This year, the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival is back and bigger than ever. The festival, which showcases films, television, music and other art from a Latino perspective, has in the past premiered films from Academy Award-winning directors like Alfonso Cuaron, Alejandro G. Iñarritu, and Pablo Larrain.
Last year’s mix of virtual and in-person events included a preview of John M. Chu and Lin-Manuel Miranda’s highly-anticipated In the Heights. Now, for the festival’s 21st anniversary, all events are available in-person for the first time in three years, and the festival is hosting even more screenings than they had pre-pandemic.
On Wednesday, the Academy announced that they are partnering with LALIFF to launch the 2022 Academy Film Accelerator, a five-week program beginning in June that provides 10 Latinx filmmakers with education, resources and mentorship. Program participants will be honored at this year’s LALIFF.
“We are honored to host this group of talented filmmakers as we come together to elevate mutual learning, community and impact,” Shawn Finnie, the Academy’s Executive Vice President, Member Relations and Awards, said. “Through our Academy members and industry executives, this program will address the important, yet often overlooked, topic of the business of film.”
This year, LALIFF has a jam-packed features lineup of 17 different films from the US, Latin America and Canada, in addition to episodics, animated shorts and musical performances. Find out everything you need to know below.
When Is It?
LALIFF 2022 runs from June 1 to June 5 at the TCL Chinese Theatre and TCL Chinese 6 in Hollywood, Calif. For those that can’t make it to Los Angeles, virtual screenings are available.
Is There a Theme?
While there’s no explicit theme for this year’s LALIFF, festival director Diana Cadavid tells LAist that most of the films center around Latinos’ rights to self-determination, including explorations of sexual orientation, gender identity and disability.
“Our filmmakers talk a lot about politics, a lot about family dynamics when you’re living in a country where you constantly feel threatened by the status quo and authority,” she says. “And it does change … from one government to another government. But the problem is, in the end, things don’t change that much. It’s not that they haven’t been bad before.”
Additionally, Cadavid says the 2022 festival has a global lens, with films focusing on how Latinos experience immigration outside of the Americas.
Which Films Will Be Screened?
Disney’s Mija, directed by Isabel Castro in her debut feature, kicked off the festival on June 1. The documentary tells the story of two women, both daughters of undocumented parents from Mexico, navigating their way in the music industry. On June 5, Warner Bros. Pictures/HBO Max’s Father of the Bride will close it out. A remake of the 1991 classic of the same name, Andy Garcia and Gloria Estefan star as long-marrieds shocked by their daughter (Adria Arjona)’s quick, impending nuptials to a new boyfriend, played by Diego Boneta.
In between, festival highlights include Carlos Rafael Betancourt’s drama/thriller Borrowed, which Cadavid gave a “big recommendation,” and All Sorts, a quirky film following the underground world of champion document-filers.
“LALIFF Is proud to present a diverse lineup of Latino storytellers,” Edward James Olmos, co-founder of LALIFF, says. “The festival has seen tremendous growth, with support from both the film industry and our audience, allowing us to showcase and nurture important voices that the world needs to hear.”
How Can I Get Tickets?
Tickets are available for purchase online. Virtual screenings are available for $10, while in-person screenings range from $15 to $150 for a package including a screening of the closing night film Father of the Bride and gala.
Reporting by Charlotte Walsh