The Des Moines Latino Film Festival was planned for last year, but the pandemic forced a one-year delay. Through a partnership with the Chicago Latino Film Festival and other organizations, it will be free to attend in person or watch virtually.
Jay Byers is the president and CEO of the Greater Des Moines Partnership. “This inclusive event will help our region attract and retain diverse talent and attract more visitors,” Byers says. “It will also help us show the world that the DSM region is a welcoming place for all.”
The event will feature international Latino films as well as local Latino filmmakers. Organizers worked with local Latino advocacy groups to find Iowa filmmakers to feature. Funds raised will go toward helping the Latino Center of Iowa build a physical location.
Luis Leon is the center’s board chair says, “Our primary goal of the festival is to celebrate the rich and diverse culture as well as raise awareness of our Latino communities here in central Iowa.”
Leon says the local filmmakers who were chosen last year will still be featured at the festival. Along with watching films either outside or virtually, the festival will also have street dancers, food vendors, and other activities.
The inaugural Des Moines Latino Film Festival is scheduled for June 18-20 at Riverview Park.
(By Kassidy Arena, Iowa Public Radio)