17-year-old Ulises (Juan Daniel Garcia Trevino) loves to dance. Spending his days hanging around with a ragtag bunch of friends, he dreams of a time when his brand of Cumbia dancing will carry him to fame beyond his Mexican mountain town. But, after finding himself in the wrong place at the wrong time, the local drug cartel mistakenly targets him, and he’s forced to flee his home, landing alone in the wilds of Queens.
Director Fernando Frias’s depiction of the Cholombiano subculture to which Ulises belongs offers a fascinating glimpse into those who live their lives on the fringes of “polite” Mexican society, offering a fresh take on the fish-out-of-water story. The central performance by newcomer Trevino is a revelation, and the colorful cast of characters he encounters both in Mexico and the U.S. are integral to the unforgettable texture of the film. An electrifying tale of immigration perfectly suited to these troubling times, this is a neorealist saga bursting with originality.—Loren Hammonds
Born and raised in Mexico City, Fernando Frías began working on documentaries in the early 2000’s and transitioned into fiction shortly thereafter, maintaining documentary elements in his narrative work. His previous work includes Rezeta and Los Espookys. I’m No Longer Here was chosen for the Sundance Screenwriters Lab in 2014.