Come Celebrate at this year’s Beer Mitzvah!

Did you know that most beer can be considered “kosher-style” when it does not contain lactose, gelatin, spices, fruit or fruit syrups! Come celebrate this new knowledge (unless you knew already, then come celebrate this old knowledge) and Temple Israel on April 28 at 1pm, at their first Beer Mitzvah celebration.

The event comes from the partnership of Oscar Delgado, Jr., who owns CA Draft Tech and is the founder of the CA Beer Society and Kimberlee MacVicar. We wanted to find out more about this unique event and got a chance to speak with Kimberlee.

Oh, and just in case someone is wondering, no, you do not need to be Jewish to attend!

kimberleeIs this the first time you’re doing a beer fundraiser? 

This will be the third time Oscar and I are partnering up to throw a beer fest, but it will be the first time at Temple Israel. We’re excited about this unique angle and to expand these breweries’ fan bases even more.

How long has the temple been in Alameda? 

Since 1920. It was founded by a dozen couples, including my great-grandparents, David & Diana Garfinkle. 2020 marks our 100th anniversary.

Who came up with the idea and why beer? 

I was the Fundraising Chair or Co-Chair for 10 years at the temple before “retiring” and returned to the role for this fiscal year. Knowing how much fun beer fests are and how great it is to work with Oscar, I wanted to bring one to the temple. Oscar came up with the awesome name. Beer creates a casual, fun setting to hang out with friends. It’s a positive vibe and culture that I wanted to bring to the temple and open the way for more people to visit and know/remember we’re here and a part of the East Bay Community.

I hear most beer is kosher. What makes a beer kosher? 

I stumbled onto an article one day that beer is technically kosher, but only the large corporations can afford certification. There isn’t really a demand for kosher beer, so it’s not an expense many start-up or micro breweries can afford to add to their budgets. It’s a shame kosher certification is financially unattainable or not sustainable for many businesses, particularly restaurants, as those kosher certifying agencies are just limiting their own choices, but don’t get me started!

The four main ingredients in beer – water, hops, wheat and yeast – are kosher, so beer not certified is “kosher-style.” They are not kosher or kosher-style when ingredients like gelatin, lactose, fruit and fruit syrups are added. For example, no stouts, bummer.  For this event, we’ve asked the breweries to bring beer that would fit this kosher-style list of ingredients. While Maui Brewing Company is participating and will be pouring beer of those ingredients, we can encourage folks to hit the stores later to buy their Pineapple Mana one, which is super yummy.

What’s included in the ticket? 

Ticket is $36 and comes with unlimited pours. No need to get in line to buy more beer tickets or possibly be left with unused ones. A chance to interact directly with these breweries and just have fun hanging out. Food is separate as we have two pop-ups coming to help them promote their businesses.

Where do the proceeds go to? What kind of programs will it support? 

The event will benefit Temple Israel. Programs supported will include primarily, our religious and Hebrew School, called Beit Bina, holiday celebrations, and gearing up for our 100th celebration next year. Lots to do to prepare for such a big milestone.

Will there be activities for non-beer drinkers who want to support? Are kids allowed? 

Kids are absolutely allowed and can come for free. Beer festivals are very family friendly despite the name. Admiral Malting will have a demo about malts used in many beers, cornhole boards will be out and the band, The Vinyl 4, will be performing twice. 

A big piece will be for people to vote their favorite beer as “The Chosen One.” We look to grow this inaugural event into an annual one making it larger and larger, with a larger footprint for more activities.

[button link=”https://www.eventbrite.com/e/beer-mitzvah-fest-celebrating-craft-beer-coming-of-age-tickets-59209619566″ color=”lightblue” newwindow=”yes”] Get Your Tickets! [/button]

#BeerMitzvah

*** Free parking
*** No refunds
*** Must be 21 and over to receive a wristband.
*** Children can attend for free as festivals are family friendly.
*** Food and soft drinks available for purchase.

