Some great news for fans of Latino-focused films, the city of Coachella will be sponsoring two film festivals this October. The council made the decision in June to award city sponsorship to the Official Latino Film and Arts Festival as well as to Cinema Culturas – 2018 Coachella Valley Film Festival in the Fields. Both film festivals will put artists and subjects in the Latino community on display in the Inland Empire and hopefully attract lots of attention. Mayor Steve Hernandez stated,

It’s a bold move, it’s going to put Coachella on the map, and I think we’re definitely in a position to support it. I think it’s good. It’s a start. We haven’t had a festival here in the city of Coachella for a long time.

The Official Latino Film and Arts Festival was started in New York City by photographer and filmmaker Danny Hastings, who anticipates attracting a lot of West Coast filmmakers into the festivities. Filmmakers can submit their short films through the online platform FilmFreeway. The filmmakers will also have the chance to win up to $2000 in cash to support future work. The festival is scheduled to take place October 11-14. The city will provide $20,000 in funds for this festival as part of the sponsorship agreement.

The second film festival, Cinema Culturas, which takes place October 25-27, will be focused around the experiences of migrant workers in the Coachella Valley. There will be a special focus on three topics at this film festival: education, health, and immigration. Cinema Culturas is a nonprofit with roots in Riverside County that has been organizing the yearly Cinema Culturas Film Fest Inland Empire in Moreno Valley since 2014. According to the organization’s founder, Dr. Cony Martinez, all films screened at the festival will be in Spanish with English subtitles so that all members of the community will be included. The city will provide $13,000 in funds for this festival on the condition that a portion of the funds would be spent to provide transportation for Coachella residents to attend the Palm Desert portion of this event.

Hopefully everything goes well during the two festivals and they continue in the city of Coachella for many years to come.

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