Director(s): Les Blank
Length: 58 mins
Les Blank (1935-2013) was an internationally renowned, independent filmmaker, whose poetic work offers intimate, idiosyncratic glimpses into the lives, culture and music of the passionate people at the periphery of American society. His film topics have included Cajun, Mexican, Polish, Hawaiian, and Serbian- American music and food traditions, Afro-Cuban drummers, Texas blues men, Appalachian fiddlers, “flower children”, gap-toothed women, and the garlic plant.
Blank is perhaps best known for his feature-length Burden of Dreams (1982), with co-filmmaker Maureen Gosling, documenting the chaotic production of fellow director, and friend, Werner Herzog’s 1982 film Fitzcarraldo in the jungles of the Peruvian Amazon. Honored with a Criterion DVD edition, and a British Academy Award, Roger Ebert called Burden of Dreams, “…one of the most remarkable documentaries ever made about the making of a movie.” Another of Blank’s best-loved works is Garlic Is As Good As Ten Mothers (1980), a seminal food film featuring culinary pioneer Alice Waters, and the Gilroy Garlic Festival. This film, notorious for its mouth-wateringness, was initially shown in “Aromaround” with garlic simultaneously roasted in-theater.
LOS ANGELES LATINO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
ANNOUNCES 2019 PROGRAMMING LINE-UP INCLUDING
SEVEN WORLD PREMIERES
SUNDANCE AUDIENCE AWARD WINNER, THE INFILTRATORS, TO
OPEN THE FESTIVAL ON WEDNESDAY, JULY 31 AT
THE TCL CHINESE THEATRE
PROGRAM INCLUDES 15 FEATURES – TEN DIRECTED BY WOMEN,
PLUS 17 SHORTS, FIVE EPISODICS, AND SPECIAL EVENTS
INCLUDING A MASTERCLASS ON LATINX IN ANIMATION
LOS ANGELES, CA July 9, 2019 – Academy Award®-nominated actor Edward James Olmos today announced the program that will be featured at the 2019 Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF) which runs Wednesday, July 31 through Sunday, August 4 at the TCL Chinese Theatres. As the largest Latinx film festival to be hosted in Los Angeles, this year the festival will shine a spotlight on US-born Latinx filmmakers. This year’s program includes 15 features, 17 shorts, five episodics, two special events and two Latinx podcasts live from the festival.
This year’s program will open with Cristina Ibarra and Alex Rivera’s The Infiltrators, which won the Audience Award: NEXT and The NEXT Innovator Prize at Sundance earlier this year. The film, a mixture of documentary and narrative, focuses on a real-life rag-tag group of undocumented youth – Dreamers – that get deliberately detained by Border Patrol in order to infiltrate a shadowy, for-profit detention center. The film is a suspenseful telling of this high-stakes mission – a little-known chapter in American activism, and a rare insider experience of a for-profit immigrant detention center, an institution that is rapidly expanding across the American landscape.
“The Infiltrators represents everything LALIFF aspires to be – a film for our U.S. community by our U.S. community with international ramifications,” said LALIFF co-founder Edward James Olmos. “The film was made by a Latinx duo and focuses on the real-life story of undocumented youth that sacrificed everything to help others like them being held inside migrant detention centers. Nothing can be more timely.”
The festival program is comprised of 15 feature films including three World Premieres, with ten of the features helmed by women. In addition to The Infiltrators, the section includes Building the American Dream (directed by Chelsea Hernandez), Carlos Almaraz: Playing with Fire (directed by Elsa Flores Almaraz and Richard J. Montoya), Councilwoman (directed by Margo Guernsey), De Lo Mio (directed by Diana Peralta), Divine Love (directed by Gabriel Mascaro), the World Premiere of I’ll See You Around (directed by Daniel Fermin Pfeffer), Initials S. G. (directed by Rania Attieh and Daniel Garcia), Midnight Family (directed by Luke Lorentzen), Pahokee (directed by Ivete Lucas and Patrick Bresnan), Premature (directed by Rashaad Ernesto Green), the World Premiere of Raúl Julia: The World’s a Stage (directed by Ben DeJesus), Sick Sick Sick (directed by Alice Furtado), the World Premiere of Siqueiros: Walls of Passion (directed by Lorena Manriquez) and The Sharks (directed by Los Tiburones and Lucia Garibaldi).