SDLFF – Frontera Filmmakers

F1The San Diego Latino Film Festival shows a variety of themed short film blocks. Every year I make sure to check out one of their showcases. This year I attended Frontera Filmmakers, featuring movies made by directors near our border town of San Diego and Tijuana. There has been a resurgence in filmmakers like no other time in history. The mix of films ranged from documentaries to horror to suspense, all unique in their storytelling approach.

One of the films that I enjoyed was the documentary Chicano Legacy: Students Empowering Students, directed by Horacio Jones, told about the struggles that occurred and are still occurring at UCSD, in terms of race relations and education. Many minority students at the school felt that they were not being represented or that there were even many people like themselves on campus. After some racial comments went up on social media by a fraternity house, students protested for change and argued that behavior like so, would not be tolerated on their campus. From there, they fought to have a Chicano mural be put up on campus. Through much blood, sweat, and tears, the students brought it to fruition with the help of Mario Torero, a local Peruvian artist. The documentary gives us the details of how it all happened and how the mural itself was created out of stone tiles made in China. It was an intricate process and the final reveal showcased a beautiful mural featuring Cesar Chavez, Barrio Logan, and the students who rallied for change. This was an eye-opening film for me, as I live in San Diego and had no idea that those events took place at UCSD. As a former student of UCSB, I myself have felt the same way as those students, as my race was hardly represented on campus. I thoroughly enjoyed the film and recommend it to everyone, students and non-students alike.

F2Another film that really caught my eye was El Amor No Existe (Love Does Not Exist), a short film directed by Fernando Fisher, about a treacherous love triangle involving a husband, wife, and the husband’s brother. The wife is mean and unhappy with her lot in life and seeks out the comfort of her husband’s brother while he is away at work as a police detective. The husband has no idea what is going on behind his back, but it is all revealed to him on the fateful day where he forgets his gun at home. To top it off, his teenage son, on the same day tells his father that he is gay. He goes to school on that same day and professes his love to another boy, who then proceeds to beat him up for his revelation. When the husband encounters his wife and brother having sex, what happens from there is suspenseful and dramatic and shocking to boot. When the son witnesses everything that happened with his family it becomes a heartbreaking tale. By the end we realize through the film’s story that love truly does not exist in our world. If you get a chance to see this, I would check it out because it was mind-blowing and interesting to watch unravel.

Only a few days to catch this and more at the San Diego Latino Film Festival: https://2019.sdlatinofilm.com/

26th Annual San Diego Latino Film Festival

sdlff bannerThis year’s San Diego Latino Film Festival (SDLFF) from March 14 – 24, 2019 marks its 26th year. It will take place at the AMC 18 Fashion Valley theaters and Digital Gym CINEMA in North Park.

Started as a student film festival by Ethan van Thillo (SDLFF’s Executive Director), it is now one of the largest celebrations of Latino film in the world. It’s not rare to run into names like Edward James Olmos and Kate del Castillo. “I am confident that through the power of cinema and storytelling, we can continue to break down walls and create a more just and equitable world for future generations” said van Thillo. SDLFF was born out of a desire to challenge the negative stereotypes about the Latino experience in movies and to give Latino filmmakers a chance to show the world the realities and richness behind the Latino identity.

This year’s celebrations will include a special screening of the 15 finalists of the Migrant Voices FilmCompetition highlighting the current humanitarian crisis unfolding along the San Diego-Baja California Border. Also, a tribute to iconic Mexican actor Damián Alcázar, a 26th Annual ‘Classics Film Showcase’, 75 + guest filmmakers/celebrities, and the 26th Annual Awards Ceremony Gala to be held March 23rd at Music Box. Plus, over 160 films from Latin America, the United States, and Spain, celebrity appearances, live concerts & performances at the Sonido Latino stage, and the 4th Annual Sabor Latino – Food, Beer & Wine Fest.

