We are a multidisciplinary organization that uses film to express ideas, share our experiences, inspire, and encourage inclusion in our diverse and ever-changing Southern California region, from the Coachella Valley to Los Angeles.
In partnership with the University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States (UC MEXUS), we present our annual fall film festivals, Cinema Culturas and Festival in the Fields. The festivals feature, in English and Spanish, award-winning independent Latino films, educational student workshops on storytelling and film production, and talks on health and education.
Our goal is to tell the exceptional stories of everyday people by providing a space to be heard and seen on the big screen via the visual dynamics of film. We offer this space to the voices and dreams of Southern California, and the world, especially to those in underprivileged areas.
Founder and General Director of Cinema Culturas
Dr. Cony Martínez
Dr. Cony Martínez is originally from Sonora, Mexico. She is the daughter of a fisherman, Gustavo, and a farmworker, Rosalina, who dedicated her life to working in the fields of Blythe, California. Dr. Martínez is the Founder and Director of Cinema Culturas. Her interdisciplinary interests and vision of the Latino diaspora in the United States is highlighted through her work in academia, the arts, community, and with other various institutions. Dr. Martínez has worked as film curator for the Mexico’s Film Archive Institute in the Los Angeles area and she has been a professor in various colleges, including Claremont McKenna College, Pomona College, Pitzer College, and the UCLA and UCR Extension.
Dr. Martínez has taught critical analysis, literature, film, history, Latin American Studies, Spanish for Medical and Business professionals, and translation and interpretation. She organizes various talks and conferences on health and education. Dr. Martínez was invited by former Ambassador of Mexico to the United States and General Consul of Mexico in Los Angeles, Carlos M. Sada, to be the cofounder of “Mesa México.” The General Consulate of Mexico in LA’s “Mesa México” is a forum for experts to present and discuss themes related to the economy, education, health, culture, and politics with the goal of contributing to the U.S-Mexico binational relations.
Dr. Martínez received her M.A. in Latin American Literature at the University of California, Riverside, and her PhD in Latin American Literature with a specialty on the theory of the formation of the nation and its political and power dynamics and the role of community at the University of California, Irvine.
With an academic specialty in Latin American short stories, Dr. Martínez highlights storytelling in Cinema Culturas’ workshops as a tool to help students and community members, especially immigrants and farmworkers, tell their stories on the big screen.
Programming Assistant and Director of Special Projects
Ms. Gloria Mascorro
Gloria Mascorro is originally from Tamaulipas, Mexico and resides in Mexico City. She has a degree in International Business from the National Polytechnic Institute (IPN) and has also graduated from the Artistic Training Center of the National Association of Actors (ANDA). Ms. Mascorro was the Coordinator of Projects and International Events at the Mexican Institute of Cinematography (IMCINE) where she was in charge of planning and coordinating all exhibitions of Mexican Cinema in the most prevalent international film events (Festivals, Markets, Cycles, Shows, Weeks, Retrospectives, Cultural Exhibitions, International Embassies, and many others) with a catalog of more than 300 films per year. She has given conferences and workshops on film exhibition, promotion, and distribution at various universities in Mexico and has participated in international panels on Latin American cinema in the international industry.
Advisory Board Director of Cinema Culturas
Dr. Exequiel Ezcurra
Dr. Exequiel Ezcurra, Professor of Ecology at the University of California, Riverside and world-renowned scientist, is the Advisory Board Director for Cinema Culturas. He is the recipient of the 2020 Award for Science Diplomacy by the American Association for the Advancement of Science for his leadership in bringing together research, education, and outreach. Dr. Ezcurra is a committee member and consultant for various Mexican institutions on water and the environment. Dr. Ezcurra was appointed in Fall 2015 by UCR Chancellor, Kim A. Wilcox, to be UCR’s faculty representation and liaison to Cinema Culturas.
Education, Arts & Film Adviser
Dr. Carlos Cortés
Dr. Carlos E. Cortés is the Edward A. Dickson Emeritus Professor of History at the University of California, Riverside. Since retirement he has served on the faculties of the Harvard Institutes for Higher Education, Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication, and Federal Executive Institute. As the Creative/Cultural Advisor for Nickelodeon's "Dora the Explorer" and "Go, Diego, Go!," he received the 2009 NAACP Image Award. A diversity consultant to government agencies, school systems, universities, mass media, and private businesses, Cortés has lectured throughout the United States, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. His many books include The Children Are Watching: How the Media Teach about Diversity and Rose Hill: An Intermarriage before Its Time.