Welcome 2008 – A message from Sylvia Perel (Founder, Director)

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• Masked “Luchadores” fight in a Tijuana ring. • Che Guevara still spreading revolution after these many years. • 13 Pueblos in Mexico defend their water, air, and their ancestral land. • Yanomamo Indigenous groups in the Venezuelan jungle film their own story. • Jewish settlers in the Amazonian communities of Iquitos, Peru assert their true identities. • Ecuatorian travesties struggle in Paris. • The Woman Spirit being celebrated at Women & Film, with women immigrants and children through stories and quilts. • The power of Art and Politics. • Music documentaries from Yucatan, Mexico DF, Spain and Brazil. • Gay married couples in Madrid having babies. • Bay Area Latino filmmakers in action. • Films in Ramamuri, Purepecha, (P’urhépecha), Mapuche (Mapudungun Spanish, Portuguese (YES, they are all subtitled!) • Festivals of the World coming to SF from Mexico DF, Guadalajara, Buenos Aires and Paris and a sister festival: Festival de Cine de Todos Santos, BCS growing in Mexico. • An almost-Silent film! • 4 new films from our 11th Annual Youth in Video Program in Marin County and Baja California. (More than 30 films by youth in 11 years!) • An animated trailer produced by a young student at Youth in Video! • Jury Awards in ten categories judged by distinguished international jurors. • Mingling with stellar guest filmmakers, actors and producers. • Brazilian, Cuban, and Salsa music and dancing for everyone. • And 8 fabulous parties in 8 cities for 16 days of great fun and community celebrations!

This is what our 12th edition has in place for your enjoyment. Enjoy it one film at a time. One story at a time. One mambo, salsa, or samba dance at a time.

One single opportunity to watch independent, artistic, thought-provoking, illuminating, suspenseful, uplifting, vital, innovative, provocative, educational, mesmerizing, challenging and illuminating films. The best of this year’s cornucopia of films from Latin America, Spain, and the US is waiting for you!

Director Gregory Nava will be honored with the “Mocte de Oro” our Lifetime Achievement Award presented each year to a Latino artist who has made a significant contribution to the world of film. Named after the first recipient, Moctesuma Esparza, who will present it to our honoree, this year’s award celebrates the 25th anniversary of Gregory Nava’s film, “El Norte.” A “Grapes of Wrath” of our time, this classic film of astonishing beauty is as current today as it was twenty-five years ago when it received an Oscar. Gracias, Gregory, for this culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant film and for being a strong supporter of our festival!

We will also honor director Alex Rivera with the prestigious New Vision Award for his new feature film, “Sleep Dealer.” The New Vision Award is an award that we will present this year for the first time to a filmmaker who explores innovative ideas about issues that affect our community and demonstrates a commitment to visual excellence. “Sleep Dealer” is a unique and engaging visual journey with true originality and artistic verve.

Our Celebration of Women & Film artists is a fundamental aspect of this year’s programming as well as the revealing work of the participating filmmakers some of whom you will have the opportunity to meet.

A very special acknowledgment to John Petrovsky, our President of the Board and Co-Director, for his unwavering support from Day One and for making Youth in Video a model program for film education. Our partnership has given the festival a strong foundation for the future. ¡Gracias! John, for your commitment and friendship!

We have worked hard for twelve years and many enthusiastic people have planted their seeds, sharing their talents, but our persistence and passionate dedication alone would not be enough. This miracle could not have happened without the tireless efforts of the extraordinarily dedicated staff, volunteers and board of directors, all of whom support my vision and magically make each year’s edition a new miracle. Above all, it couldn’t have happened without the unflagging support of our generous sponsors, donors and members.

Thank you all!

A cycle is now completed. Twelve years of the best of Latino films are shown as twelve lottery cards on our catalog cover. They tell us the story of a magical film: the one we have all created–the film that encompasses you, the film lover, and everyone that has made this festival happen. Thank you for making this possible! Without you the magic light of film could not be illuminated!

¡ Viva el Cine Latino!

Sylvia Perel

Founder, Director