Highlight films include:

Soccer documentary (Mexico) Chivas, La Película; romantic comedy (Mexico) La Boda De Mi Mejor Amigo; music documentary (Panamá / Argentina / Colombia) Yo No Me Llamo Rubén Blades; boxing drama (Mexico/Finland) Bayoneta; sports comedy (Spain) Campeones; drama(Paraguay / Germany / Brazil / Uruguay / Norway /France) Las Herederas; adventure drama (Mexico/Colombia) Cómprame Un Revólver; mystery drama (Mexico) Dos Veces Tú.

sdlffTickets and Festival Passes are now on sale. An all-access special *VIP Pass* can be purchased for $300. A Festival Pass; which includes Media Arts Membership can be purchased for $225 (includes over 160 films, front of the line access, entrance to Opening and Closing Night celebrations and more. Film Pass can be purchased for $120 (includes entrance to 11 films, + priority access). Passes are non-transferable. Individual ticket sale prices are: $12.00 General Audience, $10.00 Students/Seniors, $9.00 Members.

For festival and ticket information visit the festival’s website at www.sdlatinofilm.com or call 619-230-1938.

WalkOut at SDLFF

walkout 1Walkout first premiered in 2006 on HBO and is directed by Edward James Olmos, considering the current struggles the world is facing today and in commemoration of the landmark event, it was added as part of the films shown for the 25th anniversary of the San Diego Latin Film Festival. Walkout is about the 1968 high school walk out that occurred in East Los Angeles, helping propel education in the Chicano community and the Chicano civil rights movement forward.

Honor student Paula Crisostomo (Alex Vega) becomes outraged when she begins to realize after attending a Chicano leadership camp and upon seeing other schools in Los Angeles, that the poor conditions, treatment, and education offered to Chicanos was sub-par to the rest. She gets involved in the activist community and along with her fellow Mexican-American friends, teacher Sal Castro (Michael Pena) and activist leader Moctesuma Esparza (Bodie Olmos), they begin a campaign, and demand changes are made to the educational system for Chicanos. 

walkout 3 1968 picThe students form a set of 3 walk outs, which end up attracting the attention of law enforcement and the news. The students are beaten and treated like dogs on the street, but what ends up being shown on national television is nothing of the sort. Instead the event was painted as being peaceful and as if nothing significant happened. Eventually the walk outs gain so much attention, that the leaders of the groups and some of the brown berets, get taken to court and charged with conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor, and if convicted a 60-year jail sentence. 

The film was provocative and entertaining, and I felt ashamed that I had never heard about this story. It made me realize how much none of this is taught in our schools and how it is hidden from history. It was a wonderful movie to watch and I hope that this film can be shown in schools to inspire all students to stand up for their beliefs.

walkout 2Executive Producer Moctesuma Esparza opened the screening by providing a brief history of the film. He mentioned that over 20 thousand students participated in the walk out and how after the protests there was a huge increase from only 2 students in LA attending college to over 1,000 Mexican-Americas. At the time, Chicanos were discouraged to attend college, and instead were told to become mechanics or secretaries, and for those numbers to increase was phenomenal and shows that what they did make a difference to the world. Esparza built much of his career on telling the history of others, from Roosevelt to Gettysburg, but once he was settled as a producer, he was able to finally tell his story. He told audiences that being an activist is a lifetime commitment and said, “a singular moment does not change things, but years of commitment.” In today’s ever-changing political landscape and upheaval, especially against immigrants and Mexicans, his words resonate deeply. 

The San Diego Latino Film Festival runs from March 15 – 25.

For more info and tickets go to: 2018.sdlatinofilm.com


 

SDLFF Shows Hit After Hit

The San Diego Latino Film Festival featured some wonderful and eye-opening films this year. I had the pleasure of seeing quite a few, here’s a rundown of some of my fave flicks.

Treintona, Soltera, Y Fantastica

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The film tells the familiar story that anyone who’s been in or is in their thirties will understand, of feeling the pressure to be married, have children, and have life all figured out. The reality is never that easy or pretty. Ines (Barbara Mori), a thirty-something writer, just broke up with her boyfriend of 7 years and is now single, trying to figure out her place in the world. Having been paired up for so long, she felt as if she had lost herself, not knowing who she was or what it was that she wanted out of life. This film shows her journey and all the quirky and funny things that happen while trying to discover herself. From dating through social media, battery-operated boyfriends, and wrestling with the decisions of child-bearing. This movie not only had me laughing from beginning to end, I found it had a positive message for women and showed a female character who didn’t need a Prince charming to rescue her. In fact, she figured it all out herself!

