NEW YORK (PIX11) — November is Puerto Rican Heritage Month. One of the biggest events celebrating its community, culture, and the art of cinema is the 13th annual International Puerto Rican Heritage Film Festival.

The opening night of the International Puerto Rican Heritage Film Festival will be held at el Museo del Barrio on Wednesday. There will be over 70 films showcased. 

One actress and producer is getting a lot of attention. Her name is Jenni, and she’s from the Bronx — but not that Jennifer. 

Jenni Ruiza is excited to be one of the filmmakers showing her work at this year’s International Puerto Rican Heritage Film Festival.

She is a Puerto Rican writer and actress whose film is “Playing Sam.” It is the story of a struggling Latina actress trying to break through stereotypes in Hollywood. Ruiza is one of more than 70 filmmakers presenting their work at the festival; 22 are from the tri-state area.

This year, there is a wide variety of films, shorts, animation, and panel discussions with industry leaders participating in the five-day event. 

The festival’s director, Xavier Santiago, said the mission is to tell the stories of issues important to the heritage of Puerto Rico and relevant to the Latino community. It’s more than an event, he said, but a movement.

Programs and films will be shown in several locations, from East Harlem to the Lower East Side. Actor Luis Guzman will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

The festival aims to empower Puerto Rican filmmakers to tell their stories on the big screen and bring the community together. 

If you can’t go in person, there’s a way to watch the films virtually. For more information and tickets, click here.