December 5, 2021

Be part of the future of VLAFF!

The Vancouver Latin American Film Festival is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2022. The current Board of Directors (2021-2022) is working to make sure we provide a welcoming, inclusive, and positive place for everyone to enjoy the festival.

The past two festivals (2020 and 2021) have taken place during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are proud that with your support we were able to make them happen during such challenging times, times that demanded self-inquiring and adjustment from all of us.

After community hearings and recommendations, calls to action from past staff and board members, and feedback from supporters, donors, and our audience, we acknowledge there is a need for change and growth. 

We have listened attentively to the valuable feedback we have received. It has been an invitation to reflect on ourselves and the organization. Taking advantage of the rich experiences from the past, we have chosen to create positive change moving forward. 

We are in the process of updating our internal structures, policies, and procedures to be able to embrace a renewed way of operating. We must ensure justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion are reflected in the way we embody our core principles, as we provide a forum for the promotion and exhibition of Latin American cinema in Vancouver. 

We are excited to share with you the changes that have been taking place:

  • Adoption of the VLAFF Code of Conduct
  • Implementation of Anti-Harassment policy
  • Review of VLAFF society by-laws and AGM protocols
  • Staff and Board Inclusive Workplace Training with Elevate Inclusion Strategies (Natasha Tony) and Fundamentals of Anti-Oppression workshops with Bakau Consulting

Next to come is a more comprehensive Transformation Plan that includes the following areas: 

  • Analysis and forward-looking plan for VLAFF’s vision, mission, values, and leadership capacity
  • Baseline assessment and further training in Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) to create a framework that will guide VLAFF into a new decade 
  • Communication and direct community engagement
  • Internal restructure of the organization 
  • Re-examination of accountability measures 

To further assist VLAFF along this journey, Marlene Castaños, a transformational experiences expert with a career in Organizational Development, Team Coaching and Film, stepped down from her role on the VLAFF board to work with us for the past two-months as Transformation Director. She has helped us to lay the groundwork for key transitions in the year ahead. By building upon the knowledge and support from the community, we will ensure VLAFF as an organization is rooted in a solid structure and thrives for many years to come. 

We want you to participate in this transformation. It is for this reason that we are reaching out to the community and members encouraging your ideas and support: 

  1. Please read about our action plans and policies at and send us your ideas at 
  2. To open a more direct channel of communication and ensure we include your suggestions in our strategies, you will also receive an invitation to the upcoming Town Hall in 2022.
  3. Consider becoming a VLAFF board member! More information here.
  4. Communicate directly with the board at 
  5. Finally, as a charitable organization, your financial support and donations are essential to keep VLAFF thriving. Please click here to donate today to our 20th Anniversary campaign:

It is important to note that transformative processes do not happen overnight, but the commitment and dedication of individuals with a shared and common goal ensure that positive change happens. We appreciate your participation.

More exciting updates will be announced soon. Please keep in touch as we work hard to create a wonderful 20th anniversary and celebrate this much-loved festival with all of you!

Javier Barajas
Carmen Henriquez
Sidartha Murjani
Carmen Forsberg

Board of Directors
Vancouver Latin American Film Festival