Latino Film Festival Brings Diverse Lineup

A Fantastic Woman
A Fantastic Woman

Organización Latino-Americana presents the 15th annual Latino Film Festival of the Hamptons from Friday, November 9 through Sunday, November 11. Films from Chile, El Salvador, Mexico, Brazil, and the United States will be shown at venues across the East End. The films will include English subtitles.

The festival began at the Parrish Art Museum’s prior location in Southampton Village, and has grown to include four venues in Water Mill, East Hampton, Greenport, and Sag Harbor. Executive Director Minerva Perez said the intention of the festival is to bring in lower budget filmmakers from around the world, giving a voice to stories that would otherwise be silent. For those filmmakers on the lower end of the budget spectrum, in making a stronger effort to bring in diversity, OLA sometimes waives the $25 to $45 application fee. Perez continued, “We want to make sure that we’re not going to miss the storytelling that’s coming from far off languages because of their lack of connections.”

Kicking off the festival on Friday will be A Fantastic Woman, a Chilean drama and winner of the 2018 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film about a transgender woman working as a waitress, moonlighting as a nightclub singer, and distraught over the death of her boyfriend. It will start at 7 PM at Parrish Art Museum with a reception beforehand. Audience members will be joined, via Skype, by producer Juan de Dios Larrain for a Q&A after the film.

The festival gives the public a chance to see beyond stereotypes. Isabel Sepulveda, co-founder and president of the OLA board added, “OLA’s film festival is the best way to build bridges and break stereotypes. Through images, people can travel through our streets and our culture.”

On Saturday, Guild Hall in East Hampton will show La Palabra de Pablo, at 7 PM. This seductive thriller from El Salvador, loosely inspired by Shakespeare’s Othello, follows a Salvadoran family struggling with jealousy and revenge.

“It’s inspired by the character, Iago. Also, I left the drama that jealousy and insecurity bring in the classic,” said director Arturo Menendez, who will be flown in to join a post-show Q&A with actor Carlos Aylagas. “We are still trying to walk,” added Menendez, comparing Hollywood to Salvadoran films. “We are trying to follow the steps of how efficient production the U.S. industry is, mostly in the independent film industry.”

Greenport High School auditorium will show the family film Coco, on Sunday at 2:30 PM, the story of a 12-year-old boy who accidentally gets transported to the Land of the Dead. A short film from Mexico, My Fear, will also be shown, alongside an art exhibit showcasing Greenport students’ talent inspired by the Day of the Dead tradition. Concluding the festival on Sunday at 6 PM at Sag Harbor’s Bay Street Theater will be Before I Forget, about a man living his golden years to the fullest.

“We are concerned about social justice for our entire community, living together peacefully. Art has the ability to transcend all of those things and give you that meaning, that story. These films we chose because they brought other social stories to bare,” Perez concluded.

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