Visual art is an important tool used to promote or disenfranchise people. Film is one of those art forms used to portray peoples in a certain perspective. For too long, people of color haven’t had agency in telling their own stories. But things are changing! Here are 11 Latino film festivals on the East Coast that have created spaces for filmmakers who are rewriting the narrative.
RHODE ISLAND: Providence Latin American Film Festival
Founded in 1992, the Providence Latin American Film Festival claims to be the largest of its kind in all of New England. For five days straight from September 27 to October 1, 2017, the festival features films from Spain, Portugal, and all of Latin America and conducts panel discussions, music concerts, and exhibitions. This is a competitive film festival where a jury selects a winner of the Fernando Birri Award for the Director’s Opera Prima.
Caribbean Film Series at BAM
Taking place almost every month out of the year, The Caribbean Film Academy partners with the Brooklyn Music Academy to screen unique Caribbean films. It’s most recent screening was Generation Revolution on January 20—a documentary on black and brown youth fighting for racial, social, and economic injustices in Britain. Continue to check back for their upcoming screenings here.
Havana Film Festival NYC
Going on its 17th year, the Havana Film Festival New York has done an exceptional job with not only screening Cuban films, but also blending serious and quality works from filmmakers of other Latin American countries like Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina into the program. Don’t miss the upcoming festival on March 30th to April 7th.
Dominican Film Festival
Just wrapping up their recent three-day festival from January 13th to the 15th, the Dominican Film Festival will prepare for their Summer 2017 festival in June. On a mission to promote the best films from Dominican filmmakers, DFFNY picks out dynamic storylines that speak about the country and its people in a well-rounded context.
Viva Latino Film Festival
A newer festival preparing for its second year this September, The Viva Latino Film Festival is dedicated to promoting emerging Latino filmmakers from the U.S. and Latin America. In addition, the co-founders are firm in showing films that display positive characteristics of Latinos often absent in Hollywood.
Official Latino Short Film Festival
The Official Latino Shorts Film Festival is going on in its third year this September. The festival is expected to be in Spanish Harlem showcasing two full days of short films directed and produced by up and coming Latino directors. Films are carefully selected to promote the diverse talent among the Latino community in both the actors and actresses who perform the storyline as well as the producers and directors who guide the message. If you’re interested in submitting your own work, the call for entries goes until March 1st.
The International Puerto Rican Heritage Film Festival
Actively promoting Puerto Ricans in a positive light through film since November 2011, the International Puerto Rican Heritage Film Festival’s mission is to show the contributions, presence, and development of Puerto Ricans in the U.S., on the island, and on a global scale. Save the dates—November 8th to 12th.
MASSACHUSETTS: Boston Latino International Film Festival
Since 2000, the Boston Latino International Film Festival has bridged the gap of Latinos and cinema where the communities are portrayed for their inspiring and positive qualities rather than a stereotypical narrative placed upon them. Save the dates—September 29th to October 1st.
PENNSYLVANIA: Philadelphia Latino Film Festival
Like the many other film festivals, the Philadelphia Latino Film Festival seeks to celebrate and promote the culture of Latinos in the U.S. and abroad as well as provide a platform to Latino filmmakers who are new to the scene or would otherwise be overlooked. The festival creates a full program of not only movie screenings but also public discussion groups, workshops, lectures, and special events. Save the dates – June 2nd to the 4th
GEORGIA: Georgia Latino Film Festival
The Georgia Latino Film Festival focuses on providing a space for screening independent films that exhibit stories not presented in Hollywood that would be otherwise unknown to the world. It is a space where Latino filmmakers can thrive by having their films viewed by Latino film executives with hopes of developing further relationships.
FLORIDA: Gainesville Latino Film Festival
Hosted and organized by the Latina Women’s League, the Gainesville Latino Film Festival is one initiative to celebrate the incredible diversity in politics, social issues, and cultural traditions that Hispanics and Latinos participate in. Guest speakers, performers, and group discussions will also be part of the program. Stay tuned for dates—usually in the middle of September.