By Sydney Levine | Sydneys Buzz March 25, 2011 at 5:00AM
As the 2010 Census has predicted, the Latino population has grown to over 30% in San Diego County and is the fast-growing population in U.S.. What better way to CELEBRATE & spotlight this new data & sweeping change in our Country, than at the 2011 San Diego Latino Film Festival in its 18th year. Lisa Franek joined the festival almost straight out of college and has been given such leeway by the San Diego Media Arts Center to create the festival as she sees it and has shaped it into an event that brings out the Latino community in a way that art house theaters showing similar Latino films envy. Plus she gets to travel to the best festivals. We met in San Sebastian, saw each other in Sundance (and the Art House Convergence preceeding it) and will soon see each other again and the closing night gala. Her bosses, Ethan van Thillo the Executive Director of the Media Arts Center, and Patric Stillman, Innovations and Programming Officer must be very enlightened.
From the newest in Latino films, to Jewish Latino films, a sidebar endowed by Leichtag Family Foundation to their own productions made by teens at the Media Arts Center which show online,, to celebrating Latino music and the visual arts, the list goes on and on.
See details on the amazing concerts and exhibitions by visiting the Sonido Latino! Parties and Arte Latino! sections of their website.
In addition to these annual events, the upcoming 2011 festival once again hosts exciting Tu Cine! Student Outreach Screenings for local middle and high schools students, educational workshops for independent film/video makers, and has put together a wonderful collection of feature films for families and their teen-aged kids via the annual PARA LA FAMILIA showcase.
Other Special Presentations for the 2011 San Diego Latino Film Festival include:
*Jewish Latino Film Showcase funded by the Leichtag Family Foundation
*first-ever DOCUMANIA showcase
*first-ever LATINOS at THE OSCARS showcase, 6th Annual Cine Gay
*10-Minute Project Pitch Sessions with Latino Public Broadcasting and KPBS
*and this year's Hecho en Brazil: A Celebration of Brazilian Cinema.
MEDIA ARTS CENTER SAN DIEGO promotes access to film and video as tools for community self-expression and social change and supports the professional development of media artists.
MEDIA ARTS CENTER SAN DIEGO endorses the inclusion of underrepresented communities in the media arts field and the portrayal of accurate images of these communities by mainstream media and promotes community access to and use of media technology.
Sponsors for San Diego Latino Film Festival ‘11 include Leichtag Family Foundation, The Walt Disney Company, San Diego Union-Tribune, Southwest Airlines, Bank of America, Verizon Wireless, Enlace, SanDiegoRed.com, Neighborhood House Association, Cine Latino, Northwestern Financial, San Diego Zoo, San Diego State University, City of San Diego Commission for Arts & Culture, MTS, National Endowment for the Arts, County of San Diego, Nickelodeon, Univision KBNT 17, Telemundo 33, La Invasora 99.7, Pulsar 107.3 FM, Azteca America San Diego 15, ABC10, El Latino Newspaper, El Mexicano, Latino Public Broadcasting, The U.S. Grant, The Grant Grill, The Westin Gaslamp Quarter, W Hotel San Diego, Giving Back Magazine, Radio Latina 104.5 FM, La Mejor 99.3 FM, DIEGO 91.7 FM, Centro Cultural Tijuana, TijuaNEO, Mujer Actual Magazine, LegoLand, Amtrak, Shades of San Diego, Think Blue San Diego, Harrah’s Casino, VeneMovies, San Diego Magazine, Yolanda S. Walther-Meade, 10 News, Barona Casino, KPBS, Marinello School of Beauty, Consulate General of Brazil Los Angeles, San Pasqual Band of Mission Indians, and Macy’s