By Dena Burroughs  --  March 19, 2017

Film - What to watch at the San Diego Latino Film Festival 2017

This is the first weekend of the San Diego Latino Film Festival 2017 and so far I’ve seen two excellent movies. The festival will continue daily through March 26, so you still have plenty of time to join the fun. I’m telling you below about what I’ve watched, and I’ll be adding on as the festival moves forward.


RUTA MADREDir. Agustin Castaneda (Mexico/USA, 97 min., 2016, English, Spanish w/ English subtitles, Drama/Comedy)

Peter Manning Robinson's debut Refractor Piano™ Concert [April 2016]. Photo credit: Michael Rueter/Capture Imaging.

Very fun movie that incorporates magical elements into a story based on real life events. You travel with it from San Diego, CA, to Santa Rosalia, Mexico, as a young American singer (played by David Castro) discovers his roots during a trip with his hilarious uncle (William Miller). It features performances from Carmen Salinas, Paul Rodriguez, Paulina Gaitan, and Angelica Maria. RUTA MADRE makes you laugh plenty, and it shows you gorgeous scenery of Baja California. I want to go to Ensenada now! This movie will screen again on Monday 3/20 at 6:45 p.m.  Like RUTA MADRE on Facebook here.


NAKOMDir. Kelly Daniela Norris and TW Pittman (Ghana, 90 min, 2016, Kusaal with English subtitles, Drama)

If you ask yourself: “Ghana? At the Latino Film Festival?” well, I did the same. The answer is in the movie’s director, Kelly Daniela Norris, who is of Mexican descent. Along with writer TW Pittman, who lived two years in Nakom, Ghana, Norris created this beautiful movie that stars Jacob Ayanaba as Iddrisu, a talented medical student called back home after his father’s sudden death. Ayanaba is not a professional actor, but you’d never know it (and as is the luck of everyone who is amazing, he is now talking to a German casting director for future work). Nakom is a beautiful movie that shows the viewer both how different our cultures can be, and yet, how similar we humans are after all. NAKOM will screen again on Monday 3/20 at 4:15 p.m. Like NAKOM on Facebook here.


Trust me when I tell you that either one of the above listed movies will be worth your money. I watched a third film yesterday that I won’t recommend. OSCURO ANIMAL has too many scenes of women being abused for my taste, and I left it after the first half. Perhaps it gets better. In fact, I hope it does, but it didn't while I was watching.

That’s it for now. I’m catching NERUDA at 11:45 am! Click here if you want additional information about the San Diego Latino Film Festival.