Cronicas Españolas

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In this collection of short films from Spain, each one had an interesting message and viewpoint on the world. One of the reasons I love short films, they show us how much can be said in just 5 minutes. One of the films called It Girl, told a poignant story of a woman who uses the internet to brand herself as an “it girl.” She garners tons of followers and free stuff from a lot of companies. The truth is, it is all a lie, she is only doing it to support her ailing boyfriend’s medical treatments. Behind the camera, they go and sell the items she gets for free for money and we see that what people choose to reveal on the internet is not always the truth.

Another film I enjoyed was El Mundo Entero, about a young gay man who visits his mother’s grave and speaks to her. The mother comes alive to him and she is a firecracker of a woman, she talks to him about his sexuality and how she came to terms with it, how she always knew he was gay, and how she wished she had done more for the gay community. In the end, we see that by just accepting him for who he is and not trying to change him, she made a world of a difference in her community. The lives of people around her changed because they saw her as a positive role model.

Dolores

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The documentary film, Dolores, directed by Peter Bratt, tells the enigmatic life story of Dolores Huerta, the co-founder of the first farmworkers’ union alongside Cesar Chavez. The film was produced in collaboration with Carlos Santana and Benjamin Bratt, and brings to the screen the story of a woman who has almost been written out of history books. Everyone knows who Cesar Chavez was, but most do not know about the work that Huerta put into the movement. The film chronicles her life, from being a young woman, wanting to find her place in the world, to the iconic leader that she then became. At only 25, she was a young mother with several children already and was in Washington, D.C. fighting for the rights of migrant farmworkers. To say that this was her mission in life, would be an understatement.


 

Disney’s Queen of Katwe Receives Standing Ovation

Queen of Katwe is the true story of 10-year-old Phiona Mutesi (Nalwanga) who became a Chess Champion exposing her to a world outside the poor town of Katwe in Kampala, Uganda. Her mother, Harriet (Lupita Nyong’o), vigorously makes ends meet selling vegetables in the market. She worries about her daughter with all the attention she begins to attract and tries to protect her from disappointment. This shows its face in the form of discouragement but eventually her mother can no longer deny her potential. Phiona quickly advances through the ranks in tournaments, but breaks away from her family to focus on her own life.

The stars of the movie came out for the 2016 Toronto Film Festival at Roy Thompson Hall. The cast, filmmakers and real life stars received a standing ovation from the audience. The film, starring David Oyelowo, Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o and newcomer Madina Nalwanga, is directed by Mira Nair and opens in U.S. theaters in limited release on September 23, expanding wide September 30, 2016. Check out some of the photos from the star-studded event below. Photos provided by Getty Images. 

 

 Actress Madina Nalwanga arrives at the world premiere of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” at Roy Thompson Hall

Actress Madina Nalwanga arrives at the world premiere of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” at Roy Thompson Hall

(L-R) Mahmood Mamdani, Dorothy Nyong'o, Peter Anyang' Nyong'o and actress Lupita Nyong'o at the world premiere of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” at Roy Thompson Hall

(L-R) Mahmood Mamdani, Dorothy Nyong’o, Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o and actress Lupita Nyong’o at the world premiere of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” at Roy Thompson Hall

(L-R) Dorothy Nyong'o, actress Lupita Nyong'o and Peter Anyang' Nyong'o at the world premiere of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” at Roy Thompson Hall

(L-R) Dorothy Nyong’o, actress Lupita Nyong’o and Peter Anyang’ Nyong’o at the world premiere of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” at Roy Thompson Hall

Director Mira Nair (L) and costume designer Mobolaji Dawodu at the world premiere of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” at Roy Thompson Hall

