Tonita's | Boston Turkish Film Festival

Toñita’s is a portrait of the last Puerto Rican social club in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The short documentary dives into the microcosm of Caribbean Club, fondly labeled ‘Toñita’s’ after its owner Maria Toñita, in order to talk about urban space, displacement and identity. The film zigzags between nightlife and daytime activities at the club, and the testimonies of its regulars. Music and dance constitute a crucial part of the film as Toñita’s is a love letter to Nuyorican culture. When the club scenes are interrupted with interviews, each testimony touches upon a specific issue, such as the history of the neighborhood, gentrification, Nuyorican music and dance, and Puerto Rican identity. The interviews paint a complicated picture of the neighborhood and the local community. Caribbean Club regulars confront the new South Side with mixed feelings, as they also reveal a sweet-sour relationship with the past. A recurring subject in the interviews is the owner Toñita who is the matriarch of the community, devoted to keep the club open “until she falls”.

Selected Festivals and Awards

  • Boston Turkish Festival Documentary and Short Film Competition: Best Documentary Audience Award
  • Brooklyn Film Festival, U.S.A.: Brooklyn Pride Award
  • Brooklyn Film Festival, U.S.A.
  • Brooklyn Museum, U.S.A.
  • Bushwick Film Festival, U.S.A.
  • Corto Circuito, New York, U.S.A.
  • Documentarist, Istanbul, Turkey
  • International Puerto Rican Heritage Film Festival, New York, U.S.A.
  • MoMA Documentary Fortnight, U.S.A.
  • Morelia International Film Festival, Mexico
  • New Orleans Film Festival, U.S.A.
  • (Selected excerpts) Creative Time Summit 2013: Art, Place and Dislocation, U.S.A.


Beyza Boyacioglu Sebastian Diaz | Boston Turkish Film Festival


Beyza Boyacıoğlu is a Boston-based documentary filmmaker, video artist and curator. She was a fellow in 2012-2013 UnionDocs Collaborative Studio in Brooklyn. She curates ‘Fiction-Non’, a documentary series exploring narrative/non-fiction hybrid films, at Maysles Cinema in Harlem. Her work as a video artist has been exhibited in many venues including MoMA (New York), The Invisible Dog Art Center (Brooklyn), NoteOn (Berlin), and Sakıp Sabancı Museum (Istanbul). In fall 2014, she will begin her studies in the Comparative Media Studies graduate program at MIT, where she will be a researcher at Open Doc Lab.


Sebastian Diaz is a Mexican filmmaker and artist, based in New York. His award winning feature documentary 'Brilliant Soil' tells the story of Herlinda, one of the few Purepecha potters who has switched to non-toxic lead-free glazes. Sebastian photographed and edited the documentary 'Tijuaneados Anonymous', which was a part of Ambulante 2010 and awarded best local film at San Diego Latino Film Festival 2010. He is a co-founder of Bulbo Media Art Collective, which produced a documentary format television show that has been transmitted in Mexico and the US about life in the Tijuana-San Diego border region, where he was raised. His work has been exhibited at ARCO (Madrid), The MAK Museum (Vienna), Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporaneo (Mexico City), InSite_05 (Tijuana-San Diego) and 2nd San José Biennial 01SJ Global Festival of Art on the Edge, among others. He was a fellow in 2012-2013 UnionDocs Collaborative Studio in Brooklyn.

1:00 pm
Alfond Auditorium

Museum of Fine Arts
465 Huntington Avenue, Boston


Winner of the 19th Annual
Boston Turkish Festival Documentary & Short Film Competition
Best Documentary Audience Award

Directed by
Beyza Boyacıoğlu and Sebastian Diaz

Doc./ 2014 / 20 min.
with English subtitles

An awards ceremony and
a panel discussion with the
award-winning directors
follow the screenings,
moderated by
film critic Peter Keough.


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