Entertainment

Quiz: How Well Do You Know Latino Movies? Can You Guess ‘Em By a Screenshot

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Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival Will Be Digital And Free This Year

Entertainment

Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival Will Be Digital And Free This Year

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If you are a film buff saddened by the fact that you can’t go to your favorite film festivals, fear not. The Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF) is going to be completely digital and free to anyone who wants to enjoy this year’s film roster.

Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF) is going to be free and online for everyone.

In-person participation at LALIFF has been canceled because of obvious reasons (COVID-19). However, the organizers wanted to make sure that everyone who wanted to enjoy the films could. Plus, the festival is a way for these small, independent filmmakers to get their names and projects out there. Being online opens it up to a lot more people to enjoy these films.

The festival, founded by Edward James Olmos, is a very important event for Latino films.

While COVID-19 is keeping people in their homes, LALIFF doesn’t want it to keep them away from enjoying these films. It is the 21st century and that offers filmmakers and organizers a new way to connect with their fans and cinephiles.

“We are living in unprecedented times and we must find unprecedented solutions to continue to support our Latino filmmakers and provide them with a platform to showcase their work,” Edward James Olmos, founder of LALIFF, said in a statement. “Working together with our filmmakers, musicians, partners and sponsors we will be able to celebrate our festival virtually to continue to showcase some of the most inspiring and thought-provoking Latino films of 2020 and share with cinephiles everywhere, from the safety of their homes.”

LALIFF is an integral part of highlighting and promoting Latino talent and their quick pivot to go online will give these artists more opportunity to shine.

The film festival organizers made news when they announced their virtual experience. LALIFF Connect is going to let everyone enjoy the 2020 films as well as the 2019 retrospective highlighting last year’s work. You can currently watch all of the 2019 films and shorts featured last year at LALIFF. The new films will be available from May 5 – 31.

“We are proud to advocate for Latinx artists and musicians, especially at a time where they have been hit the most and share their beautiful sounds. Be sure to dance in your living rooms and don’t worry about the door fee—LALIFF has you covered,” Managing Director of LALIFF, Alexis de la Rocha, said in a statement.

Now is a great time to watch some of the previous LALIFF features, like “Suicidrag.”

The short film is about a group of Mexican drag queens who are taking to the streets and clubs of Mexico to highlight the issues of gender stereotypes. The queens are showing the dangers those stereotypes cause when they are imposed on the consumer culture that controls so much in our societies.

They are also showing “I’ll See You Around.”

Director Daniel Pfeffer explores the complexities of a family when drugs and betrayal derail a relationship. In the film, one brother has to figure out how to salvage a relationship with his brother after he finds out his brother stole his laptop to buy drugs. This film is a tough reminder of the difficulties families must face.

READ: How To Keep Yourself Sane And Balanced While Self-Isolating And Working From Home

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Patricia Cardoso’s Status As the First Latina in the National Film Registry Is a Bittersweet Achievement for the Entertainment Industry

Entertainment

Patricia Cardoso’s Status As the First Latina in the National Film Registry Is a Bittersweet Achievement for the Entertainment Industry

Newmarket Films

Many young girls, especially Latinas, have a vivid memory of where they were and what they were doing the first time they saw the film “Real Women Have Curves” on their television screens. The 2002 dramedy film centers around Ana García, an 18-year-old Mexican-American girl living in East Los Angeles who struggles to follow her dreams in the face of the economic uncertainty.

The film touches on hot-button issues like body image, discrimination, mother-daughter relationships, emotional abuse, and sexual liberation. For many Latinas who grew up watching a predominantly white media landscape, seeing America Ferrera in “Real Women Have Curves” was the first time they saw a character like themselves being reflected back to them on their TV screens.

In December, the Library of Congress announced that the movie was being added to the United States National Film Registry for its status as a “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” motion picture. 

The movie’s addition is notable because it marks the first time a Latina director, Patricia Cardoso, has been added to the archive since its creation in 1988. “The film is a remarkable snapshot of the community and working toward getting ahead as part of the American Dream,” said Steve Leggett, liaison specialist and program coordinator with the Library of Congress. “Plus, the talent and personality of America Ferrera in this film is irresistible and impossible to resist.”

At the Library of Congress’ announcement, Cardoso spoke on the bittersweet nature of her addition to this exclusive group of filmmakers. “I am thankful, it’s an honor and I don’t take it for granted. For me, being one of the first Latinx woman directors is very important,” Cardoso said. “But I would wish I wasn’t the first one. I wish there were many, many more before me and certainly hope there are many more coming behind me.” 

“Curves” has long garnered both popular and critical acclaim, winning the Sundance Film Festival Audience Award when it premiered in 2002 and subsequently being voted “one of the most influential movies of the 2000s” by Entertainment Weekly.

The movie was notable for how it broke many of the traditional Hollywood conventions that the industry had, for years, relied on to tell stories. The film’s protagonist was not a white man, she wasn’t conventionally beautiful by societal standards, and she didn’t live a glamorous or exciting life. 

“Curves” was celebrated for its accurate illustration of the complexities of mother-daughter relationships–especially involving teenage girls. It’s layered and affectionate depiction of East Los Angeles–and especially the Chicano community–was a spectacle audiences had never seen before.

In an industry in which women make up only 4 percent of directors are women, less than 1 percent of which are Latinas, Cardoso remains one of the few Latina filmmakers that have been recognized by mainstream critics. 

America Ferrera took to Instagram to explain the impact of the movie not only on her life, but the lives of countless other Latinos.  “I was 17 years old when this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity came. This movie gave me a chance and gave me a career,” she said in an emotional Instagram post. “Because Latinos in this industry are busting their asses to create opportunity for one another, things are beginning to improve slowly, but there are still far too few opportunities for the talent in our community to shine.”

 “Our people deserve opportunities more often than once-in-a-lifetime,” Ferrera continued. “My deepest gratitude to every Latinx creative & executive in this industry busting down doors, and to our allies who understand the value of our stories. Thank you @librarycongress for this acknowledgment of a beautiful film.”

Naturally, fans of the film (many of which are Latina) took to Twitter to express their love of the movie and their gratitude for its recognition.

It’s true that important art doesn’t have to be acknowledged by large institutions to be culturally significant, but nonetheless, it is always satisfying to have one’s work recognized by others.

This Latina explained perfectly why the movie was important to her:

Not only was this movie ground-breaking in its day, but it continues to be today.

This fan couldn’t help but quote one of the movie’s most memorable scenes:

God, we love this part. We’ve all been there before.

This observant movie-goer had an interesting point about the movie’s impact on future filmmakers. 

We can definitely see the similarities between “Curves” and “Lady Bird”, another coming-of-age movie.

This person got candid about how this movie changed her life:

The power of on-screen representation can’t be overstated.

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