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This year’s LALIFF 20th Edition of similar short films, shows various struggles such as deportation, family separations, trying to achieve their dreams professionally and overcoming certain life challenging moments as immigrants and being multiracial. 

Gone is directed by Felix Martiz. It focuses on the immigrant children that were separated from their parents as they were placed into detention centers. It later turns to one child named Sarai who was separated from her mother and is possessed. She begins to call out names and in the names being said catches the guards by surprise since she says the names of other guard’s children and makes them disappear. This thriller short film shows the feelings children may have as they are separated from their parents. The guards undergo the same fear and heartache as they too are separated from their children. This film catches you off-guard, as it seems to tell a different story than what the audience is expecting. Being a short film, it keeps you craving more.

¡Sacalo Con Take It Easy, USA! is a funny short film that shares the story of the world’s first late night internet talk show but with a different twist. Aside from being the first late night internet talk show, it is three and a half minutes long and it is also the first low-budget late night talk show. Despite the low quality of the show, the host puts on quite a show as he is on a motorcycle. A very short sketch is presented, starring Jake Matthews and Brad Einstein, including the World’s Shortest Interview with Jake, on the motorcycle. The director Luis Jimenez does a good job of creating a very funny short with an ironic twist of what a typical night show would be like.

Woke Glenís a multiracial waitress and an artist from the Bronx. She goes through the challenges of following her dreams of becoming a star. The film starts with her practicing her script in the bathroom of the restaurant she is waitressing in. As she arrives at her audition and is called in, she encounters stereotypes with her hair, look and name. After her beloved friend and coworker dies in a car accident, she remembers the similar dreams they both had and that she should live her life to the extreme by continuing to chase her dreams. Thanks to her friends hyping her to continue to chase her dreams as she becomes encouraged to continue doing what she loves. Aside from being the main character using her own name, Glenís Hunter is the screenwriter, producer and director alongside Jake Moore. They do a great job of showing the struggles being faced as they try to pursue their dreams. This is a must-see, inspirational short.