Guest post courtesy of IU Communications colleague April Toler:
The third biannual Latino Film Festival will take place this week, and this year it focuses on Latina directors, actresses and film scholars.
The Latina Film Festival and Conference, hosted April 7-9 by IU’s Latino Studies Program, will include numerous film screenings and panel discussions at IU Cinema.
The aim of the festival and conference is to present new perspectives in the studies of Latina identity that combat stereotypical representations and to showcase the intersectionality of identity within the contexts of immigration, gender, sexuality, social class and race/ethnicity issues.
“The Latino Studies Program is committed to providing enriching academic and cultural experiences that help the IU community understand the Latino/Latina population in complex ways,” said Sylvia Martinez, director of the Latino Studies Program. “We see the film festival as complementing what we do in our courses by organizing this type of programming — a cultural production in the form of film.”
Patricia Cardoso, director of “Real Women Have Curves,” will deliver the keynote address at 5 p.m. April 7 at IU Cinema. Cardoso is an award-winning director, producer and writer and has worked as an advocate for better representation of Latinas and women of color in the film industry. Her groundbreaking film introduced actress America Ferrara and won the audience award at the Sundance Film Festival in 2002.
In addition to numerous film screenings, the event will include three panel discussions. The first panel discussion, “Shorts and Conversations with Directors,” takes place at 1 p.m. April 8 and will include the screening of three short films and a conversation with director Ofelia Yánez about Latina filmmakers who get their start making short films.
The second panel, “The Latina Experience in Hollywood,” takes place at 4 p.m. April 8 and will focus on the representation of Latinas in Hollywood and working as a Latina actress.
The final panel, “Victimization and Violence,” takes place at 10:30 a.m. April 9 and will address the victimization of Latinas in society and Latinas who have been represented as particularly violent. Mary Beltran, associate professor in Radio-Television-Film at the University of Texas at Austin, and Isabel Molina-Guzmán, associate professor in Latina/Latino Studies, Media and Cinema Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, will serve as panelists.
“The panels serve as a way to sit for a little bit and digest everything we are watching — both the good and the bad stories,” said Mintzi Martinez-Rivera, interim associate director of IU’s Latino Studies Program and co-chair of the festival. “We want these panels to allow us to pause everything, sit down and to be able to really have a conversation about what it means to be Latina in Hollywood.”
The Latina Film Festival will include screenings of the following films:
- 6:30 p.m. April 7 — “The Second Mother” centers around Val, a hard-working live-in housekeeper, and her relationship with her estranged daughter who comes back into her life.
- 9:30 pm. April 7 — “Lake Los Angeles” follows a middle-aged Cuban immigrant working at a holding house and a 10-year-old Mexican girl who bond over being away from home.
- 9 a.m. April 8 — “Now En Español,” directed by Andrea Meller, is a documentary following the lives of six Latina actresses who dub television and radio into Spanish for millions of American viewers. The screening will be followed by a question-and-answer session with Meller.
- 11 a.m. April 8 — “Las Marthas,” directed by Cristina Ibarra, is a documentary following two Mexican-American debutantes portraying Colonial heroines at the annual debutante ball in Laredo, Texas, that celebrates George Washington’s birthday. A question-and-answer session with Ibarra will follow.
- 6:30 p.m. April 8 — “Real Woman Have Curves,” directed by Patricia Cardoso, is the story of a first generation Mexican-American teenager on the verge of becoming a woman. A question-and-answer session with Cardoso will follow.
- 9:30 p.m. April 8 — “How the Garcia Girls Spent their Summer,” directed by Georgina Garcia Riedel, follows three generations of women in a Mexican-American family who experience sexual awakenings over the course of a summer.
- 9 a.m. April 9 — “Señorita Extraviada,” directed by Lourdes Portillo, is a documentary that covers the real-life killings, rapes and kidnappings of hundreds of young women in Juárez, Mexico.
- 1:30 p.m. April 9 — “No Más Bebés,” directed by Renee Tajima-Peña, is a documentary following a small group of Mexican immigrant women who sued county doctors, the state of California and the U.S. government after they were sterilized while giving birth at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center during the late 1960s/early 1970s.
- 3:30 p.m. April 9 — “Mala Mala,” directed by Antonio Santini and Dan Sickles, is a documentary about the the power of transformation told through the eyes of nine trans-identifying individuals in Puerto Rico.
- 6:30 p.m. April 9 — “Girlfight,” directed by Karyn Kusama, is a feature-length film about Diana Guzman, a troubled teenager from Brooklyn who decides to channel her aggressions through boxing, despite her father’s disapproval.
- 9:30 p.m. April 9 — “Filly Brown,” directed by Youssef Delara and Michael Olmos, follows a young, aspiring hip-hop artist from Los Angeles.