“This year’s program redefines what a Latinx story is,” said Dilcia Barrera, Director of Programming. “The diversity in voice, aesthetic and vision propels our narratives beyond clichés and conventions. I am certain that the next generation of storytellers can be found within this group of talented artists.”
The program also includes a shorts program comprised of 17 shorts including four World Premieres and five episodics, plus two special events, Latinx in Animation: A Masterclass and Sneak Peek: Latinx TV. Latinx in Animation: A Masterclass will feature some of the most influential creators and producers of upcoming animated projects discussing their influences and how their unique perspectives help bring their projects to life. The discussion will be moderated by Remezcla’s film and television editor, Vanessa Erazo. Sneak Peek: Latinx TV will give the audience a preview of two highly anticipated TV shows, The CW’s Two Sentence Horror Stories and Netflix’s Gentefied. Written in part by some of the most exciting new Latinx voices in television today including Stephanie Adams-Santos, Linda Yvette Chavez and Marvin Lemus, the event will be moderated by Gadiel Del Orbe from BuzzFeed’s Pero Like and is presented by Stage 13.
Additionally, there will be two live podcast conversations from the festival, Latina Representation Podcast and Latinx Podcast. The first on TV Latina representation features Locatora Radio, with hosts Diosa Femme and Mala Muñoz, both who are podcast trailblazers in the Latinx community. They will lead a conversation on Latina representation on television with TV writer, Moises Zamora, Writer and Executive Producer of the up-and-coming Netflix series, Selena, and writer/director Aurora Guerrero. The second, Latinx Podcast, is focused on media criticism by Espoilers Podcast, featuring hosts StephOH and Rubén Angel. They will lead a conversation on Latinx coming-of-age stories with TV and film writer, Eddie Gonzalez, co-creator of Netflix’s hit TV show, On My Block.
LALIFF will also offer special screenings including Les Blank’s Chulas Fronteras (1976), marking the Los Angeles premiere of the 4K restoration, and a screening of Ascent of Weavers, 3-channel video piece a by artist, Rebeca Mendez as part of LALIFF Art.
LALIFF Legacy, LALIFF’s student festival, returns for its second year. LALIFF Legacy will feature films produced by students of the statewide, public school film program, the Youth Cinema Project, which was also founded by Olmos. This two-day event is presented by CAA and HBO COLLABS, and will feature 93 student produced short films, along with 30 student filmmaker panelists, who range from elementary school, middle school and high school students.
Youth Cinema Project is the Premiere Sponsor of LALIFF, Egeda and Premios Platino are the Presenting Sponsors and AltaMed is the Opening Night Sponsor, with additional festival sponsors listed below.
The Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF) is a premiere international event dedicated to showcasing the entirety of human experience from the Latino perspective, whether through film, television, digital, music, art, or any other vehicle, regardless of platform. LALIFF is presented by the Latino Film Institute (LFI), a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization with the mission to showcase, strengthen, and celebrate the richness of Latino lives through the audio-visual event. LFI develops, activates, and supports artists, creators, and executives through pathways and platforms for the expression and appreciation of their work.
Follow LALIFF on social media:
Building the American Dream – Three immigrant families facing the deadliest working conditions in the USA, rise up to seek justice and equality in the Texas construction industry. Directed by Chelsea Hernandez (USA)
Carlos Almaraz: Playing with Fire – This stunning documentary explores the brief, rich, and contradictory life of the artist Carlos Almaraz: a Chicano activist, sexual outlaw, and visionary painter of some of the most unforgettable images of southern California. Directed by Elsa Flores Almaraz & Richard J. Montoya (USA)
Councilwoman – A hotel housekeeper has won a City Council seat in Providence, RI. Energized to advocate for low-income workers, her stamina for politics is put to the test. Directed by Margo Guernsey (USA)
