By Liz Lopez
Academy Award-nominated actor Edward James Olmos announced the launch of LALIFF 2018 (formerly known as the Los Angeles International Film Festival) and the Latino Film Institute (LFI) this past Spring, with LALIFF to be hosted at the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood June 20 – 24. LALIFF is the largest U.S. Latino film festival dedicated to showcasing Latino perspectives through art. LFI is an organization dedicated to the advancement of Latino voices and content across media and entertainment. Both are led out of Los Angeles.
Defying the format constraints that other festivals impose, LALIFF has included a web series from Warner’s Stage 13 studio: Gigi Saul Guerrero’s La Quinceañera, as part of its program. This gritty Tex-Mex reimagining of the fragile image of a Latina teen girl is a revenge tale ready to surpass all expectations by pushing its characters out of their comfort zone and into a thrilling narrative. Across the board, LALIFF is pursuing greater inclusion of US LatinxLatino voices and the varied ways and genres in which they are producing content. For more information on the festival, visit https://latinofilm.org
On Saturday, June 23 at 10 p.m. you are invited to attend a screening of “La Quinceañera” as part of the LALIFF festival at the TCL Chinese Theater, 6925 Hollywood Blvd. Theatre 5, in Hollywood. “La Quinceañera” is a coming-of-age revenge tale centered on a family’s tragic twist of fate that takes place at a girl’s quinceañera. The celebration turns into a life-changing moment as our young, innocent girl transforms into a gutsy heroine to avenge her family’s death.
The seven-episode series is a unique and gripping action-horror family drama, led by a strong 15-year-old female character that has no choice but to defend the honor and legacy of her family. It is rated R.
Created by Shane McKenzie (ABCs of Death 2.5) and Gigi Saul Guerrero (Choose Your Victim, TV Mini-Series), the “La Quinceañera” series is written by McKenzie and directed by Guerrero. The series cast features Mia Xitlali (“Max,” “Girl Meets World”) as Alejandra, Gabriela Reynoso (The Company You Keep) as Abuela, Gustavo Gomez as Santiago, Veronica Diaz Carranza (“Taco Shop,” “12 Strong”) as Beatriz, Patricia De Leon as Estela, Mathias Retamal as Chavo, Mauricio Mendoza as Reynaldo and Bertila Damas as Angelica.
“Kill Bill with a little taste of El Mariachi and Machete dark humor for good measure. La Quinceañera…depicts a time-honored Mexican tradition, turns it on its head and leaves it for dead. Coco, this ain’t…” LA Weekly
To view the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iw1nxE2pg3o&feature=youtu.be
LALIFF’s New Team
Rafael Agustín, a writer for The CW’s “Jane The Virgin” is spearheading the festival and was recently announced as the Latino Film Institute’s Executive Director. Agustín will work in partnership with Diana Sanchez, LALIFF’s 2018 Director of Programming. Sanchez serves as an International Programmer at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Dilcia Barrera also joined the LALIFF team as a Senior Programmer. Barrera is also a Programmer, Short Films at Sundance Film Festival. https://latinofilm.org
ABOUT STAGE 13
Stage 13 is a fearless, original digital content brand showcasing a new generation of inspired talent and voices in scripted and unscripted storytelling. The brand’s series are available on the Stage 13 distribution platforms including the brand’s Facebook, YouTube and social channels, mobile partners including Verizon’s go90, in addition to Stage13.com. Creating dynamic, unapologetic series for a multidimensional audience, Stage 13 is part of the Warner Bros. Digital Networks.