NewFilmmakers Los Angeles (NFMLA) and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are teaming to co-host a virtual edition of the annual NFMLA Film Festival InFocus: Latinx and Hispanic Cinema Festival.
Scheduled for Sept. 25-26 and powered by crowdfunding platform Seed&Spark, the line-up consists of two shorts programs and a presentation of Varda Bar-Kar’s feature documentary Fandango at the Wall. The film, which was recently acquired by HBO, counts Quincy Jones and Carlos Santana as executive producers and tells the story of musician Arturo O’Farrill and Kabir Sehgal as they recruit musicians in Veracruz for a live album recording at the U.S.-Mexico border wall.
The fest will also spotlight three world premieres including Alberto Belli’s After Life Vacation, Kate Romero’s Chronology, and Alyssa Toledo’s Lift Off. “This year’s slate contains a lot of powerful common themes around the powers of family, community, symbolism and imagination as ways of both coping with and understanding the world,” said NFMLA programming director Bojana Sandic.
NFMLA and AMPAS have confirmed industry insiders to participate in panels and/or filmmaker meet-and-greets. Those include Shari Page at Ryan Murphy Television, Luke Rodgers at wiip, Carole Kirschner at the CBS Diversity Writers Program and WGA Showrunner Training Program, Adam Martinez at CBS Television Studios, Axel Caballero at WarnerMedia 150, Ruben Garcia at CAA, Christopher Casanova at Black Bear Pictures, Dave Neustadter at New Line Cinema, Adrian Ward at Banc of California Entertainment Finance, Nicolás Celis at Pimienta Films, AGBO creative and production executives Joey Dizon, Austin Bowman and Josh Williams, and others.
“We are grateful to our industry professionals and partners for lending their time and support to this program. It has been amazing working with the Academy to showcase Latinx and Hispanic voices and they’ve really helped to elevate these storytellers,” says NFMLA executive director and co-founder Larry Laboe. Entertainment panels are scheduled for Sept. 25 with film screenings and Q&As taking place on Sept. 26. The full lineup can be found here.