Largest Latino Film Festival

By Editor April 23, 2018 12:21

Rosy Cordero of reports that Edward James Olmos and Rafael Agustin are launching the world’s largest Latino Film festival. –

“With the lack of representation in Hollywood still, a hot topic at award shows and film festivals, Edward James Olmos, and his team have decided to be the change we so desperately need. The Academy Award-nominated actor announced this week the launch of the largest Latino Film Festival (LALIFF) and the Latino Film Institute, both will serve to amplify Latinx voices in Hollywood. LALIFF will be hosted at the TCL Chinese Theater from June 20 – 24 in Hollywood.

“I am proud to be launching the Latino Film Institute and LALIFF at such a critical time in our social climate,” Olmos said in a statement. “For too long we’ve been talking about issues of inequity and lack of diversity in our industry, and we are looking forward to being part of the solution.”

“Jane the Virgin” writer Rafael Agustin will spearhead the festival and will also serve as the Latino Film Institute’s Executive Director. Agustin spoke to about these two exciting new projects as well as teasing the season finale of the hit CW series that wraps up season four on Friday.

How did you get involved with Edward James Olmos and LALIFF?

I was a student at UCLA’s School of Theater, Film & Television when the late and great Lupe Ontiveros (‘Selena,’ ‘Real Women Have Curves’) walked into one of my classes and told us to consider volunteering for LALIFF. All I kept thinking was, this woman killed Selena on screen… I should probably do what she says.

Even though Latinos have come a long way on the small/big screen, we still have quite a ways to go. How will LALIFF help change things?

We took matters into our hands four years ago when we launched the Youth Cinema Project. We decided not to complain about the fact that Hollywood does not invest in developing our communities of color, so we started doing the work ourselves. Starting in the 4th grade. Right now there are nine-year-old students of all colors doing the work that I didn’t get to do until I got to college. That is how you change Hollywood!

What types of films/talent can we expect to present during your first year? Details, please!

Our festival lineup will be announced next month, and there are some very exciting things that will help prove that LALIFF is the Mecca of Latinx content. But the most exciting talent I can announce right now is our programming team. Diana Sanchez is an International Programmer at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), and Dilcia Barrea is a Programmer, Short Films at the Sundance Film Festival. Having these two powerful Latinas under one roof is going to change the game for Latino film programming!

How can Latinos support LALIFF to ensure it’s a success?

Buy a ticket, volunteer, or donate. If you can’t do any of those, then follow us on social media. If you can’t do that, then at least tell your family about us: if you don’t want to experience some of the best latino films, art, digital content or music from the U.S. and around the world, then I’m sure one of your cousins will!

Do you think there will ever be a day that Latinos won’t need their own festivals/award shows to be represented? 

Mr. Olmos and I have spoken at great length about this. Our goal is to make ourselves obsolete and to make Latinx content simply American content. But until then, we will continue working tirelessly to nurture and promote our very own storytellers.

This is totally unrelated to this fantastic new, but now that I have your attention, what can we expect for the season finale of “Jane the Virgin?”

Two words for you: game changer! In fact, you might want to call me after you watch the finale. You’re going to need someone to talk about this season’s ending!

How do you feel about it ending next season? Do you agree it was the right time?

Our showrunner, Jenni Snyder Urman, has not said if next season is our final season or not. As the person who developed this world – and who created ‘Jane The Virgin’ as we know it – the show can go on for as long as she sees fit. ”

By Editor April 23, 2018 12:21

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