De Lo Mío – An achingly alive look at cherishing the past while learning to let go. Directed by Diana Peralta (USA)
Divine Love – Brazil, 2027. A deeply religious woman uses her position in a notary’s office to advance her mission to save struggling couples from divorce. Whilst waiting for a sign in recognition of her efforts, she’s confronted with a crisis in her own marriage that ultimately brings her closer to God. Directed by Gabriel Mascaro (Brazil/Uruguay, Chile, Denmark, Norway, Sweden)
I’ll See You Around – Lucas struggles to break the cycle of addiction gripping his family and risks losing everyone he loves if he can’t learn to forgive. Directed by Daniel Fermin Pfeffer (USA)
Initials S.G. – Down on his luck, an aging Serge Gainsbourg wannabe struggles with an acting career he can’t seem to get on track, an affair he doesn’t want, and a crime he didn’t mean to commit. Directed by Rania Attieh & Daniel Garcia (USA/Argentina/Lebanon)
Midnight Family – In Mexico City’s wealthiest neighborhoods, the Ochoa family runs a private ambulance, competing with other for-profit EMTs for patients in need of urgent help. Directed by Luke Lorentzen (Mexico)
Pahokee – In a small agricultural town in the Florida Everglades, hopes for the future are concentrated on the youth. Four teens face heartbreak and celebrate in the rituals of an extraordinary senior year. Directed by Ivete Lucas & Patrick Bresnan (USA)
Premature – The summer before she leaves for college, Ayanna meets handsome and mysterious outsider Isaiah; her entire world is turned upside down as she navigates the demanding terrain of young love against a changing Harlem landscape. Directed by Rashaad Ernesto Green (USA)
Raúl Julia: The World’s a Stage – Raúl Juliá: The World’s a Stage examines the life and career of the inspiring entertainer, Raúl Juliá. The feature documentary is a revealing portrait of the charismatic actor, who earned recognition across the world for his versatility on stage and on screen before his life was tragically cut short. From his early days on local stages in Puerto Rico to stardom on Broadway and in Hollywood, Raúl’s story is one of passion, determination, and a bit of magic – all qualities for which his performances were known. Directed by Ben DeJesus (USA)
Sick Sick Sick – Silvia and Artur’s teenage-romance starts abruptly and ends up all of sudden after a serious accident. Silvia gets sick and her days turn into dark. Her mourning becomes an obsessive quest to bring him back to life. Directed by Alice Furtado (Brazil)
Siqueiros: Walls of Passion – A documentary film about revolutionary Mexican visual artist David Alfaro Siqueiros (1896–1974) and the resurrection of his Los Angeles mural AMÉRICA TROPICAL, located at the birthplace of Los Angeles and later championed by the Chicano movement as a symbol of its oppressed culture. Directed by Lorena Manriquez (USA)
The Inflitrators – A rag-tag group of undocumented youth deliberately get themselves detained in order to infiltrate a shadowy for-profit detention center. Directed by Cristina Ibarra and Alex Rivera (USA)
The Sharks – While reports of shark sightings create panic in a small beach town, 14-year-old Rosina begins to circle her own prey as her intense attraction to an older co-worker grows. Directed by Lucía Garibaldi (Uruguay/Argentina/Spain)
And the Brave Shall Rise – Rooted in the newfound strength of a movement led by stay-at-home moms, one woman decides to run for office in a grass-roots effort to honor her son and family. Directed by Adam Schlachter. (USA)
Chalino – Inspired by the life, music, and murder of Chalino Sanchez, an immigrant in Los Angeles becomes an international sensation as the King of Narco Music. Directed by Michael Flores. (USA)
Chicle (Gum) – An ill-tempered teenager attempts to find peaceful solitude on the day of her grandfather’s passing until an estranged friend pays her a visit. Directed by Lizette Barrera. (USA)
Cuco “Hydrocodone” – Hydrocodone is a music video dedicated to the memory of our past selves and the longing of who we have yet to become as we grow older, visualized as an abstract journey through a young man’s (Cuco’s) experiences when confronting death. Directed by Jazmin Garcia. USA.
