Afro-Latin American Film Resources


During the summer of 2020, the Cinegogía research team initiated the development of this teaching resource focused on the representation of Afro-descendants as portrayed through Latin American cinema and the cultural production of Black media makers in the region. To date, we have added more than 100 Afro-Latin American films to the database, and expanded our thematic tags and subject headings to help users search for films that focus on the diverse and shared experiences of Afro-descendants throughout Latin America. In addition, our research team has created an annotated bibliography of publications by experts in the field that will be useful for educators who are interested in learning more about race, racism, the representation of Afro-descendants, the cultural legacy of the African diaspora in Latin America, and the perspective of Afro-Latin Americans --- through the lens of cinema. Finally, we have provided a curated list of links to online resources related to these topics for further exploration. We recognize that this module is not an exhaustive collection of films and publications, but rather a starting point for educators who are looking to deepen their understanding of the Afro-Latin American experience as represented through film. We welcome your suggestions for additional films, academic publications and other resources related to Afro-Latin American Film & Media. Please send any questions, suggestions or feedback to our team at:

Video presentation by Cinegogía research assistants, Bethania Jimenez and Sarah Shorter, about the development of the Afro-Latin American Film Resources module during the summer of 2020. 

Search Terms (Subject Headings & Tags)

One of the most important elements of a useful database is the selection and accurate deployment of broad subject headings and precise tags that can identify thematic foci of interest to the user. Our examination of approved Library of Congress (LC) Subject Terms, author-supplied keywords, terminology employed in the field of Afro-Latin American Studies, and Spanish-language equivalents revealed a wide variation of subject headings and topics used, currently and historically, to refer to the representations and experiences of Afro-descendants in Latin American cinema. For the purposes of our bilingual film database, we decided on the following broad subject headings. Films categorized under the subject heading "Afro-Latin American / afro latinoamericano" refer to productions with Afro-descendant people on screen; whereas the subject heading "Afro-Latin American productions / Producciones afrolatinoamericanas / Produções afro-latinoamericanas" refers to films with Afro-descendant media makers in front of and behind the camera, in roles such as director, cinematographer, editor, or screenwriter. 

We also added the following tags to more precisely identify sub-collections of films within the broader subject of “Afro-Latin American” cinema. Users can explore these collections through the Tags resource

If you are conducting further research on these topics beyond Cinegogía, you may also find the following search terms helpful: 

  • Afro-Hispanic
  • Afro-descendants; afrodescendientes
  • Afro-Latin, Afro Latin
  • Afro-Latin America; Afro-Latinoamérica
  • Afro Latin American
  • Afro-Latinx cinema 
  • Black & (Hispanic OR Latin*)
  • Blacks -- Latin America
  • Blacks in motion pictures
  • Race
  • Race in motion pictures
  • Race relations

Film Guides

Click here to access a list of guides focused on films with Afro-descendant representation. The film guides, in Spanish and English, contain discussion questions and recommended readings for a variety of Latin American films. The discussion questions touch on cinematographic techniques, narrative structure, character development, sociopolitical and historical contexts, thematic interpretations, relevance to current events, and connections to other films. The film guides can be used as post-screening writing prompts or exam questions, as well as to generate discussion in class or on asynchronous discussion boards.

Annotated Bibliography of Afro-Latin American Film Resources

Download the annotated bibliography by clicking here for printer-friendly PDF
Published: January 22, 2022; Last updated: January 22, 2022

Afro-Latin American Studies

Andrews, George Reid. Afro-Latin America: Black Lives, 1600-2000. Harvard University Press, 2016.  

De la Fuente, Alejandro and George Reid Andrews, eds. “The Making of a Field: Afro-Latin American Studies.” Afro-Latin American Studies: An Introduction. Cambridge University Press, 2018, pp. 1-24. 

Higgins, Shana M. “Afro-Latinos: An Annotated Guide for Collection Building.” Reference & User Services Quarterly, vol. 47, no. 1, 2007, pp. 10–15.

Wade, Peter. "Afro-Latin Studies: Reflections on the Field." Latin American and Caribbean Ethnic Studies, vol. 1, no. 1, April 2006, pp. 105–124.

—. Race and Ethnicity in Latin America. 1997. 2nd ed., Pluto Press, 2010.

Afro-Latin American History and Cultural Legacies

Cohen, Theodore W. Finding Afro-Mexico: Race and Nation After the Revolution. Cambridge University Press, 2021. 

Demuro, Eugenia. “Acculturation or Transculturation? The Invisibility of Afro-Argentines in the ‘White’ Nation.” Journal of Intercultural Studies, vol. 38, no. 5, pp. 545–559, doi:10.1080/07256868.2017.1363168.

Ruggiero,  ​​Diana M. “Más Allá Del Fútbol’: Teaching Highland Afro-Ecuadorian Culture and Engaging Race and Racism through Documentary Film.” Hispania, vol. 98, no. 3, Sept. 2015, pp. 594–606. 

Villegas Rogers, Carmen. “Improving the Visibility of Afro-Latin Culture in the Spanish Classroom.” Hispania, vol. 89, no, 3, 2006, pp. 562-73.

Walton, Mesi. “Afro-Venezuelan Cultural Survival: Invoking Ancestral Memory.” Middle Atlantic Review of Latin American Studies, vol. 4, no. 2, Dec. 2020, pp. 235–260, doi:10.23870/marlas.346.

Watson, Sonja. “Teaching Afro-Latin American Culture through Film: Raíces de mi corazón and Cuba's Guerrita de los Negros.” Hispania, vol. 96, no. 1, 2013, pp. 71–80.

Afro-Descendant Representation & Race in Latin American Cinema 

Aguilera Skvirsky, Salomé. “Las cargas de la representación: Notas sobre la raza y la representación en el cine latinoamericano.” Hispanófila, vol. 177, no. 1, 2016, pp. 137-154.

Davis, Darién J. “Fading In: Race and the Representation of Peoples of African Descent in Latin American Cinema.” Beyond Slavery: The Multilayered Legacy of Africans in Latin America and the Caribbean, edited by Darién J. Davis, Rowman and Littlefield, 2006, pp. 249-65.

Dixon, Kwame. “Afro-Cinema in Latin America: A New Cultural Renaissance.” E-misférica, vol. 5, no. 2, December 2008,

Valdés, Vanessa K. “Afro-Latin American and Afro-Latinx Cinema.” Special Issue of PALARA (Publication of the Afro-Latin/American Research Association), vol. 23, Fall 2019, pp. v, doi:10.32855/palara.2019.23.

Black Identity in 21st Century Latin American Feature Films

Bacsán, Gabriela. “Reflections of Nonnormativity: Photography, Childhood, and Belonging in Mariana Rondón’s Pelo Malo.” Latin American Perspectives, vol. 48, no. 2, Mar. 2021, pp. 93–107.  

Bailey, Ebony M. “Coding of Blackness in Mexican Cinema: An analysis of La Negrada.” PALARA (Publication of the Afro-Latin/American Research Association), vol. 23, Fall 2019, pp. 1-9.  

Farrell, Michelle Leigh. “Pelo malo: Representing Symbolic Violence in the Intricacies of Venezuela’s Contemporary Film Landscape.” Cincinnati Romance Review, vol. 42, Spring 2017, pp. 190-210. 

Gillam, Reighan. “All Tangled Up: Intersecting Stigmas of Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Mariana Rondón’s Bad Hair.” Black Camera, vol. 9, no. 1, Fall 2017, pp. 47-61. 

Ramos Flores, Nicolás. "All Buzzed Off: The Ambiguities of Black Masculinity in Pelo malo (2013) and La playa D.C. (2012)." Revista de Estudios Hispánicos, vol. 56, no. 1, March 2022, pp. 51-75, doi:10.1353/rvs.2022.0002

Rocha, Carolina. “Debilitamiento biopolítico: afrocolombianos en Manos sucias.” Journal of Iberian and Latin American Research, vol. 26, no. 1, 2014, pp. 54-68, doi:10.1080/13260219.2020.1781922.

