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Who doesn’t love a good story? Pictures and words combine to take you on unforgettable journies. Here at Kihada, we’re in the business of dreaming up these stories for companies who are changing the face of their industry. One such story involves a (formerly) lesser-known organization with a major problem: they were doing wonderful things, but nobody had any idea who they were. Six years ago, the Vancouver Latin American Film Festival approached Kihada asking for some creative assistance to tell their story and help them stand out – an incredibly important feat as their events and initiatives heavily rely on the support of sponsors. With a keen sense for getting to the root of every story, Kihada helped VLAFF navigate murky waters, define their story and their brand, and relaunch them into the community
First thing’s first – through Kihada’s “kreative process” VLAFF was able to find their voice and develop their mission. The Vancouver Latin American Film Festival is much more than a registered non-profit organization, they’re a voice for Latin culture and “provide a forum for the promotion and exhibition of Latin American cinema” which invariably leads to important dialogue about the state of political, cultural and artistic affairs in North America. Today we’re proud to see that VLAFF have come to know themselves quite well and with help from Kihada’s process can confidently share their identity and mandate with the public:
To conduct a Film Festival for the purpose of educating and advancing the public’s understanding and appreciation of Latin American cinema.
To conduct educational workshops and seminars.
To provide independent filmmakers with the opportunity to display their artistic efforts.
To provide Canadian audiences with an opportunity to observe a variety of films, which closely reflect the society and people of Latin American countries.
To generate a network between the Canadian and Latin American film industries and forge an artistic alliance between the two.
Kreative Story Telling – A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
While text is an important component of telling any story, the journey doesn’t end there. Arressting images can often have a bigger impact than any verbal description, and so Kihada began compiling stand-out images that would capture and represent the essence of VLAFF. Check out this poster from the beginning of Kihada’s work with the film festival.
Pretty hard to ignore.
Offical Trailer for the 7th Annual Event|Festival | 2010
Optical solutions: Visually Representing VLAFF’s Commitment to Latin Cinema
Knowing that a brand strategy requires constant evolution to maintain its appeal, Kihada didn’t stop innovating after the design of the first VLAFF poster. In 2010, the team provided a new spin on VLAFF’s advertising campaigns that continued to capture the beauty and vibrancy of Latin culture and art.
The 8th annual Vancouver Latin American Film Festival was stunningly represented by diverse tropical birds, bright colours and a film reel cleverly configured in a figure “8”.
Offical Trailer for the 8th Annual Event Festival | 2010
With a strong new image and a focused identity, VLAFF has risen to the ranks of one of the most recognized film festivals both globally and locally. Not only are they in the top 10 ranked film festivals in Canada, but their new-found focus and clarity has allowed them to establish better relationships with renowned international film festivals like the Havana Film Festival and Guadalajara International Film Festival, further expanding their reach and influence in bringing Latin cinema and arts to Vancouver and beyond.
Kreative Finds: Vancouver International Film Festival 2011 Favourites
This year’s careful selection of films showcase Latin American cinema at its best, with difficult subject matters being dealt with artfully and soulfully. Here’s a recap of some of our festival favourites from VLAFF 2011:
Las buenas hierbas – The Good Herbs
Spanish with English subtitles / 120 min
A story about love, chemistry and the triumph of human spirit. Lala, mother of Dalia and prominent ethnobotanist in charge of the botanical gardens at the University of Mexico is diagnosed with alzheimer’s. Before her memory begins to fail her, she divulges all her knowledge of plant chemistry and herbs to her daughter – including her research on a Colombian plant said to cure the human soul.
Spanish with English subtitles / 98 min
Chile / Mexico / Germany, 2010
A chilling story recalling the tragedies of the 1973 Chilean Coup d’Etat. 55-year-old morgue worker Mario is consumed by the deaths of his community and in particular, the mysterious disappearance of his neighbour and secret love, Nancy.
