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Otherwise Film Festival

November 13th-16th, 2024

Submit your films (June 1st, 2024 - August 31st, 2024):


Through a comparative and global perspective, OTHERWISE centers issues important to our complex present, offering messages, expressions and reflections coming from specific creators and communities that can offer a different interpretation of the world, that is, an OTHERWISE perspective that can challenge mainstream representations. By centering audiovisual cultural productions that honor these communities, OTHERWISE becomes a place of encounter, discussion, empathy, and alliance building for professionalization and collaboration in the fields of Media, Film and Arts in close relation to academia.


Expand the reflections, representations, and discourses created by mainstream media supporting the creative processes of artists and filmmakers through local and international networks that cultivate good relations based on respect, honesty, and reciprocity.

Community Value

OTHERWISE, Film Festival respects the integrity and intention of the artists, and supports the artistic visions and perspectives of artists working in the media arts. OTHERWISE pays special attention to community consent and accountability regarding the visual representations in the films. Acknowledgements and compliance with cultural protocols is at the center of fostering good relationships among each other.

The Otherwise Film Festival project is partering with: 

School of Social Science

Suraj Israni Cinematic Center 

Media Arts Center San Diego 

The Loft

The Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion

The Indigenous Futures Institute (IFI)

Nature, Space and Politics 

Human Ri

ghts and Migration Program

Eighth College

Democracy Lab 

International Institute

Visual Arts Department

Literature Department



A former Indigenous Film Festival Initiative started by the Latin American Studies program was to create connections and dialogue among students, scholars, and the public around Indigenous themes along the Americas and internationally. As many scholars, activists, artists, and community members are working around indigenous questions inside an indigenization paradigm, most of them hold the necessity to be immersed in very specific topics which sometimes prevent them to establish further connections. The Latin American Studies program at UC San Diego holds a strategic dimension where it sources itself from a large variety of faculties, thus many different perspectives as well as opening the door to Latin America. Despite modern Americas being more and more limited by its physical and intellectual borders, we aspired to create a safe space to exchange, reconnect, and honor indigeneity. It was also important to work with Indigenous and Native communities, local and abroad to ensure that a possible film festival reflects their concerns and interests and that it is organized in a responsible and respectful manner. We were actively looking to associate with organizations and community groups to promote this initiative and support outreach efforts within the community.

With the collaboration of the Suraj Israni Center for Cinematic Arts, the Intertribal Resource Center, and the Muestra Indigena from the Museo PreColombiano in Chile and the Office for Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, the Indigenous Film Festival Initiative set the stage for Indigenous culture within an indigenization movement here in San Diego. 

With its ability to capture and deliver images, sounds, and stories in an immersive way, cinema is a high-powered medium able to evoke strong emotions and connections which can have a lasting impact on viewers. Cinema is a popular art and accessible medium that can reach audiences of all backgrounds, cultures, and origins and can facilitate academic discourses. While the darkroom is an ideal place to see, listen and feel in an intimate way, the medium of cinema is constantly evolving with new technologies and techniques. Creating connections through the medium of cinema is also an occasion to open ourselves to other forms of art and possibly create events around the same themes simultaneously.

Our goal is to reunite communities around ideas of Indigeneity and provoke various initiatives that can be linked together around a possible Indigenous Film Festival. Events such as workshops, symposiums, and activists’ reunions can meet at the same place and time to facilitate exchanges and reinforce dialogues among communities in the Americas and Internationally. With appropriate funding, programs can be built to help Indigenous/Native American/American Indian filmmakers and artists to produce work and access professional production material and facilities.

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This program was supported in part by a co-sponsorship from the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.  Any views or opinions expressed in this program are solely those of the speaker(s) and/or organizer(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the Office of the Vice Chancellor.