Here Are The Latino Stories Featured At This Year’s Highland Park Independent Film Festival

Here Are The Latino Stories Featured At This Year’s Highland Park Independent Film Festival belatina latine

For those who are interested in independent films: We’ve got news for you! On September 26, it was announced that the ninth annual Highland Park Independent Film Festival (HPIFF) is officially back. The event will take place on October 7 and 8 at the historic Highland Theater in Los Angeles, California.

“After eight successful years of bringing unique, independent cinema to Northeast L.A., the Highland Park Independent Film Festival is looking forward to our busiest and best year yet,” HPIFF’s co-founder Mark Reitman said in a statement. 

This year, the festival counts with four feature-length documentaries, and 43 short films spanning from animation, live-action, and student films. 

What Latino talent will be highlighted this year? Well, let’s take a look! 

What Latino films are showing at HPIFF?

On the opening night (October 7), “Abuelo” directed by Kayvon Derak Shanian will be shown. The story follows an immigrant grandfather as he raises his teenage granddaughter after her parents die.

But that’s just the beginning of the film celebration.

This year’s Highland Park Independent Film Festival Humanitarian Award is scheduled for the executive producer and American labor leader and activist, Dolores Huerta on Saturday (October 8). There will also be a special screening of her latest work “Backstreet to the American Dream,” a documentary about the modern-day American Dream in the food truck business. Huerta executively produced it alongside Patricia Nazario.


Other featured documentaries being screened on Saturday include “Unidad: Gay and Lesbian Latinos Unidos” directed by Gregorio Davila, which tells the story of the L.A. organization; Gay & Lesbian Latinos Unidos (GLLU);  and “Échale Ganas: The Villa’s Tacos Story directed by Shirley Yumeng He, which dives into gentrification.

Latino representation will be celebrated during the festival’s short blocks as well.

Following the aforementioned documentaries, “Los Filmmakers ’22” will showcase these short films: “La Macana” directed by Maria Mealla; “CANCELED” directed by Christopher Guerrero; “Calabaza” directed by Stephanie Osuna-Hernandez; “No Soy Óscar” directed by Jon Ayon; “Borders” directed by Frank Velasquez; “Huella” directed by Gabriela Ortega; “Hey” directed by Felix Martiz; “Chico Virtual” directed by Olivia De Camps; and “Lodo” directed by Alessandro Gentile.

More about the Highland Park Independent Film Festival (HPIFF)

The Highland Park Independent Film Festival (HPIFF) was founded by a group of filmmakers whose mission is to promote the art of film in their community, per their press release. 

HPIFF is a grassroots organization, dedicated to inviting filmmakers who are producing the most unique and captivating independent cinema today to share their work with the Highland Park community.

You can find the full schedule and ticket information on the film festival’s official website.

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