In Your Arms Tonight Short Film, Audience FEEDBACK from Sept. 2020 LATINO Film Festival

IN YOUR ARMS TONIGHT, 24min., USA, Drama
Directed by Jonathan Gonzales
A young maid contemplates her future after having an affair with her rich employer, who is struggling to reconnect with his wife after she was sexually assaulted over a year ago.

Rivense Short Film, Audience FEEDBACK from Sept. 2020 LATINO Film Festival

RIVENSE, 34min., USA, Documentary

Directed by Alex Spilger & Amelia Spilger

Rivense is the story of Régulo, an innovative Costa Rican coffee farmer. Spanning over a decade, the film documents his quest to perfect his craft, while transforming his family’s business and creating new opportunity for his region.

September 2020 – LATINO Feedback Festival – Highlights and Videos

AUDIENCE AWARD WINNERS:
BEST FILM: THE QUIET SHORE
BEST PERFORMANCES: IN YOUR ARMS TONIGHT
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: THE QUIET SHORE
BEST SOUND & MUSIC: RIVENSE

Theme of night: Unique surroundings

NOTE: Festival took place during the COVID-19 virus lockdown so all screenings were held in private.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Videos:

festival posterTHE QUIET SHORE, 28min., USA, Drama



festival posterIN YOUR ARMS TONIGHT, 24min., USA, Drama



festival posterRIVENSE, 34min., USA, Documentary



festival posterOLE, BENNI AND THE REST OF THE UNIVERSE, 23min., Germany, Drama/Family
festival poster8 3/4, 10min., USA, Drama/Family



festival posterMORGEN, 10min, USA, Documentary/Family



festival posterLAST LOOKS, 6min, USA, Drama



The beginning of a (temporary) new era.

See you at the festivals. Whenever that happens!

– Matthew Toffolo

Director Biography – Jonathan Gonzales (IN YOUR ARMS TONIGHT)

Jonathan Gonzales is a student filmmaker from the University of Texas at El Paso. Jonathan has written several screenplays that he plans to direct & produce himself, including 4 short films he has written, directed, & edited himself. His current goals are to graduate with a degree in Digital Media Production, & focus on having a career in various forms of media directing such as feature films, documentaries, and television.

Director Statement

En Tus Brazos Esta Noche (In Your Arms Tonight) is a short film I did for my Cinematic Auteurs Class that focused on the Three Amigos, Alejandro G. Inarritu, Alfonso Cuaron, and Guillermo del Toro. I came up with the concept on the first day of class, but it took me 3 months to finish the script, & I wasn’t able to film it for the class. However, that didn’t stop me from wanting to finish this film. Since this project was a tribute to my favorite film directors, I was adamant about finishing this story in the best manner possible. I decided to make a completely original story & stylistically shoot it in a manner similar to the earlier works of Alejandro G. Inarritu & Alfonso Cuaron’s earlier films “Amores Perros” and “Y Tu Mama Tambien.” I can honestly say that this is my favorite script out of all my previous works because it was such a challenge but I’m more than happy with the story I was able to tell for my heroes.

Director Biography – Amelia Spilger (RIVENSE)

Alex and Amelia are educators, writers and entrepreneurs. In 2005, they spent a year teaching English in remote mountain villages in Costa Rica—sparking an interest in sustainability and local agriculture. The experience led to careers focused on green building and regional food systems, respectively, with storytelling at the heart of their work.

Director Statement

Régulo, Isabel and family have inspired us since we first met them in 2005. It has been an honor to share the story of Café Rivense, and to collaborate with talented and generous individuals along the way. Rivense is our first film, and the culmination of seven years of pursing this passion project—we’re thrilled to share it.

Short Film: RIVENSE, 34min., USA, Documentary

Rivense is the story of Régulo, an innovative Costa Rican coffee farmer. Spanning over a decade, the film documents his quest to perfect his craft, while transforming his family’s business and creating new opportunity for his region.

With tremendous courage and perseverance, Régulo and his family launch Café Rivense—creating their own micromill with the goal of selling their coffee to the best coffee shops in the world.

Rivense is about more than coffee. It’s a story about doing what you love, overcoming fear, and taking great risk to pursue a dream—making Rivense a story that will inspire us all.

Director Biography – Alex Ramirez (THE QUIET SHORE)

Alex Ramirez is an award-winning Mexican-American filmmaker based in San Antonio, Texas. He is a graduate of the University of Texas – Pan American with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre/TV/Film. A life long lover of cinema, he has worked professionally throughout Texas since 2010. He is the head of his own production company, Mala Bruja Pictures (formerly Ruly Crescent Filmworks). His films have screened domestically and across the globe. He currently teaches media and film at SAY Sí in San Antonio and serves as a Board Member on the San Antonio Film Society.

Director Statement

Most projects I write and direct come from my own experiences. This is not one of those cases. The harrowing nature of this tale was afforded to me through a magazine article. This story, which I happened upon in college, was about a couple’s struggles in dealing with an ALS diagnosis (in this case, the man was diagnosed). Ever since, I have been unable to unsee and “un-feel” that tale. ALS, or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, is essentially a death sentence, with patients succumbing to the disease in 3-5 years. This story granted me a canvas to work; a slice-of-life tale that explored universal themes I myself would learn I had little grasp on: mortality, the loss of identity, intimacy, and infidelity. This project, more than any other, became a cipher of my future. During post-production, my father died and I experienced a break-up more akin to a divorce. It is not inaccurate to say this picture is a thesis of sorts, a tale wracked with pain and grim foreshadowing but also, of transcendental beauty.

Short Film: THE QUIET SHORE, 28min., USA, Drama

An ALS-diagnosed artist and her husband contend with growing marital problems and diminishing time together over a weekend clinical visit.

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