Latino filmmakers encouraged by Oscar wins

HOUSTON - It was a win for the Latino filmmaking community at the Oscars Sunday.

Guillermo Del Toro won both Best Director for The Shape of Water, which also took Best Picture.

And Coco, which was both set in Mexico and co-directed by Mexican-American Adrian Molina, also won for Best Animated Feature.

“Having people at that level being able to create something that’s so amazing that people will basically fall in love with shows us that we can do it too,” said filmmaker Orlando Briones.

Houston has a rich Latino filmmaking community, partly because of the rich stories they have to tell. “Journey” for example.

“Actually we wrote this before the word “Dreamer” was coined. It’s basically about a Dreamer that gets his girlfriend pregnant and he tries to do right, get a job, then when he tries to find that job, he actually gets sent back to Mexico,” said Briones.

Along with making films, Briones makes money in commercial productions, and also teaches up and coming filmmakers.

“My brand is Filmatic and we’re actually housed in Echo Film School. Not only are we offering workshops here, we’re also doing rentals, rentals to independent films and artists,” said Briones.

To see more stories told on screen by the Latino community from Houston and every other corner of the world, the Houston Latino film festival starts March 22 and runs through March 26 at the Talento Bilingue de Houston Latino Arts and Culture Center.