San Francisco Latino Film Festival: Films from All Sides of the Borders

Happening in no fewer than nine different venues around town, the San Francisco Latino Film Festival showcases the work of both emerging and already established filmmakers from the U.S., Mexico, Spain, and more than a dozen other countries. There are narrative features, documentaries, and short subjects, all shown in their original language with English subtitles as appropriate (and the occasional English-language film with Spanish subtitles). A must-see in the documentary category is Miguel Picker and Chyng Sun's Latinos Beyond Reel, which looks at the negative, often downright cringe-worthy ways that the mainstream media represents Latinos — or doesn't represent the people at all, in spite of the fact that one-sixth of America's adult population, and one-fourth of American children, are Latino. Kico Velarde's high-concept short film The Shooting Star Salesman tells of a door-to-door salesman who can help people find their own wish-granting shooting star, so long as they have faith — a faith he's struggling to regain. And of special note in the narrative category Iris Almaraz and Gustavo Ramos' feature film Delusions of Grandeur, about a young woman who moves to San Francisco to find her long-lost mother (and maybe herself, too), which also offers one of the few positive portrayals of transgender women to be found in any film in any festival.

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