One of the highlights from SXSW earlier this year was SNL writer and Los Espookys co-creator Julio Torres’ feature-length writing and directing debut Problemista. Backed by A24 and also starring Tilda Swinton, RZA, Isabella Rossellini, Larry Owens, Catalina Saavedra, and Greta Lee, the film follows an aspiring toy designer from El Salvador who is struggling to bring his unusual ideas to life in New York City. As time on his work visa runs out, a job assisting an erratic art-world outcast becomes his only hope to stay in the country and realize his dream. Ahead of an August release, the first trailer has now arrived for the Emma Stone-produced film.

Jake Kring-Schreifels said in his SXSW review, “In Problemista, Torres’ feature-length writing and directing debut––loosely based on his own struggles as an immigrant––everything is just slightly off-kilter, too. Consider the single clump of hair that sticks out from his character’s head, or the way he walks, almost bouncing with each step as if gravity’s pull had lessened by a fraction. They’re details that help fill out a magic-realist vision of a Salvadorian’s attempt to keep his green card status and pursue his niche passion in New York City. They also provide a humorous glow to a story about preservation, creativity, and the courage to fight off corporate entities attempting to dismantle those individual concerns.”

See the trailer below.

Problemista opens on August 4.

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