Director Biography – Miriam Kruishoop (ESTILO AMERICANO)

Award-winning Miriam Kruishoop (Vive Elle, Unter Den Palmen,
Greencard Warriors) is a Dutch-American writer/director and visual
artist. Kruishoop graduated with honors from the Gerrit Rietveld
Academy in Amsterdam. Kruishoop previously wrote and directed
another Latino film, the award-winning feature Greencard Warriors starring Manny Perez. The film tells the story of an undocumented family whose eldest son is recruited by the army with the promise of a green card. In 2014, Kruishoop was awarded the Best Director Award at the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF). After its theatrical release, the film was featured on HBO Latino.

Kruishoop’s work centres around diversity and focuses on the under-seen people in society – the isolated within communities and the victims of racism and prejudice. Kruishoop has won multiple awards for her work including the Culture Prize of the City of Amsterdam, a Tiger Award at IFFR and several Best Director Awards, including at the New York International Film Festival, LA FEMME International Film Festival and at LALIFF.Director Statement

Estilo Americano is a timely film about family and politics in the age of Trump. What does it mean to be Latino in today’s America? Whether one chooses to identify as Hispanic, Afro-Latino, or the increasingly popular Latinx, Latinos have yet to consolidate a powerful notion of identity-based on racial solidarity. Anti-immigrant attitudes that have been stoked in America in recent years have climaxed with ascendant white nativism and the election of Donald Trump. The film addresses the biggest current topic in the US and how Latinos continue to be targeted by racism. The story also explores the struggles that exist between generations of Latino immigrants and the lack of solidarity between Latino nationalities.

Short Film: ESTILO AMERICANO, 22min,. USA, Drama/Political Family

Estilo Americano tells the story of a Mexican-American family divided by politics. What is supposed to be a festive family gathering turns into an explosive showdown when siblings, with opposing political views, clash. Embroiled in the conflict, each family member reveals some painful truths. As everyone struggles with their own deeply ingrained beliefs, we wonder if the family can ever overcome their differences.

Project Links

  • Project Type: Short
  • Runtime: 22 minutes 14 seconds
  • Completion Date: April 3, 2020
  • Production Budget: 49,650 USD
  • Country of Origin: United States
  • Country of Filming: United States
  • Language: English
  • Shooting Format: Digital
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9
  • Film Color: Black & White

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

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


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.