Figueroa – When his younger brother loses a fight, a teenage boy tries to teach his little brother about manhood, only to face an event that threatens to shatter their world altogether. Directed by Victor Hugo Duran. (USA)
Little con Lili – LILI, is a 10-year-old Cuban-American girl who should be doing her homework, but instead, decides to enjoy a leisurely afternoon, home alone, eating all her favorite foods, and listening to her favorite band, Air Supply. Directed by Gabriela Garcia Medina. (USA)
Pozole – When Maia sets out to reconnect with her traditional Mexican roots on her Nana’s 100th birthday, things go terribly wrong. Directed by Jessica Mendez Siqueiros. (USA)
Raptor – Ariel gets involved in a teenager civil arrest of a guy is accused of stealing a phone. Directed by Felipe Gálvez. (Chile)
Sebastian – An emigrating father writes home to his son. Directed by Sam Fragoso. (USA)
Simon Cries – Simon, wrecked by a love sorrow, overflows with sadness. Directed by Sergio Guataquira Sarmiento. (Belgium)
Skaya – Sergio Ramirez builds a basketball and academics program that empowers a generation of kids in the north western mountains of the state of Oaxaca, Mexico. Directed by Gabriel Noquez. (USA)
Suicidrag – The Mexican group of drag queens Suicidrag streak the streets and nightclubs of Mexico City to raise awareness about the gender stereotype imposed by the consumer society. (Mexico)
The Bell – A young woman in El Salvador wishes to hear the village bell before she joins a caravan to the US, but the antique bell hasn’t rung in 25 years and there is only one man left that can repair it: a drunkard that lives in the cemetery. Directed by Michael Flores. (El Salvador)
The Bony Lady – Arely Vazquez, an immigrant and transgender woman, overcomes prejudices and breaks tabus as she fulfills her vows to the Skeleton Saint. Directed by Adriana Barbosa. (USA/Brazil/Mexico)
To Be Queen – In Luling, the “toughest town in Texas”, two Latina high school girls compete to be the next watermelon thump queen. Directed by Farihah Zaman & Jeff Reichert. (USA)
Unlucky’s Luck – On his 63rd birthday, Pellito receives a ticket for the Fortune’s Raffle, an almost surreal lottery that comes into town. Directed by Felipe Holguin Caro. (Colombia)
Water Warrior – Water Warrior is a short film about Latina surfers and why seeing yourself in the sport you love matters. (USA)
South of Sunset: Fake Mexicans – After an Executive tells Mexican-American writer DJ Banks his writing isn’t authentic, and with the help of his comedic cousins, DJ sets his day on rediscovering his cultural authenticity by re-connecting with an old Mexican-American lady friend that ends up in disaster. Directed by David Tripler. (USA)
Stoned Breakups – Writer Daniel f. Pérez gets really high and opens up about a tragic east coast romance and breakup as a group of sober comedians reenact it. Directed by Benjamin-Shalom Rodriguez. (USA)
THE BIBLE: The Sacrifice of Isaac – An extremely Biblically accurate retelling of the Binding of Isaac. Directed by Dean Fleischer-Camp (USA)
Unimundo 45 – When the anti-immigrant candidate wins the presidency, a jaded Latina news producer sheds her cynicism and reconnects with her suppressed activist side—on live TV. Directed by Thembi Banks. (USA)
Werq the World: Valentina – Werq the World: Valentina follows the enigmatic Miss Congeniality (or fan favorite) of RuPaul’s drag race Season 9 as she tries to keep up with the fast pace and intense hustle of an international tour. Directed by Jasper Rischen. (USA)
Latinx in Animation: A Masterclass featuring panelists Pilar Flynn, the producer of Avalor, Miguel Jiron, the director of Spider-Ham: Caught in a Ham and Story Artist for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Niki Lopez, the creator and producer of Santiago of the Seas, Silvia Olivas, executive producer and head writer of Maya and the Three and Eric Robles, co-creator and executive producer of Glitch Techs, moderated by Vanessa Erazo, film and television editor at Remezcla. This animation masterclass will reveal the influences behind these talented artists, writers and creators, and how their unique perspectives help bring their projects to life.
Sneak Peek: Latinx TV with Marvin Lemus and Linda Yvette Chavez, the co-creators of Netflix’s Gentefied and Stephanie Adams – Santos, the writer for Two Sentence Horror Stories on the CW, moderated by Gadiel Del Orbe, the digital content creator of Buzzfeed’s Pero Like. This panel is presented by Stage 13.
Latina Representation Podcast with Latinx podcast trailblazers, Locatora Radio, featuring hosts Diosa Femme and Mala Muñoz. They will lead a conversation on Latina representation on television with TV writer, Moises Zamora, Writer and Executive Producer of the up-and-coming Netflix series, Selena, and writer/director Aurora Guerrero.
Latinx Podcast focused on media criticism by Espoilers Podcast, featuring hosts StephOH and Rubén Angel. They will lead a conversation on Latinx coming-of-age stories with TV and film writer, Eddie Gonzalez, co-creator of Netflix’s hit TV show, On My Block.
