5 must-see films from this year’s Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival

Carlos Aguilar

The LA Times

May 31, 2023

With a balanced compendium of narratives by and about Latinos in the United States, as well as acclaimed titles produced in Latin America over the last year, the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF) returns to the TCL Chinese Theatres in Hollywood, May 31-June 4.

Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Nicaragua and Venezuela are among the nations represented in this year’s edition. Programs focused on episodic television, animation, short films, musical acts and industry panels complement the extensive lineup.

The festivities kick off with Eva Longoria’s directorial debut “Flamin’ Hot,” ahead of the film’s Hulu debut on June 9. The biopic on the now-embattled success story of Frito Lay janitor turned businessman Richard Montañez (played by Jesse Garcia) aims to transmit a life-affirming message.

Former “Saturday Night Live” writer, and creator of the HBO series “Los Espookys,” Julio Torres will close the festival with his first foray into feature filmmaking, “Problemista.” An imaginative look at the elusive promise of the American dream, the comedy stars Torres himself alongside British actor Tilda Swinton.

Here are five feature film recommendations that include a landmark entry from Central America and an unusual animated title.

Scroll to Top