Private Project

El Canto del Colibrí (The Song of the Hummingbird)

Much like the seldom-heard song of the hummingbird, the voices of Latino fathers are rarely heard addressing LGBTQ issues. But in Marco Castro-Bojorquez’s El Canto del Colibrí, made in participation with Somos Familia and BAYCAT, these voices are amplified in a groundbreaking documentary—the first of its kind.

Through raw, heartfelt testimonies, El Canto del Colibrí delves deeply into issues of immigration, prejudice, and isolation, while thoughtfully asking questions of these men’s communities, culture, and even their religious beliefs. The result is a powerful lesson on solidarity and humility in a film that both heals and inspires, ultimately building bridges of hope and solidarity among Latino fathers, their families, and community activists.
In Spanish, with English subtitles

  • Marco Castro-Bojorquez
  • Marco Castro-Bojorquez
  • Jose Alfaro
  • Katie Cruz
  • Liz Salinas
  • Marco Castro-Bojorquez
  • Santiago Vasquez and his son Santi Vasquez
    Key Cast
  • Salvador Lopez and his son Joaquin Lopez
    Key Cast
  • Javier Bandera and his daughter Zizi Bandera
    Key Cast
  • Alberto Salamanca and his son Cris or Cristina Salamanca
    Key Cast
  • Juan Manuel Domenzain and his daugther Cyntia Domenzain
    Key Cast
  • Ricardo Hernandez and his son Jorge Hernandez
    Key Cast
  • P. Cesar Salinas and his younger brother Victor (their father was deported and Cesar took on the role of a father)
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    52 minutes 51 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 15, 2015
  • Production Budget:
    32,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
    1.85 USA
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Official Selection Frameline 39 San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival, San Francisco, CA
    San Francisco
    United States
    June 21, 2015
    World Premiere
  • Selección Oficial LesGaiCineMad, the Madrid International LGBT Film Festival, Madrid, Spain
    November 12, 2015
    European Premiere
  • Official Selection The International Film Festival LGBT El Lugar Sin Límites in Quito, Ecuador
    November 11, 2015
    Latinoamerican Premiere
  • Official SelectionCan [be] Gay: 3º Festival Internacional de Cine LGBTIQ de Canarias, Spain
    March 16, 2016
    Grand Jury Prize
  • Official Selection CinHomo 17ª Muestra Internacional de Cine LGBT, Valladolid , Spain
    April 7, 2016
    Best Documentary Premio del Público or Audience Choice Award
  • The White House, Champions of Change Program
    United States
    November 22, 2015
    The White House honored Marco as a Champions of Change for the use of art to advocate for the LGBT community.
Distribution Information
  • Frameline Distribution
    Country: United States
    Rights: Internet, Video on Demand, Ship, Theatrical, Video / Disc
Director Biography - Marco Castro-Bojorquez

Marco Castro-Bojorquez is an activist-filmmaker who advocates for the civil and human rights of LGBT people and people living with HIV/Aids as a community educator for Lambda Legal, a member of the U.S. People Living with HIV Caucus, and a lead organizer with the coalition of Californians for HIV Criminalization Reform. He is also a senior advisor for Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, MAVEN and Somos Familia, organizations that work with queer youth and their families in the United States. This past year and in response to the success of his latest documentary El Canto del Colibrí (The Hummingbird’s Song) that explores family acceptance and immigration, he co-founded a pilot project in Sinaloa, Mexico named Proyecto Corazón Abierto (project open heart) that supports family and LGBT acceptance in the region.

Marco affirms that while Latinas (os) are disproportionately affected by HIV/AIDS at alarming rates, they are underrepresented in the HIV/AIDS field. He is working at facilitating the formation of Venas Abiertas (open veins): A Network of Latinx Immigrant People Living with HIV in the U.S. with the hope to fight isolation and create powerful solidarity. Follow us @DelColibr @Bojorquez @HIVenasAbiertas
in the picture with Kafka, mi negrito hermoso que se nos fue este Feb, 2016

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Director's Statement
“El colibrí lleva de aquí para allá los pensamientos de los hombres”
This film is important to me because of the lack of family acceptance in most marginalized communities and the lack of resources that families of color have, to understand their children’s journey as they come out of the closet or they transition, right there –two completely different experiences that most of the time are lump together.
But my film is not about coming out or transitioning, it is rather an exploration lead by Latino immigrant man into the many intersections that they experience during their life, like: race, gender identity, sexuality, class, spirituality, and the diasporas among others. It is about their lives, their struggles; as most of them come from working class families from their country of origin and all what they are in the search of, it is opportunities. This men and their children engage in a meaningful and at times painful dialogue as they describe the challenging years they had as new immigrants, and some of them reaffirm the desire to let go of those “chains that keep me tied to the ground”.
As I said, there is a scarcity of culturally relevant LGBT media tools for our Latino community. I wanted to create a film that reflects the strength and the resiliency of the Latino immigrant fathers, their families and their communities. I was so fortunate, so lucky to have met amazing people that without much difficulty, they opened their hearts and we certainly are able to also perceive their sophisticated and very simple approach at parenting. All centered in the love that parent and child have for one another. But a type of love without limits, conditions, or tolerance. They say that what they feel for their children is absolute and it has made them all, a better person.
A big lesson for me is their ability to transform and how they break a cycle that would probably ended in pain, despair, or at least an unbalance between their responsibilities as parents and values. And so, the film aims to dismantle that racist premise that Latino men are homophobic by nature and to show that unconditional love and social responsibility are possible in families and communities.
The stories in the film, show that the resiliency of our LGBTQ children, youth and young adults, it is stronger than any cultural biases and labels, or boxes we are placed at the moment we are born or when we arrive to this county. The people in my film show that, when there is intentional work/efforts in the relationship between a father and a child, Latino immigrant men are capable of being transformed and celebrate their queer children.
I hope El Canto del Colibrí, provides hope and with time a stronger voice to fathers that struggle with these complex issues and their children. I hope that professionals that work with immigrant and/or queer folks, consider to include family acceptance into their programs, that they stop looking at their client’s parents as enemies and include them into a process that is centered in culture rather than the clinicalization of ourselves, of our lives...clinicalization of prejudice Most cases of young people that are having issues with their parents because their actual or perceived gender identity or sexual orientation do not need a doctor, they need their parents and their families and they need time and space and support from all of us, because at least in most of the Latino communities, families stick together, for better or for worse so…let’s make it better!

I will finish this reflection with a few thoughts of wonderful people that have taken a closer look to this modest but relevant documentary and I thought to share their thoughts…thank you!
El Canto del Colibrí empowers its subjects, both the fathers and their children, with a simple, conventional approach to documentary filmmaking. Nevertheless, it magnifies voices often not heard in the LGBTIQA+ community. In the process, the documentary permits some of the challenging and complex issues around queer Latin American family members, to be addressed and reflected on. For this, and for its respectful, intelligent and engaging tone, it’s well worth the watch.
— Lidiya Josifova

Through raw, heartfelt testimonies, these families delve deeply into issues of immigration, prejudice, and isolation, while thoughtfully asking questions of their communities, culture, and even their religious beliefs. The result is a powerful lesson on acceptance, solidarity, and humility, in a film that heals and inspires.

— Julia Barbosa

“It is often the mothers who support their children first. A film discussing the journey of acceptance of Latino fathers for their LGBTQ children is critical to encourage Latino fathers to begin these important conversations.”

— Magdy Angel-Hurtado, Somos Familia