LALIFF Is Back This 2021 With A Completely Virtual Edition

LALIFF 2021 BeLatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of https://latinofilm.org/

The Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF) is back in 2021 and will be held virtually from Wednesday, June 2, until Sunday, June 6. Submissions opened on February 9 and will close on Friday, March 12. 

LALIFF’s mission is to showcase, strengthen, and celebrate Latino stories’ richness by providing a pipeline, platform, and launching pad from our community into the entertainment industry.

The anticipated festival will consist of feature films, episodes, music, XR projects, and short movies, including those from LALIFF’s new Latinx Inclusion Fellowship Series.

The Latinx Inclusion Fellowship Series was created to create opportunities for the Latinx and BIPOC communities.

The five visionary Afro-Latino Filmmakers chosen are award-winning filmmaker Lorena Durán, writer and director Justin Floyd; award-winning filmmaker Kase Peña; director Monica Suriyage and artist director Tamara Shogaolu. Each of them received a $20,000 grant to create a short film through this program. 

The sponsor is none other than the leader in streaming at the moment, Netflix.

“As one of the first film festivals in the world to fully produce a virtual festival in 2020, we were overwhelmed by the support from the film industry and community for LALIFF and, more importantly for our filmmakers,” Edward James Olmos, co-founder of LALIFF said in a press release. “We are committed to offer a platform to showcase the remarkable and diverse work of Latino voices, despite the current pandemic. We want to ensure that these voices are heard, that we create safe spaces online and in-person, and that our next generation of storytellers are inspired.”

LALIFF was founded in 1997 and has been recognized as the home of emerging Latino talent with names like America Ferrera, Gina Rodriguez, and director Guillermo del Toro, among others. 

“We are looking forward to seeing what new content has been created this past year, as it definitely has been a period where filmmakers, musicians, and artists have had to challenge themselves creatively to produce and complete their work,” Diana Cadavid, LALIFF’s Artistic Director said. “Like every aspect of society, the pandemic dramatically changed the way the film industry worked, and we believe it is important to be a platform that addresses this historic moment in time.”

With the pandemic stalling many projects, it will definitely be interesting to see what creatives have been up to and how they’ve maneuvered through social distancing guidelines to create inspirational content, and perhaps, even iconic features.