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Arts & Culture

SDLFF: Festival Update

An accident leads to strange happenings in Kilometro 31 (DistriMax)

I have spent the last few days watching films at the San Diego Latino Film Festival's opening weekend. Films continue through March 16 at the Ultrastar Mission Valley Theaters at Hazard Center with a closing night tribute to Cheech Marin. Marin's Born in East L.A. celebrates it 20th anniversary and the festival will honor Marin with an award. Executive director Ethan Van Thillo says, "there is so much focus on Spanish language films and filmmakers like Gael Garcia Bernal and Alejandro González Iñárritu, but we also have to support U.S. produced Latino films and Born in East L.A . was a very important Chicano film, starring a Chicano, directed by a Chicano, and we want to keep on supporting U.S. Latino filmmakers too." The Festival was a bustling place with a number of sellout screenings, including the one for Gael Garcia Bernal's directorial debut Deficit . But you can catch the Mexican star in Hector Babenco's new film O Passado on Thursday night. But I suggest getting there early. Listen to my Film Chat for an update on the festival.