Short Films Featured at Festival

chace 1By Chace Alvarez

Two-day film festival featured movies meant to share Latino culture. The Hispanic Museum of Nevada hosted the 10th annual Las Vegas Latino Film Festival on Oct. 24 and 25. For the past two years, College of Southern Nevada had the privilege to be part of it.

“We have enjoyed doing this over the years,” said founder of the Latino Film Festival and Hispanic Museum of Nevada Lynnette Sawyer. “We enjoy working with CSN—being able to work and see young directors and film makers.”

CSN professor in the department of media technologies Robert Benedetto, who helped organize the event, said, “We have a sizable amount of Latino students here at CSN. It’s great to join hands with the Latino Film Festival.”

“It is really amazing to be part of something that is so cultural and I would like to be more involved,” said Marco Bonilla, whose film “Half Full” was played at the festival.

“Sin Sosten” was shown at the event. It was a clay-animated film about a man who attempts to commit suicide from the upper level of a tall building while he is being closely watched by a cowboy and a pin-up girl who intervene.

“Love Paradox” also entertained film goers at the Festival. The plot centered on a scientist that found a way to send messages to the past that he used to alter a tragic event from happening.

On the second day of the Festival, a panel discussion was held.

Francisco Rodriguez, actor and director of the film “Acting 101”that played over the weekend, said, “I believe that film festivals like this are very important. It gives the opportunity to many, like myself, to have their films seen in the Latino community.”

Sawyer explained how the Festival began. “I was 20 years into teaching and I was part of the Hispanic Museum and I wanted to do something with my class. I saw this trend of kids and people now having short attention spans not being able to sit and pay attention. So I figured we could do a short film festival.”

“It was a hit, we sold out tickets for four years,” Sawyer said. “It exposes people to the Latino culture. It’s great to meet these artistic individuals.”

“We started thinking about the many different formats films come in and maybe doing something with 3-D,” Sawyer said. “We would also like to take the Latino Film Festival international and make it more tourist-based in Las Vegas.”

The Latino Film Festival featured a silent auction with items that had cultural significance: a Day of the Dead skull, Guatemalan bag, Mexican toys, a Carlos Santana painting and many others. The festival featured over 10 short films from Las Vegas and around the world.

Auction at event

Auction at event

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