30 April 2012

Latino Film Festivals

The film industry in United States flourished with the rise of Hollywood, typified most prominently by the innovative work of D.W. Griffith. But Latin American films have also been significant in developing new genres and cinematography techniques. Mexican movies from the Golden Era in the 1940s and 1950s are significant examples of Latin American cinema, with a huge industry comparable to the Hollywood of those years. Some of the more experimental and innovative filmmakers throughout Latin American film cinema include Luis Buñuel, Guillermo del Toro, and Alejandro Jodorowsky.

Currently in the U.S. there are entire film festivals dedicated to showcasing the history of Latin American film, as well as contemporary and emerging cinema from Latin American and U.S. Latino filmmakers. Below are some of the festivals that take place each year:

Cine Las Americas International Film Festival - Austin, Texas

The Cine Las Americas International Film Festival, now in its 15th year, takes place during the month of April. This year's lineup presented almost 100 films ranging from independent and big budget features, documentaries and short films from all over the world including Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Spain, Portugal, Canada and the U.S.

The opening night featured ¿Alguien ha visto a Lupita? (Have You Seen Lupita?), a comedy/drama film by Gonzalo Justinaino (Chile/Mexico/Argentina/Germany) release in 2011. Lupita, a young Mexican girl, runs away from her family when they try to send her to a mental hospital, starting a journey through which she will take us to discover a world that seems much crazier than she is. With her sensuality, innocence and romanticism, Lupita invites us to believe that life can be experienced in different ways. Partially shot in Austin, Have You Seen Lupita? stars Dulce María, Carmen Salinas, and Cristián de la Fuente.

Chicago Latino Film Festival

The Chicago Latino Film Festival is now in its 28th season. The CLFF is produced every April by the International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago, a pan-Latino, nonprofit, multidisciplinary arts organization dedicated to developing, promoting and increasing awareness of Latino culture among Latinos and other communities by presenting a wide variety of art forms. During the festival, films from all of Latin America, Brazil, Spain and Portugal are screened throughout the city. The Chicago Latino Film Festival is the largest and oldest Latino film festival in the nation, and presents over 100 films of cultural and social significance from Latin America, Spain, Portugal and the U.S.

San Diego Latino Film Festival

The Annual San Diego Latino Film Festival, currently in its 19th year, takes place every March, and it's organized by a dedicated group of staff persons and numerous volunteers from the 501(c)3 non-profit organization MEDIA ARTS Center San Diego, which promotes access to film and video as tools for community self-expression and social change and supports the professional development of media artists. In 2012 the San Diego Latino Film Festival and San Diego Jewish Film Festival also partnered to co-present ¡Celèbrate!, an unprecedented festival of film, music, and lectures highlighting the Jewish experience in Spanish-speaking countries.

New York International Latino Film Festival

Launched in 1999, the New York International Latino Film Festival (NYILFF) is now the premier Urban Latino film event in the country taking place annually during the month of August. The NYILFF's mission is to showcase the works of the hottest emerging Latino filmmaking talent in the U.S. and Latin America, offer expansive images of the Latino experience, and celebrate the diversity and spirit of the Latino community. Programming includes the flagship film festival in NYC, new music and art showcases, family and community events, awards for filmmakers, and a nationally recognized short film competition in partnership with HBO.

San Francisco Latino Film Festival

Cine+Más SF contributes to the Bay Area’s active and diverse arts scene through the San Francisco Latino Film Festival (every September), year-round programming and special events centered on Latino arts - including the visual, performance, and literary arts. The Cine+Mas SF Latino Film Festival showcases the work of emerging and established filmmakers from the US, Latin America, Spain and Portugal. It is a celebration of the latest work coming out of the 20+ countries with which they share a bond.

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