By Luis Monteagudo Jr.
The 22nd annual San Diego Latino Film Festival kicks off next week and it’s got some new tricks up its sleeves.
The biggest trick is a new location. The festival is leaving its long-time home at Hazard Center in Mission Valley and moving to the AMC Fashion Valley 18.
The move will be a welcome change for the festival, one that could speed its growth. No longer shoehorned into the oddly shaped, smaller UltraStar Cinemas Theater, the festival can now spread its wings and offer more films to more people. It might even pick up some new admirers from the heavier foot traffic generated by the popular stores at Fashion Valley.
But, as usual, the festival’s main attraction will be its typically large and diverse array of films. This year’s event offers more than 160 films, shorts, documentaries and student films.
The spotlight films this year include “Muerte en Buenos Aires” (“Death in Buenos Aires”) from Argentina, a crime drama about a detective trying to solve an enigmatic murder while working with an untested rookie cop who may not be who he seems.
Also spotlighted is “Visitantes” (“Visitors”), a horror/thriller about a woman (Mexican actress Kate del Castillo) tormented by dark spirits that threaten her family.
For sports fans, there is “Messi,” a documentary on the life of soccer superstar Lionel Messi.
There is also “Amor de mis Amores” (“Love of My Loves”) a romantic comedy about a woman and a man who meet when she runs him over with her bicycle. They fall in love despite the complications of their being engaged to other people.
If the films don’t intrigue you enough, the festival includes an art exhibit, after parties, musical performances, filmmaker workshops and celebrity appearances. And new this year is a Creative Careers Expo on March 14 at the Joe and Vi Jacobs Center in San Diego that will feature opportunities to meet representatives from film, fashion, design and video game industries, among many others.
For more information, and for tickets, visit the festival’s web site at fest.sdlatinofilm.com/2015/. The festival runs March 12-22.
Luis Monteagudo Jr. is a freelance writer and pop culture enthusiast who has attended Comic-Con for more than 20 years. He was written for the San Diego Union-Tribune, USA Today and numerous other publications.
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