Latin-Canadian Short Films

Recent works by Latin-Canadian filmmakers screening before features.

Anything, Always

Dir. Isabella Dagnino
Vancouver/Metis/Mapuche, 2023 | 2 min

In this piece, Isabella uses experimental filmmaking as a form of storytelling and way of exploring memory, grief, and longing for home and kin. “Anything, Always is a letter to my ancestors both living and past on. What it feels like to move through loss and what it means to find healing.”

Screens before Coyote

Isabella Dagnino received their Bachelor in Fine Arts from the University of the Fraser Valley and is currently a Master in Fine Arts candidate at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Their art practice is rooted primarily in analog medium and large format photography. As someone with Latinx, Indigenous, and settler ancestry, much of their work examines the experiences shaped by their cultural background and their relationship to place and community.


Dir. Arlen Aguayo Stewart
Toronto/Venezuela, 2023 | 8 min
English and Spanish with English subtitles

Gustavo Bruin, AKA Chicho, is a tightly wound bundle of enthusiasm, perfectionism, and gay panic. A mundane pimple on the day of his university grad photos hurls him down a chaotic spiral of hallucinations that triggers an identity crisis.

Starring Augusto Bitter, CHICHO is a surreal, experimental short film that depicts the impact of the Venezuelan crisis on its diaspora, where displacement, survivor’s guilt, and religious surveillance collide.

Screens before All the Flowers

Arlen Aguayo Stewart is based in Toronto and Montreal, speaks five languages, and has an eclectic background in film, theatre, business, and dance. Her starring role in ROADS IN FEBRUARY won her a VFCC Best Actress Award, the film also won Best First Feature at TIFF and TIFF TOP TEN in 2019. Her directing debut, DATE NIGHT, co-created with the incredible Margarita Valderrama has won the TSIFF short film challenge, and an award of commendation at Canada Shorts, as well as being in their official selection along with the Philadelphia Latino Film Festival, New York Latino Film Festival, and the Breakthrough Film Festival 2021. Arlen is currently in post-production for a short film called BDE by Jasmin Medew, and a music video by Juno-nominated artist Storry.

Chiles Rellenos

Dir. Natalia Urquiza García
Vancouver, 2023 | 7 min
English and Spanish with English subtitles

Yolanda, a resilient 12-year-old Mexican girl immigrates to Canada. On her first day of school, Yolanda feels out of place and disconnected, until she bonds with her schoolmates at lunchtime by sharing her favourite dish, Chiles Rellenos.

Screens before the Sept 17 screening of 15 Ways to Kill Your Neighbour

Natalia Urquiza García is currently studying film at Ryerson University. She grew up in a film family and has been on sets for historical features, documentary series, comedy shorts, and drama series. She is a fluent Spanish and English speaker and most recently worked as an AD and translator on the Vancouver and Mexico-shot project: Mother’s Love.  She also writes, produces, and directs her own short films.


Dir. Dora Prieto
Vancouver, 2023 | 5 min
English titles

CLOUDS is a videopoem that tenderly drifts, observing the sky as an alluring poetic subject and a mirror for love’s ever-changing nature.

Screens before the Sept 16 screening of Rule 34

Dora Prieto is an emerging writer and cat mami currently completing her MFA in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia. Her work appears in publications including Acentos ReviewCapilano Review, and Catapult. Her poem “the withholding map” won the 2022 Room Magazine Poetry Contest, and her poems “Notes on the Non-Place” were a finalist for the 2023 RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers. Raised between rural Nova Scotia and southern Chiapas, Dora now divides her time between central Mexico and the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Sḵwxwú7mesh, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples (Vancouver).

Nobody Confessed I Was Haunted

Dir. Dani Rodríguez Chevalier
Vancouver/Mexico, 2023 | 7 min
English titles

Composed of public & personal archival footage, as well as daunting bits of things left unfinished, Nobody Confessed I Was Haunted is a poetic MRI of an overthinking brain. 

