For 23 years the San Diego Latino Film Festival has always been a great showcase of up-and-coming filmmakers from all over Latin America. It has also been committed to showcasing local filmmakers who push the boundaries of documentary, feature and short filmmaking. CityBeat readers may already be familiar with documentarian Evan Apocada, who will be premiering his documentary short, Que Lejos Estoy (How Far Am I), at this year's festival.
And the list goes on...Locals such as James Cooper and David Fernandez will also have films premiering at this year's fest, which takes place from Thursday, March 10 through Sunday, March 20. Paolo Zuniga will be premiering his new short film, Nighttime Strikes, this year. Shot in and around San Diego, it tells the story of a young man who finds himself caught up in a crime plot that also involves a hostage. Zuniga says he's always admired the festival's commitment to local talent and has personally attended the event many times over the years.
"It's exciting to hear that the film will be premiering here in San Diego along with the works of other local filmmakers," Zuniga says. "The short films program also happens to be one of my favorite programs at film festivals."
For Ethan van Thillo, executive director and founder of the festival, Media Arts Center San Diego, the Latino Film Festival plays an important role in promoting diversity.
"In light of the recent Oscars and the fact that zero actors of color were nominated, film festivals like this one have become increasingly important," says van Thillo. "The upcoming film festival is a wonderful opportunity to promote and celebrate the many talented actors and filmmakers traditionally ignored by mainstream media."
Tickets for the festival range from $8.50 to $11.50 for a single screening to $225 for an all-access VIP pass that'll get patrons into any of the screenings, panels and parties, as well as special perks like early admission. All screenings take place at AMC Fashion Valley 18 (7037 Friars Road) and Digital Gym Cinema in North Park (2921 El Cajon Blvd.). See sdlatinofilm.com for full list of screenings and times.
IT TAKES A VILLAGE
There have been some great local art exhibitions lately on the subject of immigration and New Codex: Oaxaca, Immigration and Cultural Memory, promises to be another. It focuses on the small town of Tanivet, Oaxaca, where immigrating to the United States is practically a rite of passage. Curator Marietta Bernstoff and 43 other artists worked with women in the village to develop art pieces based on their families' migration stories. The result is a poignant look into what it means to migrate and includes textiles, photographs, engravings and more. Works from two local Mexican artists, Omar Pimienta and Claudia Cano, will also be on display. The exhibition opens at the Mesa College Art Gallery (7250 Mesa College Drive) with a panel discussion on Wednesday, March 16, at 11 a.m. and an official opening on Thursday, March 17, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. sdmesa.edu/art-gallery
LOAD OF CRAFT
Readers of our bi-weekly beer column, The Beerdist, may have caught the Jan. 22 piece about what to look for and, more importantly, what to avoid when choosing a beer festival to attend. Luckily for readers, the fourth annual Bankers Hill Arts and Crafts Beer Festival falls well into the parameters of a must-go fest. The event will include suds from a variety of local breweries and chefs from big names such as Stone Brewing Co., Barrio Star and Jimmy Carter's. Originally a mixer for local business owners, the fest combines the best parts of a beer sampling fest and a "Taste Of"-style aspect. Oh, and there will be plenty of local art to peruse as well. It goes down on Thursday, March 10, at The Abbey on Fifth Avenue (2825 Fifth Ave.) and tickets are $30 in advance or $35 at the door. bankershill.ticketleap.com/festival