Female Afro-Latin American Voices in Contemporary Film

Asher, Kiran. “Texts in Context: Afro-Colombian Women’s Activism in the Pacific Lowlands of Colombia.” Feminist Review, no. 78, Jan. 2004, pp. 38–55.

Benson, Devyn Spence. “Sara Gómez: Afrocubana (Afro-Cuban Women's) Activism after 1961.” Cuban Studies, vol. 46, 2018, pp. 134-158. 

Gillam, Reighan. "Afro-Brazilian Women Creative Workers Speak: Juliana Vicente's Standpoint Cinema (Cinema of O Lugar de Fala)." Woman-Centered Brazilian Cinema: Filmmakers and Protagonists of the Twenty-First Century, edited by Jack A. Draper and Cacilda M. Rego, SUNY Press, 2022, pp. 217-231.

—. “Representing Black Girlhood in Brazil: Culture and Strategies of Empowerment.” Communication, Culture and Critique, vol. 10, no. 4, 1 December 2017, pp.  609–625, doi:10.1111/cccr.12176.

González, Flora. “Speaking from Historical Silences: Gloria Rolando’s 1912: Voces Para Un Silencio / Breaking the Silence.” Afro-Hispanic Review, vol. 36, no. 2, Fall 2017, pp. 81–94.

Ohmer, Sarah. "Afro-Latin American Documentary Resistance from the Pacific Coast: How Voces de Resistencia (2017) Changes the Landscapes of Aesthetics, Academia/Community Collaboration, and Black Feminist Activism During the Colombian 'Peace Process'." PALARA (Publication of the Afro-Latin/American Research Association), vol. 23, Fall 2019, pp. 49-59.

Vázquez Vázquez, María Mercedes. "Conditions for a Twenty-First -Century Black Woman Cinema in Brazil: The Politics and Aesthetics of Yasmin Thayná." Woman-Centered Brazilian Cinema: Filmmakers and Protagonists of the Twenty-First Century, edited by Jack A. Draper and Cacilda M. Rego, SUNY Press, 2022, pp. 197-215.

Verztman Bagdadi, Daniela. "Resistance and Online Activism: Brazilian Women Filmmakers' Initiatives (2014-2017)." Woman-Centered Brazilian Cinema: Filmmakers and Protagonists of the Twenty-First Century, edited by Jack A. Draper and Cacilda M. Rego, SUNY Press, 2022, pp. 71-100.

National Media Contexts & Afro-Descendant Representation


Carter, Eli L. “Silence behind the ‘Talk of Crime’: Representations of Violence in a Sample of Contemporary Brazilian Films and Television Series.” A Contracorriente: A Journal of Social History and Literature in Latin America, vol. 15, no. 1, 2017, pp. 79–102. 

Da Silva, Paulo V. B. “Racial Inequalities in the Symbolic Realm: The Brazilian Context.” Canadian Journal of Development Studies, vol. 29, no. 3/4, Mar. 2010, pp. 259–279, doi:10.1080/02255189.2010.9669258.

Dennison, Stephanie, “Afro-Brazilian Filmmaking in the Twenty-First Century” in Remapping Brazilian Film Culture in the 21st Century, Routledge, 2020, pp. 93-109. 

—. "Practising Inclusive Citation in Modern Languages Research: The View from Brazilian Film Studies." Modern Languages Open, vol. 1, no. 4, 2023, pp. 1–19, doi:10.3828/mlo.v0i0.448.

Ferreira, Ceiça. “Corpos e Territórios Negros: Representações Da Religiosidade Afro-Brasileira No Documentário Orí (1989).” Cuadernos de Música, Artes Visuales y Artes Escénicas, vol. 15, no. 1, Jan. 2020, pp. 94-111, doi:10.11144/javeriana.mavae15-1.cetn

Gilliam, Reighan.“The Help, Unscripted: Constructing the Black Revolutionary Domestic in Afro-Brazilian Media.” Feminist Media Studies, vol. 16, no.6, 2016, pp. 1043-1056, doi:10.1080/14680777.2015.1137338.

