How This Local Film Festival Builds Community Resilience

a group of people taking a photo in front of a backdrop that reads PHL Latino Film Festival

Philadelphia’s film festival season is here! 

IPMF is a proud supporter of three local film festivals—Philadelphia Latino Film Festival, Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, and BlackStar Film Festival—that play a vital role in showcasing stories from underrepresented filmmakers and expanding the audience for these stories. The Philadelphia Latino Film Festival is the first, out of the three, to kick off this year, from May 28 to July 9. 

A Platform for Imagining Limitless Opportunities

The Philadelphia Latino Film Festival (PHLAFF) was created in 2011 to provide a platform for Latine/x/a/o creatives and filmmakers’ stories to be seen, heard and celebrated. The festival contributes to a strong local film ecosystem by providing a space for relationship-building, discussions about film techniques, and cross-culture dialogue by bringing local filmmakers together for mutual support and learning, and to deepen one-another relationships.

The festival is also building community resilience by using the power of storytelling and representation to nurture and celebrate the richness and diversity of the Latine community—when a community tells their story, they are reminded of their power and are encouraged to imagine a future of limitless opportunities, this renews and solidifies their sense of belonging in the world.


An audience gazing at a stage

Boosting Philadelphia's Creative and Business Economies

PHLAFF's community connections run deep. It creates programming in Philadelphia neighborhoods and collaborates with several local organizations, community members, small businesses and venues. PHLAFF, for example, collaborated with Scribe Video Center and Termite TV to offer film workshops and to curate immersive augmented reality film experiences for Philadelphians, respectively. It also created a youth filmmaker salon for local youth to submit their works to the festival and has created participatory filmmaking opportunities between local filmmakers and Philadelphia residents.

The organization prioritizes community-building through local partnerships that boost Philadelphia’s creative and small business economies and by creating more pathways for community members to feature their stories during, and after, the festival. 

Festivals like the Philadelphia Latino Film Festival, BlackStar Film Festival, and the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, may come around for a season but their impact on the communities they serve is experienced year-round. We at IPMF are excited for another season of film festivals as we celebrate the works of local filmmakers from diverse backgrounds and the strengthening of community joy and resilience through storytelling. 

Check out the Philadelphia Latino Film Festival from May 28 to July 9, followed by BlackStar Film Festival on August 2 to August 6 (early bird passes on sale now). The Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival will return this fall, dates to be announced.

Enni Aigbomian

Enni Aigbomian

Enni uses storytelling and visual media to advocate for disenfranchised communities in the U.S. and abroad. Her work focuses on the African diaspora and Indigenous communities in the Americas, as well as the socio-economic rights of women and children. A communicator for social change, Enni has collaborated with international community media and nonprofits such as World Young Women’s Christian Association, Fundación CEDESOCIAL, Vokaribe Radio, and HOPE Worldwide, Bolivia.

Enni has worked with Philadelphia community media and nonprofits such as the American Friends Service Committee, FunTimes Magazine, and Philatinos Radio. She also served as the first head of communications at Read by 4th, Philadelphia’s grade-level reading campaign managed by the Free Library of Philadelphia. She sits on the board of Shelterforce Magazine, an independent publication that covers the worlds of community development, affordable housing, and neighborhood stabilization.

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