Latino film festival, stars come to South Bay


Vaca Films

A scene from “Cien Años de Perdón,” a thriller from Spain and Argentina.

By Ricardo Soltero

NATIONAL CITY — Organizers of the San Diego Latino Film Festival kicked off the third annual Éxitos del Cine Latino Film Festival on Aug. 26 at Westfield Plaza Bonita shopping center.

The week-long celebration will showcase 15 films from Argentina, Peru, Colombia, Uruguay, Spain and Mexico, featuring celebrity appearances, musical performances and exhibits by local artists.

“We’re proud to bring these exciting movies to audiences in the South Bay region of the county. With such a large Latino population, it’s important that this area have a film festival to call its own,” said in a press released Moisés Esparza, a film curator at Media Arts Center San Diego, which organizes the film festival.

This year’s selections feature the Spanish-Argentine thriller “Cien Años de Perdón,” the award-winning drama “Truman” and the Diego Luna directed film “Mr. Pig,” alongside newly released films like the romantic comedy “El Tamaño Sí Importa” and “No Manches Frida.”

Special guests include “El Tamaño Sí Importa” film star Ximena Ayala, “No Manches Frida”‘ actress Fernanda Castillo and “Paraiso Perdido” protagonist Ana Claudia Talancón, among others.

“We’re going to a part of the county in San Diego that is 40 percent-plus Latinos. It’s like a no-brainer. The Latino film festival, Spanish-language movies should be screened here. I mean, there’s no movie theater in South Bay that’s screening Latino films on a regular basis,” said Ethan Van Thillo, the founder of the San Diego Latino Film Festival.

“We’ve been organizing the (festival) for 24 years, the importance of promoting Latino filmmakers, Latino stories. Promoting stories that counter the negative stereotypes, that’s why we do the festival every year. We want to encourage young people to tell their own stories.”

Éxitos del Cine Latino Film Festival runs through Sep. 1 at AMC Plaza Bonita.

Individual movie tickets range from $8.50 to $11.50. All proceeds from the festival benefit MACSD’s year-round education and outreach programs and services.

For more information on show times and passes visit