—. Visualizing Black Lives: Ownership and Control in Afro-Brazilian Media. University of Illinois Press, 2022. 

Oliveira, Janaína. "With the Alma no Olho: Notes on Contemporary Black Cinema." Film Quarterly, vol. 74, no. 2, Winter 2020, pp. 32–38, doi: 10.1525/fq.2020.74.2.32.

Signorelli Heise, Tatiana. Remaking Brazil: Contested National Identities in Contemporary Brazilian Cinema. University of Wales Press, 2012.

Stam, Robert. Tropical Multiculturalism: A Comparative History of Race in Brazilian Cinema and Culture. Duke University Press, 1997.


Adorno, Natalie. “La identidad afrodescendiente dentro del cine colombiano.” Cinémas D'Amérique Latine, no. 21, 2013, pp. 110–121. JSTOR,


Ebrahim, Haseenah. “Sarita and the Revolution: Race and Cuban Cinema.” European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies, no. 82, 2007, pp. 107-118.

Jiménez Murguía, Salvador, Amanda McMenamin, and Sean O'Reilly, eds. A Cuban Cinema Companion. Rowman & Littlefield, 2020. 

Kaisary, Philip. “Black Agency and Aesthetic Innovation in Sergio Giral’s El otro Francisco.” PALARA (Publication of the Afro-Latin/American Research Association), vol. 23, Fall 2019, pp. 22-32.

Martínez-Echazábal, Lourdes. “The Politics of Afro-Cuban Religion in Contemporary Cuban Cinema.” Afro-Hispanic Review, vol. 13, no. 1, 1994, pp. 16–22.


Antonin, Arnold. “Cinema in Haiti.” Small Axe, vol. 12, no. 3, Nov. 2008, pp. 87–93. 

Kaisary, Philip. “The Haitian Revolution and Tomás Gutiérrez Alea’s La última cena.Racialized Visions: Haiti and the Hispanic Caribbean, edited by Vanessa K. Valdés, SUNY Press, 2020.


Afrodescendencias hoy. Edited by Rosa Claudia Lora Krstulovic and Rodolfo Martínez Martínez. Special issue of Ichan Tecolotl, año 32, no. 348, mayo 2021,

Chew, Selfa A. “Representations of Black Womanhood in Mexico.” Studies in Latin American Popular Culture, vol. 36, 2018, pp. 108–127, doi:10.7560/SLAPC3607.


Mosquera Rosada, Ana Lucía. “Marca Peru: Representations and Exclusions of the Afro-Descendant Population from the Official Narrative of the Peruvian Government,” PALARA (Publication of the Afro-Latin/American Research Association), vol. 23, Fall 2019, pp. 42-48, doi:10.32855/palara.2019.005.   

Academic Journals & Book Series 

Afro-Hispanic Review: academic journal of Afro-Hispanic literature and culture, published by the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee. The journal’s mission is to promote the study of Afro-Hispanic literature and culture, and they welcome essays on topics pertaining to the black experience. Afro-Hispanic Review features articles on literary criticism, music, religion, history, politics, anthropology, art or any other area of inquiry.

Afro-Latin America book series: This Cambridge University Press series reflects the coming of age of the new, multidisciplinary field of Afro-Latin American studies, which centers on the histories, cultures, and experiences of people of African descent in Latin America. The series aims to showcase scholarship produced by different disciplines, including history, political science, sociology, ethnomusicology, anthropology, religious studies, art, law, and cultural studies. It covers the full temporal span of the African Diaspora in Latin America, from the early colonial period to the present and includes continental Latin America, the Caribbean, and other key areas in the region where Africans and their descendants have made a significant impact.

Afro-Latino@ Diasporas book series: The Afro-Latin@ Diasporas book series publishes scholarly and creative writing on the African diasporic experience in Latin America, the Caribbean, and the United States. The series includes books which address all aspects of Afro-Latin@ life and cultural expression throughout the hemisphere, with a strong focus on Afro-Latin@s in the United States. This series is the first-of-its-kind to combine such a broad range of topics, including religion, race, transnational identity, history, literature, music and the arts, social and cultural theory, biography, class and economic relations, gender, sexuality, sociology, politics, and migration.