Director Mira Nair (L) and costume designer Mobolaji Dawodu at the world premiere of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” at Roy Thompson Hall

Actor David Oyelowo (L) and Chess Coach and Director of Sports Outreach in Uganda, Robert Katende at the world premiere of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” at Roy Thompson Hall

Actor David Oyelowo (L) and Chess Coach and Director of Sports Outreach in Uganda, Robert Katende at the world premiere of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” at Roy Thompson Hall

Actresses Lupita Nyong'o (L) and Madina Nalwanga arrive at the world premiere of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” at Roy Thompson Hall

Actresses Lupita Nyong’o (L) and Madina Nalwanga arrive at the world premiere of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” at Roy Thompson Hall

Ugandan national chess champion Phiona Mutesi arrives at the world premiere of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” at Roy Thompson Hall

Ugandan national chess champion Phiona Mutesi arrives at the world premiere of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” at Roy Thompson Hall

Chess Coach and Director of Sports Outreach in Uganda, Robert Katende (L) and Ugandan national chess champion Phiona Mutesi arrive at the world premiere of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” at Roy Thompson Hall

Chess Coach and Director of Sports Outreach in Uganda, Robert Katende (L) and Ugandan national chess champion Phiona Mutesi arrive at the world premiere of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” at Roy Thompson Hall

(L-R) Nishant Tharani, Director Mira Nair and music supervisor Zohran Kwame Mamdani arrive at the world premiere of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” at Roy Thompson Hall

(L-R) Nishant Tharani, Director Mira Nair and music supervisor Zohran Kwame Mamdani arrive at the world premiere of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” at Roy Thompson Hall

Director Mira Nair arrives at the world premiere of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” at Roy Thompson Hall

Director Mira Nair arrives at the world premiere of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” at Roy Thompson Hall

Actress Lupita Nyong'o, director Mira Nair and actor David Oyelowo arrive at the world premiere of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” at Roy Thompson Hall

Actress Lupita Nyong’o, director Mira Nair and actor David Oyelowo arrive at the world premiere of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” at Roy Thompson Hall

Actor Martin Kabanza arrives at the world premiere of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” at Roy Thompson Hall

Actor Martin Kabanza arrives at the world premiere of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” at Roy Thompson Hall

Director Mira Nair, actors Madina Nalwanga and Martin Kabanza arrive at the world premiere of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” at Roy Thompson Hall

Director Mira Nair, actors Madina Nalwanga and Martin Kabanza arrive at the world premiere of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” at Roy Thompson Hall

Actors Lupita Nyong'o (L) and David Oyelowo onstage at the world premiere of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” at Roy Thompson Hall

Actors Lupita Nyong’o (L) and David Oyelowo onstage at the world premiere of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” at Roy Thompson Hall

Ugandan national chess champion Phiona Mutesi (L) and director Mira Nair onstage at the world premiere of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” at Roy Thompson Hall

Ugandan national chess champion Phiona Mutesi (L) and director Mira Nair onstage at the world premiere of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” at Roy Thompson Hall

Chess Coach and Director of Sports Outreach in Uganda, Robert Katende (L) and Ugandan national chess champion Phiona Mutesi arrive at the world premiere of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” at Roy Thompson Hall

Chess Coach and Director of Sports Outreach in Uganda, Robert Katende (L) and Ugandan national chess champion Phiona Mutesi arrive at the world premiere of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” at Roy Thompson Hall

 (L-R) Actors David Oyelowo, Martin Kabanza, Madina Nalwanga, Lupita Nyong'o and director Mira Nair arrive at the world premiere of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” at Roy Thompson Hall

(L-R) Actors David Oyelowo, Martin Kabanza, Madina Nalwanga, Lupita Nyong’o and director Mira Nair arrive at the world premiere of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” at Roy Thompson Hall

