Mala Mala (film)
|Directed by||Antonio Santini|
|Written by||Antonio Santini|
|Produced by||Antonio Santini|
|Edited by||Sofía Subercaseaux|
|Music by||Flavien Berger|
|Distributed by||Strand Releasing|
|Languages||Spanish and English|
Mala Mala is a 2014 Puerto Rican documentary film directed by Antonio Santini and Dan Sickles, starring Jason "April" Carrión, Samantha Close and Ivana Fred. The film shows several stories of the transgender community in Puerto Rico, including April Carrion, a well-known drag queen who participated in the reality show RuPaul's Drag Race. Mala Mala also includes the historic victory of the LGBT community with the approval and signature of Law 238-2014 (in Puerto Rico), which prevents discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Mala Mala has been presented in festivals around the world, including London, Ukraine, Los Angeles, Austin, Costa Rica and Mexico, in addition to schools such as The Boston Conservatory at Berklee, University of Pennsylvania, New York University and Harvard University.
- Jason Carrión as Himself / as April Carrión
- Samantha Close as Herself
- Ivana Fred as Herself
- Carlos Pascual as Himself / as Queen Bee Ho
- Paxx Moll as Themself
- Alberic Prados as Himself / as Zahara Montiere
- Denise "Sandy" Rivera as Herself
- Soraya Santiago Solla as Herself
- Sophia Voines as Herself
Santini's and Sickles's style is as much a piece of modern investigation as it is a nod to films that came before. There are references to Paris is Burning, Pedro Almodóvar features, Valley of the Dolls, and even 90s Nickelodeon stylistic choices. The two men hope to make an impact in driving this notoriously ignored issue forward.
shows a life in which the line between performance and reality fades away, where fantasy and fact contribute to one's reality. Mala Mala provides a thought-provoking look at where gender identity and cultural identity intersect, while showing that life still revolves around the search for selfhood and the love between friends.
The film examines the myriad personal issues of its interviewees who emerge as articulate spokespeople for their largely marginalized subculture. Sure to be a staple at gay-themed film festivals, the film should garner significant attention upon its commercial release. Its subjects are indeed a fascinating and diverse lot. Interspersed with the insightful interviews are glossily photographed scenes of the subjects clearly relishing playing to the camera, from Alberic sexily splashing about in his bathtub to Samantha bathing nude in a river to Sophia lip-synching a Barbra Streisand song using a dildo for a microphone.
In the Puerto Rican queer and drag communities, "mala" is used to mean something closer to "fierce." How rare and necessary to find a beautifully shot, kind and immersive movie that centers the stories and lives of brown transgender folks. This film does not pander. Rather, it demands that the viewer rise to the occasion.
Awards and nominations
|2016||27th GLAAD Media Awards||Outstanding Documentary||Antonio Santini, Dan Sickles||Nominated|
|Cinema Tropical Awards||Best US Latino Film||Antonio Santini, Dan Sickles||Won|
|2015||Social Impact Media Awards||Best Editing Documentary Feature||Sofía Subercaseaux, El Peligro||Won|
|Best Cinematography Documentary Feature||Adam Uhl, El Peligro||Won|
|Philadelphia International Gay & Lesbian Film Festival||Best Documentary||Dan Sickles, Antonio Santini, El Peligro||Won|
|Best Director Documentary||Dan Sickles, Antonio Santini, El Peligro||Won|
|First Time Director Documentary||Dan Sickles, Antonio Santini, El Peligro||Won|
|CaribbeanTales International Film Festival||Best Documentary Feature||Dan Sickles, Antonio Santini, El Peligro||Won|
|2014||Tribeca Film Festival||Audience Award||Dan Sickles, Antonio Santini||2nd place|
|Best Documentary Feature||Dan Sickles, Antonio Santini||Nominated|
|Puerto Rico Queer FilmFest||Best Documentary||Dan Sickles, Antonio Santini, El Peligro||Won|
|Molodist International Film Festival||International Documentary (Sunny Rabbit Prize)||Dan Sickles, Antonio Santini, El Peligro||Won|
|Costa Rica International Film Festival||Best Editing Documentary||Sofía Subercaseaux, Dan Sickles, El Peligro||Won|
|Austin Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival||Best Documentary||Dan Sickles, Antonio Santini, El Peligro||Won|
- "Mala Mala (2015)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
- "Mala Mala: A Puerto Rican Trans Documentary". Out, April 18, 2014.
- "Documental retrata la comunidad transgénero de Puerto Rico". Univision, October 15, 2015.
- "Mala Mala" estrena en Puerto Rico". Metro Puerto Rico, October 1, 2015.
- "El Documental Boricua, Mala Mala, Recibe Ovación En Tribeca Film Fest". Qiibo, April 22, 2014.
- "MALA MALA Follows Young Transexuals [sic] and Drag Queens in Puerto Rico (WATCH)". The Huffington Post, April 03, 2012.
- Scheck, Frank (May 6, 2014). "Mala Mala: Tribeca Review". The Hollywood Reporter.
- Clarke, Diana (June 30, 2015). "Essential Doc 'Mala Mala' Examines Transgender Life in Puerto Rico". The Village Voice.
- "The 10 Best LGBT Documentaries of 2015". The Advocate, December 24, 2015.
- "GLAAD Media Awards Nominees #glaadawards". GLAAD. Retrieved 2016-01-31.
- "2016 Cinema Tropical Awards Nominees Latin American Film". ReMezcla, December 16, 2015.
- "'Jauja' Wins Cinema Tropical Awards". The Hollywood Reporter, January 20, 2016.