News Coverage

12 October 2023

PUBLIC NEWS SERVICE: Virtual National Film Festival Highlights Hispanic Heritage Month

Category: News Coverage

A film festival created to help close the gap in storytelling for people of color is offering free, virtual showings as part of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Through Friday, the Hispanic Access Foundation is hosting the third annual "Our Heritage, Our Planet Film Week" to honor the storytelling traditions of Latino, Black, Indigenous and other people of color.

A Conservation Program Associate with the Foundations, Brenda Gallegos, said the festival allows BIPOC communities to contribute their unique perspective on the world around us.

"To share their stories, share their experiences, hear their voices and even hear the traditions," said Gallegos, "the culture and heritage coming directly from the communities of color."

Gallegos said too often BIPOC voices are left out or deemed not as valuable on the topics of climate and environmental justice, when in fact those communities are the most affected.

The free, virtual films also include performances and discussions with filmmakers, decision-makers, and community members on a variety of conservation topics. More information is available at ''

She said the films chosen this year boost the nexus between diverse communities and the lands, nature, waterways and oceans.

For the third festival, Gallegos said five mini-grants were awarded to BIPOC filmmakers. She said that's helping break down barriers that often prevent talented filmmakers of color from having their work seen by a larger audience.

"So, there might be language barriers that don't allow for all of that information to get there - cost barriers as well," said Gallegos, "which is why we provide this free to everyone so everybody has the access to it."

The festival has billed today "Environmental Justice Day" - with films and conversations that explore connections between pollutants and health and how it relates to justice, while tomorrow is "Climate Crisis Day" with an exploration of ocean conservation.

Written by Roz Brown for Public News Service. 

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