Currently in its 14th year, the Latino & Native American Film Festival (LANAFF) at SCSU stands as a testament to our dedication to the recruitment and retention of Latino and Native American students and faculty. Our mission is to foster their aspirations in furthering their education and careers at the university level.

Our unique festival not only showcases feature films, documentaries, shorts, and animations that celebrate Latino and Native American cultures, but also integrates other artistic manifestations from or about these communities. The agenda is rich, inclusive of film screenings, insightful panel discussions, interactive Q & A sessions, and invaluable networking events.

With prevailing negative stereotypes that impact Latinos and Native Americans, LANAFF seeks to be a beacon of positive representation. It's a platform for both communities and the general populace to engage with uplifting role models and acknowledge the breadth of their contributions. Over the years, LANAFF has enriched the Greater New Haven's diverse communities by spotlighting the brilliant works of contemporary filmmakers, especially those that are often overshadowed in the United States.

This year, the film festival carries the theme:

"¿Quiénes Somos? Nuestra Interseccionalidad / Who Are We?: Our Intersectionality."

The theme spotlights the diverse racial tapestry that encompasses Afro-Latino, Indigenous, European heritage, and every combination therein. It prompts a reflection on our journey as communities and individuals, captured in the sentiment: "How We Were is not How We Are, and How We Are is not How We Will Be." The theme challenges societal views and our self-perceptions, underscoring that our identity goes beyond any single label or stereotype.

The Latino identity encompasses an extraordinary diversity of cultures, beliefs, and experiences. We are a mosaic of faiths: Jewish, Christian, Buddhist, Muslim, Spiritualist, and practitioners of Santería. Our racial heritage is equally varied, encompassing Indigenous roots, African lineage, European descent, and every imaginable mix in between. Our nationalities stretch across the Americas, from Argentines to Puerto Ricans, Dominicans to Colombians, Venezuelans to Mexicans, and beyond — a complex patchwork of subcultures, each with its own unique identity.

We are a people who defy simple categorization: some of us are deeply connected to our national heritage, while others have woven themselves into the broader tapestry of life as nationalists, assimilated individuals, or "hyphenated-Americans." We inhabit every corner of the social landscape, from urban centers to rural expanses, from academic halls to agricultural fields. Our ranks include braceros and scientists, educators and laborers, intellectuals and those who have struggled with addiction. We are at once visible and invisible, often deemed "culturally indigestible" by the mainstream.

Among us are individuals who have risen to prominent positions, such as Supreme Court Justices and U.S. Secretaries of Education, exemplifying the heights we can achieve. We are referred to by a plethora of terms: Hispanics, Hispanos, Latinos, LatinX, Latinas, Latines, and Latin American citizens, to name but a few.

It is easy to presume understanding of who we are, but the truth is layered and complex. Even within our own community, we are continually exploring the depths of our identities and the potential of what we can become. Our story is one of continual self-discovery, and it is far from over.

A parallel narrative exists for Native Americans. In the United States, there are 567 recognized Native American nations, while Latin America is home to over 800 such nations. Collectively, we number around 45 million individuals. Yet, despite our significant presence, our perspectives are frequently overlooked. In nations like Bolivia, Guatemala, Paraguay, and Mexico, indigenous populations constitute more than half of the total populace. Research funded by the National Science Foundation revealed that 61% of Puerto Ricans, 33% of Cubans, and 30% of Dominicans carry indigenous DNA. Additionally, Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Chile, Venezuela, Argentina, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama have large or significant indigenous populations, either in terms of absolute numbers or as a percentage of the total population. Historically, indigenous communities have been trailblazers in diverse domains — from astronomy to architecture. They devised the most precise calendar known to humanity and laid foundational concepts that inspired democratic principles, notably those that shaped the United States. Given current global circumstances, the world urgently requires the indigenous values of profound affinity with nature, spiritual depth, and community unity."

In summary, both the Latino and Native American communities are vast tapestries of identities, contributions, and narratives. Through LANAFF, we aim to highlight, celebrate, and further these rich stories.

Best Feature Film
Best Short Film
Best Feature Film – Documentary
Best Short Film – Documentary
Best Native American Film
Best Latino Film
Best Animation / Experimental Film
Best Trailer
Young Filmmaker Award (Age 21 And Under)
New Filmmaker Award
Audience Festival Favorite Award
Official Selections

1. Films submitted to the Latino and Native American Film Festival (LANAFF) need to be online streaming videos via FilmFreeway, a password-protected streaming URL, a Blu-ray disc, or DVD with NTSC or PAL formatting (make sure you test everything before submitting). If submitting an online streaming video, please prepare your link before submitting your entry form. Links must remain active and accessible through May 1, 2021.
2. English language films or videos must have Spanish subtitles. Non-English language films need to have English subtitles. If your film is in both English and Spanish, English portions require Spanish subtitles, and Spanish portions require English subtitles. Dialogue lists will be refused.
3. Films must be free from gratuitous nudity and or violence. LANAFF retains the right to refuse any film which does not respect this rule, and the film will not be considered for inclusion in the Festival.
4. Films need to be uploaded to FilmFreeway upon submission. Include a still photo, a tag line (30 words or less), and a personal bio (100 words or less). If we select your film, we will use these items to recognize you in our program.
5. It is your responsibility to obtain and include permission for copyrighted materials at the time you submit your film, … including, but not limited to: music, additional film materials, photos, posters, etc.
6. If we select your film for inclusion in our Film Festival, we will request your permission to download it in order to uploaded it to our Festival server. If such permission is not provided, your film will not be included in the festival.
7. Laurels will be sent out within 5 weeks of the awards presentations. You will be contacted via email.
8. By entering your film in LANAFF, you agree to the above rules & regulations.

Overall Rating
Quality
Value
Communication
Hospitality
Networking
  • Edino Ferreyra

    This festival was an amazing experience for me! They're doing a fantastic job promoting new content, especially with their special focus on Latino content. It's truly wonderful to see such vibrant representation and creativity!

    May 2024
  • Miguel Leonardo

    I love the experience and touch of the festival.
    Thank you

    May 2024
  • Muy buena comunicación, muy profesional y todo de diez, gracias por la selección de 'A rose behind the mask'.

    April 2024
  • Alexandra Trujillo

    Good festival, I hope they can manage in a better way the networking among all the participants with zoom foros and talks.

    May 2024
  • Ramsses Ali Quesada

    It went great. Hope to participate in the next event. Regards.

    April 2024