"Our Heritage, Our Planet” Film Week celebrates voices and storytelling traditions of communities of color

Special screening at New England Aquarium with Hispanic Access Foundation Sept. 29


WHAT: The New England Aquarium welcomes the Hispanic Access Foundation with a special film screening to kick off Our Heritage, Our Planet Film Week. The annual celebration focuses on the visual and storytelling traditions of Latino, Black, Indigenous, and people of color’s voices and experiences, uplifting the nexus between our communities and the lands, nature, waterways, and oceans we call home.

On Friday, September 29, the New England Aquarium’s Simons Theatre will host an in-person special screening to showcase the stories, culture, and heritage of Latino, Black, Indigenous, and people of color through the screening of five short features and will be followed by a Q&A with the Hispanic Access Foundation team and partner community leaders. Our Heritage, Our Planet strives to create an intentional space for storytelling, dialog, learning, and advocacy.

The festival includes virtual events, free to attend for all, from Oct. 10-13. It will also feature interactive discussions between artists, communities, and decision-makers on key environmental topics.

WHEN: The in-person screening is Friday, September 29 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

WHERE: The New England Aquarium’s Simons Theatre, 1 Central Wharf, Boston

HOW: Register here for the free in-person screening.

WHO: The short films featured during the Aquarium screening include:

  • The Shade Black tells the story of a young adult who lives in a community largely affected by soot due to the increasing activities of oil exploration and indiscriminate combustion of fossil fuel in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Directed by Chavala Yaduma, a Nigerian born and raised writer and film director. Yaduma built her own production company, Vala Films, which creates content, independent films, television commercials, and more.
  • Criaturitas is a series of folkloric style short, animated films, told in English and Spanish, that share the story of five insects who have essential roles in their ecosystems and who are affected by different aspects of climate change. Directed by Paula Lovo, a Latine artist, educator, and film programmer from Milwaukee, WI. Lovo’s work taps into intergenerational relationships, spaces that create community, and memory tied to migrations.
  • El Medio Ambiente desde Mis Ojoas is a short Spanish film highlighting Puerto Rico’s deaf community’s experiences with the environment and accessibility, featuring deaf people from different backgrounds that all connect with natural spaces in their own unique ways. The short is directed by Shley Suarez Burgos and Fabiola Torres. Suarez Burgos was born and raised in Miami, FL. She discovered conservation-based storytelling from a young age and currently serves as a member of the Oceans Advisory Council/OYA, MANO Alumni Board, NASA IDEA Panel, and Treesources. Torres is from a rural area in Puerto Rico and has earned an M.S. in Biology at UCLA, with a thesis on leatherback sea turtles. Fabiola founded Conservation Opportunity, a nonprofit in Puerto Rico that connects people with wildlife conservation opportunities.
  • Yola features the story of Ahari, a DACA recipient, who sets off for a vacation to Puerto Rico but is forced to make an emergency landing in the Dominican Republic. There, he meets a young woman who dreams of a better life and inspires him to find a new appreciation for his culture and heritage. Together, they embark on a journey back to American soil. The film is directed by Kristina Andez and Alejandra Quiroz. Andrez is a Los Angeles-based filmmaker and has been featured at the LA Latino International Film Festival. She holds a B.A. in Cinema and Television Arts – Film Production from Cal-State, Northridge. Quiroz is a writer, producer, director, and podcast dost, originally from Honduras and raised in Los Angeles, California. She earned her B.A in Cinema and Television Arts and Central American Studies from Cal State, Northridge.
  • La Matanza showcases an ancient Spanish tradition of rebellion but also community building that came to Mexico in the 16th The film creates a pathway for Spanish families to continue this ancient tradition to maintain community, culture, and heritage. Directed by Gregg Flores, a filmmaker from Albuquerque, NM. Flores earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of New Mexio and an M.S. in Structural Engineering and Computational Mechanics at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Flores has produces stories for REI, the National Wildlife Federation, Conservation Lands Foundation, Latino Outdoors, and more.


MEDIA CONTACT: Pam Bechtold Snyder,; 617-686-5068