The San Diego Latino Film Festival is presented yearly by MEDIA ARTS CENTER SAN DIEGO.


MEDIA ARTS CENTER SAN DIEGO promotes access to film and video as tools for community self-expression and social change and supports the professional development of media artists.


MEDIA ARTS CENTER SAN DIEGO endorses the inclusion of underrepresented communities in the media arts field and the portrayal of accurate images of these communities by mainstream media and promotes community access to and use of media technology.


Media Art Center San Diego (MACSD) grew out of the expansion of the San Diego Latino Film Festival (SDLFF), which originated in 1993. Incorporated in 1999, Founder and Executive Director Ethan van Thillo has grown the organization from a festival to a mid-size organization with diverse state-wide programs and services for residents, visitors, and independent and amateur filmmakers. A little over two years ago, MACSD moved into a new space (2921 El Cajon Blvd in North Park) that has enabled us to expand our core programming to better serve the community; realizing a dream that has been years in the making. MACSD’s Programming Philosophy is based on the organization’s founding vision: to challenge the historical exclusion of under-represented communities from the media arts field, and distorted images of these communities by mainstream media. The organization’s annual film festival introduces San Diego audiences to contemporary U.S-Latino and Latin American cinema that is otherwise unavailable. Showcases for Gay and Lesbian films and filmmakers, Jewish-Latino filmmakers, women filmmakers, a youth media showcase and others address film artists and audiences that often are often marginalized. Educational, creative and production oriented programs reach underserved youth, and residents while providing MACSD with opportunities for community-based collaborations and the ability to fulfill our mission. In three categories—Now Showing; Education& Learning; and Create & Produce—our programs have evolved over the years to remain relevant to changes in technology as well as in audience needs and desires.


San Diego Latino Film Festival: Celebrating 24 years, an 11-day juried film/video exhibition of work by/about Latino artists and Latino genre. It hosts guest filmmakers’ appearances, workshops, live music, art exhibitions and gala celebrations. Cinema en tu Idioma Film Series: Celebrating 17 years in 2016, a film series premiering Spanish-language films for one week each month (August –November). These films are not otherwise distributed in San Diego. Both events screen at the UltraStar Mission Valley Cinemas Hazard Center to over 30,000 people annually. Que Viva Cine Latino Film Series: An annual out door film series in Chula Vista’s Otay Ranch Town Center. Celebrating 9 years in 2016. Jewish Latino Film Series: Now in its’ third year, this film series celebrates the unique experience of the Jewish Latino community with screenings throughout San Diego County and in partnership with the San Diego Jewish Film Festival.


We offer expansive education programs for underserved youth and adults, amateur to professional. Filmmaking, online and new media, audio, and more—generally free or low cost. Teen Producers Project:A media arts and literacy training program that familiarizes youth (ages 15-19) with media technologies for self-expression, work readiness, and social change. Projects provide a range of creation and production experiences and resources to exhibit work. These after-school classes take place at Crawford High School, MAAC Charter High School, and at MACSD’s facility in North Park. Advanced Teen Producers are now producing video news segments that air on KPBS TV Evening News once per month. Digital Media Workshops: Workshops and seminars at MACSD’s new facility (our “Digital Gym”) on various facets of media arts production for amateur, emerging and independent filmmakers. Presenters are local experts as well as internationally recognized filmmakers. These workshops include one-on-one trainings for individuals and professional development trainings for staff at businesses, educational institutions, and libraries. MobileStories: In partnership with San Diego City Libraries (Central Library, Malcolm X Library, Linda Vista Library, and Logan Heights Library), MobileStories empowers teens to Week-long all day camps for youth ages 9-14 that teaches students how to collaborate with each other using media and technology arts, while engaging with others in an increasingly connected world become storytellers and citizen journalists. Through intensive training sessions, teens learn how to create, edit, and share stories through blogs, articles, vlogs (video blogs), online media, photographs, and other media tools. Youth Media & Tech Camps: Learning these basic media tools in a fun, collaborative environment provides our youth with the skills to utilize the newest media technologies in a positive and productive way.


Mexican and US-based filmmakers collaborate and connect. Lab-based activities encourage exploration of high-tech tools. Digital Story Station (DSS): Helps laypeople create 2-5 minute videos that combine personal writing, photographic and other still images, and a musical soundtrack. Currently, there are 45 Digital Story Stations at public libraries across the State of California. Frontera Filmmakers is a grassroots social networking group that brings together over 380 independent filmmakers from both sides of the border through screenings, meetings, access to filmmaking equipment, acess to studio/lab facilities, fiscal sponsorship, and workshops throughout the year. The Digital Gym: Dedicated to new technologies and media arts experimentation by people of all ages, our goal is to present DIY (Do It Yourself) technologies to the novice/learner as well the more experienced media artists.Video Production Services (VPS) Department: MACSD helps organizations connect with their audiences by making a digital media presence accessible and affordable. In addition to producing relevant videos for community groups, government agencies, and corporations, VPS also acts as a work-readiness program for emerging media makers ages 20-30 years old in the San Diego region.