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New Latin Film Festival In St. Petersburg Focuses On Culture And Diversity

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Courtesy of the Latin Film Festival
The first annual Latin Film Festival Award will be held in St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg is hosting the first annual Tampa Bay Latin Film Festival starting this Thursday. The four-day event will focus on different aspects of the culture and seeks to answer the question: what is happening in Latin American film?

The festival will feature short films, documentaries, and full-length features in both English and Spanish with subtitles.

Linda Friedman Ramirez, founder and director of the festival, sais the event will feature 15 very different films.

“Some are more light-hearted, essentially entertaining, others are more thought-provoking in terms of some of the social and political issues that are happening in the world,” said Ramirez.

Ramirez explained that diversity is a common theme throughout the event, not only because of the  Latin American people, but the diversity within the film industry itself.

Among the many filmmakers attending are a trio of directors: Cecilia Atan from Argentina, Everardo Gonzalez from Mexico and Chile's David Miranda Hardy. 

Ramirez, a resident of St. Petersburg, is thrilled to bring them and their films to her community.

“It’s a very supportive, vibrant arts community so it seemed totally appropriate,” said Ramirez.

The festival will feature a VIP reception, live music and panel discussions.

An award ceremony will take place. "El Pulpo (The Octopus)" will be honored as the Best Film of the Festival, and the best student film will also be honored. 

The festival will end on Sunday with a special screening of “Los Sobrevivientes,” a 1979 Cuban classic by award-winning filmmaker Tomás Gutiérrez Alea.

The films will be shown at different locations throughout the city, some are free and open to the public while others require tickets.