The ¡Tú Cuentas! Cine Youth Fest is finally live and ready to give a voice to Latino stories this Hispanic Heritage Month.
The month-long online film festival (Sept. 18-Oct. 16) features the work of aspiring Latino filmmakers and creatives and can be streamed through the ¡Tú Cuentas! Cine Youth Fest website and YouTube channel.
In partnership with HITN-TV, a leading Spanish-language media company, the ¡Tú Cuentas! Cine Youth Fest is a celebration of the impact and influence of Latino creatives in the film industry. The festival allows storytellers to share their experiences and culture with the next generation of young content creators and inspires Latino artists to grow in front of and behind the lens.
“Our young Latinx community offers distinct perspectives developed from unique life experiences. These storytellers just need a pathway to make their voices heard, and our goal with the film festival is to provide a platform to amplify their work,” said Lina Sands, Director of Marketing at HITN. “Through the ¡Tú Cuentas! Cine Youth Fest, we’re providing them with the opportunity to both express their creativity and encourage an ongoing conversation about social and cultural change.”
HITN received more than 400 submissions of short films spanning various production styles, perspectives, and themes. Finally, the festival is organized around three axes: Art and Culture (Sept. 17-25), the new generation of Latino filmmakers (Sept. 27-Oct. 2), and social justice, education, and empowerment (Oct. 4-10).
As HITN explained in a press release, the ¡Tú Cuentas! Cine Youth Fest is presented in collaboration with educational institutions in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas, Pennsylvania, Miami, and San Juan, Puerto Rico. An independent jury will evaluate all entries and select 20 finalists based on criteria such as knowledge of the subject matter, creativity in approach, technical aspects (such as directing, acting, cinematography and editing), originality, and the inspirational and narrative impact of the piece.
The Cine Youth Fest jury is comprised of distinguished Latino arts leaders from across the country, including director Freddie Marrero, actor Julio Ramos, National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) project director Liliana Espinoza, director, writer, and producer Paloma Suau, Mexican-American actor and producer Raul Torres, film programmer and filmmaker Sophie Gordon, and Hunter College-CUNY, professor of documentary production and LGBTQ nonfiction studies Tami Kashia Gold.
One grand prize winner will be selected from the finalists and will receive a cash prize of $5,000. An additional $2,000 scholarship will be awarded to a student who submitted an outstanding paper. Other honorable mention entrants will receive certificates for access to e-learning film courses. Winners will be announced on October 24, 2021, on HITN-TV at 11 a.m. ET and on the network’s HITN GO app.