8th Gainesville Latino Film Festival starts Thursday

September 10, 2012

Erica Brough/Staff Photographer Latina Women’s League members, clockwise from bottom left, Martha Berdat, Maria C. Silva, Victoria Condor-Williams, Adriana Suarez, Maria del Pilar Paz, Maria Zelaya, Priscilla Kissinger and Alba Amaya-Burns, meet to discuss the upcoming Latino Film Festival in Gainesville.

By Tyler Francischine

One of the benefits of living in Gainesville is the virtual passport residents are given upon move-in. Between the resources at the University of Florida and the countless cultural organizations in town, it’s easy to learn about every corner of the globe.

This month, the Latina Women’s League invites everyone to share in the joys and struggles of the people of Latin America with the eighth Gainesville Latino Film Festival.

Victoria Condor-Williams, the director of the Gainesville Latino Film Festival and president of the Latina Women’s League, said the festival, which includes screenings of six films with Latin American origins, is a means of introducing the local community to Latin American issues and culture.

“We are so proud to say we’ve reached our goal, to present the diverse culture of Latin America,” she said. “Now the community has a better idea of the problems, the culture and the dreams of what we call the ‘pueblos.’ ”

The festival kicks off on Sept. 13 with an Opening Night Gala at the Harn Museum of Art Chandler Auditorium. In addition to free food from local establishments like Emiliano’s Café, Flaco’s and La Tienda Latina Restaurant, fashion designer Nicole Di Rocco of NICOLITA Swimwear will display her line of 1940s Cuba-inspired swimsuits.

Following the fashion display, Di Rocco will screen her documentary film, “PastPort: Cuba – The Search for Nicolita.” The film follows Di Rocco and her parents, ex-Cuban citizens, on their trip to Cuba, both to find a model for her swimwear line and, more importantly, to find her roots.

“I wanted to uncover the gem of what Cuba is and for me, that’s family,” Di Rocco said. “These are moments I can pass on to my children and grandchildren.”

Di Rocco said though the film deals with heavy issues involving Cuban-American relations and immigration, its goal is not to sway its audience politically.

“It’s not about politics,” she said. “It’s that we have family and we can’t turn our backs on family.”

Dr. Lillian Guerra, professor of Cuban and Caribbean history at the University of Florida, said “PastPort” both asks and answers the question of what it means to be Cuban in a very personal way.

“It’s important that people in Gainesville gain knowledge and empathy in terms of the Cuban experience,” she said. “This film yields some substantive knowledge about healing wounds and finding a new future for Cubans in the United States.”

The film festival will continue with films from Panama, Guatemala, Chile, Ecuador and Mexico each Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Chandler Auditorium. Condor-Williams, who is from Peru, said this is the third time the film festival has been held at the Harn. The first festival, in 2004, was held at the Headquarters Branch Library, and later festivals were held at the Hippodrome. She said the Harn is a perfect location because audiences also can peruse the museum’s extensive Latin American art collection.

“We’re happy to present our films at the Harn,” she said. “This gives the community a chance to see the incredible cultural resources we have in Gainesville.”

Other events planned for Latino-Hispanic Heritage Month include a free salsa music concert with Gilberto de Paz and TROPIX on Sept. 28 at the Bo Diddley Community Plaza, a month-long exhibition of Peruvian folk art and Latin American folk tales series at the Headquarters Branch Library, and the city of Alachua’s first Latin Festival on Oct. 7.

Condor-Williams formed the Latina Women’s League eight years ago with a group of friends. In addition to organizing the film festival, the League holds free English classes, bilingual story time for children, citizenship classes and naturalization workshops to help newcomers with their American citizenship applications.

“We help the newcomers to feel comfortable with their new language and the American culture,” she said. “Our work is not finished. Many members of our community need our help.”

Dr. Eric Castillo, director at the Institute of Hispanic-Latino Cultures, said the Gainesville Latino Film Festival provides a platform for the Hispanic community to showcase its history, culture and its contemporary issues.

