HBO Latino’s “Habla Now,” Featuring Diane Guerrero, to Kick-Off the New York Latino Film Festival’s First-Ever Drive-In Showings

Diane Guerrero’s hitting the festival circuit…

The New York Latino Film Festival (NYLFF) has announced the lineup for the fest’s forthcoming hybrid edition, with HBO Latino’s Habla Now, featuring the 34-year-old Colombian American actress and author, as the Opening Night drive-in feature.

Diane Guerrero

The documentary special, the 15th installment of HBO Latino’s award-winning “Habla” series, features testimonials from US Latinos – celebrities, recognized professionals, and everyday Latinos – who share honest stories about being Latino in the U.S.

In addition to Guerrero, the storytellers include Arturo Castro, Nely Galan, Amara La Negra, Cristina Jimenez, Ozzie Areu, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, Edgardo Miranda Rodriguez, Mark Hugo Lopez, Mariana Atencio, Laurie Hernandez, Justina Machado, Diane Guerrero, Carmen Carrera, José Andrés and many more.

In addition, Angel Manuel Soto’s Charm City Kings will have its New York premiere at the fest.

Produced by Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith and James Lassiter, with a story by Oscar winner Barry Jenkins, Charm City Kings marks the feature directorial debut follows the journey of 14-year-old Mouse who desperately wants to join the Midnight Clique, an infamous group of Baltimore dirt-bike riders who rule the summertime streets.

John Leguizamo’s Critical Thinkingwill also make its New York premiere. The film tells the true story of five Latinx and Black teenagers from Miami Jackson Senior High School who fight their way into the National Chess Championship under the guidance of their unconventional but inspirational teacher.

This year’s virtual NYLFF will take place from September 14-20.

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, festivals around the world have either canceled or pivoted to an entirely virtual program. NYLFF is one of the Latinx-based fests that continued with plans for the annual fest with the appropriate changes.

The 21st edition will be a combination of virtual events and in-person screenings that celebrate Latinx creators.

The fest will also host the first Latino drive-in experience to take place both in New York and in The Bronx.

This year’s festival features nearly 75 films representing more than 10 countries, spanning all genres including features, shorts, documentaries, web series and experimental films.

“Inspired by the resilience of the Latino community, NYLFF is proud to return with a fresh format featuring our first-ever drive-in experiences,” said Calixto Chinchilla, founder of NYLFF. “We are proud to serve as an important platform for Latino creatives to share culturally relevant stories about intersectionality, diversity, and lived experiences in this country. Gracias to our sponsors for continuing to support our community of content creators and movie-goers. While there’s much learned this year, one thing we can all agree, the culture continues!”

Click here the complete lineup for this year’s NYLFF.

Fusion Picks Up Atencio-Anchored Series “Unreported World”

Mariana Atencio is going unreported in the United States…

Fusion is bringing Unreported World, featuring the Venezuelan journalist, to the U.S.

Mariana Atencio

The youth-targeted cable net has picked up a 10-episode season of the series in which young journalists span the globe to report on stories that most media outlets ignore. The series bows November 11 with back-to-back hourlong episodes.

Unreported World will be anchored by Atencio, as well as Fusion’s Dan Lieberman and Kimberly Brooks, with reporting by Ade Adepitan, Nelufar Hedayat, Kiki King, Ramita Navai, Mary-Ann Ochota and Seyi Rhodes.

Fusion’s Chief Programming Officer Wade Beckett said Unreported World is “a prime example of programming that informs by taking the audience on a journey and providing distinct perspectives on stories that often go untold.”

Fusion acquired the series, which airs on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom, from Passion Distribution.

Here are synopses for the 10 episodes and their premiere dates:

The City That Beat Isis (November 11) | Kiki King reports from Kobani, the town in Northern Syria which was under siege by ISIS from September 2014 until January 2015. Having been smuggled into the devastated city, King met the Syrian Kurdish women on the front line and the refugees who fled there from the surrounding area and witnessed the last week of the battle against ISIS as the Kurdish fighters liberated their city.

Pakistan Vaccination Wars (November 11) | Meet the female health workers who are risking their lives on a daily basis, defying death threats from the Taliban, in order to immunise Pakistan’s children against polio. Nelufar Hedayat travels with the extraordinary outreach workers as they attempt to stamp out this entirely preventable disease.

Kids of Murder High (November 18) | San Pedro Sula in Honduras has the highest murder rate in the world. The state education system is in crisis, with schools shut down and children threatened with death if they refuse to join one of the city’s two warring gangs. In the middle of this trauma stands Hector, the head teacher of the school Walking for Peace. Pushing back against the gangs, he is fighting to provide a basic education and stop children risking life and the law by crossing the border into the U.S. Hector built the school himself with funding from Catholic churches in America. “Our school is a miracle of God,” he says, but it’s not. It’s a testament to those willing to strive for an education no matter the cost.” Ade Adepitan reports.

Sex, Mobs & Revolution (November 25) | Ramita Navai travels to Egypt to investigate the shocking increase in sexual assaults and harassment of women, revealing the horrific reality that young men are being paid to carry out horrendous mob attacks on women. It is claimed that this started under the Mubarak regime and it is suspected by some to still continue. Women have been at the forefront of the Egyptian revolution, but are now often fearful of taking part in the regular public demonstrations.

Generation Football (December 2) | Ade Adepitan travels to Paris and Cameroon to meet the boys whose dream of playing soccer are exploited by unscrupulous agents. Families make huge financial sacrifices to pay agents for training and to buy airline tickets for boys to try out at big European clubs, only for the deal to wind up a sham. And some young men end up homeless in Europe. Ade investigates the way a whole generation of gifted young players from arguably Africa’s most soccer-mad nation are being affected, meeting young hopefuls, a fake agent, and destitute boys.

Vietnam’s Dog Snatchers (December 9) | Imagine if your pet dog was stolen and sold for food. That’s what’s happening in Vietnam, where criminals have entered the lucrative dog meat trade. Reporter Nelufar Hedayat investigates, and uncovers evidence of unimaginable animal cruelty.

Kickboxing Kids (December 16) | Reporter Mary-Ann Ochota and Director Daniel Bogado explore the brutal sport of Muay Thai boxing where kids as young as 7 take to the ring to fight for fame, fortune and a shot at the big time. Fighting is big business with huge sums of money being bet but fighting can having a lasting impact on the kids.

The World’s Dirtiest River (December 23) |  Millions of Indonesians rely on the Citarum River for drinking water, but Reporter Seyi Rhodes and Director Hugo Ward discover the river’s full of astounding amounts of garbage and polluted with dangerous industrial chemicals.

15 and Learning to Speak (December 30) | Imagine living without being able to communicate with anyone around you. Well, that’s the reality for many deaf people in the developing world who have never been taught sign language. Kiki King is in rural Uganda to meet some of the country’s most isolated children and the people helping them find their voice for the first time.

Jamaica’s Underground Gays (January 6) | Reporter Ade Adepitan and Director Andrew Carter travel to Kingston to meet a group of gay and transgender Jamaicans who’ve been swept out of society and have ended up living in a storm drain – just because of their sexuality.