La Luz Hosts Latino Films For Sonoma Film Festival


La Luz’s booker hall became “Booker-Wood,” in mid April, as the big screen, popcorn and film enthusiasts filled Booker Hall for the Vamos al Cine program of the Sonoma international film festival.

Saturday started with the 'Colombian Contingent,' director of animated film 'Gordo calvo y bajito/ Fat Short and Bald'.  Carlos Osuna was greeted by Ligia Booker, founder of La Luz, with her signature delicious 'empanadas' that took Carlos right back to Bogota.

Bichir_LaLuz_Staff3Then on to Argentina, with the award-winning "Mia" about discrimination and isolation (some in the audience really identifiied with this) by the transgender community in Buenos Aires. The screening was followed by a lively Q&A with director Javier Van de Couter, who came from Buenos Aires.

Venezuela followed with its submission to the Oscars as best foreign film 'Rock, Paper, Scissors' a thriller about how the children's game of the film's title changed a family forever amid the violence in the streets of Caracas. 

To close the night, a fun comedy about soccer from Spain and Argentina-- "Fuera de juego/ In Offside".

On Sunday by 1:00 pm  expectations were  high—moms and kids lined up with cameras waiting for one of their own who is making it big in Hollywood: Demian Bichir, Oscar nominated last year for best actor in ‘a better life’ and now the star of a TV series on ShowTime.

Bichir_LaLuz1Oscar had received the festival’s spotlight award the night before.  He introduced his brother’s film ‘Hecho en china/Made in China’.

Right at 1:30 the black Rolls Royce pulled in and Demian came out with his beautiful blonde girlfriend Stephanie. Families and women who knew him well from his many film and TV roles in Mexico wanted their photos with him, and he was very obliging!

The staff of La Luz welcomed him. He presented his brother’s film saying also “it’s so important to have this opportunity to see films that otherwise would not be shown. I applaud those who support this effort and hope you enjoy an afternoon of great films!”

Celebrity presence continued with the protagonist of ‘Acorazado,’ award-winning Silverio Palacios, who came from Mexico city to talk about how comedy is so important in film.  This was an unlikely one, about immigration. A very surprised child in the audience couldn’t believe that the guy who was drawing in the film was also standing right by him! And there was “The Zebra” with lessons on Mexican history about two guys wanting to join the revolutionary forces and traveling in a zebra they found at a circus, which they called ‘a gringo horse’!

To cap the evening off with beauty, a documentary about the behind-the-scenes of beauty pageants… lots of gorgeous little girls who dream to be miss universe.

Bichir_LaLuz2For a weekend, patrons of the festival, and visitors from as far as Chicago enjoyed films and filmmakers side by side with farmworkers and Latino families. It was truly integration through the cultural entertainment of film @ La Luz!

Claudia mendoza-carruth

Program Director/ Vamos al Cine, President of the Board/ La Luz Center


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17560 Greger Street

Sonoma, CA 95476


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Fri 9am-4pm