Latin American filmmakers are riding on Cloud 9 this week. Guillermo del Toro just won two Academy Awards for directing and producing The Shape of Water, marking the fourth time in the last five years that the Best Director statue was awarded to a Mexican-born filmmaker. Hopefully, the trend continues in 2018 and extends across all film industry events.
At the South by Southwest Film Festival, Latin American directors are being represented fairly well and looking to be recognized during the fest March 9-17. Films from countries like Nicaragua, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia are making their world and U.S. premieres across a variety of genres, including documentary, comedy, animation and drama.
Work, however, still needs to be done for U.S.-born Latino filmmakers, especially in a week where we saw the deadline to fix the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program come and go. It’s important now more than ever to show people that Latino voices in the U.S. are a vital part of the American fabric—whether it’s in the business sector, media field or entertainment industry.
Demanding more inclusion at film festivals like SXSW is one way U.S. Latinos can push for change and put more pressure on the Hollywood system to make some inherent shifts in the way talent is hired and projects are greenlit.
If you’re in Austin, Texas, for SXSW, remember to give some love to those Latino filmmakers who are fighting for a place at the table. Below are a handful of films to get you started. We chose to include movies by Latino and non-Latino directors, but always focusing on Latino stories.
SXSW Film Festival runs March 9–17, 2018.