Film

Mexican-American Film and Television Festival Announces Inaugural Edition, Accepting Submissions

The inaugural festival will premiere May 14-15, 2022. Deadline for submissions is January 15, 2022.

LOS ANGELES, CA — (LatinxNewswire) — A new film & TV festival highlighting Mexican-American/Chicano filmmakers is now accepting submissions for its inaugural edition to take place May 14-15, 2022. The Mexican-American Film and Television Festival aims to promote positive and accurate portrayals of people of Mexican descent on both the small and big screens and foster new generations of filmmakers from the largest Latino group in the United States.

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Organized by the Mexican-American Cultural Education Foundation, the festival will feature eight competition categories: Best TV Show, Best Short Film, Best Screenplay for Film, Best Screenplay for a TV Show, Best Film, Best Performance by an Actor, Best Performance by an Actress and Best Director. MACEF’s mission is to change the negative narrative of Americans of Mexican descent by highlighting their stories and their positive contribution to the U.S.

“For over 100 years, Hollywood has ignored the presence and contribution of Mexican-Americans and mainly represented them as maids, gardeners, and gangsters,” says Jose Luiz Ruiz, MACEF president, and founder. “This will not change unless we make it change. We at MACEF encourage our Mexican and Mexican-American filmmakers to submit their projects to the inaugural edition of our festival, the first of its kind in the nation”.

All fest entries must be the applicants’ original works and judged by noted industry professionals on the quality of the stories, production value, and submission guidelines. Works with stories that are culturally positive and non-stereotypical will have priority.

MAFTF applicants can be of any background, but the production team must include at least one producer, writer, director, or lead actor who identifies as Mexican-American or Chicano of any generation or mixed ethnicity. Also, entrants will be responsible for obtaining all rights to third-party materials included in their submitted works, including trademarks, copyrights, and music. Furthermore, a digital link to the film or TV pilot is required.

The deadline for entries is January 15, 2022.

MAFTF hopes to impact the TV and film industries in a period of extraordinary growth and relevance for the past few decades called a “new golden era of television,” which has only been strengthened by streaming platforms in recent years. “Welcome to the New Golden Era of Mexican-American Chicano television and film,” declares Ruiz.

MAFTF will acknowledge Hollywood’s past luminaries, such as Anthony Quinn, Ricardo Montalban, Lupe Velez, and Pedro Armendáriz. But Dr. Ruiz declared, “This festival exists to recognize the Mexican-American/Chicano filmmakers of today who are changing the narrative.”

According to a study by the Latino Donor Collaborative, Latinos buy 23% of all English-language movie tickets. MAFTF sees the need to increase the presence of this filmgoing audience on-screen — minus the stereotypes Hollywood has perpetuated for over a century.

As the largest group of the U.S. Latino sector, Mexican-Americans have the power to make or break a film or TV show in release, as they are one of the largest filmgoing audiences.

Already in place for the inaugural edition of MAFTF will be a Retrospective Screening which will highlight two independent films that have elevated the image of U.S. Latinos. The film Luminarias (1999), written by Evelina Fernandez and directed by Jose Luis Valenzuela, is a story of four professional women who meet at an East Los Angeles restaurant to share secrets about career, love, family, and sex. Walkout produced by Moctezuma Esparza, directed by Edward James Olmos and written by Marcus de LeonErnie Contreras, Timothy J. Sexton, and Victor Villasenor will also have a screening.

“There are 40 million Americans of Mexican descent, approximately 70 percent of the Latino demographic, a key group to the success of any film premiere,” says Ruiz. “Our festival will address a need for the increase in representation on the screen, as well as a change on how we are represented,” concluded Dr. Ruiz. “It will build community and provide support to the filmmakers coming from this creative, hard-working community.”

About Mexican-American Film and Television Festival

For more information, visit mexicanamericancef.org/film-television-festival.

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