The very first ¡Tú Cuentas! Cine Youth Festival has officially opened submissions for its inaugural festival which is set to kick off September 18 and continue through October 16.

The fest is presented by HITN TV and was originally scheduled for April 2020, but like many events it was postponed due to the pandemic (which still happening, so wear a mask and get vaccinated). Nonetheless, ¡Tú Cuentas! Cine Youth Festival is designed to support emerging Latinx filmmakers and creatives in their endeavors. It informs, inspires, and elevates the voices of those who struggle for visibility on screen and behind the camera by providing a platform for young changemakers to express themselves through art, creativity, and innovation.

“This initiative aims to shine a light on compelling, untold Latinx stories,” said Lina Sands, Director of Marketing at HITN. “We want to showcase the talents, vision, history, and culture of historically marginalized and underrepresented communities; in this way, the festival gives young Latinos a platform to express their perspectives through film.”

Luis Alejandro Molina, ¡Tú Cuentas! Cine Youth Festival Director added “We’re excited to be back and look forward to welcoming submissions for our rescheduled 2021 inaugural edition. This festival’s theme speaks to what brought us to this moment in time and invites us to imagine a future where we are all seen, heard, and most importantly, counted.”

Molina continued, “Beyond promoting diversity and inclusion, the festival and its series of ‘Conversations Among X’ virtual panels are designed to invite discussion and reflection among the larger Latinx content-creating community about the issues that affect us today. Whether you are an amateur filmmaker in college or a high school student who aspires to make movies one day, we want to hear your story.”

“Beyond the film festival, the ¡Tú Cuentas! Cine Youth Festival presents a tri-weekly series of networking and entertaining virtual panels featuring well-known, award-winning filmmakers, artists, and creatives – all sharing their stories, experiences, and insights to help young Latinx looking to grow in the industry. More details about “Conversations Among X” panels can be read at

The ¡Tú Cuentas! Cine Youth Festival hosts short films that feature a Latinx in a creative lead position either in front or behind the camera. High school and college students are invited to direct, shoot and create their films to enter the festival. English or Spanish-language works of fiction or nonfiction are welcome. Films must be 30 minutes or less in length.

Qualified filmmakers can submit their entries on or through Film Freeway.

Submission fees are structured as follows:

  • Early Bird Entry: Free from July 19, 2021 to Aug. 2, 2021.
  • Standard Entry: $20 submission fee from Aug. 3, 2021 to Aug. 16, 2021.
  • Late Entry: $25 submission fee from Aug. 17, 2021 to Aug. 30, 2021.

Special fees apply for student films:

  • Early Bird Entry: Free from July 19, 2021 to Aug. 2, 2021.
  • Standard Entry: $10 submission fee from Aug. 3, 2021 to Aug. 16, 2021.
  • Late Entry: $15 submission fee from Aug. 17, 2021 to Aug. 30, 2021.


Entries will be selected by submission only. Films must be 30 minutes or less in length. All film genres, including documentary, drama, animation, comedy, and narrative, are eligible. Filmmakers must be 16 years of age or older to be eligible to enter, or if younger, submit parental/guardian permission.

Only films completed between January 1, 2017 and January. 31, 2021 are eligible for this festival. Visit for a complete list of rules and eligibility criteria.

The selection of films for the ¡Tú Cuentas! Cine Youth Festival will be announced on September 13 and the selection will be screened on from September 18 to October 16.

An independent jury will evaluate all entries based on a variety of factors, including awareness of the subject matter, creativity in the approach of the subject matter, technical aspects such as directing, acting, cinematography and editing, originality, and inspirational and storytelling impact of the piece. Judges will select two winners from a pool of finalists. A grand prize winner will be chosen to receive a cash prize of $5000. An additional student scholarship of $2,000 will be awarded to the outstanding work submitted by a student. Certificates for e-learning courses will be given to recipients of honorable mentions to continue mastering their craft. Winners will be announced at the end of October on HITN GO and on the ¡Tú Cuentas! Cine Youth Festival website.

To date, the ¡Tú Cuentas! Cine Youth Festival is being presented in collaboration with Northeastern Illinois University, Roberto Clemente Community Academy, Philadelphia Latino Film Festival, Centro – Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College, NALIP, Frank Sinatra High School, Manhattan Neighborhood Network, St. Francis College, and the University of Houston.