¡Tú Cuentas! Cine Youth Fest Announces Its 2022 Call for Entries

Cine Youth Fest BELatina Latinx
Image courtesy of ¡Tú Cuentas! Cine Youth Festival.

We continue to celebrate opportunities and initiatives that open doors for our community’s narratives, as does the ¡Tú Cuentas! Cine Youth Fest. This festival and platform for independent voices is married to the mission of generating a positive change from the perspective of Latino filmmakers.

The initiative of HITN-TV, a leading Spanish-language media company, understands that film is a powerful medium to represent the diversity of the human experience. For this reason, the ¡Tú Cuentas! Cine Youth Fest wants to hear the stories of Latino filmmakers.

According to research by the Latino Donor Collaborative, Latinos represent only 5.5 percent of all media, despite comprising nearly 20 percent of the U.S. population.

Through the ¡TÚ22! Film Festival initiative and a series of virtual “Cafecitos” before the screening of this year’s selected short films, young filmmakers are exposed and connected to Latino role models who are breaking down barriers for underrepresented minorities and paving the way for a new generation of Latino storytellers. 

“We’ve seen an increase in the popularity and visibility of Latino/a stories at a national media level. Latino-focused films like ‘Coco,’ ‘Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It,’ and ‘In the Heights,’ as well as films with a Latino/a protagonist like ‘Beatriz at Dinner’ and the newly released ‘Hustle’ have shown that our stories are both powerful and popular,” said Luis Alejandro Molina, ¡TÚ22! Film Festival Director. “However, Latinos remain grossly underrepresented in the film community. Although Latinos buy 30 percent of all box office tickets, they hold leading roles in less than 5 percent of all films. Our goal with ¡TÚ22! Film Festival is to change that by giving young people a place to share their vision and tell their stories to a wider audience- and repeat our mantra- Representation Matters.”

The online festival offers aspiring filmmakers the opportunity to amplify their voices and work towards more diverse and inclusive film industry.

How to participate in Cine Youth Fest 2022

Entries for the ¡Tú Cuentas! Cine Youth Fest will be accepted through CineYouthFest.org through September 11, 2022. The festival will take place October 9-16, 2022, closing Hispanic Heritage Month.

The ¡TÚ22! Film Festival submissions must feature a Latino/a in a creative lead position in front or behind the camera. Young Latinos/as are invited to submit their work to the festival. English or Spanish-language works of fiction or nonfiction are welcome. Films must be 30 minutes or less in length.

The umbrella theme of this year’s festival is “Representation,” and filmmakers should submit their work under subcategories such as “participation,” “prosperity,” “collaboration,” and “well-being.”

The YOU22! Film Festival takes place from October 9-16, 2022. The best entries will be available for viewing during the film festival at CineYouthFest.org and on the HITN GO app. Winners of the film festival will receive the following cash prizes: $4,000 (Grand Prize), $2,000 (Second Prize), and $1,000 (Third Prize).

In addition, the ¡TÚ22! Film Festival will feature a series of virtual conversations with well-known and award-winning Latino filmmakers, artists, and change agents. Sharing their stories and experiences is one way to advance the festival’s mission of mentoring and preparing aspiring filmmakers to work in the film industry. A complete list of speakers and discussion topics is available at CineYouthFest.org.

To submit work to the YOU22! Film Festival visit CineYouthFest.org or Film Freeway.