The Grand Rapids Latin American Film Festival (GRLAFF) celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. The 2020 Festival, originally scheduled for the first weekend in April, was postponed in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Thankfully, the GRLAFF will still be able to celebrate the Festival’s anniversary virtually, showing nine feature-length films and a series of short films, as well as offer audiences the chance to participate in live discussion panels and Q&A with guest directors.
The online GRLAFF 2020 will take over the screens during one month, from September 15 to October 15, 2020, which coincides with National Hispanic Heritage Month. While the COVID-19 pandemic prevents the organizing committee from offering an in-person experience in 2020, the Festival slogan, “Cinema Without Borders,” is more relevant than ever. Now, many of us are turning to online tools to reach across the physical boundaries that are needed to keep us safe at this time.
GRLAFF 2020 will open with The Unafraid, a 2018 documentary that follows the lives of three DACA recipients in Georgia, a state where they are banned from attending the top five public universities and from receiving in-state tuition at any public college. After the online debut, we will host a virtual panel discussion with education researchers and Latinx students.
Audiences will also enjoy eight feature-length films from Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru, and four short films from Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, and Mexico that will be shown together as a series. Each film has a debut date and will be available until the end of the festival on October 15th. If you can't make it to the debut, don't worry! You will be able to stream the film at your own convenience. Just be sure to click on the Vimeo link and the password provided for each film.
Even though international travel is not possible this year, GRLAFF will still be able to celebrate its milestone anniversary by welcoming several special guests to its online Festival: directors Melina León from Peru, Maura Delpero from Argentina, Rubén Mendoza from Colombia, and Bettina Perut and Ivan Osvonikoff from Chile. Audience members will have a chance to participate in virtual live Q&A sessions with the directors and ask them questions following the online debut of their respective films in the festival. As mentioned before, we will post exclusive links here on the website and on our social media accounts to view the films and to participate in the Q&A sessions.
As always, the festival is free. We hope you enjoy this year’s film selection and that you participate in the live sessions with the guest directors. Don’t forget to follow us on social media @grlaff and share your experiences during the festival using #GRLAFF2020.
Thank you for your support during these 10 years!