Several Columbia Films to be Featured at the 2021 Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival

BY Angeline Dimambro, June 1, 2021

Still from The Virgin, The Old Lady, The Journey (La Virgen, La Vieja, El Viaje)

Two filmmakers will have their films screen at the 2021 Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival. They are: The Virgin, The Old LadyThe Journey, (La Virgen, La Vieja y el Viaje), written & directed by fifth-year Film student Natalia Luque and produced by alumna Marta Cruañas Compés '20, and Don’t Come Close by alumnus Daniel Pfeffer ‘18. 


Founded in 1997, the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival is dedicated to showcasing the entirety of human experience from the Latino perspective through a multitude of artistic modalities, including film, television, digital, music, art, and many others, regardless of platform. The festival has been home to first films by Academy-Award winning directors such as Guillermo del Toro, Alfonso Cuaron, Alejandro G. Iñarritu, and Pablo Larrain, as well as home to the first films by Golden Globe-winning actresses America Ferrera and Gina Rodriguez. Most recently, with the support of Netflix, LALIFF has launched its inaugural Inclusion Fellowship program to develop, fund, and support the work of five emerging Latino filmmakers. 


The Virgin, The Old Lady, The Journey (or, La Virgen, La Vieja, El Viaje), will screen online at the festival from June 2 to 6, 2021, as part of the Discrete Charms Shorts Program.


The short film follows Rocío, a Colombian immigrant living in New York, who is forced to work as a cleaner. After a phone call with her family, she learns that her grandmother is severely ill and is about to pass away. While communicating from long distance becomes more difficult, Rocío has no choice but to rely on technology to say farewell to her grandmother.

Still from Don't Come Close

The short Don't Come Close will screen in-person on June 5, 2021 and virtually on June 6, 2021. Pfeffer co-wrote, directed, and produced the short, which takes place during the height of New York City’s covid pandemic and follows a young man who can’t come close to his family.


Read more about the festival’s lineup and purchase tickets for virtual screenings here.


Natalia Luque is a Chilean director and screenwriter currently pursuing a Film MFA at Columbia University in New York. Her short film Soy Sola has screened in Latin America, Europe and the US, where it was granted the Jury Award in the DGA Student Competition. Currently, she is distributing her latest short film The Virgin, The Old LadyThe Journey (La Virgen, La Vieja y el Viaje) (SANFIC, Torino) as well as developing her first feature film, Decorous Woman, which recently won a national grant, and preparing for her upcoming thesis short film, So They Say, which will be shot in Southern Chile.


Marta Cruañas Compés is a New York-based, Barcelona-born producer. She holds an MFA in Creative Producing from Columbia University for which she was awarded the Obra Social La Caixa fellowship. After a praised festival circuit run of her first feature, Júlia Ist, Marta was helmed by Variety Magazine as “a 2007 upcoming Catalan Filmmaker to Watch.” Her recently produced projects include short film Carnivore (Executive produced by Cary Fukunaga), Solastalgia (recipient of a 2020 NY Women in Film Fund), Forastera, selected by La Semaine de la Critique of the Cannes Film Festival 2020, and The Virgin, The Old Lady, The Journey (La Virgen, La Vieja y el Viaje), which was selected to play at Torino Film Festival, amongst other festivals. She is currently an Associate Producer at Tyrone Lebon's production company and agency DoBeDo Represents, while developing three features.


Daniel Fermín Pfeffer is an award winning Mexican-American filmmaker. He earned a BFA from NYU's Tisch School and an MFA for Screenwriting and Directing from Columbia University. His short film While I Was Gone screened at various festivals and won the Denver Film Festival Domestic Student Award. His first feature, I'll See You Around, premiered in 2019 at the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival. I'll See You Around has since been picked up for distribution by Breaking Glass Pictures. His latest feature script, Brujería is an official selection for Columbia University's annual Blue List (2020). Pfeffer has taught at Columbia, Ithaca College, NYU, and Northwestern. Starting in the fall of 2021, he will begin his visiting assistant professorship at Cornell University.