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The locally-made short film features Latina girls from the nonprofits' Chicas program.

A short film produced by Forest Grove-based nonprofit Adelante Mujeres has made it to several major film festival across the country over the past year, but this weekend it will be playing locally for the first time.

'Why I Fight', will play during the Portland International Film Festival.COURTESY PHOTO - Olivia Maldonado shares her story of moving to the U.S. from Michoacan, Mexico in pursuit of a better education, leaving her family behind.

The short 5-minute film showcases four young Latina women, each a member of Adelante Mujeres' Chicas Youth Development program, who share their stories of immigration.

"Three of the girls immigrated to the U.S. fairly recently, and the other one has lived here her whole life," said Adelante's marketing manager Anna Yeager, who directed the film. "We really wanted to just give these young women a platform to tell their story and to amplify that so that a large audience could see with their own eyes what's it's like for young Latinas in America. The challenges they face, but also to see their strength and the amazing things that they bring to this country."

Shot at Cannon Beach, the film was originally created for Adelante Mujeres' annual gala last year, Fiesta of Hope, Yeager said.COURTESY PHOTO - In the short film, Sofia Perez speaks about the struggles she and other Latina's face in the U.S., recently immigrating from Mexico.

"The girls are carrying these really vibrant pieces of colorful fabric and they are letting them blow in the wind," Yeager said of the film. "It's kind of a visual representation of vibrancy and hope, in sometimes a not so vibrant world — or it can feel like that sometimes."

Now more than ever, Yeager said, it's important to share the stories of young women.

"It's so important to be telling stories like these, especially right now with everything that's going on in this country," she said. "We have to be telling people what immigrants and Latina women, specifically, bring to our communities, our local communities here in Oregon and to Forest Grove."COURTESY PHOTO - Ilse Vazquez talks about her mother's sacrifice, immigrating to the U.S. from Mexico while pregnant with her.

The film has been shown across the country, Yeager said, including festivals in Seattle, New York City and Coachella, Calif., she said.

"It hasn't really played locally yet, so we are really, really excited to have it play in Portland and have our local communities come out, (and) have the girls who are in the film come out and see themselves on the big screen," Yeager said. "We are just excited to have their stories be shared to a really wide audience so that people can see these important stories. … "It's important to tell stories that people would otherwise not hear, and I think it's important to tie into those stories a sense of hope and a sense of inspiration and positivity for the future."

'Why I Fight' premieres Saturday, March 16, at 2:30 p.m., at the Whitsell Auditorium, 1219 S.W. Park Ave., in Portland.


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