This week GLAAD’s Spanish-Language & Latine Media team has some exciting updates on films premiering at LALIFF, new music from Caribbean and Latino artists, as well as updates on some highly anticipated drag news happening in Mexico.
LALIFF film festival includes queer stories
As summer approaches, so does film festival season in Los Angeles! The Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF) has announced its full schedule for this year’s festival. This year, LALIFF celebrates its 22nd festival with a sensational number of Latinx talent including filmmakers, musicians and speakers. The five-day celebration, from May 31-June 4, will feature Flamin’ Hot directed by Eva Longoria and a live musical performance from La Misa Negra. Some of the LGBTQ-inclusive films include: Moe directed by Jose Luis Valenzuela; Hummingbirds directed by Silvia Del Carmen Castaños and Estefanía “Beba” Contreras; and the closing night film Problemista featuring Tilda Swinton and co-starring writer Julio Torres of Los Espookys and SNL.
Check out LALIFF’s full feature film lineup here.
New music from Kaytraminé, Serenatas, and Bad Bunny!
Kaytraminé – the new duo, formed by Kaytranada and Aminé, has announced the date and tracklist for their debut album, Kaytraminé. The cover artwork lists various contributors, including Big Sean, Amaarae, Snoop Dogg, Pharrell Williams, and Freddie Gibbs. Born in Haiti, Kaytranada has talked about his sexuality in previous interviews with The Fader and The Guardian. The self-titled album is expected to be out on May 19. Kaytraminé released their single “4eva” featuring Pharrell Williams this past April. You can check out Kaytraminé’s latest single below. –Mauricio Montes
Lastly, on our list for music is “un x100to” (one percent) by Grupo Frontera and GLAAD’s Vanguard Award recipient, Bad Bunny. The romantic cumbia tells the story of a person who misses their ex and tries to call them with only one percent of battery left on their phone. Grupo Frontera and Bad Bunny released the single and music video you can watch here.
Speaking of music, serenatas have been a beloved Mexican tradition for many years, they allow expression of love and romance through the art of music. In 2020, short film La Serenata was named one of the three winners of HBO’s Latinx Short Film Competition. The heartwarming short film, written by Ernesto Javier Martínez and directed by Adelina Anthony, shows the journey of two parents trying to understand their son’s desire to sing a love song to another boy. You can watch the short film here which also features Héctor Hugo’s song “Jardín de Mariposas.” You can listen below. –Mauricio Montes
Drag Race Mexico is officially happening!
Last week, Paramount+ and World of Wonder officially announced the hosts for Drag Race Mexico, the Mexican version of the award-winning reality show, RuPaul’s Drag Race. In this show, drag queens from all over Mexico will compete in challenges involving acting, fashion, comedy and more, in hopes of becoming the next drag superstar and winning the grand cash prize.
The first host announced is Lolita Banana, a drag queen born in Mexico City and based in Paris. She is the first Mexican-born person to have participated in the Drag Race franchise and is positioned as one of the most important drag queens in France. Her career took off thanks to Brunch and Queen at the Paris restaurant Acqua e Farina and she gained international fame by being part of the first season of Drag Race France in 2022.
The next host announced is Valentina, a Mexican-American singer, actress, and drag performer. Valentina rose to fame after her participation in the ninth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race and the fourth season of the All-Stars edition. Valentina has toured the world with Werq The World and hosted her own show, La Vida de Valentina. She has also graced the cover of Mexican fashion magazines Vogue and ELLE, among others. Her acting career includes roles in RENT: Live (Fox), La Casa de la Flores (Netflix), and the feature musical film La Usurpadora: El Musical.
While it’s not the first drag reality show to air in Mexico (we’ve long been fans of programs like La Más Draga, which will air its sixth season soon) any opportunity to showcase Latin American drag talent is wonderful news! We look forward to hearing more about the Drag Race México contestants, which will be revealed soon!