The 1st Annual Houston Latino Film Festival makes its debut this month, with screenings at both Talento Bilingüe de Houston and The MATCH. What's being billed as "the brightest in independent Latino cinema" includes offerings from the United States, Latin America, Spain, Portugal and even one entry from Ireland. Film buffs are able to purchase an all-weekend pass for just $30, which provides access to the opening-night party, five films, six compilations of shorts and a special program from local "media artist, movie maker, curator y instigator" Stephanie Saint Sanchez, who will present ten shorts from the past five years of Señorita Cinema film festival, plus interviews, excerpts y más.
Friday's screening of Viva had its world premiere at the 2015 Telluride Film Festival, and its director (Ireland's Paddy Breathnach) won the ADL Stand Up Award at this year's Santa Barbara International Film Festival. Breathnach also produced the documentary SouthPaw, which was selected for Sundance in 1999 and released in both the United States and the United Kingdom. Viva tells the story of a young make-up artist who finally gets his big break, only to be assaulted by his long-estranged father, a former boxer.
Friday, March 25:
6 p.m., Opening Night Party (for badge holders only, with food trucks, music and free beer from sponsor No Label Brewery)
8 p.m., Viva, 110 minutes, directed by Paddy Breathnach, a Cuban love story set in the world of drag queens (mature audiences)
Saturday, March 26:
11 a.m., Short Films 1, 74 minutes
12:30 p.m., Señorita Cinema Presents ($7 à la carte; free for badge holders)
2:30 p.m., Una Noche Sin Luna, directed by Germán Tejeira, 78 minutes
4:30 p.m., When Two Worlds Collide, directed by Heidi Brandenburg and Mathew Orzel, 103 minutes
6:30 p.m., Short Films 2, 94 minutes
8:30 p.m., Amir, directed by José Paredes, 88 minutes (mature audiences)
Sunday, March 27:
11 a.m., Short Films 3, 93 minutes (at The MATCH, 3400 Main)
12:45 p.m., Hecho en Texas - Short Films, 66 minutes (at The MATCH, 3400 Main)
3 p.m., Short Films 4, 108 minutes
5:15 p.m., No Más Bebés, directed by Renee Tajima-Peña, 80 minutes; about California's controversial policy of forced sterilization
7:30 p.m., Viento Aparte, directed by Alejandro Gerber Bicecci, 99 minutes (mature audiences); siblings travel across a broken and divided Mexico
Saturday's programming also includes two workshops hosted by Microsearch: Gear Guide (to assist emerging filmmakers in early equipment purchases) and Lighting Your Story (with techniques to enhance visual storytelling); a third workshop, on cinematography, is hosted by Filmatic.
Saturday, March 26 Workshops:
11 a.m., Gear Guide
Noon, Lighting Your Story
1:15 p.m. Cinematography
All events are held at Talento Bilingüe de Houston, 333 South Jensen, unless otherwise indicated. For more information about the 1st Annual Houston Latino Film Festival, call 832-315-6030 or visit houstonlatinofilm.com. $7 to $30.