Posted by Elena del Valle on June 3, 2020
This Is Cristina (Ella Es Cristina) poster
Photo: Figa Films
One of the feature films in this year’s 19th Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF), part of the Festival’s Official Selection, was This is Cristina (Ella Es Cristina). The 82-minute Chilean film from Mar Humano and Primate Lab, in Spanish with English subtitles, was directed by Gonzalo Maza and distributed by Figa Films. Scroll down to watch a trailer.
Salma Hayek was executive producer along with José Tamez and Siobhan Flynn. The film received support from the Fondo de Fomento Audiovisual. The 2018 film, starring Mariana Derderian, Paloma Salas, Roberto Farias, Daniella Castillo, Nestor Cantillana, Alejandro Goic and Claudia Celedon, tells the story of two women in their thirties, Cristina and Susana, who have been best friends since high school. As their lives change their friendship suffers and is tested. There is a surprise ending. The film should be available at festivals and online beginning in September.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic this year’s Los Angeles based Festival, established in 1997, included seven feature films and 23 short films from 12 countries. The festival took place May 5 to 31, 2020. The countries represented were Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Mexico, Peru, Spain, United States and Uruguay.
Other features included Paper Children and The Last Rafter. Shorts included: 1, 2, 3, All Eyes On Me Accents; Acuitzeramo; Ailin on the Moon; Baby; Blanes and St. Muller; Borrachero; Flesh; Flowers Within; Lady Justice; María; Miguel; Muy Gay Too Mexicano; Napo; Ode to the Beans; Rizo; Say You Will; Status Pending; The Undocumented Lawyer; and Wilderness.
An organization spokesperson declined to identify the names of the individuals responsible for selecting films for inclusion in this year’s festival. Funding, she said, is from “sponsors, donors and grants.” As of this writing the only contact information available on the event website is via a contact form. No street address or phone number are listed.
According to a press release for the festival “LALIFF is presented by the Latino Film Institute (LFI), a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization with the mission to showcase, strengthen, and celebrate the richness of Latino lives through the audio-visual event. According to the LALIFF About Us page, “The Latino Film Institute (LFI) showcases, strengthens, and celebrates the richness of Latino lives by providing a pipeline, platform, and launching pad from our community into the entertainment industry.” It describes LALIFF as “dedicated to showcasing the entirety of human experience from the Latino perspective, whether through film, television, digital, music, art, or any other vehicle, regardless of platform.”
Posted by Elena del Valle on May 18, 2020
Randy Pherson, author, How to Get the Right Diagnosis
Photo: Randy Pherson
A podcast interview with Randy Pherson, author, How to Get the Right Diagnosis, about the questions to ask your doctor if you don’t want to die is available in the Podcast Section of Hispanic Marketing and Public Relations, HispanicMPR.com.
Randy is chief executive officer of Globalytica, LLC; president, Pherson Associates, LLC; and a founding director of the non-profit Forum Foundation for Analytic Excellence. He teaches advanced analytic techniques and critical thinking skills to analysts in most of the 17 United States Intelligence Community agencies, in ten of the Fortune 100 companies, and in the United Kingdom, Italy, Norway, Denmark, Romania, Australia, Saudi Arabia, and Hong Kong.
He has authored, co-authored, or edited eleven books. He is best known for two books analysts encounter in their training: Structured Analytic Techniques for Intelligence Analysis and Critical Thinking for Strategic Intelligence.
Randy was a career Central Intelligence Agency of the United States (CIA) intelligence analyst and manager, last serving as National Intelligence Officer (NIO) for Latin America. He is a recipient of the 2000 Distinguished Intelligence Medal for his service as NIO and the CIA’s Distinguished Career Intelligence Medal also in 2000.
To listen to the interview, scroll down and click on the play button below or locate the “Podcast” section on the right hand side, then choose “HMPR Randy Pherson” or download the MP3 file to your iPod or MP3 player to listen on the go, in your car or at home from the RSS feed. Some software will not allow flash, which may be necessary for the podcast player. If that is your case, you will need to download the file to play it. To download it, click on the arrow of the recording you wish to copy and save it to disk. The podcast will remain listed in the May 2020 section of the podcast archive.
