The Dog Pound (La Perrera, Uruguay) (2006)

Part of the New Latin American Cinema

Director: Manuel Nieto Zas
Certificate: Unknown
Format: Unknown
Language: Spanish

Winner of the Best Film Award at the Rotterdam Film Festival, and elected Best Uruguayan Film of 2006 by the country’s Association of Film Critics, this is a slow and contemplative film about David, a 25-year-old who loves smoking pot, and has a heroic capacity for doing nothing.

Tragicomedy of a slacker, shot on 16mm.


Desperate and unfortunate, lazy and hesitant, David, a 25-year-old, has failed as a student and lost the scholarship that financially supported him in the capital city. Now he must pass an exam that will take place in a year if he wants this grant to continue. In order prepare, David has come to live at La Pedrera, a small beach town where his father has given him the mission of building a house during the winter.

This is the story of the construction as well as David's tragicomic fight to survive in a world where there are as many dogs as men and few women and where no one wants to work.


“Humorous chronicle of a year of trouble and sexual misery, achieves an odd mixture of triviality in its apparent purpose, of stylistic elegance and radical pessimism.”— French newspaper LIBERATION

"On a background of emotional and social misery, of sexual frustration and uncontrolled drug use, the construction essay of this young bourgeois turns into a tragicomic epic." - French newspaper LE MONDE (review from Jacques Mandelbaum, amazingly interesting film critic)

"Watching David exercise his almost heroic capacity for dodging any kind of activity beguiles for a bit, but the languorous rhythm of Manuel Nieto Zas’s directorial debut ensures ennui proves inescapable." - TIME OUT


Winner - Tiger Award (highest award) at the Rotterdam Film Festival

Best Uruguayan Film 2006, Association of Film Critics of Uruguay

"Llave de la Libertad" Award, Iberoamerican Festival of Huelva 2006

Winner - Best Cinematography - Clarin Entertainment Awards

The film was selected in 2009 to be part of a festival of films from Uruguay in 2009, in New York (Go Uruguay!)


Manuel Nieto Born in Montevideo, Uruguay, in 1972.

He graduated in Media Studies from the Catholic University of Uruguay and after working in TV for some time, he co-directed the short film Nico & Parker in the year 2000.

Since then, he has worked as assistant director in the films 25 Watts and Whisky by Rebella and Stoll, Los Muertos by Lisandro Alonso and Hamaca Paraguaya by Paz Encina.

The Dog Pound is his first film.

Other films in the New Latin American Cinema:


Film: The Headless Woman (Argentina) (2008)

14 Nov 2010, 7:30 p.m.

Lucrecia Martel is one of the most promising Argentinian directors around. She has won prizes at some of the most prestigious festivals, and we are very proud to be showing her latest film. A “brilliant, maddeningly enigmatic puzzle of a movie” (The New York Times), about a woman confronted with guilt, and the history of Argentina.


Film: Hiroshima (Uruguay) (2009)

18 Nov 2010, 7:30 p.m.

Incredible film, at once experimental in its form, challenging in its content, and visually beautiful: this is a non-identified floating object. Best described as a silent musical: no dialogue is heard at all throughout the film, but music from unsigned Uruguay rock/metal/psychedelic bands make the film fly. 24 hours in the life of a singer with autistic tendencies.


Film: Alamar (Mexico) (2009)

21 Nov 2010, 7:30 p.m.

A visual poem in the stunning setting of a little house in the blue Mexican sea, where a father shows his 5 year old boy how to go fishing. Between documentary and fiction, this little gem has won prestigious prizes, among which the highest prize (tiger award) at the Rotterdam Film Festival.


Film: Whisky (Uruguay) (2003)

28 Nov 2010, 7:30 p.m.

Multi-awarded at some of the most prestigious international film festivals (Cannes, Tokyo, Chicago, Peru, Spain, etc), this is a very subtle film about human communication, or the impossibility of it. The owner of a sock factory asks one of his employees to act as his wife during the visit of his brother.