Problemista (2024)

1h 38m / R / Comedy

Alejandro (played by the film’s writer/director Julio Torres) is an aspiring toy designer from El Salvador, struggling to bring his unusual ideas to life in New York City. As time on his work visa runs out, a job assisting erratic art-world outcast Elizabeth (Tilda Swinton) becomes his only hope to stay in the country and realize his dream.

From the Emmy-winning comedian Torres – recognized for his writing credits on Saturday Night Live – comes a surreal adventure through the equally treacherous worlds of New York City and the U.S. Immigration system. Between his HBO series Los Espookys, and this, his directorial debut, Torres is already being compared to other masters of magical realism like Guillermo Del Toro and Alejandro Jodorowsky, and words like “auteur” are being thrown around. His style might not be for everyone, but as an Audience Award nominee at this year’s SXSW festival, Problemista is quickly finding its fan base.