• Melissa Lopez

Three films that premiered during DTLA Film Festival brought up topics that needs to be discussed

Downtown LA film festival was four days of incredible stories put on film. We got the chance to catch up with the casts of three of the films screened this past weekend, which were ‘Havana’, ‘Super Scar’ and ‘Covid-19 Sins & Virtues.’


In ‘Havana,’ director Faith Strongheart, tells the story of Antonio, who has more than his fair share of secrets. When Antonio’s personal life and professional life collides, his secrets begin to unravel. Antonio sells illegal exit visas and when his secret lover tries to get one, his secrets come to light. Strongheart’s story of living in fear of persecution and not being able to live openly is one that so many around the world can relate to in many ways. The topics in ‘Havana’ are ones that not only existed in 1970’’s but are topics that are expressed now.


‘The second film that was displayed was Super Scar, which’ is an animated short that tells the story of director Lauren Aboulafia’s traumatic experience giving birth for the first time. ‘Super Scar’ highlights everything from the importance of mental health during pregnancy, the experience of having her son in NICU and postpartum in a tough yet humorous way. Aboulafia’s story is one the is not often talked about, but unfortunately, is more common than we realize. Aboulafia reminds viewers not to be ashamed but to embrace the ‘scar’.


The last firm, ‘Covid-19: Sins & Virtues’ is an incredible ensemble, of over 50 filmmakers, created during the height of the lockdown. True Films' founders Yeniffer Behrens and Mauricio Mendoza challenged filmmakers to write and produce a short film based on the 7 deadly sins or a virtue. The catch was that they could only use their phones & webcams and follow all lockdown guidelines. The result was an amazing collection of stories that took us on a ride we call can relate to during lockdown. We got to see the fear, bravery, hopelessness, selflessness, and creativity that we faced during the lockdown.


The films that we highlighted explored topics that are relatable, sometimes uncomfortable, that will speak to everyone in the audience.

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