Premiere Sponsor: Youth Cinema Project
Presenting Sponsor: Egeda, Premios Platino
Opening Night Sponsor: AltaMed
LALIFF Legacy Presenter: Creative Artists Agency (CAA), HBO COLLABS
LALIFF Legacy Sponsors: High Performance Learning Environments, Garcia Hernandez Sawhney Law, LLP
Industry Day Presenter: HBO COLLABS
Industry Day Sponsors: NBCUniversal, CBS, WarnerMedia
Presenting Media Sponsors: Univision, CNN en Español
Media Sponsors: LA Times en Español, Hoy Los Angeles, Remezcla
Official Sponsors: Coca Cola, Go Metro
Industry Sponsors: Netflix, Sony Pictures Entertainment
Official Airlines Sponsor: Delta Airlines/Aeromexico
Animation Masterclass Presenter: LatinX in Animation
Animation Masterclass Sponsor: Walt Disney Animation Studios
Sneak Peek: Latinx TV Sponsor: Stage 13
Official DCP Sponsor: FotoKem
Guild Sponsors: SAG-AFTRA, WGAW
Community Partners: Hollywood & Highland, Final Draft, Poquito Mas, Gilbert’s El Indio, Fujifilm, Nabor Wines, Kabazon Premium Waters, LIMA, Pero Like
Eddie Gonzalez – Co-Creator of On My Block on Netflix
Eddie Gonzalez is a first-generation Mexican American who was born in Compton and grew up in neighboring Lynwood. He graduated from Loyola Marymount University with a Political Science degree.
Along with his writing partner Jeremy Haft, Gonzalez has sold many feature and TV projects. The duo’s most recent success is the Netflix Original series ON MY BLOCK, in which Gonzalez co-created and Executive Produced. Gonzalez also co-wrote ALL EYEZ ON ME, the 2017 Tupac Shakur bio-pic.
RUBEN ANGEL aka QUEER XICANO CHISME – Co-Host of Espoilers Podcast
An English Literature and Creative Writing graduate from UCDavis, Rubén, better known as Queer Xicano Chisme, is a multimedia content creator present across all social media. Their work includes: curating a social commentary blog, writing and editing essays, hosting and producing podcasts, as well as creating video content and other visual media. Ruben’s most popular project include being the host and producer for Bitter Brown Femmes and Espoiler Podcast, as well as their youtube channel where they unpack socio-political issues in a relatable and often comedic manner. They employ their embodied knowledge, oral histories, and critical readings, as well as their experience as an organizer, educator, and artist to educate and entertain. Their work focuses on Latinx/Chicanx issues, QTPOC, lived and generational trauma, survivor advocacy, pop culture, social justice, media criticism, and the ethical application of radical “chisme.”
STEPH OH – Co-Host of Espoilers Podcast
Stephanie Hernandez is a Latina writer/director from Inglewood, CA. She graduated from UC Davis with a double major in Design and Film Studies. Being a first generation Mexican-American, she aspires to create work that centers the Latinx community and tells our stories in the most authentic way. She is a strong advocate for representation on and off the screen. Her digital work centers on uplifting women of color. She directed her first music video for Hunnah’s ” Think About It” and worked on an acoustic music video for her other song, “Show You“. She has created digital series, like “Las Jefas” for We Are Mitú, which focused on small Latina business owners and their stories. She has also worked with Latina companies like Viva La Bonita, Ella Loca, and Vive Cosmetics to create branded videos that fit their voice. She just wrapped “Gentefied”, where she was the social media manager and assistant to creators, Marvin Lemus and Linda Yvette Chavez. She also has a podcast named “Espoilers Podcast” with her co-host Ruben Angel, where they review and discuss media made by/for marginalized people. She is currently writing coming of age short films and a rom-com feature, all which center the Latinx community. She just premiered her first short film about the fear of family separation.
Moisés Zamora – Write & Executive Producer of Selena on Netflix
Moisés Zamora is the Writer & Executive Producer of Netflix’s upcoming SELENA: The Series, the official story of Tejano music legend, Selena Quintanilla.
Previously, Moisés was a staff writer on the Emmy-winning series American Crime and Star on FOX. Born and raised in Jalisco, Mexico, this award-winning writer and filmmaker won the Binational Literary Prize for Young Novel Border of Words for his Spanish-language novel. He was twenty-five years old. In 2011, he received the award for Best Documentary by a Mexican Director at the Oaxaca FilmFest. He is a graduate of Brown University.
