Festivales latinos de San Diego y Chicago se celebrarán en formato virtual
Por Monique Griego
The 27th annual San Diego Latino Film Festival.
A virtual festival ensured its filmmakers and its audience would still have access to the films so many people worked so hard to produce.
It was supposed to be a big first moment for San Diego filmmakers but the coronavirus pandemic changed things.
“We got such a high feeling of accomplishment," said Aldo Sandoval.
Sandoval and his upcoming filmmaker partners at the University of California San Diego were ready to see their short film played on the big screen at the 27th annual San Diego Latino Film Festival.
Their 10-minute short film about Chicano Park and Salvador Torres, a local muralist who grew up in Barrio Logan, had been picked among hundreds of entries. But then came the coronavirus.
“It was supposed to be a celebratory moment for our festival and kind of turned into a bit of a nightmare,” said Moises Esparza, from the Media Arts Center of San Diego.
“We were definitely heartbroken that you know we felt in a way, we were letting down San Diego and it's filmmakers,” he told News 8.
The in-person plans were canceled in March but after some brainstorming organizers decided to take the festival online. A virtual festival ensured its filmmakers and its audience would still have access to the films so many people worked so hard to produce.
“Obviously there was nothing could do about it. We still felt like it was going to come back,” said Sandoval. “And it coming back in a virtual format, we're still very happy about that."
Esparza said he understands how important it is to keep people safe and that festivals are not an option right now.
The virtual festival has a silver lining to what was a devastating situation - films will now be seen by a broader audience.
“We're just happy to have that and even if it's still a virtual festival, still that's huge and we're really excited to be a part of it,” Sandoval said.
36th Chicago Latino Film Festival
The International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago announced that the 36th Chicago Latino Film Festival will shift to a virtual format and will take place from September 18-27.
The Festival was originally scheduled for April 16-30 at the AMC River East 21 Theatres, but was postponed on March 13th when Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot ordered all events of a 1,000 or more attendees to be canceled or postponed.
“We have been closely monitoring developments since we announced our postponement and even though we were hoping to incorporate a live element alongside the virtual one, the recent spike of COVID-19 cases across the nation and the uncertainty that still hangs over most movie theaters opening led us to embrace what feels like a newnormal for most film festivals,” said Pepe Vargas, Founder and Executive Director of the International Latino Cultural Center, producer of the Chicago Latino Film Festival, about the decision to go fully virtual.
“Now more than ever, we need to share the stories these brilliant filmmakers from Latin America, Spain, Portugal and the United States are telling. If there is one major lesson this pandemic has taught us is that the arts are crucial to our lives. Even though I will miss that human interaction that is such a vital part of the Festival experience, I am also excited about the opportunity a virtual edition of our Festival offers in sharing these stories with a larger audience. The possibilities are endless,” added Vargas.
Festival organizers expect to show a significant number of the films already selected as part of this virtual experience; the full program, as well as ticketing information, will be announced in mid to late August. Plans are also being hashed out for potential live and pre-taped virtual Q&As with select filmmakers.
The full program for the Festival, originally scheduled for April and now taking place September 18-27, will be announced in late August.
(Fuente: Cbs8.com, ReelChicago.com)