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Latino Film Festival

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Latino Film Festival

Gael Garcia Bernal in ‘Who is Dayani Cristal?’

Latino Film Festival Turns 21

The March 13-23 fare is ‘fun and full of comedies’

The San Diego Latino Film Festival is coming of age this month — turning 21.

And it will be fun and full of comedies, in honor of recent Latino box office hits “Instructions Not Included” in the U.S. and “Nosotros Los Nobles” in Mexico.

Festival poster

Festival poster

“When you look at the box office hits from this past year, Latino cinema really hit a positive cord with audiences when it came to comedies,” said Ethan van Thillo, executive director and founder of North Park’s Media Arts Center San Diego, the organization that produces the festival.

The festival is set to take place March 13-23 at the Digiplex Mission Valley Cinemas in San Diego, 7510 Hazard Center Drive.

“Whether it’s ‘Instructions not Included’ or ‘Nosotros los Nobles,’ comedies are really showing their muscle at the box office, and at this year’s film festival we hope to celebrate and highlight this trend with comedies with Jaime Camil and John Leguizamo, among others,” said Van Thillo.

Christian Bach in ‘Deseo.’

Christian Bach in ‘Deseo.’

Glenn Heath, festival artistic director, said audiences can expect comedies of all kind, including wacky, hilarious, and off-beat variations of classic stories. Such as recent Colombian box office hit “El Paseo 2” with John Leguizamo, Spain’s ensemble comedy, Una Pistola En Cada Mano with Ricardo Darin (“The Secret of their Eyes,” 2009),and “200 Cartas,” a bilingual U.S. romantic comedy starring Jaime Camil (“Pulling Strings,” 2013).

Additional comedies include John Leguizamo’s soon to be released HBO special “Ghetto Klown,” Mexican romantic comedy “I Don’t Know Whether to Slit My Wrists or Leave Them Long” with Luis Gerardo Mendez (“Nosotros los Nobles,” 2013), “Casese quien pueda” from Mexico starring Martha Higadera (“Street Kings,” 2008), “Me Late Chocolate” also from Mexico with Karla Souza (“Nosotros los Nobles,” 2013) and Brazilian box office hit “My Mom is a Character.”

The festival will have many more films, including “Who is Dayani Cristal?,” a U.S./Mexico immigration documentary with Gael Garcia Bernal

John Leguizamo in ‘Ghetto Klown.’

John Leguizamo in ‘Ghetto Klown.’

(“Casa de Mi Padre,” 2012); Argentine thriller “Thesis on a Homicide” starring leading actor Ricardo Darin; Carlos Cuaron’s romantic coming of age “Besos de Azucar” with Héctor Jiménez (“Nacho Libre,” 2006); Mexican drama “Deseo” with Christian Bach; and making its world-premiere, the Mexican historical drama “Los Arboles Mueren de Pie” with Jaime Camil.

“This programming every year showcases some of the biggest stars and filmmakers working in Latin America, Mexico and the U.S.,” Heath said.

On the festival turning 21 this year, Van Thillo said it has been an honor to work on such an incredible celebration of Latino cinema, filmmakers and actors, like Michael Peña in the soon to be released Cesar Chavez biopic, Academy Award nominee Demian Bichir, and Golden Globe winning director Alfonso Cuarón.

“So much has transpired over the years; yet, one thing remains. Each year we are so fortunate to be able to showcase such a wonderful and diverse selection of films. I am so thankful to the community for their on-going support over the years and for making the festival a reality,” Van Thillo said. added.
Festival passes are now on sale.  The All Access Festival Pass, which includes over 150

Ricardo Darin in ‘Thesis on a Homicide.’

Ricardo Darin in ‘Thesis on a Homicide.’

programs, costs $200 and the Film Pass offering entrance to 11 films is selling for $100.  For more information go to or call (619) 230-1938.


Karla Souza in ‘Me Late Chocolate.'

Karla Souza in ‘Me Late Chocolate.’

Jaime Camil, right, in ‘Los Arboles Mueren de Pie.’

Jaime Camil, right, in ‘Los Arboles Mueren de Pie.’


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