“This festival creates an important dialogue about Latino contributions to Gainesville, Fla., and the Unites States and educates people from various backgrounds so they can be informed about the Hispanic-Latina community,” he said.

Condor-Williams said every year she is pleased by the audience’s reaction — often people ask her and other members of the Latina Women’s League how they can become involved and learn more about the issues raised by the films. She hopes this year will be no exception.

“I know they’re going to leave every showing with an interest in doing more and helping,” she said. “This festival brings the community together.”

For a full list of Latino/Hispanic Heritage Month events, visit http://latinawomensleague.org.

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Fit Guide and Suggested Styles

Do you hate when your bikini bottoms dig into your hips? Have no fear, Nicolita NO PINCH FIT Cuban Style Bottoms are here!!

Hola! I'm Nicolita owner & designer Nicole Di Rocco. In this video I'll show you why and how we created our signature Nicolita Bottom fit.

Nicolita has one-of-kind swimwear styles that are carefully designed to flatter your figure. Say goodbye to those ill-fitting bikini bottoms and say hello to comfort and fit!

Below are a few of our most popular styles that were designed with YOUR hips in mind.

Welcome to the Nicolita Fitting Room!

I want to help you find the Perfect Fit Nicolita Style. Below I have created a Nicolita Swimwear Fit guide to match your curves with our swimwear options and styles. If you still have questions of which bikini or one piece style would look best with your body shape just Call 866-NICOLITA (866-642-6548)  Email hola@mynicolita, or Skype me @mynicolita.     

Over the last 13 years since I started Nicolita in 2003, I have worked with a lot of Nicolita clients on selecting the perfect swimsuit for them. I'm the first to admit that wearing a bikini or one piece swimsuit can be challenging for the majority of us. Even if you have a rockin' body, there are certain styles that work better on certain body shapes.

But I am a strong believer that there is the perfect swimsuit out there for you. And we have gone ahead and picked out some styles that are flattering for you!

Larger cup sizes (D cup and up)

Women with larger cup sizes are primarily looking for 2 things when trying on swimwear: coverage and support. While going up a size in the top can provide more coverage, some styles just won’t provide the coverage and support you may be looking for. Look for styles with side boning and molded cups to give you the support and coverage you desire, without the pinching of an underwire!

For support and coverage, check out:
Maria Knotty Wrap Twist Top

Molded Push Up Bikini Top


Smaller Bust

Have a smaller bust and want to create the illusion of a bigger chest? Styles with details like ruffles and molded cups will add volume and create cleavage!

For adding volume to a smaller chest, check out:

Haute Dot Bow Tie Bikini Tube Top

Rumba Ruffles Triangle Halter


Broad Shoulders

If you’re looking to tone down the appearance of broad shoulders, look for one-shoulder and detailed tops which will draw attention away from wide set shoulders. Deep V necklines will keep the attention focused on your chest and the low cut back will make your shoulders appear more narrow.

To elongate the torso, check out:

Rumba Ruffles One Shoulder Top

Neon Bloom Deep V One Piece


Not So Curvy

Looking to add more curve to that backside? Look for bottoms with backside details like ruffles, shirring, or our signature knotty bottom. These details add more curve to your bottom and create a more shapely bum. 

To add curves to a not so curvy bottom, check out:

Rumba Ruffles Forgiven Bottom

Signature Knotty Bottom


Tummy Control

We all have those days we would rather cover our midsection. To conceal your midriff while flattering your other assets, look for styles that have shirring throughout the midsection to camouflage any insecurities.

For tummy control, check out:

Deep V One Piece With Shirring

Noche Cha Cha High-Waisted Bottoms


More Coverage Overall

Trying to keep your skin out of the sun, or just desire to be more covered? Look for styles that provide more coverage without sacrificing style, like high-neck tops, high-waist bottoms, and one pieces!

For more coverage, check out:

Gina High Neck One Piece

Retro High Waist Bottom