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Vicki Gutierrez

Vicki Gutierrez is the Production Manager for the Sydney Latin American Film Festival. Now in it's 13th year, she is one the many volunteers who dedicate the time and energy in to seeing the festival run each year. Coming to Sydney from El Salvador at an early age, her curiosity and love of Latin American music, film and food has stood the test of time so that she can enjoy Latin America from right here in Sydney.

This is her story.

I’ve always seen film and literature as a way of exploring different lives, stories and experiences.

As someone who had grown up Latin American in Australia, I was keen to reconnect with my roots through the eyes of those who were living these experiences today.  When I discovered Sydney Latin American Film Festival (SLAFF) it was like a light was turned on! I’ve learnt so much about the richness of Latin American culture through the festival. Not just in Latin America, but through the artists and audience I get to connect with by being part of SLAFF.

We have an amazing audience. It is so rewarding to see the same faces at all our events. We have people who have been coming since SLAFF began in 2006. We also have a massive audience of people with Latin American backgrounds who want to reconnect and hear their language and see the familiar landscapes of their home. We also have first and second generations who want to experience their culture right here in their own backyard. And we have a growing number of people from diverse backgrounds who are drawn to the colours, flavours, sounds and sights of Latin America.

The festival, now in it’s 13th year is an amazing achievement for a volunteer run organisation. It continues to grow every year but I would have to say, that the core of SLAFF is our Community Support Program, and our biggest success. We have been dedicating resources so that we are able to give back to communities in Latin America. Since 2006 we have raised $124,000 for 28 organisations through proceeds raised at the festival. 

The 13th Sydney Latin American Film Festival is back from the 6th – 15th September. We will be at Dendy Opera Quays, the Addison Road Picture House in Marrickville and PYT Fairfield. You can find out about the amazing array of films, from Colombia, Mexico, Chile, Uruguay, Panama, Argentina, and more! Our Opening Night Fiesta is promising to be a fabulous event with a delicious Latin American tasting menu on offer, and an after party at Café del Mar. We have a kids fútbol event, a closing night with live music and some truly great films we are so proud to be bringing to Sydney.

We would love everyone to come along and experience Latin America in Sydney.

Growing up in the Liverpool region of Sydney, my family and I came to Australia in 1987 from El Salvador, during the civil war. I was only three years old, and I so couldn’t remember much about my country. I have only a small memory of  a party, where I was dancing with my aunt, and trying to hit a piñata (not at the same time!) My mother always spoke to us in Spanish growing up, and I would always answer her in English, but over time I came to realise I didn’t want to lose my language. We grew up surrounded by family and friends from Chile, Uruguay and El Salvador, so I always understood there were differences in amongst our similarities, and my curiosity about this has stood the test of time!

I connect mostly with Latin American music, film and food! They are my favourite ways of exploring the region from right here in Sydney, til I can travel there again!