Redwood City International Latino Film Festival

5 11 2010

Man, it’s been crazy with the Giants winning the World Series — I’ll have a huge post on that later, when I can actually organize my thoughts. It’s nuts. Anyways, my latest work revolves around the Redwood City International Latino Film Festival – an event near and dear to my heart. It’s one of my favorite events to go to every year. This, will be my third. Below, you will find the article I wrote previewing the event, plus, some artwork I did for it. Like I said, it’s been crazy, so time was a factor. I also designed some advertisement for them, which is below as well. For more information on the event click here. To see my article online, scroll below or click here.

International Latino Film Festival
By Julio Lara Daily Journal Staff

Sylvia Perel, the founder of the very successful International Latino Film Festival in the Bay Area, knows very well about the power of cinema — for her, it boils down to connection.

“Film is a powerful way to create bridges of understanding that are universal,” she said.

And so, with that in mind, and riding the success of last year’s festival, Redwood City will once again welcome the International Latino Film Festival to its city starting tonight when “Havana Eva,” hits the screen at the Century Theatres downtown.

The ILFF 2010 is marking its 15th year in the Bay Area and this is the second time the festival has been hosted solely by Redwood City.

“The city now has a culture of Latino cinema that started five years ago,” Perel said. “This program brings something for everyone — a balance of comedies, drama, documentaries, fiction and shorts from diverse countries.”

The Latino community will be well represented in all eight of the features at this year’s festival — from countries such as Cuba, Venezuela, Argentina, Mexico and Spain.

Perel is famous for finding the best and displaying it to festival audiences. Two years ago, the festival stretched throughout the Bay Area in 13 theaters. Now that is has a single home, Perel has embraced the challenge of condensing the program and featuring only the best.

“I have been committed for the last 15 years to bring Latino excellence in filmmaking to the Bay Area,” Perel said. “Because of the great opportunity that I have to be in touch with many filmmakers at the festivals where I am invited as a juror, my work gets easier — I am able to see  … firsthand many works that premiere in these festivals, (and) then I’m able to introduce these gems to the U.S.”

This year alone, Perel has served as a juror at the Monterrey, San Miguel and Guanajuato film festivals.

The festival kicks off tonight with “Havana Eva,” a story of an aspiring fashion designer stuck in Fidel Castro’s Cuba. “Eva,” won Best Picture at the Los Angeles International Latino Film Festival in 2010 and is directed by Fina Torres, who will be honored beforehand as part of the Opening Night Gala, “A Tribute to Women and Film” at the San Mateo County History Museum.

Friday night will be capped off by “Oveja Negra,” another award-winning film (this time from Guadalajara, Mexico’s film festival) directed by Humberto Hinojosa.

Six more films and four shorts will fill the weekend.

“This event is more important than ever for Latinos in this country,” Perel said. “The reason I started the ILFF 15 years ago was because of a political climate similar to the one we have now. Latinos were ignored on the big screen, or stereotyped to the extreme. Having an event that celebrates Latino culture is crucial to recognize the talent and creativity that Latinos bring to the arts.

“It is also important for Latinos to come and see these unique films because it is a way to connect with their roots, understand where they come from, share images that are familiar, values that are common to all of us. Our image as a respected community is enhanced thanks to the presence of thought-provoking, exciting and illuminating films.”

Tickets for the Redwood City International Latino Film Festival can be purchased by visiting




One response

15 02 2011
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[…] Redwood City International Latino&#32&#70&#105lm Festival « Oh My July! […]

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