Linda Friedman Ramirez is the founder and current Festival Director.
She is an attorney, as well as the owner of Linda Friedman Ramirez Latin Art LLC.
She has a B.A. in Public and International Affairs from George Washington University and a J.D. from Willamette College of Law.
She has served as a Consulting Attorney to the Mexican Consulate in Portland, Oregon. Her appreciation for Latin America has been shaped by travels throughout the region.
Thank you to our sponsors: the St Petersburg/Clearwater Film Commission, Courtyard by Marriott Downtown St. Petersburg, IBERIABANK, Oak and Stone, Rising Tide Innovation Center, St. Petersburg Arts Alliance, Scatter Brothers Productions LLC and AMC Theaters.
Mary Childs is an independent curator and also the Artistic Director at Duncan McClellan Gallery in St Petersburg, Florida. A native of Massachusetts, Mary has worked in the arts field for nearly thirty years. She has both owned and managed galleries, and has worked with leading glass artists from around the world. With a belief in the positive power of both creating and experiencing art, Mary finds working closely with artists, curating their exhibits and finding “homes” for their work highly rewarding. Mary's passion for art is something she enjoys sharing with the public.
"I am honored to be juror for the Festival. Cultural awareness is crucial in promoting empathy and equality. The art of film is especially accessible to the public, and combines the richness of Latin America’s visual culture with it’s personal and societal narratives.”
A Largo High, USF and recent graduate of the University of Tampa's Creative Writing MFA program, Julie Garisto is a St. Petersburg-based writer whose recent assignments include arts features in Creative Pinellas' online magazine, Florida travel pieces in Visit Tampa Bay and Visit Jacksonville, as well as features and reviews in the Tampa Bay Times. Her previous journalistic roles include arts and entertainment for Creative Loafing, staff writer for the Tampa Bay Times and copy editor for the Weekly Planet. Lately, she's been obsessed with exploring Florida's State Parks, small towns and natural springs.
A published movie critic, Julie has grown up obsessed with foreign film and cherishes this opportunity to be a part of the Tampa Bay Latin Film Festival.
Franco Silva has been a resident of the Bay Area since the late 1980s. More than twenty five years ago, he noticed a void in the representation of Latinos on the radio, and he has now been the host of WMNF’s Latino54 for more than 24 years. He insisted that Latin music and culture be presented on air in English so that it can be enjoyed by everyone. Franco has interviewed countless local and international musicians, as well as Latino professionals and other community members. Latino54 now airs on WMNF 88.5 Tampa Bay on Mondays at 1 pm, and is also a podcast heard around the world.
Franco has been a passionate advocate of a Latin film festival for many years.
"I'm so happy to be a part of this collective effort that celebrates Latino film."