(L-R) Mark Mugwana, President of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production, Sean Bailey, producer John Carls, actor David Oyelowo, Ugandan national chess champion Phiona Mutesi, actor Martin Kabanza, Chess Coach and Director of Sports Outreach in Uganda, Robert Katende, actors Madina Nalwanga, Lupita Nyong'o, director Mira Nair, Chairman, The Walt Disney Studios, Alan Horn, producer Lydia Pilcher, President, Marketing, The Walt Disney Studios, Ricky Strauss, Executive Vice President of Production, The Walt Disney Studios, Tendo Nagenda and EVP, Distribution at The Walt Disney Company, Dave Hollis arrive at the world premiere of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” at Roy Thompson Hall

(L-R) Mark Mugwana, President of Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture Production, Sean Bailey, producer John Carls, actor David Oyelowo, Ugandan national chess champion Phiona Mutesi, actor Martin Kabanza, Chess Coach and Director of Sports Outreach in Uganda, Robert Katende, actors Madina Nalwanga, Lupita Nyong’o, director Mira Nair, Chairman, The Walt Disney Studios, Alan Horn, producer Lydia Pilcher, President, Marketing, The Walt Disney Studios, Ricky Strauss, Executive Vice President of Production, The Walt Disney Studios, Tendo Nagenda and EVP, Distribution at The Walt Disney Company, Dave Hollis arrive at the world premiere of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” at Roy Thompson Hall

Actress Lupita Nyong'o onstage at the world premiere of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” at Roy Thompson Hall

Actress Lupita Nyong’o onstage at the world premiere of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” at Roy Thompson Hall

Actor David Oyelowo arrives at the world premiere of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” at Roy Thompson Hall

Actor David Oyelowo arrives at the world premiere of Disney’s “Queen of Katwe” at Roy Thompson Hall


 

CARNAVAL San Francisco

 

Carnaval San FranciscoCarnaval San Francisco has been occurring on Memorial Day Weekend for 38 years. It celebrates the diverse Latin American and Caribbean roots that use to make up the Mission District. The diminishing population of Latinos lost to luxury condominiums, “hipster” stores and rising rent prices didn’t limit the representation of what once was. The parade included music, dance, and artistic expression that had attendees dancing, smiling, and taking photos to memorialize their experience. A pride could be felt in the air that told you, a part of us will always be here.

Carnaval San FranciscoUnited Farm Workers co-founder and Civil Rights Icon Dolores Huerta lead the way as this year’s Grand Marshal. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, in 2012 by President Barack Obama. She’s been fighting for what’s right since the 1960’s and continues to speak out for those who haven’t found their voice. Carnaval San Francisco’s Executive Producer Roberto Hernandez thought she was the perfect choice to lead the way, her advocacy for farm workers and the environment fit perfectly with this year’s theme Viva La Madre Tierra – Long Live Mother Earth. 

Carnaval San FranciscoThere’s also a 2-day festival with food, live music, vendors and an auto showcase. This years feature musician was Venezuela-born Oscar D’León. CARNAVAL San Francisco is one of the largest multi–cultural celebrations on the West Coast. It’s a reminder of how important it is to know your roots and how diverse cultures make life more beautiful. It’s also free, making it a great way to spend your weekend with family and friends. You can find out more about the organization at: http://www.carnavalsanfrancisco.org

 

Slide Show by: Ana Pines

CubaCaribe Festival 2016

The 12th Annual CubaCaribe Festival of Dance and Music ends on Saturday April 30th. This year’s festival CUBA ON MY MIND pays tribute to Cuba’s rich artistic and cultural traditions and their influence around the globe. It’s the only festival in the Bay Area devoted to folkloric and contemporary dance and music of the Afro-Caribbean and its Diaspora. It’s founder, Ramón Ramos Alayo is a Cuban-born dancer, teacher, and choreographer who was selected by the Cuban government to study dance in Santiago de Cuba at age eleven. Each year, the festival presents more than 100 artists in 12 performances plus exhibitions, master classes and lectures on the religion, history and politics of the Caribbean.

