Organizers wanted to connect with supports as they reschedule the festival for later this year.
Heartbreaking - that’s the only way Moises Esparza could describe how he felt when he learned the 27th annual San Diego Latino Film Festival would have to be cancelled on the exact day it was set to launch earlier this month.
Like many businesses and events, it all has to do with staying safe during the coronavirus outbreak.
As the exhibition’s manager, Esparza was part of a dedicated team of volunteers who spent the past year organizing the highly involved and anticipated event.
“The reality kind of set in for the staff and we felt deflated and we felt very sorry. We weren’t able to screen these wonderful projects that were sent in by Latino filmmakers all over the world," he said.
No longer in the eye of the storm, organizers are regrouping and planning ahead for the festival to return later this year. In the meantime, with most of the county shut down, they’re also using technology to continue to expose supporters to the art of film making.
On Friday afternoon, that meant throwing a Netflix party for the Netflix documentary, "A 3-Minute Hug," directed by Everardo Gonzalez.
“We’re trying to think of creative ways of engaging with fans of the festival from the comfort of their own homes,” said Esparza.
Starting a viewing party is pretty simple. You download an internet add on through Google Chrome, and then create a link and share it. People just have to click the link to join the party and can even chat.
“You’re able to simultaneously watch Netflix and connect at same time with friends and family,” Esparza said.
Esparza believes it’s a way to bring that humane connection back into what can seem like a crazy time in the world right now.
“This is just kind of a first step to reconnecting," he said.
Those associated with the event are also holding virtual screenings of movies people would have had to go to a theater to see.
If you’d still like to support the arts and the non-profit Media Arts Center, click here.
You can purchase a virtual ticket for each film and watch from computer or smart TV.