In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, Latin American Cinemateca of Los Angeles (LACLA) will be streaming the Costa Rican film CENIZA NEGRA (English title LAND OF ASHES) as part of its Cine Nepantla program this Sept. 22 – 26, 2022.

In CENIZA NEGRA, 13-year old Selva (her name translates as “Jungle”), lives in a coastal town in the Caribbean. (It’s not revealed exactly where the story happens, but to this Costa Rican-born reviewer the accents are Costa Rican and the environment looks like the Caribbean province of Limón.)


In the absence of a mother, Selva lives with her old grandfather, who is ready to die. She is, however, also accompanied by spirits. This is a story filled with magical-realism that proposes that humans and snakes have something in common – the shedding of our skin doesn’t equate to the end of our life.

CENIZA NEGRA stars an all Afro-Latino cast with main performances by Smashleen Gutierrez, Humberto Samuels (a non-professional actor whom, according to, was found in an old-folks home), and Hortensia Smith. The movie was written and directed by Argentina-born/Costa-Rica-raised director Sofia Quiros Ubeda.

CENIZA NEGRA will be available for streaming Sept. 22 – 26, 2022 on The streaming will include an interview with the director.

Latin American Cinemateca of Los Angeles (LACLA) is a California non-profit organization dedicated to promoting cultural exchange through film by screening classic and contemporary films from America and by USA Latinas and Latinos.