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HITN seeks to increase representation of young Latino/a creatives by showcasing their stories in online film festival

BROOKLYN, N.Y.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The ¡Tú Cuentas! Cine Youth Fest (¡TÚ22! Film Festival) is now accepting submissions for its second annual festival celebrating the vision of aspiring Latino/a filmmakers. Entries will be accepted via CineYouthFest.org through Sept. 11, 2022. The festival takes place from Oct. 9 to Oct. 16, 2022, closing Hispanic Heritage Month.


Presented by HITN-TV, the ¡TÚ22! Film Festival promotes and advocates for young, emerging Latino/a creatives in front and behind the camera. According to research by the Latino Donor Collaborative, Latinos make up only 5.5 percent of total media representation, even though they encompass almost 20 percent of the population of the U.S.

Through the ¡TÚ22! Film Festival initiative and a series of virtual “Cafecitos” chats leading up to the presentation of this year’s selected shorts, young filmmakers are exposed and connected to Latino/a role models who are breaking down barriers for underrepresented minorities and paving the way for a new generation of Latino/a storytellers. The online festival gives aspiring filmmakers the opportunity to amplify their voices and work towards a more diverse and inclusive film industry.

“We’ve seen an increase in the popularity and visibility of Latino/a stories at a national media level. Latino-focused films like “Coco,” “Rita Moreno: Just a Girl Who Decided to Go for It,” and “In the Heights,” as well as films with a Latino/a protagonist like “Beatriz at Dinner” and the newly released “Hustle” have shown that our stories are both powerful and popular,” said Luis Alejandro Molina, ¡TÚ22! Film Festival Director. “However, Latinos remain grossly underrepresented in the film community. Although Latinos buy 30 percent of all box office tickets, they hold leading roles in less than 5 percent of all films. Our goal with ¡TÚ22! Film Festival is to change that by giving young people a place to share their vision and tell their stories to a wider audience — and repeat our mantra — Representation Matters.”

The ¡TÚ22! Film Festival submissions must feature a Latino/a in a creative lead position in front or behind the camera. Young Latinos/as are invited to submit their work to the festival. English or Spanish-language works of fiction or nonfiction are welcome. Films must be 30 minutes or less in length.

This year’s focus is “Representation.” Filmmakers are asked to submit their work under one of these four themes:

  • Participate: films focusing on involvement and showcasing people who take an active role in improving the world around them.
  • Prosperity: films that define success or underscore the barriers preventing it.
  • Collaboration: films highlighting the power of working together, showing what can be accomplished when people unite and support one another.
  • Wellness: films that explore the importance of self-care – nurturing mind, body, soul, and community to live a fulfilling life.

The ¡TÚ22! Film Festival takes place from Oct. 9 to Oct. 16, 2022. During the film festival, the top entries will be available for viewing on CineYouthFest.org and the HITN GO app. Film festival winners will receive the following cash prizes: $4,000 (Grand Prize), $2,000 (Second Prize), and $1,000 (Third Prize).

In addition, the ¡TÚ22! Film Festival will present a series of virtual conversations featuring well-known, award-winning Latino/a filmmakers, artists, and changemakers. Sharing their stories and experiences is a way to advance the festival’s mission to mentor and prepare aspiring filmmakers to work in the film industry. The full slate of panel speakers and discussion topics is available at CineYouthFest.org.

To submit an entry to the ¡TÚ22! Film Festival visit CineYouthFest.org or Film Freeway (https://filmfreeway.com/tucuentascineyouthfest).

Submission Fees

Submission fees are structured as follows:

  • Early Bird Entry: Free from July 10 to July 30, 2022
  • Standard Entry: $20 submission fee from July 31 to Aug. 20, 2022
  • Late Entry: $25 submission fee from Aug. 21 to Sept. 11, 2022

Special fees apply for student films:

  • Early Bird Entry: Free from July 10 to July 30, 2022
  • Standard Entry: $10 submission fee from July 31 to Aug. 20, 2022
  • Late Entry: $15 submission fee from Aug. 21 to Sept. 11, 2022

Eligibility Criteria

  • Winners will be selected only by judges.
  • Films must be 30 minutes or less in length.
  • All film genres, including documentary, drama, animation, comedy, and narrative, are eligible.
  • Only films completed after Jan. 1, 2019 are eligible for this festival. Visit CineYouthFest.org for a complete list of rules and eligibility criteria.

Awards

The selection of films for the ¡TÚ22! Film Festival will be announced on Oct. 7, 2022 and will be screened on CineYouthFest.org and the HITN GO app from Oct. 9 to Oct. 16, 2022.

An independent jury will evaluate entries based on a variety of factors, including awareness of the subject matter; creativity in the approach of the subject matter; technical aspects such as directing, acting, cinematography, and editing; and inspirational and storytelling impact of the piece. Judges will select three winners from a pool of finalists. Awards are $4000 for the Grand Prize, $2000 for the Second Prize, and $1000 for the Third Prize. Winners will be announced at the end of October on the HITN GO app and the ¡TÚ22! Film Festival website.

The ¡TÚ22! Film Festival is being presented in collaboration with Northeastern Illinois University, Roberto Clemente Community Academy, Philadelphia Latino Film Festival, Centro – Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College, NALIP, Frank Sinatra High School, Manhattan Neighborhood Network, St. Francis College, and the University of Houston.

For information on sponsorship opportunities, contact Luis Alejandro Molina via email at l.amolina@hitn.org.

About HITN

HITN-TV is a leading Spanish-language media company that offers educational and cultural programming for the whole family. It reaches more than 40 million homes in the United States and Puerto Rico through DIRECTV, AT&T U-verse, AT&T TV, DISH Network, Verizon FiOS TV, Comcast Xfinity, Charter Spectrum, Mediacom, CenturyLink, Prism and Altice, Liberty Cable & Claro (Puerto Rico). Download the HITN GO app available on Apple, Android, Apple TV, and Roku® with a subscription. For more information, visit: www.hitn.org and follow @HITNtv on social platforms.

Contacts

Luis Alejandro Molina 646-731-6531 / l.amolina@hitn.org