Help Eva’s 26th LLAFF Festival

Twenty-six years ago, Eva Tarr-Kirkhope and her late husband Tony Kirkhope founded the London Latin American Film Festival. At that time, the independent Latin American cinema was unknown in the London scene. However, aware of the importance of others cinemas, they gave voice to Latin American filmmakers. By doing so, they opened a window to others worlds, others cultures and to another way of making films. They became pioneers and a reference within the Londoners as most of the more famous Latin American films were first shown at the Festival. By doing so, they opened a path that has been followed by others.

After her husband had passed away, Eva continued the aim of promoting the Latin American Cinema in London. All the screenings are free and Eva pays every penny needed for the Festival. However, every year the costs are getting higher and Eva is struggling to afford everything.

We have to help her with the spread of Latin American culture in London. The encounter with other cultures is a way of embracing integration and plants a seed for an equal society.

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The London Latin American Film Festival has been a labour of love, over the past 25 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:


VIVA MEXICO by Nicolas Defosse

MY KIDNAPPER by Mark Henderson & Kate Horne

KUKULI by Luis Figueroa


LADY FROM THE SHANGHAI CINEMA by Guilherme de Almeida Prado

SECRET WEDDING by Alejandro Agresti

FELICITAS by Teresa Costantini


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 26th year, Eva’s Latin Love Affair continues, more passionate and unquenchable than ever before!