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KPBS Midday Edition Segments

San Diego Latino Film Festival Wants To Expand Horizons

Speaker 1: 00:00 San Diego, Latino film festival kicked off last week and continues through the weekend. KPBS reporter. Beth doc Amando speaks to two filmmakers whose work will be showcased. So Vonda [inaudible] winter song was shot in Tijuana and Baja and Stephen Dobros documentary 18th and grand. The Olympic auditorium story looks to the famous LA sports and music venue. Speaker 2: 00:22 The San Diego Latino film festival is continuing through this weekend. And I have two filmmakers here who are going to talk about their work. First of all, Silvana I wanted to ask, what is it like showing your film during a pandemic where you can't have the same in-person experience that you might have Speaker 3: 00:40 For all of us. It's a little bit of football, Mer, and not being able to have this human contact, but at the very same time, I feel that the pandemic has brought so many huge, complicated issues to people's lives. That I feel everyone is dealing with a lot of very different circumstances that I, I guess I just feel very alleged that in this super complicated times, I just have a film and someone's watching and it's of course upsetting, but at the very same time, I think that these also show us how much film can just survive in between all of this huge and radical things happening in the world. Speaker 2: 01:19 And Steven, what is it like for you to show your film in a virtual setting? Speaker 4: 01:23 Similarly, I'm just grateful and in the grand scheme of things, to be able to make a film and have it come out and have it in the world in whatever form is, is, is really, uh, uh, a blessing. Speaker 2: 01:38 And you actually had to complete your film in the pandemic. Was that a challenge? Yes. Speaker 4: 01:43 Um, we were very close to the end and we had a screening scheduled March 27th of last year. When things shut down, all the studios, all the post-production studios shut down. So we had our color, correct. A guy got sick with COVID and everything took a long time, but we were able to get it done, but it was, it was, it drew everything out a lot longer took months and months and months to finally get things. Right. Speaker 2: 02:09 And Savannah, tell us a little bit about your film called the English title is winter song. Yeah. Speaker 3: 02:14 Um, the Spanish title of this concern in Vietnam and, well, this is a film we did as a school project. This is my thesis to finally finish college and it turned out to be a feature film. And it's a road trip that starts in Mexico city about these two friends that are broken hearted and they just want to leave and do something with their lives. So they end up, uh, driving to feel, uh, California and like to the border with the U S so I guess like the film is really about that journey, I guess, like, it may sound a little corny, but like, I really wrote this film thinking about my own personal experience on being brokenhearted and how, you know, like friendship music traveling really changed my perspective and helped me to go through it. So this film, I guess, has all of those elements and hoping that other people that can watch can also relate Speaker 2: 03:11 Savannah, your film was made before the pandemic. But I have to say that it's a very visual film and allows for a lot of space to be kind of contemplated. And that seems to connect very well with how we're feeling right now. Speaker 3: 03:24 Thank you. It's sexually so crazy for me to think that when we filmed this, we never thought that, you know, a few years later, we wouldn't be able to travel and experience. I have these human connections. So I really hope that like people watching right now home can, can remember that all of those things were great and that we should keep fighting to have the world back. And I appreciate when we get to have those moments of truth in our lives. And yeah, like the film is really like be shrill in the way that it's, it's about the experience of the main character and how she feels while she's struggling, the thing she sees and how, how she feels them. And that's what we wanted to portray with the camera too. Speaker 2: 04:05 Steven, your film is a documentary and it's about the Olympic auditorium. Tell people what that place is and what attracted you to making a film about Speaker 4: 04:16 It's a venue. It was a mostly a fight venue located in downtown Los Angeles. That was a, that opened up in the 1920s and the building still exists now, but it, uh, it closed for sporting activities in, in 2005. And what drew me to the subject. And what I found interesting about was it was this sort of central hub for the city. And it was where the battles of Los Angeles were sort of fought out. Some of those were ethnic battles and because it's Los Angeles, many of the main characters, but the, the fighters, the wrestlers, the boxers and the fans were Mexican American and Mexican. And so it had a very central and emotional place in the hearts of so many people. And as I approached it, that emotion and that connection really made it much more salient and much it made it deeper to me. Speaker 2: 05:14 And I understand that the Olympic auditorium played a part in the Zoot suit riots. What was that? Speaker 4: 05:20 During world war two, there was a lot of service, white Anglo service men sort of ran a muck, you know, going after Latino Zoot suiters put Yukos and what we, we use the character of Enrique bolognaise, who was the fighter Mexican American boxer, or born in Mexico, born in Durango, but came to LA to seek his fame and fortune as many fighters did. And he was a favorite. He was a [inaudible] himself. And he became the most beloved fighter probably in LA history. He was emblematic of that and was, so, was seen as a hero by the Mexican-American Speaker 5: 05:58 Crowd at the Olympic Silvano. What do you feel is the importance of showcasing your film at a Latino film festival? What do you feel that does that is different from screening? Speaker 3: 06:08 Honestly, like we were so happy when we got selected for the San Diego Latino film festival, because I mean, first of all, we shoot this film, like really a few steps from like San Diego, like really across the border, even the border itself. So I think that for Oz first, it was like connecting with, I guess, one of the main audiences, because I think that something that was very interesting for me to see how California is, how the culture is so like mixed and how there are so many elements of like, uh, the U S culture in California. And otherwise it's the same way also in San Diego. Like I think that for us, it's pretty hard to see how families get divided and how all of this context is going on the border. And I feel that being able to have a film that can connect both places is pretty amazing for us. So I think that for all us being part of like the Latino community, it's super important and it's even a statement or what's what we do and the way we wanna show our own stories and our own narratives and, and show our own landscapes that sometimes that, that may lose when it is filmed by people that are not related with that directly. So I think that it's amazing to open this conversation inside the Latino community. Speaker 5: 07:30 I want to thank you both for talking to me about your films, playing at the San Diego Latino film festival. And we will go out with some of the music from winter song that was Beth Armando speaking with filmmakers Silvana bizarro and Steven Dobro, winter songs, screens tonight at San Diego, Latino film festival and 18th and grand, the Olympic auditorium story screens, Friday and Sunday, all screenings are online. [inaudible].

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San Diego Latino Film Festival kicks off Thursday with films on two screens at the South Bay Drive-In. But the majority of the films will be presented online.
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