LALIFF Connect 2020, a virtual version of the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival, will be held from May 5 to 31, 2020. The festival will be available through the LALIFF’s website.
“We are living in unprecedented times and we must find unprecedented solutions to continue to support our Latino filmmakers and provide them with a platform to showcase their work,” says Edward James Olmos, founder of the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF). “Working together with our filmmakers, musicians, partners and sponsors we will be able to celebrate our festival virtually to continue to showcase some of the most inspiring and thought-provoking Latino films of 2020 and share with cinephiles everywhere, from the safety of their homes.”
The program will include the feature film The Last Rafter from award-winning directing duo Carlos Rafael Betancourt and Oscar Ernesto Ortega. The critically acclaimed film follows the journey of a Cuban man who risks his life in the Florida Straits on a raft to search for his long-absent father in Miami, but a political shift makes him America’s first undocumented Cuban immigrant. Now he must battle the new and bigger fear of deportation, while trying to find where he really belongs.
Paper Children, directed by Alexandra Codina, will also be part of the festival with a special virtual event followed by a Q&A session on Tuesday, May 12. The film explores America’s invisible refugee crisis through the eyes of one Miami family who navigates a broken system with unwavering resilience.
The Chilean film This Is Cristina, directed by Gonzalo Maza, distributed by Figa Films and executive produced by Salma Hayek, will also be part of the Festival’s Official Selection. The film tells the story of Cristina and Susana, who have been best friends since high school but now, when they are already over 30 years-old, are receiving a wake-up call.
The program will also include six short films and three animated films, as listed below:
“1, 2, 3, All Eyes on Me” – When a crisis suddenly engulfs an elementary school campus, Ms. Leena, a determined art teacher tries everything she can to save her frightened class. Directed by Emil Gallardo. (USA)
“Baby” – An unnerving encounter with her estranged father at a night club while on a weekend back home in Lima is enough to remind Lia that there are unhealed wounds. Directed by Thais Drassinower. (PERU)
“Flowers Within” – Two women searching for “perfect beauty” realize that their biggest fight is not against each other. “Flowers Within” is a visual journey on how beauty standards imposed on women have blinded them from the power that lies within. Directed by Catalina Loret. (MEXICO)
“María” – Several weeks after a devastating hurricane, a young woman, María, returns home to care for her suicidal father. Directed by Zoe Salicrup Junco. (USA)
“Rizo” – An Afro-Latina struggles with her identity as she navigates the Hollywood machine. Directed by Jeanette Dilone. (USA)
“Say You Will” – Following his release from the juvenile hall at fourteen, Jeovany “Jeo” Salgado finds out he is subject to a gang injunction – a secretive law enforcement tool that will follow him for the rest of his life. Directed by Mariel Sosa. (USA)
“Ailin on the Moon” – Vilma is a 40-year-old mother overwhelmed by fatigue and skin intolerance. Ailín just wants to play, until one day she causes the emotional outbreak of her mother. Directed by Claudia Ruiz. (ARGENTINA)
“Borrachero” – After a job goes wrong, a woman flees to her hometown in southern Colombia. Along the way, she encounters a mysterious figure, which might be the embodied spirit of an ancient plant. Directed by Gustavo Cerquera Benjumea. (CANADA)
“Miguel” – Miguel must overcome the feeling of being an outcast on his first day of school in a new country. Directed by Armando Sepulveda Mendoza. (USA)
The LALIFF Connect 2020 Music program will include performances by top Latinx artists Def Sound, Chrisol, Lupita Infante, Tatiana Hazel and Weapons of Mass Creation.
LALIFF Connect 2020 will also present a series of masterclasses including Nightlife Curation in the LatinX World with Cumbiaton’s DJ Sizzle of Cumbiatón and Funky Caramelo; LatinX in Animation: A Masterclass with Head of Story of Connected at Sony Pictures Animation Guillermo Martinez, Co-Producer at Walt Disney Animation Studios Yvett Merino, and Creative Producer of The Casagrandes at Nickelodeon Animations Studio Miguel Puga; Music Composition: Masterclass with composer Elik Álvarez, composer Tony Morales and composers/producers Carl Thiel and Maria Vertiz; and a Sound Design Masterclass with the Sound Designer of the film The Last Rafter, Paola Magrans.
Visit LALIFF Connect 2020 for the full programming slate and schedule starting May 5!