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HITN wants to amplify the voices of Latinos. Photo courtesy of Cynthia Rivera
HITN wants to amplify the voices of Latinos. Photo courtesy of Cynthia Rivera

¡Tú cuentas! Cine Youth Fest has commenced

Representation matters and that's what they want. So HITN is looking to find a way to address it.

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From COVID-19, Black Lives Matter and Me Too movements, ideas have spun through the minds of many young Latinos. Yet, how do all of them get listened to?

The Hispanic Information and Telecommunications Network (HITN), the only Spanish language non-commercial TV network in the United States, mission is to create content and programming which educates and entertains Latinos living in the United States.  Tú Cuentas Cine Youth Fest was created with this mission in mind, to create a platform where Latinos can tell their stories and ideas and express their own unique experiences.

"We really want to help the younger Latino generation feel represented and be able to find their voice, their vision and have a platform where they can showcase their work and artistically represent their community," Tú Cuentas Cine Youth Fest Director of Operations, Cynthia Rivera told AL DÍA.

"We're the first because, in the 60s, 70s and even the early 80s, the founder of HITN, José Luis Rodríguez saw the awakening of a cultural renaissance in the United States. ," Director of Tú Cuentas Cine Youth Fest, Alejandro Molina told AL DÍA

Rodriguez may be the founder but the idea for the ¡Tú Cuentas! Cine Youth Fest (¡TÚ22! Film Festival) is thanks to Cynthia Rivera and her many team members. 

The ¡Tú Cuentas! Cine Youth Fest is a platform for independent voices, positive change, tales of heroism, and storytelling from the filmmaker’s perspective. Tú Cuentas Cine Youth Fest believes Latino/a filmmakers have many stories to tell and they want to give them a place where filmmakers can continue to produce content and share it with the world.

Most importantly, Tú Cuentas Cine Youth Fest welcomes all aspiring young filmmakers to participate in their online festival. For more information, visit cineyouthfest.org 

Representation is vital as that is what the festival's purpose is. 

Molina said jokingly that he and many took pride in the original Wonder Woman, Linda Carter, who is a quarter Mexican. 

"When Encanto came out, you could see how excited Latinos were. Both the young and older generations. Even though it was a cartoon, the representation was there. They saw characters that looked like them or they could relate to. It was a big thing. We want everyone to feel that same way by allowing them to express it through their film, through their art," Rivera told AL DÍA.

"The latest addition to the Marvel Universe, Iman Vellani represents Muslims everywhere. She has some of the most tenacious viewers among young people of color. It's an amazing story told in their voice. It's not the largest. But over 700,000 people are dedicated to her work," Molina told AL DÍA.

Contestants are advised never to give up. If one has an idea, keep it. It may be changed through time or refined when struggling. Also, listen to feedback. You won't make it by yourself. You need to know how to work with others. 

Advertisements for the festival can be found on Instagram, the Cine-Youth-Festival website, YouTube, Facebook and email notifications. Series of monthly Instagram lives have taken place. 

The next monthly Instagram Live will be on August 11.

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