Posted by Elena del Valle on May 13, 2020
Photo: Corinth Films
An 84-minute long film showcasing the life and art of Fernando Botero, known internationally for his paintings and sculptures, was released by Corinth Films this month in several California, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Louisiana and Colorado theaters. It has appeared in 13 film festivals. A trailer was not available.
It features interviews with the author, his adult children and other relatives as well as art curators, academics and historians. It is in Spanish, English, Italian, and French with English subtitles. The 2018 film was directed by Don Millar, written by Millar and Hart Snider. According to promotional materials, it includes original footage shot in 10 cities across China, Europe, New York and Colombia, with decades of family photos and archival video. His daughter, Lina Botero Zea, is listed as chief creative consultant and executive producer. This may account for the film’s access to the artist and his family as well as family homes and the artist’s studio in Monaco.
Millar is a Canadian film and television director based in Vancouver. His previous directorial credits include the climate change documentary Oil Slick, Full Force about rugby star Harry Jones, and the scripted narrative Off the Clock. Corinth Films has been distributing foreign and independent arthouse cinema in the United States and Canada since 1977.
Posted by Elena del Valle on May 6, 2020
Nuestras Madres poster
Photo, video: Outsider Pictures
Nuestras Madres (Our Mothers), a 78-minute documentary style drama in Spanish with English subtitles from Outsider Pictures had its virtual theater release at 15 locations in the United States last week. The somber film was Winner Camera D’or, Cannes Film Festival and Belgian Entry to 92nd Academy Awards. Scroll down to watch a trailer.
It features Mexican actor Armando Espitia as Ernesto, a young anthropologist working for the Forensic Foundation in Guatemala in 2018 during the trial of the soldiers who sparked the civil war. Charged with identifying the bodies of the missing he has a personal mission. Emma Dib is Cristina, his mother.
The account of an older woman from a small village convinces Ernesto he has a promising clue to find his father, who went missing during the war. Although his mother and his boss urge him to leave well enough alone he presses forward.
César Díaz, director, heard from his mother about his father, also a “disappeared” guerrilla fighter. He began the project as a documentary about military massacres during the Guatemalan civil war in the 1970-80s. After meeting women in the villages where the fighting took place he turned it into a feature drama. According to promotional materials, their testimonies, often full of violent tales, reveal the story of Guatemala’s history as one of the first Central Intelligence Agency “Black Operations.”
“In Guatemala, fathers are absent as a general rule,” Díaz said in a press release (he was not available for a podcast interview). “Many children born of rape think that their father just left at some point. I therefore wanted the mother to reveal her secret, because it is a way of accepting and living with the consequences of what has happened. In a post-dictatorship, post-war situation, I think there must be collective acceptance, which can then be followed by individual moving on. Nuestras Madres is, to my knowledge, the first film to deal with this subject head-on.”
According to press materials for the film only 1 percent of the disappeared have been identified after over 20 years of searches. The genocide trial in the film is a mixture of many trials taking place, as is the uncovering of mass graves and returning the bodies to the families.
The film was made with the support of Centre du Cinéma et de l’Audiovisuel de la Fédération Wallonie Bruxelles Proximus Eurimages. Born in Guatemala in 1978 Díaz studied in Mexico and Belgium. He attended a screenwriting workshop at La Fémis (Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Métiers de l’Image et du Son, the FEMIS Film School) in Paris, France. He has been a fiction and documentary film editor for more than a decade. He directed the short documentary films Semillas de Cenizas screened in twenty international film festivals. Nuestras Madres is his first feature film.
