Cinema Diversidad

With more than 180 films showing on four screens, this year's San Diego Latino Film Festival should have diverse audience appeal.

"Every year we showcase a country, and this year it's Brazil," says festival curator and programming director, Lisa Franek. "We've got some really great films coming out of Brazil right now that are worth seeing-almost too many."

The festival will also showcase the contributions of Jewish Latino filmmakers, as well as animation, movies about the Latin LGBT experience and a series of shorts called Cine Mujer, focused on women.

"Because Latinos are kind of underrepresented in the film industry, we also look at the other groups that are underrepresented," Franek says. Franek was swept away by a Venezuelan romantic comedy that's screening this year called Havana Eva, shot entirely in Cuba.

"It's not the typical romantic comedy where all this girl can think about is getting married and having babies," she says. "It's a strong, independent woman and she's trying to figure out her life and everything in it. It's just a really nice story-and the Cuban men are really good looking."

One of this year's documentary selections, the world premiere of Precious Knowledge, should resonate with San Diego audiences, she says.

"It is about this school district in Arizona that wanted to get rid of their Chicano studies programs in high school, and the students basically rose up and protested," Franek says. "It's such a relevant issue for this area of the country right now. I think it's something that everybody should probably check out."

-Pat Sherman

San Diego Latino Film Festival
Dates: March 10-20
Venue: Ultrastar Mission Valley Cinemas
Tickets: $10 Info: 619.574.8684, sdlatinofilm.com

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