Afro-Latinx Futures book series: Taking a hemispheric approach, we seek work that foregrounds the lives and contributions of Afro-Latinx peoples across Latin America, the Caribbean, and the diasporic U.S. and Canada. We welcome projects that introduce new historical figures and archival findings, focus on understudied regions and communities, establish innovative interdisciplinary frameworks, and challenge conventional canonical formations. Topics may include but are by no means limited to: afro-indigeneity, migration and exile, marronage/cimarronaje/quilombismo, literature, intellectual history, ethnography, geography, philosophy, performance and visual arts, and gender and sexuality. Above all, by centering Blackness and Afrolatinidad, this series aims to challenge the racial and ethnic frameworks, national imaginaries, and disciplinary constraints that continue to dominate study of the Americas and Caribbean and, more ambitiously, to help shape the future of such fields as Latin American Studies, African American Studies, Black Studies, Latinx Studies, Chicanx Studies, and American Studies.

Black Camera: a journal of Black film studies, is devoted to the study and documentation of the Black cinematic experience and aims to engender and sustain a formal academic discussion of Black film production. We include reviews of historical as well as contemporary books and films, researched critiques of recent scholarship on Black film, interviews with accomplished film professionals, and editorials on the development of Black creative culture. Black Camera challenges received and established views and assumptions about the traditions and practices of filmmaking in the African diaspora, where new and longstanding cinematic formations are in play. Issues and special sections are devoted to national cinemas, as well as independent, marginal, or oppositional films and cinematic formations.

PALARA (Publication of the Afro-Latin/American Research Association): multi-disciplinary journal that publishes research and creative works relevant to African Diaspora Studies in the Americas. The official research journal of the Afro-Latin/American Research Association, currently, PALARA is a partnership between the University of Texas at Arlington and Mount Holyoke College. 

Afro-Latin American Media & Digital Platforms

Afroflix: uma plataforma colaborativa que disponibiliza conteúdos audiovisuais online com uma condição: aqui no AFROFLIX você encontra produções com, pelo menos, uma área de atuação técnica/artística assinada por uma pessoa negra. São filmes, séries, web séries, programas diversos, vlogs e clipes que são produzidos OU escritos OU dirigidos OU protagonizados por pessoas negras. [As of December 2022, the original Afroflix website address has been transferred to a new owner and the content changed].

Cardumen Lab: proyecto de creación, producción y promoción artística con enfoque antirracista, colaborativo, y transdisciplinario que trabaja temas relacionados con la afrodescendencia en México. Uno de los ejes principales del laboratorio es la visibilización Afro que consiste en el trabajo audiovisual, artístico diverso y a nivel de incidencias, para visibilizar temáticas relacionadas a la negritud y afrodescendencia.

Centro Afro Carioca de Cinema: Centro Afro Carioca de Cinema tem por finalidade a promoção da cultura afro brasileira e de seus artistas, além de elaborar projetos e ações que visem a realização permanente de atividades culturais. Seu foco é a valorização da produção cinematográfica brasileira, africana e caribenha como um ato social de transmissão de sabedoria, formação técnica e artística,  profissionalização e a inclusão no mercado de trabalho. Situado no coração da Lapa no Rio de Janeiro, o Centro Afro Carioca de Cinema, realiza oficinas, debates, seminários, mostra de filmes nacionais e internacionais, lançamentos de livros, buscando abrir novos caminhos a partir de um olhar contemporâneo onde o resgate histórico é feito através do Negro como sujeito da ação, percebendo a diversidade da Cultura Brasileira e a importância da oralidade da cultura africana.

