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Latin Alt sits down with LALIFF artistic director Diana Cadavaid

Latin Alt HD3 got a chance to check-in with Diana Cadavid, the artistic director of the Los Angeles Latin International Film Festival (LALIFF) in the midst of the festival. The 23rd edition of this storied festival co-founded by Edward James Olmos was held at the iconic TCL Chinese Theatres in the heart of Hollywood. We caught-up with her on day two in-between an industry panel and a red carpet event.

Latin Alt: How's the festival going for you?
Diana Cadavid: So far, so good. It's very exciting. Very busy.

Latin Alt: What has your day been like?

Diana Cadavid: This morning started with an industry forum event — we had two 'cafecitos' — intimate conversations — one was Making Your First Feature with director Anthony Nardolillo. The other was Meet The Animation Recruiters, on how to look for jobs in the animation industry and a portfolio review. Lots of people from the industry mingling and talking to emerging artists.

Latin Alt: What else has been going on?

Diana Cadavid: This year we have two master classes. 3 days long. 3 hours long.

Latin Alt: Awesome!

Diana Cadavid: Yes, those are super fun! We had 500 people joining the Visual Storytelling Masterclass. Mostly for directors, cinematographers, and for production designers. Our other course Navigating Film Distribution had 300 people join. We think these are very fun because people who are not in LA or can't afford to come to LA can participate.

Latin Alt: And what's next?

Diana: It's about to be happy hour, a mingling time. It's a space where filmmakers get to talk among themselves, then I prepare everybody to go into the films of the day.

Latin Alt: What movies are on for tonight?

Diana Cadavid: It's the world premiere of Say A Little Prayer, a romantic comedy by local filmmaker Patrick Perez Vidauri. We also have Igualada. It premiered at Sundance and is a top doc of the year. It's about Francia Márquez, a Black Colombian activist who recently became Colombia's first female vice president. Latin Alt: Super cool. What else are you excited about during the festival?

Diana Cadavid: Lots of Brazilian films that have this incredible rebellious punk energy. Some powerful animated shorts. Tomorrow we're screening Las Amazonas de Yaxunah, an episodic produced by ESPN and narrated by Academy Award nominee Yalitza Aparicio. It's an inspiring documentary about a Mayan women's softball team.

Latin Alt: Seems like everything is nonstop. How are you feeling?

Diana Cadavid: Yeah that's the energy. I've been working in film festivals for a long time. I'm a programmer for TIFF — in Toronto. It's an eleven day festival. I'm kind of used to the craziness. My role here is big. I love the energy of the festival and everything that happens here. We have an incredible team of people. I'm very proud of the program.

Latin Alt: Very exciting.

Diana Cadavid: These days are emotional because we can absolutely see the power of film — the power of reunion — the power of these types of spaces and how conducive they are for making more art and film to come.

Latin Alt: What else have you noticed this year?

Diana Cadavid: I just started working at this fest in 2020. I've seen growth among US Latin filmmakers — in terms of making better films, better episodics, being more connected with the industry. So it is always very rewarding when you have a job and you do things — when you can see — when it;s so palpable. The success of this and how it triggers good things for other people — not just the success for the festival but for everyone who's around and it nurtures.

Latin Alt: Amazing. Thank you for taking the time to chat with us.

Diana Cadavid: Thank you!