Explore New Cinematic Cultures at the Latin American Film Festival

  Every year, the AFI Silver Theater & Cultural Center hosts the Latin American Film Festival. In its 34th year, the festival will feature 44 films from over 20 Latin countries with the added participation of Spain and Portugal. Feature films playing at the festival include talents of American actor Ethan Hawke and Chilean-American actor Pedro Pascal. Stick around after select movies for a Q&A with the filmmaker and/or reception.

When is the festival?

September 21, 2023- October 11, 2023

Where is it?

The AFI Silver Theater & Cultural Center

8633 Colesville Road, Silver Sprint, MD 20910

How many films are included?

44 films are included from over 22 countries.

As the cold weather stops people from going to day parties and brunches, it doesn’t stop people from exploring films and culture at the Latin American Film Festival at the AFI Silver Theater & Cultural Center.

The state-of-the-art cinema created by Montgomery County residents gives visitors an insight into the dedicated artists, actors, and filmmakers of the world. There are two stadium theaters that can show films in 16mm to 50mm as well as HD Digital Cinema Video Projection. And seating in the theater isn’t an issue, there’s space for a minimum of 75 guests and up to 400 guests.

AFI Silver Theater commemorates Ibero-American culture with the Latin American Film Festival happening alongside Hispanic Heritage Month.

The opening movie for the festival is TOTEM. Directed by Lila Aviles, she tells the story of a seven-year-old Sol who watches her family set up a surprise birthday party for her terminally ill father. Her only wish is, “for daddy not to die.” The approximate running time is 95 minutes. After the film, stay for a Q&A session with actor Mateo Garcia Elizondo who plays the father. Following the Q&A is a reception sponsored by the Mexican Cultural Institute in DC.

RADICAL is a special presentation movie at AFI Silver. The film won the Festival Favorite Award at the Sundance Film Festival. It’s about the violent Mexican border town of Matamoros and life in the dangerous town. Students from Jose Urbina Lopez Elementary School face hardships with their education in the drug-ridden town. One teacher Sergio Juarez wants to be the change and help his students figure out who they want to be without fear. Directed by filmmaker Christopher Zalla shows the inspirational drama of this true story.

The closing movie of the festival is PICTURES WITH GHOSTS. Created as a personal essay by Brazilian filmmaker Kleber Mendonca Fildo, he tells the story of dwindling cinemas in his hometown of Recife. His film creates a love letter to film, his family, and the power of cinema.

Make it a getaway weekend! Stay at the Courtyard by Marriott Silver Spring Downtown Hotel or the DoubleTree by Hilton Silver Spring. Grab a bite to eat at Miss Toya’s Creole House, La Malinche Spanish and Mexican Tapas, or McGinty’s Public House. Shop till you drop at Ellsworth Place or the shops at Downtown Silver Spring.

Interested in more? Find out what films are playing in DC Theater Week. Get An Insider’s Guide to Poolesville Day and celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at these places in Montgomery County, Maryland.