Home / Media / ePiñata / December 12, 2016

FUERZAfest Orlando Celebrates Arts and Honors Pulse Massacre Victims

In the aftermath of the Pulse Nightclub shooting earlier this year, Hispanic Federation launched a number of initiatives aimed at providing relief to the families and loved one of the victims and to raise awareness of the Latino LGBTQ+ community in Central Florida. These efforts continued this past week with FUERZAfest Orlando – a five day long festival that ran from December 7-11, 2016 and included a one-act play competition, film premieres, cabaret, workshops, panel discussions, music and more.

“This is an opportunity for everyone to unite in solidarity with the Latino LGBTQ+ community of Central Florida. FUERZAfest Orlando celebrates diversity and culture through the arts, and I hope it continues for years to come,” said Mario Colon, HF’s Assistant Vice President of Communications.

“The Hispanic Federation is committed to protecting the civil rights of the LGBTQ+ community,” said HF’s President José Calderón. “Our main goal with FUERZAfest Orlando is to provide a safe space for reflection and discussion of social issues in order to educate and heighten sensitivity to the ongoing effects of homophobia and prevailing anti-gay stigmas.”

The arts took center stage at FUERZAfest. The theater competition, which featured one-act plays that addressed a myriad of LGBTQ+ issues, included the following companies: Artefactus, La Casa del Téatro, Contraparte and ArSpoken. Each company’s play performed on December 8th and 9th at the John & Rita Shakespeare Center, as they vied for the FUERZA Awards including Best Play, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Director.

In addition, the festival featured many free movie screenings including: “Esteros,” the directorial debut of Argentine Papu Curotto, a poignant and heartfelt look at second chances in love, and “Romeo y Romeo,” directed by Luis Caballero and produced by Selenis Leyva, of Netflix’s “Orange is the New Black.”

A number of panels and workshops rounded out the festival providing a safe space for open dialogue and a free exchange of ideas on how to continue to heal in the face of the Pulse Nightclub tragedy.

The following actors and plays were winners of the FUERZA Awards:

Best Actor
Leandro Peraza - Mal Tiempo (y un poema sombrío)

Best Actress
Yani Martín - El Ultimo Bolero

Best Director
Eddie Díaz Souza - Mal Tiempo (y un poema sombrío)

Best Play
Mal Tiempo (y un poema sombrío)
Presented by Artefactus Cultural Project, Inc.

For more information on FUERZAfest Orlando, visit: