OLA’s Latino Film Fest Expands Reach

A mix of big-budget films and “several you would probably never hear of or get to see.”
“Coco” will be one of several programs for young and old viewers at four venues during this weekend’s OLA Latino Film Festival.

Organizacion Latino-Americana of Eastern Long Island will present its 15th annual Latino Film Festival from tomorrow through Sunday at four East End venues. “Even though this is OLA’s busiest year yet in terms of everything else we’re dealing with,” said Minerva Perez, OLA’s executive director, “we’ve got four venues in three days. It’s insane.”

Insane or not, this year’s festival, like previous ones, is a mix of big-budget films and “several you would probably never hear of or get to see.” The fourth program, the Brazilian film “Before I Forget” (“Antes que Eu Me Esqueca”), was a last-minute addition. It came through Withoutabox, an online film festival submission service. The film excited Ms. Perez and the other members of the screening committee. 

“I told the filmmaker I didn’t have a venue,” she said, “but I liked the film so much I was determined to find one. We approached Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor, and they really helped make this happen.”

Directed by Tiago Arakilian, “Before I Forget,” which will be shown Sunday at 6 p.m., is a story about adult children reconciling with their 80-year-old father, a retired judge who, perhaps suffering the onset of dementia, decides to open a strip club. Tickets are $10, $20 for preferred seating.

The festival will kick off tomorrow at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill with “A Fantastic Woman” (“Una Mujer Fantastica”), a Chilean drama directed by Sebastian Lelio that won the 2018 Academy Award for best foreign language film. It stars Daniela Vega as Marina, a transgender woman who works as a waitress and nightclub singer. She is distraught over the death of her older lover, whose family treats her sexual identity as a perversion.

“We have a strong connection to Chile through Isabel Sepulveda-de Scanlon, president of our board, but because the film is on Netflix and can be seen anywhere, we didn’t want to show it without an extra level of understanding about the film.” To that end, the film’s producer, Juan de Dios Larrain, agreed join the Parrish audience via Skype for a question-and-answer session after the screening. Tickets are $12, free for members.

“Pablo’s Word” (“La Palabra de Pablo”), which will be shown Saturday at 7 at Guild Hall, came to the festival by word of mouth. “We learned about this film from El Salvador from a Salvadoran woman who is now a professional interpreter for the courts in Riverhead. She put us in touch with the filmmakers and they were excited to be showing it with us.”

Directed by Arturo Menendez and loosely based on Shakespeare’s “Othello,” “Pablo’s Word” tells the story of a broken contemporary Salvadoran upper-middle-class family struggling with jealousy and revenge. Mr. Menendez and the actor Carlos Aylagas, who plays the title character, will be present for a post-screening discussion. Tickets are $10, $20 for preferred seating.

The festival will also include “Coco,” the multiple award-winning computer-animated Disney fantasy film about a 12-year-old boy named Miguel who is accidentally transported to the Land of the Dead. There he seeks the help of his deceased great-great-grandfather to return him to his family. Directed by Lee Unkrich and Adrian Molina, the film was inspired by the Day of the Dead, a Mexican holiday, and premiered at the Morelia International Film Festival in Mexico. The free screening will take place Sunday afternoon at 2:30 at the Greenport High School auditorium.