NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA) has teamed with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) for a virtual edition of the 8th annual NFMLA InFocus: Latinx & Hispanic Cinema Film Festival which will take place September 17-18.
This year’s lineup will include three short film programs and a presentation of the feature documentary A La Calle, which was recently acquired by WarnerMedia 150 and is set to be released this month on HBO Max. The fest is co-presented by Mount Saint Mary’s University Film, Television & Photography program and includes screenings, filmmaker Q&A sessions and industry panels.
The festival will kick off with four panels beginning in the afternoon on September 17 including conversations with Gloria Calderón Kellett, showrunner of the sitcom One Day at a Time, Cristina Garza, Senior Vice President of Development and Production at Endeavor Content, Emily Cohen Ibañez, director of the POV feature documentary film Fruits of Labor and Bruno Santamaría, director of the POV feature documentary film Things We Dare Not Do. In addition, the fest will include one world premiere and three North American premieres, as well as Lorena Gordon’s At Last, which stars Zack Gottsagen (The Peanut Butter Falcon) and George Lopez.
The weekend’s film programming begins Friday evening with the Los Angeles premiere of the award-winning documentary A La Calle, directed by Maxx Caicedo and Nelson G. Navarrete. This vivid multi-perspective on Venezuela’s recent political history clandestinely shot over three years both delves into the larger political factors involved, as well as the ordinary Venezuelan citizens’ grassroots struggle for freedom.
Saturday’s film programming kicks off with Shorts Program I – A Day at Work, a selection of films that explore work and labor in a meaningful way, as a source of identity, survival, pride and mastery. Following is Shorts Program II – Generational Echoes, a collection of stories centering on the relationships between generations and the effects that they have on one another on both a personal and societal level.
The program includes independent films by emerging talent, with filmmakers and stories from the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Argentina, El Salvador, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Spain and the Cuban diaspora.
“This year’s program pulls strongly on thematic threads of resilience and community, and is so much about finding strength in relation to others.” said NFMLA Programming Director Bojana Sandic.
“Like clockwork we see talent from NFMLA’s Latinx and Hispanic Cinema Festival excelling in incredible ways,” added says NFMLA Executive Director and Co-Founder Larry Laboe. “In just the last year we’ve had alumni of the Festival sell an original TV series to a lead streamer, write a feature for a major studio, get signed to top-tier agencies and management companies and earn notable nominations and wins during awards season. We couldn’t be prouder of the Festival’s alumni and this year’s collection of films and filmmakers definitely command attention. The Academy is helping us take these storytellers to the next level,”
Returning NFMLA alum Gabriela Ortega, a 2021 Rising Voices will bring his film Huella, produced by Lena Waithe to the fest. Huella premiered at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival and received this year’s LALIFF award for Best Director of a live action short. The program also includes María Alvarez’s 2021 Horizon Award Finalist Split Ends, which screened at the 2021 Festival de Cannes Court Métrange.
NFMLA and the Academy have brought together industry professionals, executives and creatives to support the programmed filmmakers and projects. Those taking part in the 2021 edition include Kelly Goode and Mitzi Miller at Warner Bros. Television, Adriana Martínez Barrón at UnbeliEVAble (the film, television and documentary production company started by actor/director, Eva Longoria), Alexander Zahn at Netflix, Daniela Gonzalez at Circle of Confusion, Kate Presutti at Latin World Entertainment (LatinWE, founded by Luis Balaguer and Sofía Vergara), Laura Rister at Untitled Entertainment, Michele Arteaga at Starz, Richard Ruiz at Searchlight Pictures, Luane Gauer at Protagonist Pictures, Gina Reyes at Verve, Yira Vilaro at Amazon Studios, Florentina Almonte at Shorts Entertainment Networks (ShortsTV/TVCortos), Gloria Calderón Kellett at GloNation Studios, and Cristina Garza at Endeavor Content, among others.
A full list of official selections is available below. For more details visit www.NFMLA.org/Events
- A La Calle (Dir. Nelson Navarrete & Maxx Caicedo)
- A Heart Dies Twice (Dir. & Itziar Martinez)
- At Last (Dir. & Lorena Gordon)
- Back Then (Dir. & Hernán Velit)
- El Triste (Dir. & Manuel Del Valle)
- Hijos Del Sol (Dir. & Fernando Guisa)
- Huella (Dir. & Gabriela Ortega)
- Imaginary Portrait (Dir. & Felipe Martinez Carbonell)
- Lily <3 (Dir. & Jimena Muhlia)
- Manos De Oro (Hands Of Gold) (Dir. & Merced Elizondo)
- Nymph (Dir. & Maria del Mar Rosario)
- Split Ends (Dir. & María Alvarez)
- Spoon (Dir. & Victor Velasco)
- Superestar (Dir. & Daniel Larios)
- Rocket (Dir. & Pedro Henrique Chaves)
- The Ugliest (Dir. & Victor Ridaura)
- Under the Heavens (Seiva Bruta) (Dir. & Gustavo Milan)
- Viral (Dir. Laura Martínez Hinojosa, Writ. Laura A. Martínez Hinojosa, Miguel Ferráez)
- Yoruga (Dir. & Federico Torrado Tobon)