Screened as part of NZIFF 2007

Bella 2007

Directed by Alejandro Monteverde

A handsome Mexican soccer star whose career was cut short by tragedy finds solace with a pregnant waitress in this sensitive, transcendent film set in New York, that won the People's Choice at Toronto.

USA In English and Spanish with English subtitles
91 minutes 35mm


Alejandro Monteverde
Patrick Million


Andrew Cadelago


Fernando Villena


Eduardo Verástegui
Tammy Blanchard
Manny Perez
Angelica Aragon
Jaime Tirelli
Ali Landry


Toronto 2006


People's Choice Award, Toronto 2006


Handsome, dapper Jose (charismatic Eduardo Verástegui) was a young Mexican soccer star on his way to a major career in the US when his career was cut short by tragedy. A few years later, he's a taciturn, shaggy-haired chef in his brother Manny's restaurant who witnesses the callous firing of pregnant waitress Nina (Tammy Blanchard, in a searing, star-making performance) when she turns up late for work. Sensing a soul in need of solace, or perhaps a chance for his own redemption, Jose bails from his shift to follow Nina and offer whatever comfort his companionship might provide. Over the course of their day together in New York, including a visit to Jose's colourful New Jersey family home, Nina and Jose fall into an easy confidentiality, sharing their hopes, fears and  most potently  a series of increasingly personal revelations, including the truth about Jose's painful past. This modest, sensitive, transcendent film captured the hearts and minds of audiences at the 2006 Toronto International Film Festival to win the coveted People's Choice award.