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The festival occurs over three weekends. The second weekend took place at Laney College Theater in Oakland. Performances included the Afro-Cuban modern style of Alayo Dance Company and street dance theater style of Nicole Klaymoon’s Embodiment Project. Once the lights went down the beauty of the music and movement permeated the theater instantly. The dancers glided across the stage with focus and precision. In some performances there was a live band and singer. Songs included Nina Simone’s Mississippi Goddam and Shakira’s Pienso En Ti. One performance displaying the struggles of injustice and another lost love. 

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The dancing, singing, music and stories weren’t the only beautiful thing about the show. This is one of the most diverse shows I’ve seen in Oakland! The dancers were from all backgrounds, which in itself has its own interpretation. Life and art is about working together, we often have the same stories when it comes to the emotions related to the pressures of the everyday and love and loss. If only this commonality could open the eyes of the greedy and power hungry then the struggles forced upon people of color could be eradicated. Unfortunately, the reality of life is not a beautiful dance like CubaCaribe but it lets you know that in another lifetime it could be.

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CubaCaribe is a non-profit that also provides dance classes and workshops. For more information go to: http://www.cubacaribe.org

San Diego Latino Film Festival

The 23rd annual San Diego Latino Film Festival will take place from March 10-20, 2016 and will be held at both AMC Fashion Valley 18 and Digital Gym CINEMA North Park. The Media Kick-Off party was held at the Quad Ale House in downtown San Diego on February 25th and everyone had a blast catching up with filmmakers and movers and shakers of the film community. A great event to have in San Diego, especially being that San Diegans reside next to a border town that is rich in culture.

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The films to be shown include a line-up filled with something to satisfy everyone’s tastes from features starring highly-acclaimed actors like Salma Hayek, Gael Garcia Bernal, and Rosario Dawson; also documentary films, short films and special showcases with focused films such as Cine Gay, Columbia!, and Frontera Filmmakers.

I had the opportunity to speak with Ed Cahan, the producer of one of the featured documentaries Club Frontera, which follows the players, fans, political figures and more of the Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles professional Mexican soccer team. He mentioned that this film will not only “shine a positive light on Tijuana,” but it will show people what a phenomenal impact this team has had on its city from economical to cultural. As someone who has grown up going to Tijuana on a regular basis, I am excited for other people to finally see and learn more about the great aspects of the city many people call home.

Club Frontera

There will also be lots of extra events going on that coincide with the festival like the Sabor Latino! Food, Wine, & Beer Festival on March 19th. The acclaimed chefs and vineyard owners were presented at the kick-off party and announced the Latin cuisine that will be served and the beers and wine that will accompany the food. Your ticket  includes unlimited tastings of beer, that’s enough to entice anyone to go!

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Your encouraged to come out and check out the festival and catch a few films. Make sure to buy your tickets in advance, many are already creating buzz  and will more than likely sell out. See ya at the film fest!

Tickets and passes to the San Diego Latino Film Festival: http://sdlatinofilm.com/passes/

San Francisco Beer and Music Festival

Rock Star Beer Productions held their first San Francisco Beer and Music Festival on November 21st. The Las Vegas company easily appealed to locals and sold out almost a week in advance. The event was outdoors at SOMA Streat food Park and showcased multiple local and regional breweries as well as local bands and DJ’s. There were over 50 craft beers to please your palate over and over again.

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My favorite was the Oyster Stout by HenHouse brewing company. It’s brewed with oysters from Hog Island Oyster Co. and sea salt. It’s color is pitch black almost and it has a savory taste of chocolate and coffee with a dry finish. The bitter chocolate taste lingers a bit after. Luckily, the tastings were unlimited so I was able to go back for seconds.

I also got to sample a hard apple cider by William Tell. The company was named after him because he’s known for “hitting the bulls eye” when he shot an apple off of his young son’s head. Their signature cider is a unique blend of freshly fermented hard apple cider and premium California pinot grigio. In my opinion the taste certainly hit the “bulls eye” as well.San Francisco Beer Festival

The production company is working on other great events throughout San Jose, Hollywood, Las Vegas and San Diego. On November 27th they will be having a free beer tasting and show with Alien Ant Farm at Yost Theater. Shhhh… don’t tell anyone because it’s a secret! Register here!