The 22nd edition of the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF), the most significant event for the Hispanic film industry, kicked off with a bang on May 31st at the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood. The festival will run until Sunday, June 4th, and feature “Flamin’ Hot” as its opening premiere, the debut film by actress Eva Longoria. It’s written by Lewis Colick and Linda Yvette Chávez and inspired by the book “A Boy, a Burrito and a Cookie: From Janitor to Executive,” based on the life of the entrepreneur who claims to have invented Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.
Besides “Flamin’ Hot,” LALIFF comprises 18 feature films, 56 shorts, 7 episodes of series for television, along with workshops, conferences, and up to 15 musical events in four days. Among the movies that most anticipate the public is “Charcoal,” with Argentine and Brazilian capital, starring actor César Bordón and actress Maeve Jinkings, showcasing the scourge of drug trafficking in a rural area. Colombian director Diego Felipe Guzmán’s “The Other Shape” is another sci-fi film with social criticism, also showing at the festival.
The Amazon Music documentary “Hip Hop X Siempre” at LALIFF looks at the past of this genre and how it links with Latin music, recognizing the significant contribution of Hispanics. “Patria y Vida: The Power of Music” is another documentary on the musical program at the festival directed by the singer Beatriz Luengo, reflecting on six Afro-descendant rappers who rewrote history in Cuba in 2021 with a lyrical battle for human rights that triggered the repression of the regime.
LALIFF launched “LALIFF Works in Progress” two months ago, an agreement with Amazon Studios offering independent Hispanic talents an opportunity to complete a feature film of “cultural relevance and commercial viability.” LALIFF founder Edward James Olmos, who recently announced his fight against throat cancer, has been instrumental in catapulting Latino celebrities such as Guillermo del Toro, Alejandro G. Iñarritu, America Ferrera, and Eva Longoria herself.