Audiences seeking to explore bold and inspiring content created by Latinx filmmakers beyond the great selection of features at LALIFF, will find a treasure chest of stories and idiosyncratic visions in the festival’s Short Programs. Experimental works, hard-hitting dramas from rarely seen regions, and even animated narratives, comprise a curated compilation of the best short films created by or about Latinx talents in the last few years.
Through this selection of standout bite-size creations with hugely relevant stories, LALIFF is bridging the gap between its last edition and its return. Many of the short films included were made during LALIFF’s hiatus, thus this programs allows the festival to share them with audience and showcase some the best work Latinx filmmakers completed in this intermission.
One of the festival’s invaluable partners to bring incredible short form content to this year’s festivities is the Borscht Corporation, a non-profit redefining the way cinema is produced in a Miami. Borscht also puts together its own film festival every couple of years, an even that has garnered a cult following for their audacious programming and creative approach to production. For LALIFF, having Borscht be part of this new journey was a perfect match.
“It was so important to include Borscht Corp in LALIFF’s comeback year as they continuously represent Latinx creators and Latinx perspectives in prestigious film festivals throughout the world,” says LALIFF’s Senior Programmer, Dilcia Barrera.” Their ingenuity and approach is admirable and I hope their journey inspires other Latinx filmmakers to take chances, be bold and created art true to their own stories.”
Borscht is represented at the festival with a stunning lineup in a program titled Borscht Diez: 10 Year Anniversary Program. Apart from including Oscar-winner Barry Jenkins’ hypnotic short Chlorophyl, this look at a decade of Borscht-produced works also presents two animated gems by Brazilian-born Miami-based director Bernardo Britto. Both Yearbook and Glove premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and have cemented Britto as a singular force in multiple mediums.
Outside of the Borscht Diez package of wonders, one of the most anticipated directorial debuts playing at LALIFF is the short Good Crazy directed Rosa Salazar. The actress who’s had an immensely successful career in both film and television takes her first stab at writing and directing in a complex piece. Later this year Salazar will star in the title role of Robert Rodriguez’s new feature Alita: Battle Angel.
Distinct areas of Latin America are also present at LALIFF via award-winning shorts like Michael Flores’ My Treasure (Mi Tesoro), a touching tale about the aftermath of war from El Salvador; Juan Pablo Arias Muñoz’s Hombre, sharp take on masculinity from Chile; Carlos Morales’ Symphony of a Sad Sea (Sinfonía de un Mar Triste), centered on a young Mexican man escaping violence in his homeland; and João Paulo Miranda Maria’s Ant Killer (Feminas Formicida), a provocative look at a teenage girl’s personal battles.
Similarly, shorts from a Latinx points of view include the Boyle Heights-set The Town I Live In directed by Guadalupe Rosales & Matt Wolf; two documentaries on issues around immigration, Anna Barsan’s Libre and Lorena Manriquez & Marlene McCurtis’ Here I’ll Stay; and a hilarious comedy Diet & Exercise by Benjamin-Shalom Rodriguez.
Undoubtedly, shorts at LALIFF are a sample platter of ides, techniques, and perspectives that complete an already balanced program.