Venezuelans Present At The Short+Sweet Hollywood Festival
The Short+Sweet Hollywood Festival is one of the biggest events in Los Angeles for over 4 years now. The Short+Sweet Festival takes place in 30 cities in 19 countries around the world, and it originated in Sydney in 2002 by Founding Executive Director Mark Cleary. This year the Hollywood Festival Director was Nick Hardcastle. The festival is divided into sections for film, dance, theatre, Latino theatre, and LGBTQ+ Live! After running for the whole month of October at the Marilyn Monroe Theatre the festival ended last weekend with a full celebration ending with the Best of the Fest presentations. The festival featured artists from all over the world, including a lot of artists from Venezuela.
Yaniv Waissman, owner of Los Cortos, is a Venezuelan producer and director, and this year he was the Coordinator of the film section of the festival; but he also directed one of the plays featured in the Latino Theatre Section: Picadillo de Cerdo (Chopped Pig) was written and performed by Brian Kealty & Nathalia Hencker and it was so well received that it was selected by the audience multiple times and made its way to the Finals of the Festival. Another Finalist selected by the audience was Edipo Clown written by Colombian playwright Carolina Mejia and directed by Kryzz Gautier. The play had audiences laughing from beginning to end with this satire of Oedipus King. The play featured Julie Reyes playing Yocasta, Juan Carlos Flores playing Oedipus and Venezuelan actress Ariana González playing Tiresias and Sophocles. In the play, González leads this amateur company of actors into performing Oedipus in 10min and completely in Spanish. The play is filled with witty dialog and hilarious character work, Gonzalez herself goes from playing Tiresias, to becoming Sophocles in the middle of the act. The Venezuelan actress was no small name in this festival. She starred in another play in the Latino Section, My Sisters, written by Andrew Cervantes and directed by Adalgiza Chetmound. A family drama where González plays a young Latina, who discusses with her siblings, played by Ruth Feliciano and Mario Barra, about struggling to deal with their aging grandmother, played by Goddess Gloria.
Ariana González was also involved in the film section of the festival with the short Polly Pocket. A quirky
dramedy about the complexity of female friendships; starring González alongside her best friend, the writer and producer of the film as well, Veronica Maccari. The film was an audience favorite and it was selected to the finals where it received an Honorable Mention Award.
And the Venezuelan representation doesn't stop there. The play Perro Amor had an all Venezuelan team. Written by Lupe Gehrenbeck and directed by Paloma Lopez. The play is about a dog-loving ex-couple who meet in a park and discuss their relationship through their pets. The cast features Eloisa Maturen and Victor Manso. The incredible space work and palpable chemistry between Maturen and Molina made this play an audience favorite as well.
This was Short+Sweet's most diverse array of programming ever with the most representation from all over the world and they look forward to advancing their achievements. Given this year's turnout, it's easy to predict that more Venezuelan and Latin American artists will be present in the years to come.