Melonie Diaz in Fruitvale Station.
Nate von Zumwalt
Hispanic Heritage Month officially kicked off September 15, marking the anniversary of independence for five Latin American countries—Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua. To boot, Mexico declared its independence on September 16 and Chile on September 18, making the month the de facto host for celebration among Hispanic cultures.
Independent film, for all its diversity of voices, still has the capacity to grow leaps and bounds in the context of Hispanic filmmakers. Below, two emerging actresses offer commentary on the seminal works of Hispanic filmmakers whose films have played at the Sundance Film Festival and who continue to carve a path for Hispanic voices in cinema. Also, check out the Sundance Film Festival GoWatchIt channel featuring the best Hispanic films from the past 30 years of the Festival.
“I’ve always been a fan of Alfonso Cuaron. I was taken by his distinct style of storytelling when I first saw Great Expectations. There’s something really honest and sensual about everything he does. Y Tu Mama Tambien was even more special because he chose to shoot it in his native language, Spanish. I fell in love with his characters and his portrayal of Mexico.”
“This movie has a very special place in my heart. I’m still dear friends with all of the cast and crew. As I get older it feels more and more like a time capsule. That’s exactly who we were, just Latino kids growing up in the Lower East Side.”
“It was so enlightening to see how the specificity of a story like Real Women Have Curves could resonate with men and women, young and old, from all kinds of cultural backgrounds.”