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(Watsonville Film Festival )
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Virtual Watsonville Film Festival is up and running

Take a break from commercial movie platforms, and enjoy a week of independent Latinx films at the 9th Annual Watsonville Film Festival, March 5-13 at watsonvillefilmfest.org. Our community based-film festival will present a selection of 20 award-winning and local films, plus several special events, all for free! Instructions on how to watch are below.

The Watsonville Film Festival invites you to enjoy a selection of 20 award-winning and local films, plus several special events created to dive deeper into some of the films and themes we are presenting this year, such as women filmmakers, Afro-Mexican culture, LGBTQ and indigenous voices.

Films go live Friday at 6pm!

Register now by following these steps in this order:

1) Click the link: https://2021virtualwff.eventive.org/films

2) Choose a film, click Select a Showing

3) Create your account

4) Watch chosen films between March 5-13

Don’t forget to hit the Special Events tab so you don’t miss out on our great activities.

We believe stories matter and film is a potent medium that helps us see the beauty and complexity of the world.

You can read about the films, view trailers and pre-order movies on our brand new Virtual Cinema. Watch movies starting 6pm today until Sunday March 13 at 11pm. We are proud to present this powerful program. Films are mostly in Spanish with English subtitles. And be sure to check out our Special Events section. We’ve partnered with several community groups to present a fun and dynamic bilingual program during the week of the Festival.

In these times of uncertainty and social isolation we hope our program will inspire people, and promote connection and empathy. Enjoy the movies!

El Sembrador / The Sower

Watsonville Film Festival

Directed by Melissa Elizondo

This award-winning documentary film that follows Bartolomé, a teacher in a multi-grade school in the mountains of Chiapas, Mexico, knows well that pedagogy is not based on textbooks and cannot fit within the walls of a classroom. A true sower of knowledge, Bartolomé becomes a beacon of hope in his community as his students experience a humanistic model of education based on curiosity and love for the outside world.

Watonville Film Festival  poster
(Watsonville Film Festival )

A beautiful and endearing documentary that offers hope for the future. In Spanish with English subtitles. Director Melissa Elizondo will participate in a Virtual Q&A Friday March 12 at 7pm. Co-sponsored by Santa Cruz Community Credit Union.

Fandango at the Wall

Watsonville Film Festival

Directed by Varda Bar-Kar / Produced by Carlos Santana & Quincy Jones

Bringing the United States and Mexico together through music, this documentary film follows multi Grammy Award winners Arturo O’Farrill and Kabir Sehgal, as they prepare to record a live album at the U.S.-Mexico border wall.

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(Watsonville Film Festival )

The project is inspired by the annual Fandango Fronterizo Festival, which unites people on both sides of the Tijuana-San Diego border. This festival features son jarocho, a 300-year-old folk music tradition of Veracruz, Mexico, where this musical mixture of indigenous, Spanish, and African traditions originated. In Spanish and English with subtitles. Q&A with filmmakers and protagonists on March 13, followed by a son jarocho fandango concert with local band Sangre Antigua. Co-presented with Kuumbwa Jazz Center.

El Guardián de la Memoria / The Guardian of Memory

Watsonville Film Festival

Directed by Marcela Arteaga

The Guardian of Memory tells the story of Mexican men, women, and children living under extreme circumstances, while highlighting the work of Carlos Spector, an immigration lawyer in El Paso who fights to obtain political asylum for Mexicans fleeing violence. With visual poetry, director Marcela Arteaga tells this story about the kindness and hope that still exists in people who endured tremendous suffering, and Carlos Spector’s tireless efforts to help them. In Spanish with English subtitles. Co-sponsored by Santa Cruz Jewish Film Festival. Community Partner: Voices of Monterey Bay.

el gaurdian
(Watsonville Film Festival)

AWARDS: 2020 Ariel (Mexican Academy Award) Winner, Best Feature Length Documentary

World Premiere – Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival

Winner Best Documentary – DocsMX, Mexico

Winner Best Documentary – Morelia International Film Festival, Mexico

Jamaica y Tamarindo: Afro Tradition in the Heart of Mexico

Watsonville Film Festival

Directed by Ebony Bailey

The jamaica flower and tamarind are iconic ingredients in the cuisine of Mexico, but their history comes from a place much further away. In this documentary short, we meet five people to explore African heritage in Mexico City, an identity that goes beyond the color of one’s skin. Presented as part of Our African Roots program co-hosted with Estrellas de Esperanza Children’s Folkloric Dance Group and Cabrillo College EOPS.

Watonville Film Festival  poster
(Watsonville Film Festival )

Juan de las Brujas

Watsonville Film Festival

Directed by Andrew Houchens

A love letter to Mexico as seen through the memory of Juan Medellín, one of the founding members of the prestigious Ballet Folklórico de Amalia Hernández. Composed of music, dance, architecture, history, and animation, this film is a portrait of a life richly lived and a testament to the power and force of art. In Spanish with English subtitles. Co-sponsored by My Mexico Tours.

Watonville Film Festival  poster
(Watsonville Film Festival )

Here are ways you can help us:

  • Email your friends today! The great thing about the virtual world is that your friends and family can tune in from anywhere, forward them the steps above!
  • Share our program on social media!
  • Donate or become an Amigo del Festival: https://watsonvillefilmfest.org/amigos

About Watsonville Film Festival

We are a non-profit arts organization founded in 2012 by Watsonville-based filmmakers and educators. WFF showcases primarily Latinx stories and uses film as a catalyst to educate, entertain and inspire audiences; to spark powerful conversations and to promote positive impact. See our year-round program at watsonvillefilmfest.org.

Support the Watsonville Film Festival
  • Virtual Tip Jar
    The Watsonville Film Festival is a 501(c)(3) private non-profit, your tip supports filmmakers, as well as our ongoing work curating films, conversations & events!

2021 WFF is made possible with generous support from:

California Arts Council

Community Foundation Santa Cruz County

Arts Council Santa Cruz County

Santa Cruz Community Credit Union

Ainsley-Hicks Family Foundation

Rebecca & Bud Colligan

Ow Family Properties


Katz-Lapides Family Fund

Amigos del Festival

Amy Newell

Attorney Alberto Garcia

Councilmember Rebecca Garcia

Santa Cruz Jewish Film Festival

EPF Media

My Mexico Tours

Exclusive Media Sponsor

Lookout Santa Cruz

Community Partners

Digital NEST

Kuumbwa Jazz Center

Cabrillo College EOPS

Estrellas de Esperanza

Voices of Monterey Bay

Snazzy Productions