Beginning May 1, 2020 Our Mothers became available nationally via local art house cinemas for $12 per ticket, split equally with the local cinema to help support them during the pandemic. As of this writing the theaters are: in California: Los Angeles at Laemmle Theaters, Davis at Varsity Theater, Larkspur at The Lark, Santa Ana at The Frida Cinema, San Diego at Digital Gym Cinema; in Denver, Colorado at SIE Film Center; in Florida: Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood at Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival, in Miami at Tower, in Tampa at Tampa Theater; in Michigan: Detroit at Cinema Lamont, Ann Arbor at Michigan Theater; in St Louis, Missouri at Webster University Film Series; Albuquerque, New Mexico at The Guild Cinema; in Buffalo New York at North Park Theater; in Cleveland, Ohio at Cleveland Cinematheque; and in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania at Cinespeak.
Posted by Elena del Valle on April 27, 2020
Hilary Topper, author, Branding in a Digital World
Photo: HJMT Public Relations
A podcast interview with author Hilary Topper is available in the Podcast Section of Hispanic Marketing and Public Relations, HispanicMPR.com. During the podcast, she discusses her book Branding in a Digital World with Elena del Valle, host of the HispanicMPR.com podcast.
Since 1992 Hilary has been the chief executive officer of HJMT Public Relations. She is also adjunct professor at Hofstra University, where she teaches digital communication, public relations tools, and persuasive presentation for undergraduate and graduate students.
Since 2011 she is the host of a weekly podcast (Hilary Topper On Air) and chief curator of HJMT Media Company, LLC, where she writes for two blogs, NYLifestyleBlog.com and ATriathletesDiary.com. According to her biography her blogs receive more than 50,000 unique visitors a month.
She wrote Branding in a Digital World to offer small business owners information on how to grow their businesses through digital media. Her first book, Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Social Media, but were afraid to ask… was published in 2009.
To listen to the interview, scroll down and click on the play button below or locate the “Podcast” section on the right hand side, then choose “HMPR Hilary Topper” or download the MP3 file to your iPod or MP3 player to listen on the go, in your car or at home from the RSS feed. Some software will not allow flash, which may be necessary for the podcast player. If that is your case, you will need to download the file to play it. To download it, click on the arrow of the recording you wish to copy and save it to disk. The podcast will remain listed in the April 2020 section of the podcast archive.
Click to buy Branding in a Digital World
Posted by Elena del Valle on April 22, 2020
Aline and the Blue Bottle
Photos: Damonza (book cover), Farshad Khoshroo (author photo)
Carolina Ugaz-Moran, a native of Spain raised in South America and the United States with degrees in biochemistry and creative writing from the University of Wisconsin, spent ten months spread over 15 years writing Aline and the Blue Bottle, her first book. The 303-page softcover book published in 2019 includes Spanish and Quechua words, a map at the beginning as well as a page of Spells and a glossary at the end. Her target audience? Children eight to twelve years old and older.
“The cover depicts Aline standing on the House of Haunted Gargoyles facing her future, a magical floating castle with mysterious creatures flying around,” the author said by email when asked about the cover art. “She is at the entrance of a forest, with vines that surround her and behind her are her two loyal and close magical friends carrying the blue bottle. The cover also holds secrets (just like within the book).”
She went on to explain, “The title highlights Aline, her adventure, and her first quest to find the blue bottle and save many worlds. It also shows strength, courage,passion, and empowerment – in this case for a girl, depicting mysteries and magic which Aline and her friends will have to face together.”
Carolina Ugaz-Moran, author, Aline and the Blue Bottle
When asked why she included Quechua she said, “I think the more exposed we are to languages as children, the more neurons we connect and the better we can develop the ability to become multilingual, so why not add Quechua and Spanish! But for me, it is more than learning a new language, it is about understanding a culture and exposing oneself to the abundance fountain of knowledge that each language provides.
Also, a few years ago, I found out that even though several people can speak Quechua (8-10 million people) very few people can actually read and write it due to the lack of printed material in Quechua. There have been efforts from the Peruvian, Ecuadorian, and Bolivian governments to introduce the language as an intercultural bilingual education; however, some indigenous people in each of these countries are having their children study in Spanish for the purpose of social and economical advancement. I thought I tried to help out a little plus I can learn on the way. Fun fact: there are about 45 varieties of Quechua which are all classified as separate languages and in addition, there are several dialects.”
