Edward James Olmos, founder of the Latino Film Institute, announced today that the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF) will host a virtual retrospective program of its 2019 edition from April 14 to May 4, 2020 in anticipation of its 2020 virtual edition, LALIFF Connect, held from May 5 – 31st. LALIFF Connect 2020 and 2019 Retrospective will include feature films, short films, episodics, masterclasses and musical performances — all will be available through LALIFF’s website for free with additional titles to be announced.
“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 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, available on YouTube this summer, explores America’s invisible refugee crisis through the eyes of one Miami family who navigate 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.
In addition, the program will include six short films “1,2,3 All Eyes on Me”directed by Emil Gallardo, ”Baby”directed by Thais Drassinower, “Flowers Within”directed by Catalina Loret, “Maria”directed by Zoe Salicrup Junco, “Rizo”directed by Jeanette Dilone, “Say You Will”directed by Mariel Sosa and the animated shorts “Ailin On the Moon”directed by Claudia Ruiz, “Borrachero”directed by Gustavo Cerquera Benjumea, and “Miguel”directed by Armando Sepulveda Mendoza.
“LALIFF Connect is our new online initiative to address the world’s current reality. LALIFF Connect is completely free to the public in order to support our community during the stay-at-home emergency order,” says Executive Director of LALIFF, Rafael Agustín.
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.