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LALIFF Announce 2008 Program Selection


Under a clear, bright Southern California sky, a score of filmmakers, producers, sponsors and celebrity guests gathered on a fifth floor terrace overlooking the heart of the Hollywood Entertainment District at Hollywood and Highland to announce this year's Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF) line-up. Before a broad cross-section of LA media, Festival co-founder and Executive Director Marlene Dermer was radiant as she unveiled the dazzling program of features, documentaries, short films, panel discussions and town hall meetings which will be presented at various Hollywood venues from September 12th through September 19th.           

"We admire Marlene and the vision and the work of hundreds of Latin American filmmakers," said Paola Magnani, a Community & Media Relations Manager at Hoy Newspaper. Along with Farmers' Insurance and the Los Angeles Times, Hoy is lending its support for the 12th annual edition of LALIFF as a Premiere Sponsor.           

her most ambitious film program to date, a nearly breathless and very elated Dermer welcomed Magnani, actor Beau Bridges and Luisa Acosta-Franco, Assistant Vice President of Diversity & Emerging Markets at Farmers' Insurance as she hailed the vision of festival co-founder Edward James Olmos, who is currently directing a film on location in Canada and could not attend.           

"Eddie is the icon. I am sometimes the face and the voice of the festival," Dermer continued. "But we would not be here if were not for our sponsors.           

"Farmers'Insurance is honored to once again be a Premiere Sponsor of the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival," said Acosta-Franco. "We understand the important contributions Latinos have made in the film industry." According to Acosta-Franco, "LALIFF helps raise awareness of those contributions through powerful images captured by the camera lens."            Beau Bridges, a legendary Hollywood actor who spoke on behalf of his "dear friend Edward James Olmos, offered his own words of praise for the popular festival before introducing Acosta-Franco.           

"[LALIFF] continues to expose all of us to the diversity that Latino films have to offer our entertainment community," he explained. "The films showcase the talent of established and emerging Latino filmmakers-directors, producers, actors and production crew. I'm here to support this organization and join in the celebration."           

This year, said Dermer, the festival offers more U.S. premieres and more North American premieres than ever before. She was particularly excited, she added, by the strong representation of Columbian cinema by a bold new generation of storytellers who are in and of themselves evidence of an effort by the Colombian Ministry of Culture to cultivate and nurture a national film industry there.           

She is also proud of the breadth and depth of an immigration program that features films which confront the issue of immigration and Latin American immigration to the U.S. specifically through important feature films and documentaries.           

"We have Sleep Dealer, an important work by one of our young filmmakers, Alex Rivera, which is presented as part of a program in conjunction with the Goethe Institute in Germany," she remarked. "The Goethe Institute will be bringing and presenting German films and participating in this dialogue, which brings to focus not only a local and national level, but a world wide issue."           

In addition to the selection of cinematic work, the immigration program will include, for the first time ever, a town hall meeting which will bring academics, filmmakers, policymakers and the public together for an important and historic discussion of  immigration issues in advance of the national elections in November.           

"We believe that our understanding of immigration can be broadened if we simply listen to the stories being shared on the screen.  Our perspectives are more informed and we gain insight that we could never get from the headlines or debates," Dermer concluded. "The arts are so important and all of our communities benefit when we allow culture to bring us together. This is what  LALIFF is really about."

 The 12th Annual Los Angeles Latino Film Festival will offer daily film screenings and panel discussion at The Roosevelt Hotel, The Egyptian Theatre and the Chinese 6 Mann Cinemas. An opening gala will be held on September 12 at Grauman's Chinese Mann Theater. For a complete schedule, information on the children's program curated by actor Diego Luna as well as many other programs and festival selections and competitions, or to order tickets, visit



Comments (1)

Rock 'n' Roll Made in Mexico ;From Evolution to Revolution

Tuesday Sept 16th 930 pm at Mann Chinese theatre

starring Javeir Batiz, Alex Lora, Fito de la Parra , Ana Sidel

directed by Lance Miccio


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