LALIFF Comes Home Again
May 30, 2022
I love whenever I’m exposed to any form of art from the Latin American diaspora. From the language to the culture to the landscape, its breadth and diversity is immense. It’s why I’m excited for the return of the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF). The festival, which runs June 1st through 5th, will highlight that breadth in its films, documentaries, and shorts from throughout Latin America. Dedicated to illustrating the human experience from a Latino perspective, you can expect the subject matter to be as varied as are its people, with entries hailing from as far south as Chile to as far north as Canada.
The festival opens with the documentary film, MIJA, the heart wrenching story of two Latinas navigating their careers through the music industry while doing whatever they can to support their undocumented families. In between you’ll experience everything from a young man trying to confront the reality and brutality of his father’s life as an assassin, to the comedic tale of a young girl fearing she’s becoming a vampire as COVID takes over her life.
Recognized by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, LALIFF has been home to Academy-Award winning directors Guillermo del Toro, Alfonso Cuaron, and Alejandro G. Iñarritu, as well as Golden Globe-winning actresses, America Ferrera and Gina Rodriguez.
Never content on resting on its laurels, LAFIFF is constantly fostering the next wave of filmmakers. Under its Inclusion Fellowship Program, ten Indigenous-Latinos and Afro-Latinos will premier short films at the festival, and the city’s budding cinephiles will be highlighted in works created by the Youth Cinema Project. Equity is also at the heart of the program, with half of the featured films directed by women, including Isabel Castro, the Opening Night’s director, and several entries featuring LGBTQ+ casts and subject matter.
Having been fortunate enough to have screened some of the festival’s films, I’m glad to confirm the program is as varied as it is entertaining. Screenings take place at the TLC Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, with several films and programs available online. For tickets and more information on the festival head over to LALIFF.org.