Sundance: The Latinx House Sets Virtual Return (Exclusive)

Olga Segura Monica Ramirez Eva Longoria Alexandra Martinez Kondracke
Owen Hoffmann/Getty Images

The Latinx-focused group will host a series of virtual events throughout the festival, including a tribute to Rita Moreno hosted by Gloria and Emilio Estefan.

After making its debut at last year's Sundance, The Latinx House will (virtually) return to the film festival in 2021 for another batch of Latinx-focused panels and parties.

Though dates and times have not yet been set, this year's lineup will include a conversation with Rita Moreno, hosted by Gloria and Emilio Estefan and tied to her documentary Rita Moreno: Just A Girl Who Decided To Go For It, which will premiere as a Sundance U.S. Documentary Competition selection. Wilmer Valderrama will also moderate a Latinx actors panel with Alessandra Mesa (Superior), Ani Mesa (Superior), Clifton Collins Jr. (Jockey) and Tenoch Huerta (Son of Monarchs), and a virtual celebration will be held to highlight the Latinx-themed films screening at the festival. More events will be announced in the coming days, as Sundance kicks off remotely on Thursday, Jan. 28.

The Latinx House — an initiative of the activist group Justice for Migrant Women, in official partnership with the film festival — is led by activist Mónica Ramírez, producer Olga Segura and writer Alex Martinez Kondracke and aims to create community and opportunities for Latinx voices in and outside of Hollywood. The trio also strives to "give space to our community in places of cultural importance, providing a platform for the people and issues that might not otherwise experience the festival," says Segura.

After hosting last year's events with Eva Longoria, America Ferrera and Lin-Manuel Miranda, this year's version "is really going to be a feat to pull the whole thing off," says Kondracke, but the hopes are high amid the pandemic-induced in-person shutdown. 

"We had such a great experience last year — we had over 1,200 people at our house, and we had all the best parties and everybody was staying up all night. We made so many friends and it was so fun, so hopefully we can have some of that this year," she says. "We're really excited about our lineup, especially about Rita because it's really fun to have such a big star and a tribute to someone who's had such an amazing and long career. So we're hoping we can bring a little sparkle."

And with a slate of events not just restricted to those in Park City, "we hope this provides the opportunity for so many more members of our community to have access to the Sundance Film Festival to celebrate Latinx filmmaking,” adds Ramírez.

Though "Latinx" has proven to be a contentious term within the Latino community, the group has embraced it as "being inclusive of gender non-conforming people, [which] is an important thing that we all ought to embrace," says Kondracke. That continues The Latinx House's mission of building an inclusive community of filmmakers, activists and organizers to inspire change in the industry, particularly following 2020's racial reckoning. 

"If we don't create the cultural narratives around ourselves, then someone else is going to create them and someone else has, to our detriment," Kondracke adds. "It's on us to do something about it and fix the problem."