CALL FOR ENTRIES! SUBMISSIONS FOR THE 25TH LONDON LATIN AMERICAN FILM FESTIVAL (13TH – 22ND NOVEMBER 2015) ARE NOW OPEN. IF YOU HAVE A FILM TO PARTICIPATE, PLEASE GO TO SUBMISSIONS AND DOWNLOAD THE ENTRY FORM.
For a quarter of a century now, the London Latin American Film Festival has blazed forth as a beacon of the arts and is the most important London showcase for Latin American Cinema, in all its vibrant variety.
This rich tradition has ensured that the London Latin American Film Festival continues to represent the authentic voice of the continent and diaspora.
A LATIN LOVE AFFAIR!
The London Latin American Film Festival has been a labour of love, over the past 24 years, for Festival Director Eva Tarr-Kirkhope. Her Cuban roots and love of Latin Culture are intrinsic to LLAFF: without her passion, dedication and vision many films and filmmakers would not have gained the recognition they enjoy today.
Eva completed her education amidst the energy and optimism of the still young Cuban Revolution. She developed a strong love for the arts and went on to train as a Graphic Designer, graduating in The History of Art at Havana University. Eva could see around her, the power education gave a previously disadvantaged underclass. She soon found herself exploring other areas of artistic expression, producing some controversial underground work, including films.
Cinema provided Eva with a medium that had mass appeal, and which could explore the world from a distincly Cuban perspective. Filmmakers such as Thomas Piard and Sara Gomez were creating new models of cinema. Eva’s artistic circle thrived on this atmosphere of change and Eva played a central role, writing, acting and modelling for a variety of daring projects.
Her journey to where she is today has not been an easy one. She found her Cuban education and cultural background undervalued, when she reached British shores, but this did little to dampen her enthusiasm for the arts. She worked for The Women’s Film and Television Video Network and was inspired to create a platform for Latin American culture and heritage.
She met Tony Kirkhope, whom she went on to marry. Together they set up and ran The Metro Cinema in the heart of the West End. Her drive to create a showcase for Latin American Filmmakers persisted and a chance conversation with Tony led to the birth of The London Latin American Film festival in 1990.
Success and critical acclaim came quickly and soon it had become an umissable fixture in London’s cultural calendar. After Tony’s untimely death in 1997, Eva struggled to conceive how she could continue the Festival without him: yet she found the strength to continue and those around her rallied to help out and support her.
Each year since, the Festival has grown in the scope of the cinema it presents and this is due to the unwavering vision of Eva and her relentless belief in championing new cinema from Latin America. The Festival is entirely not-for-profit and Eva has continued for the last 20 years, through 2 recessions and the loss of her beloved husband, to promote the Festival with the same vision and spirit she set out with in 1990.
In the last few years, the Festival had become more relevant than ever, providing the launch pad for many films and filmmakers who have gone on to enjoy great commercial success. Eva has always believed the Festival is not only a platform for the hugely diverse Latin American Diaspora, but should also act to expose the powerful cinematic experience of Latin Cinema to a wider audience.
Eva consistently seeks to challenge simplistic received perceptions of Latin America and this is the key to her success: she never underestimates her audience.
Over the years the festival has been a key element in securing commercial distribution in the UK for many Latin American filmmakers. To name just a few:
DREAMING NICARAGUA by Marcelo Bukin
VIVA MEXICO by Nicolas Defosse
MY KIDNAPPER by Mark Henderson & Kate Horne
KUKULI by Luis Figueroa
STRAWBERRY LIPS by Jorge Zima
LADY FROM THE SHANGHAI CINEMA by Guilherme de Almeida Prado
SECRET WEDDING by Alejandro Agresti
FELICITAS by Teresa Costantini
MAN FACING SOUTHEAST by Eliseo Subiela
LOLA by Maria Novaro
THE BELLE OF THE ALHAMBRA by Enrique Pineda Barnet
HOMEWORK by Jaime Humberto Hermosillo
AMOR EN TRANSITO by Lucas Blanco
GOODBYE CRUEL WORLD by Jack Zagha Kababie
THE VOYAGE by Fernando (Pino) Solanas
A MAP FOR LOVE by Constanza Fernandez
SOLO CON TU PAREJA by Alfonso Cuaron
In 2002 the Festival introduced an exciting new competitive element: The London Latin American Film Festival Audience Award.
Eva’s intimate knowledge of Latin American Cinema, the strength of her heart and the purity of her soul have made The London Latin American Film Festival the vibrant and utterly unique cultural tour de force it is today: indeed, without her there would be no LLAFF.
In this, the 24th year, Eva’s Latin Love Affair continues, more passionate and unquenchable than ever before!