Cimarrón Producciones: Semestralmente Cimarrón Producciones invita a colectivas artísticas y culturales a encontrarnos en un diálogo sobre procesos de autorepresentación de la gente afrolatinoamericana en las artes, especialmente en el cine. El “Cine orgánico" es la apuesta audiovisual que comprende varias formas de creación, el cine que trabaja sobre las personas, el territorio y la relación de estos dos. Las comunidades afro diaspóricas tienen maneras especiales de relacionarse con la tierra, con la música y los sujetos, en ese sentido un cine orgánico propone una nueva visión y representación del cine afro, comprendiendo también otras formas de co-crear el audiovisual. 

Preta Portê Filmes: founded in 2009 in São Paulo, Brazil, by Juliana Vicente with the objective of developing and producing audiovisual projects that combine art and communication for a diversified market. Preta Portê Filmes has produced fiction films, documentaries, TV programs and videoclips featuring Afro-Brazilian protagonists. 

Todes Play: Plataforma global de filmes, séries e programas audiovisuais via streaming expansiva computadora, tv e celular, gerenciada pela APAN - Associação de Profissionais do Audiovisual Negro, com objetivo de contribuir com a equidade de gênero e raça para consolidação de um mercado audiovisual mais diverso e representativo, para todes. 

Additional Digital Resources 

African Film: Film distributor (ArtMattan Productions) centered on the human experience of people of color all over the world with a special focus on Africa, the Caribbean, North and South America and Europe. Films in this catalog are shown during the annual African Diaspora International Film Festival. Collections are grouped by region (Latin America, Caribbean), theme (human rights), film category (documentary), language (Spanish, Portuguese, English)

AfroCuba Web: website dedicated to resources related to Afro-Cuban culture, arts, history, music, literature, films, important figures, and news. 

Afro-Descendants: A Global Picture: Published by Minority Rights Group International, this digital platform brings the stories of minority and indigenous groups into focus by offering in-depth multi-media story packs covering important topics. This story pack, with a module specifically about Afro-Descendants in the Americas, marks the The International Decade for People of African Descent, officially launched by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015.

Afro-Latin/American Research Association: Organization of scholars working in the international, interdisciplinary, inter-ethnic, and comparative field of Afro-Latin American Studies. Membership consists primarily of college/university professors trained in Latin American studies (literature, linguistics, sociology, political science, cultural studies, communication studies, history) whose research and/or teaching interests focus on cultural production and materiality of Africa descendants in North, Central and South America, the Caribbean basin and Equatorial Guinea (West Africa). PALARA is the official research journal of the organization.

ALARI (Afro-Latin American Research Institute)The Afro-Latin American Research Institute at Harvard University is the first research institution in the United States devoted to the history and culture of peoples of African descent in Latin America and the Caribbean. ALARI stimulates and sponsors scholarship on the Afro-Latin American experience and provides a forum where scholars, intellectuals, activists and policy makers engage in exchanges and debates.

LAPORA (Latin American Anti-racism in a 'Post-Racial' Age): Research project based at the University of Cambridge's Department of Sociology (UK) that investigates anti-racist practices and ideologies in Ecuador, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. The website provides information about the LAPORA team, research cases, resources and events in English, Spanish and Portuguese. The project contributes to understand the growing interest in addressing problems of racism and racial inequality in Latin America. 

Other Films

Given Cinegogía's project scope, we have made the distinction between films about the Black experience directed by Latin American versus non-Latin American filmmakers. Although we focus on the former in our database, here are some additional suggestions for films about race and Afro-descendants in the region, directed by non-Latin American filmmakers.

  • Black and Cuba (Robin Hayes, Cuba, 2014)
  • Black in Latin America (PBS series, U.S., 2011)
  • Favela Rising (Matt Mochary and Jeff Zimbalist, Brazil, 2005)
  • Ghost Town to Havana (Eugene Corr and Roberto Chile, 2015, Cuba/U.S.)
  • Más allá del fútbol (Diana Ruggiero, 2008, U.S./Ecuador)
  • On our Land: Being Garifuna in Honduras (Neil Dixon, Honduras, 2012)
  • Tango Negro: The African Roots of Tango (Dom Pedro, France, 2013)
  • They Are We (Emma Christopher, Cuba, 2014)