First “La Placita” Film Festival Brings 5C and Local Latinx Communities Together

A sign for the 'La Placita' Community Film Festival.

The Scripps College Department of Spanish, Latin American, and Caribbean Literatures and Cultures will co-sponsor the first “La Placita” Community Film Festival with Uncommon Good. The first installment of the festival, which will take place on October 26 and 27 in Pomona and Claremont, will provide a space for cultural exchange between the Latinx communities of The Claremont Colleges and the City of Pomona. The festival will offer screenings of independent films and filmmaking workshops to generate discussion around themes relevant to the Latinx community and to contribute to a sense of solidarity across gender, generations, and other markers of identity. All festival events are free and open to the public; reservations can be made here.

“The Latinx community has a rich cultural tradition in Claremont and Pomona, while also continually incorporating new generations of people migrating from Latin America,” said Assistant Professor of Spanish, Latin American, and Caribbean Literatures and Cultures Martin Vega, who is helping organize the festival. “For first generation families especially, the cultural adjustment affects parents and children differently and often creates barriers between them. The La Placita film series and workshops respond to this situation by creating a space that values the experiences of older and younger generations of the local Latinx community.”

The festival’s opening night will feature Heidy Bacá, a documentary film producer, director, and member of the Maya-Ixil community from Iximulew, Guatemala, whose most recent production was the feature film La Llorona. Bacá will present Spanish-language short films created by her film collective, Cine en la Calle, followed by a discussion session with the audience and a live performance by folk dance company, Xanath. The screenings and discussion will start at 5:30 p.m. at St. Paul Episcopal Church in Pomona.

Bacá will return for the second day of the festival to lead a documentary filmmaking workshop at Balch Auditorium on the Scripps College campus. The workshop will start at 10 a.m.

“We want young people to take something that many of them already do—taking video, taking photos, writing on social media—and create their own stories, stories that have at least as much value as what they see in Hollywood,” said Vega. “Even if temporarily, we’ll make the 5Cs a space for the Latinx community, at the 5Cs and around Claremont and Pomona, to come together. We think this also sends a message to our Latinx students that they can make the 5Cs their own.”