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The finalists for the 2012 San Diego Latino Film Festival poster competition are now on public display. The festival received over eighty submissions for its 3rd annual poster challenge. In addition to the local entries, graphics arrived from across the globe, including such far away places as Canada, England, Argentina, and South Korea.

Complex graphics are fine on a program booklet; audiences members can savor nuance while waiting for the lights to fade. Several of the submissions are too busy. A film festival needs a signature image that is catchy and easily identifiable. If you are driving past a bus shelter, the advertising icon should be recognizable enough that one will instantly be placed in the mood for SDLFF.

Flowers appear to be the custom of the day, as three of the ten finalists are intent on marketing the fest as the rare bouquet of cinema it is. Jonathon Ortiz-Smykla's sleek popcorn-box planter gets my vote:

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If Alejandro Franseschini's film strip rainbow fails to take home top honors, it could always be recycled for SDLFF's annual Cine-Gay series.

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Mike Barnhart's weathered celluloid petals:

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Was Ivan Onatra designing key art for a film festival or pitching Paramount his concept for a Mission: Impossible 5 teaser?

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Unless they're picking up side bets in the alley or showing Monte Hellman's Cockfighter, Mark Richmond's bantam is not the shibboleth a Latino film festival should endorse.

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Click to view the ten finalists.

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