Screens before Blue Heart

Dani Rodríguez Chevalier (she/ella) is passionate about analogue & lo-fi practices, poetry & hybrid forms, art making in community and independent radio. She is a co-facilitator + co-creator of writing and experimental film programs for youth: el mash up (w/ Dora Prieto), and filmfood (w/ Michelle Martin), for which they have collaborated with Echo Park Film Centre North and The Cultch Historic Theatre. Her film and photography work has appeared in Discorder Magazine, AHVA Gallery, Framer Framed, Small File Media Festival, UNIT/PITT and as wallpapers on friends’ phones. Also known as DJ D-Rod, she is the co-host (w/ DJ Bruja) of the CiTR 101.9 FM show: Vivaporú, the Ointment for the Soul. She is a pre-screener at the Vancouver Short Film Festival and programmer of the Shorts in Competition at VLAFF. She currently lives with her two dachshunds and one of her 4 siblings in the unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) nations. 

Pacho’s Visual Archive

Dir. Blanca Marcela López
Montreal/Colombia, 2023 | 15 min
Spanish with English subtitles

After the death of my only brother, I found rolls of undeveloped film; this is the side of him that I discovered after developing them. This documentary is a reenactment of those stills and an exploration of the aspects of my brother’s life that I didn’t know.

Screens before So Much Tenderness

Blanca Marcela López worked in her home country of Colombia as a journalist, researcher, and video editor for several years. She holds an MFA in Documentary Media from Toronto Metropolitan University, Canada. She currently works at the CBC as a news editor and when she has time, directs short films.


Dir. Pablo García García
Vancouver, 2023 | 9 min
Arabic and Tagalog with English subtitles

Two maintenance workers of a flower shop remember a horse named Princess.

Screens before Wet Matches

Pablo García García studies media art at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. The focus of much of his filmmaking is in using video feedback and other experimental techniques applied to loose narrative structures.

Roca Morena

Dir. Siam Obregón & Kyana Lyne
Montreal, 2021 | 8 min | No dialogue

“Under the tutelage of the Moon, a rock woke up and started to dance.”

Roca Morena depicts the experience of a body on earth, and of the earth in the body.

Screens before The Safest Place in the World

Siam Obregón is a Mexican independent filmmaker based in Montreal, Quebec. She completed her BFA with a Specialization in Film Production at Concordia University. Her work focuses on observation, intimacy, and themes of cultural identity. Her latest works have been featured in multiple Canadian festivals including Hot Docs, Festival International du Film sur l’Art (FIFA), and REGARD, as well as international festivals in the US, Germany, Portugal, Scotland, Austria, and Taiwan.

Kyana Lyne is a contemporary dancer and choreographer working in the performing arts and film. Based in Montreal, her practice explores the somatic, ancestral and poetic relationship to one’s identity. Since 2020, her choreographic films have been screened in various festivals such as Hot Docs, Rhode Island Film Festival, REGARD and FIFA. Alongside her creative practice, she is also a performer for the Margie Gillis’ Dance Foundation: The Legacy Project since fall 2021. Kyana is a graduate of Ryerson University’s dance program where she completed her studies in 2018.

¿What moves the wave?

Dir. Ana Tonso
Argentina, 2023 | 7 min
English titles

December 29, 2020. Thousands of womxn gather in the streets of Buenos Aires dancing, singing, drumming as they anxiously await the decision on the legalization of access to abortion in Argentina.

Screens before About Swimming

Ana Tonso is a photographer and cinematographer born to a family of political and human rights activism and raised in Buenos Aires in the 90s amid an extreme social and economical crisis that granted her awareness and the opportunity to experience the diversity of realities around her, forming her vision and interests. She is passionate about documentary photography, film, and the immense possibilities of speaking our truths through art. Her short film, The Rosetti Street Massacre screened at VLAFF in 2017. Found-footage, analogue, and experimental works always catch her attention as she believes some truths are rather felt than seen. She is currently part of the Shorts in Competition programming team and the Youth Jury coordinator at the Vancouver Latin American Film Festival.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.

Vancouver Latin American Film Festival is located on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.