CineArte: A Latinx Queer Film and Art Festival will fill the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Village at Ed Gould Plaza with music, films, and art on April 20 through 22.
The fifth annual festival highlights the intersections, complexities, and rich history of Latinx culture through arts and culture.
“Our hope is to bring more diverse queer people to the Village to recognize the incredible talents of LGBTQ people in Los Angeles,” says Jon Imparato, the Center’s director of cultural arts. “We have such a huge Latino population in Los Angeles and this festival is to recognize queer Latino artists.”
Attendees of CineArte will get to see a special preview of the first two episodes of new television series Vida. The show, which focuses on two sisters in Los Angeles who learn a surprising truth about their mother’s identity, doesn’t make its debut on Starz until next month.
“We normally premiere a feature film on the Saturday night but we were thrilled when they called and will have a Q&A with the cast after the screening,” says Imparato.
Earlier Saturday there will be two programs of short films.
The first, Honoring Our Own, is anchored by the documentary Jeanne Cordova: Butches, Lies, and Feminism. The 38-minute film is about the life and accomplishments of late activist, organizer and author.
“I think it’s important to showcase people who have done so much for our community,” says Gregorio Davila, the film’s writer and director. “A lot of people know about Harvey Milk and the movements in San Francisco and New York. But a lot was going on in Los Angeles with people like Jeanne doing things that weren’t as well known.”
The other short films are Ode to Abuela, Honoring the Late Juan Gabriel, Silvia in the Waves, and Anonymous.
“It’s a collection of stories that have to do with honoring those who we love and who have passed and who we miss,” says Karla Legaspy, the festival’s film program director. “We wanted a program about honoring our own. It’s about keeping them in our lives.”
The second program, Latinx en Accion, is comprised of the short films Bad Conchas, Reset. Mexico, MATRIARCHY, Quedate Callado, Familia, and Juan Gabriel Is Dead.
“I feel like every single one of the characters in these films are radical in a way – they all took a chance to do something radical,” Legaspy says.
Community for the Entire Family
Sunday’s family-themed program includes a collection of short films under the theme of Sacred Journey. They include the documentary Mariposa about a queer couple confronting the physical and emotional challenges of trying to get pregnant. Other shorts in the program are SHALA, A Force of Nature, Silvia in the Waves, Undocutales Episode 5, and Amigas with Benefits.
“It’s important to make sure that families who attend get to see the spectrum and diversity within the community,” Legaspy says. “Hopefully these stories will make it a lot easier for them to support their family member in their journey.”
In addition to the films, Sunday also includes workshops on self defense, on finding your own voice, and on how to make your own short film.
“After watching short films, people can learn how to make their own film on their smart phone,” Imparato explains. “This is our first family day program and we want people to bring their grandmothers and their aunts and uncles – any relatives. Everyone is welcome.”
A Night of Art and Music
The three-day festival kicks off on Friday, April 20, with the opening of the visual art exhibit Paraisos curated by artist Ruben Esparza.
“It’s a way to celebrate our culture, to see each other and make connections,” Esparza says.
The exhibit will feature the work of artists Laura Aguilar, Yukiko Avila, Amina Cruz, Tony De Carlo, Diego Eduardo, Natalie Franco, Jon Vaz Gar, Lorenzo Gomez, Roy Martinez, Milos Mestas, Navi, Monica Orozco, Miguel Angel Reyes, Adam Morello Reyes, Angelo Alessandro Rodarte, Manuel Rodrigues, and Christopher Velasco.
Many of the artists will be in attendance and selling signed prints of their work.
“This is multi-generational and spans the spectrum of our community,” Esparza says. “We thought it would be nice to put together an exhibition that looks at how we create our own paradise, our own corner of the world.”
In addition to the exhibit, opening night will include live entertainment hosted by Tonatiuh Elizarraraz. There will be performances by poet Xitlalic Guijosa, singer-songwriter Marley Munroe, and DJ Sizzle will play an array of music that includes cumbia, hip hop, and disco.
Food vendors will be on hand and a bar open throughout the festival.
For more information and to buy tickets go to cineartela.org.