When asked if her biochemistry studies help her or play a role in the project she said, “Yes, as well as my love for science and nature. This can be seen in several places. The chimera twins. They are powerful sylph sisters who have an important role in the book series. A chimera is a single organism that contains two sets of DNA with the code to make two separate organism. Simply put, it is an organism made up of cells from two or more different individuals.
The explanation of magic and how it flows, it somewhat reflects the states of energy as well as the law of conservation of energy. The blue and red stars and how from earth, the cooler stars appear red, and the high temperature stars appear blue. The symbiotic relationship between sharks and remora fish, I am an animal lover and I am looking for ways for people to admire and be kind to even the scariest of animals.”
She is working on the second book in the Aline series. It will be called Aline and the Kron Queen.
Click to buy Aline and the Blue Bottle
Posted by Elena del Valle on April 13, 2020
Krista Jenkins, Ph.D., professor, Politics and Government, Fairleigh Dickinson University
Julie Kalabalik-Hoganson, PharmD, director, Pharmacy Practice, Fairleigh Dickinson University
Photos: Krista Jenkins, Julie Kalabalik-Hoganson
A podcast interview with Krista Jenkins, Ph.D., professor of Politics and Government, and Julie Kalabalik-Hoganson, PharmD, director, Pharmacy Practice, Fairleigh Dickinson University, about pharmacists in COVID-19 front lines is available in the Podcast Section of Hispanic Marketing and Public Relations, HispanicMPR.com.
Julie is associate professor of Pharmacy Practice at Fairleigh Dickinson University School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. She coordinates and teaches several courses in the Doctorate of Pharmacy program. She is a registered pharmacist in New Jersey and is dual board certified in pharmacotherapy and critical care.
Krista is the director of FDU’s survey research center, The FDU Poll. She is the author or co-author of A New Engagement? Political Participation, Civic Life and the Changing American Citizen, Mothers, Daughters, and Political Socialization, and Where Have All the Heroes Gone?
To listen to the interview, scroll down and click on the play button below or locate the “Podcast” section on the right hand side, then choose “HMPR Krista Jenkins, Ph.D., Julie Kalabalik-Hoganson, PharmD” or download the MP3 file to your iPod or MP3 player to listen on the go, in your car or at home from the RSS feed. Some software will not allow flash, which may be necessary for the podcast player. If that is your case, you will need to download the file to play it. To download it, click on the arrow of the recording you wish to copy and save it to disk. The podcast will remain listed in the April 2020 section of the podcast archive.
Posted by Elena del Valle on April 6, 2020
Video: Discovery en Español
Looking for more information on the COVID-19 pandemic in Spanish? At 9 p.m. E/P Wednesday April 8, 2020 Discovery en Español will air COVID-19: Pandemia 2020, a 43-minute special. The original program was in English. The Discovery en Español version will be in Spanish. Scroll down to watch a video clip in Spanish.
The special features suspenseful background music, news clips, domestic and international archive footage and on camera interviews with a handful of individuals from Mercatus Center at George Mason University, University College London, Council on Foreign Relations, The New York Times, and University Wisconsin-Madison.
The special outlines the general way the disease spread throughout China and other countries around the world in months, prompting a widespread quarantine in China, quickly mimicked by other countries.
It explains that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) refused to adopt the COVID-19 test offered by the World Health Organization (W.H.O.), insisting on developing its own. This caused grave delays as the initial tests were faulty. According to one expert interviewed on the program flattening the curve efforts will result in the same number of people being stricken by the virus. It will take longer than without the social isolation measures.
The program was produced by ITN Productions for the Science Channel. The executive producers for ITN Productions are Ian Russell and Sarah Jane Cohen; Nick Powell is the producer. The executive producer for Discovery and Science Channel is Gretchen Eisele. The special will repeat on Sunday, April 12 at 10 p.m. and will also be available in the Discovery en Español Go app.