FUERZAfest Opens with a Special Screening of Academy Award-Winning Film Una Mujer Fantástica / A Fantastic Woman
May 9, 2018 (New York, NY) - Highlighting the theme ART on the FRONTLINE, the FUERZAfest NY will for the third year bring together LGBTQ communities, straight allies, Latino artists, and local leaders to celebrate the richness of Latinx LGBTQ cultures. FUERZAfest runs from May 8th to 20th at Julia de Burgos Performance & Arts Center (1680 Lexington Avenue, bet. 105 & 106 Streets) and includes theater, dance, film, art, panel discussions, book presentations and networking events.
FUERZAfest officially opens on Wednesday, May 9th with the art exhibit “In the name of…”, curated by Richard Morales, in which queer artists from New York, Latin America, and the Caribbean use their art to provoke thought, encourage self-expression, and catalyze social transformation. A special dance performance by Walter Perez and Leonardo Sardella, the duo behind dance company Malevaje, accompanies the opening reception.
At 7:30pm, FUERZAfest continues with the screening of the Chilean film A Fantastic Woman (Una mujer fantástica), which was recently awarded Best Foreign Language Film by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The movie tells the story of Marina, a transgender woman who works as a waitress and moonlights as a nightclub singer, and her experiences following the death of her older boyfriend.
“The role of LQBTQ creative expression cannot be over-stated. The contributions of Latinx LGBTQ persons allow all of us to claim our voices and heal. They create an opportunity not only for profound and lasting understanding but also for fully embracing the humanity of every member of our community. The FuerzaFest honors the Latinx LGBTQ talent and the richness it brings to all,” said Mario Colon, FUERZAfest Director.
The main highlight of the Festival is a one-act play theater showcase in which eight independent theater groups will compete for the FUERZA Awards. This year, Puerto Rico’s presence is strong, with two companies traveling from the island and two composed of Puerto Rican refugees. These productions promise to ignite a conversation about art post-Hurricane Maria, as other participating groups deal with universal issues such as race, gender, and civil rights and their effects on and within the LGBTQ+ community. The Festival closes on Sunday, May 20th with the FUERZA Award Ceremony recognizing the brilliance and talent of queer and Latinx artists.
In 2016, the Hispanic Federation launched FUERZAfest, the first LGBTQ+ Latino Arts Festival in the Northeast, which celebrates a vibrant community and addresses the critical issues LGBTQ Latinos face. Since then, events have taken place in New York City, Connecticut and Orlando to create a space for dialogue and awareness of the systemic barriers and threats faced by the Latinx communities.
“Our hope is that by bringing these issues to light we spark a necessary conversation about what our communities value, who we are, and how we need to stand with one another to fight injustice,” adds Frankie Miranda, Hispanic Federation’s Vice President.