The Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF) is going virtual with its new online initiative, LALIFF Connect 2020. The virtual initiative will feature shorts, episodic content, features, master classes and live music performances. And they’ll all be made accessible on their site for free.
The LALIFF Connect 2020 program is set to go live on May 5, with its (virtual) opening night featuring the screening of The Last Rafter (El Último Balsero), directed by Carlos Rafael Betancourt and Oscar Ernesto Ortega. The film follows, as its title suggests, Cuba’s last rafter, who arrives just as U.S.-Cuban relations are set to change forever, making the “wet feet, dry feet policy” a thing of the past. In true LALIFF form, there will be a Q&A with the filmmakers following the screening. You’ll be able to catch both events on the LALIFF website.
To end the night, Lupita Infante, granddaughter of the late, legendary Pedro Infante, will be performing perform live at 9 p.m. PST also on their website.
Other films to be screened include the documentary Cantera 5V5, an intimate look at the stories of five aspiring athletes competing in the 2019 Global Gatorade 5v5 Soccer Tournament, and Paper Children, a fictional film that follows four siblings who fled gang violence in Honduras only to face the terrifying, labyrinth-like US asylum process.
Of note is also the inclusion of the Salma Hayek-produced Ella es Cristina (This is Cristina) — directed by A Fantastic Woman‘s screenwriter, Gonzalo Maza — will be taking viewers on a trip alongside a young woman facing her own arrested development. The black and white drama centers on a pair of friends who may be finally forced to grow up.
Elsewhere, films like Letters to Eloisa, Miguelito and One in a Thousand will also be made available throughout the month. Each night will be closed by a DJ sets or performance. Musicians tapped for the program include Chrisol, Victoria Elise, Tatiana Hazel, Sister Mantos and more. Also, Jarina de Marco will be teaching a master class on songwriting.
LALIFF Connect 2020 runs May 5 – 29, 2020.