Latino themes, performers highlighted in film festival now playing in Hollywood

ByGeorge Pennacchio OTRC logo
Monday, June 19, 2023
Eva Longoria film 'Flamin' Hot' opens at LA Latino film festival
Eva Longoria is debuting her film "Flamin' Hot" at the LA Latino International Film Festival now showing at the Chinese Theatre.

HOLLYWOOD, LOS ANGELES -- Director Eva Longoria helped kick off this year's Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival.

Her new film, "Flamin' Hot," opened the festival, which has come to be known as "the home for Latino storytelling."

"We're making this movie about our people with our people. Like, it's happening!" said Longoria.

"Flamin' Hot" was inspired by the story of a janitor at Frito-Lay who helped, in some way, make Flamin' Hot Cheetos a success story.

"This movie's a feel-good movie. It's an inspirational movie and it's a universal theme. It's about the underdog," said Longoria.

"I think this is one of those special movies where everything you want you're going to get," said Jesse Garcia.

"I mean, this is everything I've ever wanted," said Bobby Soto. "To be walking on the Chinese Theatre on the red carpet, I mean, this is great."

On June 9, "Flamin' Hot" will be the first film to debut simultaneously on Hulu and on Disney+. For co-star Fabian Alomar, it means everything for what comes next.

"I made it home from Pelican Bay on time. I ended up being on the film. It changed my whole life, man. It changed my whole direction and everything about it, you know?" said Alomar. "That point on, I just knew that I had a future and I'll never go back to jail again."

This festival showcases art created by the Latino community: films, youth projects, animation, master classes and more.

"This film is really about celebrating the cultural dynamic of the Latino. In an industry that uses only around 4% of the images you see on film and television (with) Latinos in them. And you're over 22% of the population, you know?" said Edward James Olmos, actor and founder of the Latino Film Institute.

"We have about 75 films going on right now that are 19 different Latino countries represented in this film festival. Half of them are directed by women," said Sergio Monserrate, executive director of LALIFF.

The Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival runs through Sunday, June 4 at the TCL Chinese 6 in Hollywood.