truth about Fishes,” directed by Italian filmmaker Francesca Gregorini. As the title character, Kaya is drawn to her neighbor Linda (Jessica Biel), who bears an eerie resemblance to her dead mother.
Kyle Patrick Alvarez
At only 29 years old, up-and-coming filmmaker Kyle Patrick Alvarez just polished off his second film and is already set to direct a third. The new feature “C.O.G.” follows a self-absorbed Yale graduate who heads to Oregon for an enlightening experience and ends up at an apple farm. Alvarez, a Cuban-American, based the movie off of a David Sedaris essay by the same name, the first time the writer has allowed one of his pieces to be adapted.
Katherine Castro managed to look both casual and glamorous at the premier of the film “Lovelace” featuring Les Miserables star Amanda Seyfried. The Dominican diva recently appeared in “El Gallo,” which was filmed in Santo Domingo, and the thriller “Silent Cry.”
Best known for his role as “Bubbles” on the acclaimed television series “The Wire,” the half-Cuban Andre Royo takes a turn as a schoolteacher in “The Spectacular Now.” The Bronx native has been on and off the small screen with appearances in “Fringe,” and “How to Make it in America.”
Gael Garcia Bernal
Gael Garcia Bernal definitely made a statement at Sundance with two fiery films rooted in politics. His first film, “No,” depicts Pinochet-era Chile and an ad executive’s campaign to defeat his re-election bid. The film is already up for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Film of the Year. His second film, “Who is Dayani Cristal?” follows Bernal as he tries to uncover the identity of an anonymous body in the Arizona desert. The film touches on issues of U.S.- Mexico relations, immigration, border security and the value of a human life.
Táta Vega makes an appearance in a star-studded film that looks at the people who stand “Twenty Feet from Stardom” — back-up singers. The film examines the lives and dreams of these singers who take the Stevie Wonders, Mick Jaggers and Bruce Springsteens of the world from good to exceptional. Vega is best known for her 1970s Motown hit “I Just Keep Thinking About You Baby.”