Intrn’l Video: A film festival dedicated to give voice to the immigrant experience

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LatinaLista — It’s not unusual for me to mention the name of a film festival showcasing a particular film chosen by Latina Lista editors to highlight in our daily video section. What is unusual is for me to focus only on the festival itself, but that’s the case with the San Francisco Immigrant Film Festival.

In its fourth year, the SF Immigrant Film Festival was begun by former Venezuelan journalist Romulo Hernandez, who immigrated to the United States 21 years ago. The mission of the non-competitive and volunteer-driven film festival is to:

Show a human face on the issues of immigration, and immigrant workers’ rights through the exhibition of films/videos that document the lives of immigrants, and exiles, the facts that motivate people to migrate, and the problems most people face in the process to migrate to another country.

Slated to take place December 1-15 at a variety of locations throughout the Bay Area, this year’s film festival selected 18 narrative and documentary films from around the world, most of which will be seen for the first time in the United States and one that will have its world premiere at the festival.

As part of the festival, Hernandez makes the films available for free screenings to the local community at workplaces and for student groups.

This year’s selected films are: “In fight for the dream”, Estefania Hernandez, USA 2013 (World Premiere); “Is there peace?” (Jambo Amani?), Unai Aranzadi, Spain/Democratic Republic of the Congo 2013; “Memory” (Memoria), Natalia Ortiz, Australia/Spain 2012; “A better place”, Moisés Romera & Marisa Crespo, Spain/Senegal 2013; “Things Left Unsaid” (Palabras Pendientes), Juan Carlos Guerra, Spain 2013; “Goodbye Padrecitos!”, (Adios Padrecitos!), Javier Macipe, Ecuador 2013; “9546 km/My World”, Sergio Garcia Locatelli, Spain/Peru 2013; “Lonche”, Claire Weissbluth. USA 2013; “The Immigrant” , The Levy Brothers, director/writer Josh and producer/writer Robi, Canada 2012; “The little Dowser” (El pequeño zahorí), Julio Moreno Gimenez, Spain 2013; “Adrift”, Frederik Jan Depickere, Belgium/Colombia 2012; “Ismael”, Jorge López Salazar, Mexico 2012; “Avion, the Absent Village” (Avion, el pueblo ausente), María y Marcos Hervera, Spain/Mexico 2012; “Agape, Story of a Dream”, Carlos Quiles, Spain/Thailand 2012; “El Toro” (The bull), Juan Diego Ramirez, USA 2013; “Life: Deferred” (Vida: Diferida), Brenda Avila-Hanna, USA 2013; “Migration”, Mira Nair. India/USA 2008 and “To arrive to Heaven” (Llegar al cielo), Tony Romero, 30’, Spain 2006.

In addition to the festival and community screenings, Hernandez also does one more thing to bring these deserving films to a wider audience — he posts some on his website after the festival. Most of the 2012 selections, either the trailers or shorts in their entirety, are available on his web site to see for free.

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