NBFF 2021 review: ‘AYAR’ is a genre-defying self-discovery.


Ayar, a first-generation American Latina, returns home to reunite with her daughter. But when her mother, Renata, refuses to let her see her due to Covid, Ayar is confronted by the many roles she’s been forced to play, including the role in this film.

A thoughtful, meta film about cyclical history and emotional growth. AYAR is without genre. Flawlessly playing our titular character is Ariana Ron Pedrique. Her vulnerability, particularly alongside actress and screenwriter Vilma Vega, makes this film as intriguing as it is. These two women together become Ayar as a character. The script is part intimate confessional with a touch of magical realism. The integration of each actor’s audition and brief life story dismantles any preconceived notions about what AYAR intends to convey. This is a film like no other and, yet because of its structure, has an unexpected tangibility. AYAR is about mistakes, redemption, loss, and so much more. NBFF 21 audiences are lucky to experience something so unique.

Starring: Ariana Ron Pedrique, Vima Vega, Henry Foster Brown, Simon Haycock
Director: Floyd Russ
Writers: Vilma Vega, Ariana Ron Pedrique, Floyd Russ

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About Liz Whittemore

Liz grew up in northern Connecticut and was memorizing movie dialogue from Shirley Temple to A Nightmare on Elm Street at a very early age. She will watch just about any film all the way through (no matter how bad) just to prove a point. A loyal New Englander, a lover of Hollywood, and true inhabitant of The Big Apple.

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