Aurora Guerrero – Writer & Director
Aurora Guerrero wrote and directed Mosquita Y Mari, her debut narrative feature film which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Her film traveled numerous film festivals including San Francisco, Melbourne, Goteburg, and Guadalajara and garnered multiple awards including Best First Narrative Feature and Best Leading Actress at Outfest and was nominated for a Cassavetes Spirit Award and a GLAAD Media Award. Guerrero was also named a Berlin Talent Campus Fellow and a Time Warner/Sundance Storytelling Fellow. In 2017, Guerrero was invited to direct an episode of Ava Duvernay’s television drama, Queen Sugar. Since then she has directed television episodes of The Red Line, 13 Reasons Why, Little America, and Gente-fied.
Locatora Radio is an independent multimedia production company committed to archiving and celebrating the brilliance of womxn of color through podcasting, film-making, educational workshops, and live events.
Marvin Lemus – Co-creator of Gentefied on Netflix
Marvin Lemus is an award-winning screenwriter, director, and producer with a passion for telling unapologetic stories. Most recently, Lemus co-created and directed GENTEFIED, a bilingual digital series executive produced by MACRO and America Ferrera. Gentefied premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and has been greenlit for 10 half-hour episodes for NETFLIX.
Additionally, Lemus is an alum of the 2017 Sony Diverse Director’s Program and is a current fellow of the ‘18-’20 Disney/ABC Directors Fellowship. Lemus is a Mexican + Guatemalan-American anchor-baby born in the hot AF desert of Bakersfield, CA.
Linda Yvette Chavez – Co-creator of Gentefied on Netflix
Linda Yvette Chávez is an award-winning chingona and Xicana screenwriter/producer. Because you don’t see much of those in Hollywood, Linda has made it her mission to tell authentic Latinx stories on screen. And recently, she did just that by co-creating, co-executive producing and writing Netflix’s much-anticipated series GENTEFIED with her creative partner-in-crime Marvin Lemus. She’s so happy it found its home at Netflix and hopes it will capture the hearts of many more when it premieres in 2020.
In a former life, Linda helped form and establish COMEDIVA, a successful digital platform and production studio that developed comedy content specifically targeted to women. As VP of Programming, she developed, wrote, and produced tons of viral sketches and web series for clients like Nickelodeon, MiTu Network, Pepsi, and Univision. Linda’s work has received millions of views and has been featured on CNN, Good Morning America, Wired, AdWeek, The Huffington Post and Buzzfeed. Linda holds an MFA in screenwriting from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts and a BA from Stanford University.
Stephanie Adams-Santos – Writer for Two Sentence Horror Stories on the CW
Stephanie Adams-Santos is a Guatemalan-American writer whose work spans poetry, prose, screenwriting, and hybrid genres. Her work is rooted in the crossroads of ritual, ancestry, identity, and environment — with a penchant for the queer & uncanny. Her full-length poetry collection, Swarm Queen’s Crown (Fathom Books) was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Awards, which celebrates excellence in LGBTQ voices. Stephanie’s work has been generously supported by fellowships from Oregon Literary Arts, Vermont Studio Center, and Film Independent, as well as by grants from the Regional Arts and Culture Council and Oregon Arts Commission. She was a fellow of Film Independent’s Episodic Lab in 2018 and is currently a screenwriting fellow of Project Involve, and recipient of the 2019 Chaz Ebert Fellowship.
Moderated By Gadiel Del Orbe – Video Producer
Gadiel Del Orbe is a Naval Veteran, Comedian, and BuzzFeed producer. He was born and raised in New York City from Dominican parents and currently resides in Los Angeles, where he has built a career in creating Latinx content.
Pilar Flynn – Producer of Elena of Avalor
Pilar Flynn is the Producer on Disney’s Elena of Avalor, which follows Disney’s first princess inspired by Latin cultures and folklore. Flynn is a native of Chile and Ecuador and spent most of her early life in countries throughout South America and Europe. She began her animation career at DreamWorks where she co-produced the award winning short, First Flight, and worked on the production of films such as The Road to El Dorado, Sinbad, Spirit, Madagascar and Flushed Away. Flynn then went on to serve as Associate Producer of the animated feature films Mean Margaret and Astroboy. Flynn Co-Produced the groundbreaking R-rated animated feature Sausage Party starring Seth Rogen. Following her passion for innovative media, Flynn also wrote and produced My Beastly ABCs, a heartwarming interactive storybook named Top Ten Kid App of the Year for 2012 by USA Today.
