This film is available for the run of the festival starting the day of Thanksgiving 2021. To watch or to vote for this film please click on the orange “TICKETS” button below and purchase a ticket for BLOCK 6.  You also have the option to buy the Movie Buff Pass to watch all the films of the festival until December 15, 2021.


Inspired by coming of age cult classics, #Whitina is a film about exploring the crossroads of the inner and outer struggles of being Mexican-American against the backdrop of a social media obsessed society. High School cheerleader and whitina (white acting Latina) Genesis Valdez is forced to go on the run with her two former best friends (Bella and Chris) after a confrontation with undercover I.C.E. Agents. The altercation is filmed by two middle schoolers and the group goes #viral. While on the run Chris reveals he is a dreamer and could get deported. Genesis makes a decision to help Chris escape and learns what it really means to be “down for La Raza.”

3236164030 headshotDirector Biography – J.Sean Smith

Born and raised in Texas, Sean Smith is a Mexican- American filmmaker that had a passion for the entertainment industry at a very young age. After high school Sean moved to Los Angeles, CA where she became a celebrity fashion stylist. She has worked widely in the music and fashion industries utilizing her talents to design wardrobe for tours and television events. In 2012, after the birth of her son, she decided to transition into film and received her B.A. in Film Studies from Columbia University in the City of New York.
Sean was the first Latina to be awarded the George Lucas Family Foundation Scholarship at the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts MFA program. Her goal as a filmmaker is to offer a counter narrative to the idea that achieving the improbable is exclusive to a certain gender, race or class. She continues to hone her craft to push the boundaries of storytelling to show women and people of color in more nuanced experiences. Sean’s screenplays have received distinction from the Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab and Princess Grace Foundation.

Director Statement

Texas born and raised I grew up under the umbrella of white privilege. Adopted from birth I tried to fit into the whiteness of my small Texas town. As a Mexican-American, I never fit in with any one group and longed for acceptance. This film is a love letter to my younger self and the teenagers that are struggling to connect with their identity and culture. I wish I could have watched this film. A film about an imperfect Mexican-American teen that rises in the face of adversity by connecting with her culture and using her privilege to stand up for what is right.

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