San Diego Latin Film Festival expands cultural offering through artists and artisans

After a two-year hiatus, the San Diego Latin Film Festival opened last week in a new location in Mission Valley with expanded programming that goes beyond movies.

While there are still plenty of great films to see, this year’s festival also features artists painting new work at the event, music, and craft offerings, all of which celebrate San Diego’s Latino culture. .

Jacob Aere

A saleswoman sits behind a foldable table with her handmade jewelry on display, March 11, 2022.

A San Diegan whose work is featured at the event is the mixed media artist Pako Pablos, originally from Guadalajara, Mexico. He notably uses augmented reality in his paintings and merchandise.

“They are icons. That’s why I represented them this way. Frida Khalo, an iconic painter and Guillermo del Toro, an iconic director,” said Pablos. “So they’re proudly Mexican, so my exhibit was about Mexican icons. So that’s why I put them there.


Jacob Aere

Melody De Los Cobos admires her own art exhibit at the San Diego Latin Film Festival, March 11, 2022.

Melody Of Los Cobos, Loving the heights of the city artistic director and Latin art gallery assistant curator of this year’s festival, said she was delighted to see the Latin Film Festival expanding into other aspects of arts and culture.

RELATED: San Diego Latin Film Festival Returns In-Person Starting Thursday

“In previous years, we had maybe two six-foot tables allowed for visual arts,” De Los Cobos said. “And this year…we have a whole storefront and parts of the courtyard and even more space than that.”

She added that they will place collaborative public art banners and wooden booths from the event in City Heights after the festival ends.


Jacob Aere

Sean Fairley paints on a community banner at the San Diego Latin Film Festival, March 11, 2022.

Within the Arte Latino gallery that De Los Cobos helped organize, there are vendors such as Pina Santiago de Tierrasanta selling their wares. Originally from Oaxaca, she offered shoes and jewelry from her region.

“Well, it’s really an opportunity for people to come and meet us,” she said in Spanish. “We all have different products.”

It’s a chance for people to get to know the vendors and their cultures.

RELATED: San Diego Latin Film Festival Celebrates Diversity Through Latin Cinema

“In this case, I distribute the authentic products of Oaxaca,” Santiago said. “And by buying authentic products, people can learn a little more about Oaxaca through me.”


Jacob Aere

Pina Santiago holds up one of her favorite pairs of heels that she sells, March 11, 2022.

The 29th San Diego Latin Film Festival runs through March 20 at AMC Mission Valley 20 featuring daily live music with a food and drink festival on Saturday, March 19.

For more information, visit

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