Hispanic Heritage Month Kicks Off with OLA's Latino Film Festival of the Hamptons
OLA of Eastern Long Island is kicking off Hispanic Heritage Month with the 20th anniversary of its Latino Film Festival of the Hamptons this week.
Those looking to celebrate this national heritage month — which begins on September 15, the same date that Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua celebrate their national independence days — have a wonderful opportunity to experience first-hand the storytelling talent of Latin filmmakers at OLA’s 2023 Hamptons festival, running September 14–17. In four Spanish-language, feature-length films and one animated short film, Hispanic creators explore themes of adventure, inspiration and strength. Screenings take place across three Hamptons venues and include English subtitles for increased accessibility.
“We are thrilled to host two U.S. premieres and one New York premiere for our 20th anniversary year. It will be quite the celebration, presenting five culturally rich and hopeful films representing five countries,” states Minerva Perez, executive director of OLA, a nonprofit organization serving and advocating for the East End’s Latin community. “This film festival remains at the heart of OLA’s cultural programming as it allows for a shared experience through storytelling that connects us just when we need it most. These films will inspire and challenge audiences in profound and lasting ways.”
Opening night of the Latino Film Festival of the Hamptons has been scheduled for Thursday, September 14 at 8:30 p.m. with a screening of animated feature film Ana y Bruno (Ana and Bruno) at Sag Harbor Cinema. Created by Mexican film director/screenwriter Carlos Carrera, winner of three awards for Best Animated Feature, the film follows a peculiar young girl who escapes a mental institution in search of her father, who she believes to be the key to saving her mother.
Moving to the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, La Vaca Que Cantó una Canción Hacia el Futuro (The Cow Who Sang a Song Into the Future) is scheduled to screen on Friday, September 15 at 7 p.m., following a bilingual museum tour and reception at 6 p.m. Directed by Francisca Alegria, this Chilean drama utilizes magical realism and environmental activism to tell a gripping tale about the destruction humans have wrought upon the planet and the hope that remains. The evening concludes with a live Zoom interview with Alegria at 8:45 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at parrishart.org and cost $16 ($5 for minors and $10 for students 18+ with ID and Parrish members).
Returning to Sag Harbor Cinema on Saturday, September 16 at 7 p.m., the festival continues with the U.S. premiere of Salvadoran film El Sentido de las Cuerdas (The Sense of the Chords). Directed by Marcela Zamora Chamorro, the movie tells the story of three resilient, determined girls who find a way to survive the consequences of violence in the director’s home country through the power of music, perseverance and hope. In doing so, they give their lives meaning for the first time. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased at sagharborcinema.org.
The Latino Film Festival of the Hamptons culminates in a family-friendly matinee at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center on Sunday, September 17 at 2 p.m. The double feature begins with the U.S. premiere of Frida en el Cielo (Frida in the Sky), an animated short by up-and-coming Ecuadorian-Canadian director Dani Sadun, and continues with the New York premiere of Mexican director Juan Arce’s feature film La Laguna Rosa (The Pink Lagoon) about a vain, superficial man who is sought out by a talented young girl with Down Syndrome who dreams of dancing ballet on the big stage.
Following the screenings, Arce and Mónica Arce Victoria, the director’s sister and the film’s lead actress, are set to appear for a live Q&A. Tickets are $5 at whbpac.org.
For more information about OLA of Eastern Long Island’s services and programs, as well as ways to support, visit olaofeasternlongisland.org.