Casa vieja – Old House
Spanish with English subtitles/ 90 min
Acclaimed Cuban director Lester Hamlet returns with another heart-wrenching film. Esteban, estranged from his father and his native home (Cuba), returns upon hearing that his father has fallen deathly ill. His travels home from his adopted city of Barcelona reveal an old home that always suffered under secrets and resentments.
Hermano – Brother
Spanish with English subtitles/ 97 min
In a Caracas slum called “La Ceniza” Daniel and Julio, brothers and talented footballers, face challenges that put them at risk of losing everything – their past and their future. Julio is a dedicated family man, though he supports them with “dirty money” and Daniel is at the top of his game. When a major opportunity to be a part of a venerated team comes up, the two brothers are of two minds and, right there on the field, must decide whether salvation lies in family or football.
Hermano de Al Lado – The Man Next Door
Spanish with English subtitles/ 100 min
This film chronicles a sinister power play between two neighbors: Leonardo, the successful industrial designer who lives in a majestic home, an artful wonder, in Buenos Aires and Victor, an ecentric man whose demeanour and attitude, though seemingly friendly, reveal markedly unnerving undertones. Tensions rise when Leonardo wakes to discover that workmen have been instructed by his new neighbor to construct a window that peers directly into his home. Unable to defend his home against this passive intruder, his bizarre relationship with his neighbour threatens to tear his life apart.
Spanish with English subtitles/ 100 min
A memorable film that recalls the escapades of a historical figure and his loyal disciple. Pancho Villa retreats to the heart of the moutains after the failed invasion of the town of Columbus (New Mexico) only to find himself tended to and looked after by his most faithful follower, Chicogrande, who’s willing to lay down his life in order to rescue his hero.
Tambien la Lluvia – Even the Rain
Spanish with English subtitles / 104 min
Spain/ France/ Mexico, 2010
Starring the incomprable, award-winning actor Gael Garcia Bernal, Tambien la Lluvia (Even the Rain) tells the story of Sebastián and Costa: filmmakers who arrive in Bolivia with a mission to make a historical film about Columbus’ arrival in the Americas. Soon, matters get complicated when their largely Bolivian cast and crew face the loss of their most basic civial rights when they’re threatened by the news of the privatization of drinking water, a legislation that would prevent them from even collecting the rain.
Yuxtaposicion – Juxtaposition: Art Exhibit at Ayden Gallery, Vancouver feautring the work of Jose Luis Ramirex
This year, VLAFF shone a spotlight on multimedia arts in Latin America by inviting esteemed international artist Jose Luis Ramirez (from Durango, Mexico) to showcase his poignant work at Ayden Gallery. This was Ramirez’s first Canadian exhibition, and he made quite the lasting impression.
Ramirez delivered precisely what he had promised, a “Juxtaposition” of thought provoking dark and light images, most notably featuring happy-go-lucky Disney cartoons galavanting around against dark backdrops and hostile environments.
The surreality of his images call to mind the disturbing nature of his reality and how such innocent seeming characters (representative of American capitalism, conglomerates and celebrity) have impacted the world, or perhaps more aptly, invaded his world specifically, a dark environment that offers no such lightness or prestige.
Ramirez’s striking images fit perfeclty with the Vancouver Latin American Film Festival’s mandate: Inspired by cinema, Ramirez’s work provoked a necessary dialogue about Latin American culture and about the connection and impact of other cultures on Latin Americans.
We look forward to seeing more inspiring works from this young, awe-inspiring artist.
Kreative Finds: Dedicated to the Art of Cinema
After 5 years of story telling, new imaging and developing a strong community around the VLAFF brand, we’re happy to see that the Vancouver Latin American Film Festival is ready to continue realizing the power of their brand independently – a sure fire sign of the success of the process. We wish them well on their future endeavours and hope to see the strength of their brand rise within the international film festival community.
But here at Kihada, we’re still in love with the art of cinema, which is why we’re currently working on a special project that will bring the international festivals stage to a wider audience of cinephiles. Soon, you’ll be able to experience the glamour and glory of your favourite independent film artists from the comforts of your own home. What is this new project we’re working on? Well, you’ll have to stay tuned to find out …