Miguel Jiron – Director of Spider-Ham: Caught in a Ham & Story Artist for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Miguel Jiron is a story artist at Sony Pictures Animation, who most recently worked on the studio’s latest feature film, the Academy Award®-winning“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.” Jiron also directed an original short titled “Spider-Ham: Caught in a Ham,” for the home entertainment release of the film.
Jiron has directed several animated shorts, which have screened at film festivals around the world including SXSW, Annecy International Animated Film Festival, Slamdance, Ottawa International Animated Film Festival, and Toronto International Film Festival. He has also painted for artist Takashi Murakami.
In 2015, Jiron was named one of Variety’s Top Animators to Watch, and in 2018, one of Animation Magazine’s Rising Stars.
Niki López – Creator & Producer of Santiago of the Seas
Niki López is the Creator and Producer of Nick Jr.’s Santiago of the Seas, an action-adventure series that follows eight-year-old Santiago Montes, a brave and kind-hearted pirate, as he embarks on daring adventures in a fantastical Caribbean world. López was born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She attended Ringling College of Art and Design in Sarasota, FL to earn a BFA in Illustration. Her animation career began as a Nicktern for Nickelodeon Animation Studios, where she got hired shortly after as a production assistant on “Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness” and then as a color designer on “The Fairly Odd-Parents”, “Harvey Beaks”, and “Glitch Techs”. In 2018, she was selected as one of Variety’s 10 Animators to Watch. In her free time, Niki enjoys dabbling in aromatherapy and drinking tea while sharing ghost stories to anyone willing to humor her.
Silvia Olivas – Executive Producer & Head Writer of Maya and the Three
Silvia Olivas is an incredibly versatile EMMY, ANNIE and HUMANITAS nominated writer/producer. She has worked on multi-camera and single camera sitcoms, live-action, animation, direct-to-videos and feature films. As Co-Executive Producer and Head Writer on Disney’s first Latina Princess series, ELENA OF AVALOR, Olivas was chosen as VARIETY MAGAZINE’S TEN SCRIBES TO WATCH. Currently, Silvia is the Co-Executive Producer and Head Writer on Netflix’s animation series MAYA AND THE THREE. And most recently, she sold an original live action limited series musical to Netflix!
Eric Robles – Co-Creator & Executive Producer of Glitch Techs
Eric Robles has been living his childhood dream since landing his first animation job in 1995. Since then, he has made his creative mark on countless projects, including his current role as Co-Creator and Executive Producer of Nickelodeon’s newest animated series Glitch Techs, an adventure-comedy which boasts a multi-ethnic cast that surrounds two newly recruited kids who battle video game monsters that come into the real world. Robles is also known as the Creator and Executive Producer of Nickelodeon’s Five Time Emmy award winning CG-animated comedy series, Fanboy and Chum Chum. He also contributed to the studios shorts program and produced a Stop Motion short named Zombie Brothers which he again pushed the envelope with his unique creative vision. While studying law enforcement as a teenager, Robles entered the world of animation after an instructor encouraged him to put together an art portfolio. Eric then caught the eye of Graz Entertainment’s Stephanie Graziano, who brought him in-house for his first internship. Jobs on the studio’s X-Men, Streetfighter, and The Tick series soon followed. Robles is a self-taught artist out of the Los Angeles, Glendale and Burbank area and has held lead designer roles at several Hollywood studios, including Dreamworks Animation, Walt Disney Animation, Universal Studios Creative, Cartoon Network, MGM Animation, and The Jim Henson Company.
MODERATED BY VANESSA ERAZO – FILM & TV EDITOR AT REMEZCLA
Vanessa Erazo is a journalist and film programmer. She has worked in various capacities for film festivals in San Francisco, Mexico City, and New York. After receiving an M.A. in Latin American Studies from New York University, she served as the Documentary Programmer at the New York International Latino Film Festival. For the last six years, she has led and shaped Remezcla’s Film and TV coverage as an editor. She is also a Co-Founder of Cinelandia, an online guide to Latino films playing across the U.S. She has served on the jury of the Palm Springs International Film Festival, Mendocino Film Festival, Cinema Tropical Awards, and Princess Grace Foundation Film Awards. Her work has appeared on Remezcla, Indiewire, and in the New York Times.