UNITAS CENTER of Lowell, MA invites you to submit your short films as we set out on our second exciting production of "El Encuentro: The Latino Film Experience."

El Encuentro: The Latino Film Experience will be held on October 4th - 5th 2024, celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. We request short films of 3 mins to 15 mins in length. This festival will take place in person at The Richard and Nancy Donahue Theater at Middlesex Community College located in downtown Lowell, MA. Last year went beyond all expectations, with 266 submissions of terrific short films highlighting Hispanic filmmakers. Award money was recently sent out in the categories of Audience Choice, Best Film, Best editing, Best Cinematography, Best Animated Feature, and Best Documentary feature, chosen by our judges. For more information, go to our website at http://www.Unitascenter.org

"Art is the Handmaid of Human Good" is written on the seal of our city, Lowell, MA; the home of Jack Kerouac, Bette Davis, and James O'Neil Whistler. We have received generous funding from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, as well as support from local Merrimack Valley businesses.

Located just 45 minutes from Boston, MA on the banks of the Merrimack River, Lowell is a Mill City that has come alive with artistic zeal, and boasts one of the most diverse populations in all of Massachusetts. It is with great pride that we set out ion our second, and even bigger and better festival to highlight the achievements of Latino filmmakers, an underrepresented pool of talent that deserves to be seen and heard.

*All films in Spanish or Portuguese should be subtitled.

Congratulations to our 2023 winners!!
Best Film $200: Broken Wings. Maria Laura Marin, Daniel Stearns
Best Documentary: $200: Roman Diaz: Como El Aqua. Onel Mulet
Best Animated Film: $200: Dulce. Aleyda Ortiz
Best Cinematography: $150: Belonging. Lucia Ortega Toledo, Daniel Califf-Glick

Congratulations to our 2022 Winners!

Best Film $200 "Dreamer" Vergi Rodrguez
Best Documentary film $200. "Water, Land Air, Fire Kimberly Hernandez
Best Animated Film. $200 ""Crying En La Lavanderia". Clara Siliezar
Best Editing $150. "Sounds At Night" Aaron Garcia
Best Cinematography $150. "Helado: Ice Cream". Gabriel Duran
Audience Choice Award $200. "Silver Waters". Domenicca Isabella Botero

Film director, animator, or screenwriter must be Latino.
We are accepting films from Latino filmmakers from the USA (and Puerto Rico) only!
No age limit, BUT children under the age of 18 must have consent from a parent or guardian.
Films must be sent before August 23, 2024.
Any films that violate copyright law will be disqualified
Films must be family friendly or PG or PG 13 in range
Submitters/ Filmmakers will be solely responsible for any copyright infringement on their submitted films
Films in Spanish or Portuguese must be sub titled.

By submitting content to "El Encuentro: The Latino Film Experience," you understand and agree that you are giving us a royalty free, irrevocable, non-exclusive and sublicensable license to use, reproduce, publish, distribute, perform, display, and creative derivative works from any submission in whole or in part, in any form (including for promotional or marketing purposes.) You agree not to disparage, defame, otherwise seek to damage anyone or invade anyone's rights through any submitted content. El Encuentro: The Latino Film Experience reserves the right to update or modify any part of this festival at any time without prior notice.

Overall Rating
  • Hello. I need to contact someone from the Festival soon. I wrote several times through the ElEncuentroFest.com form and also to the email unitasoflowell@gmail.com, but we have not received a response.

    Is there a site or social media where the official list of 2023 winners can be seen?

    Thanks! :)


    April 2024.

    Hello again. We have been waiting for the payment of the first prize for 100 days and they have not given us a date or an objective response. The wait is already becoming very long.

    Please, as a distribution company we need to respond to the client/directors of the short film.

    December 2023
    Response from festival:

    Please reach out to Michelle Rivera at michellerivera77@gmail.com and thanks for your interest. The Film Freeway website is being updated.

  • Sienna Serrano

    Lovely festival with a great mission of showcasing Latino films/art to their community! Thanks again for including my film, "A Bear-Able Life" in this year's program! :)

    October 2023
    Response from festival:

    Thanks, Sienna! Your film was very well received!

  • Elvia Susana Rubalcava

    I had a great time at the El Encuentro Film Festival last year. Everyone was welcoming and the film selection was excellent. I loved all the people I met and the overall organization of the festival.

    August 2023
    Response from festival:

    Elvia, it was our pleasure to have you and your wonderful film. So glad that you had the opportunity to hang with us and see our wonderful City!

  • Aaron Garcia

    Great festival to be a part of. Though I was unable to attend. Festival director always kept in touch with me and gave me status on the festival. Worth the submission

    October 2022
    Response from festival:

    Aaron, your film was a huge hit! So cool to see my old acting buddy Sean at work, too! Please submit next year. Submissions begin on Jan 2nd.

  • Gabriel Duran

    Great festival! I love what they represent and how they approach the Latino Image! We need more festivals like this! Please keep pushing and making this festival grow!

    October 2022
    Response from festival:

    Gabriel!! I have an award check for you. Can you please send me your postal mailing address ? Great film! LOVED it so much!