Today: Apr 21, 2024

SCSU previews the 3rd Annual Latin Film Festival

Josh Falcone – Staff Writer

In honor of Spanish Heritage Month, the Latino & Native American Advancement Committee along with the Organization of Latin American Students, the Office of the Provost, the Multicultural Center, The Minority Recruitment & Retention Committee, and the Department of World Languages & Literatures is presenting a sneak preview of the 3rd annual Latino Film Festival which will be held in February. The first of the two films being presented was a film by Puerto-Rican filmmaker Luis Caballero, “El Color de la Guayaba.”

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“Canela” filmed by Mexican filmmaker Jordi Mariscal will be previewed on Oct. 11. as part of the Latin Film festival sneak preview.

“El Color de la Guayaba,” was shown in the Adanti Student Center theater last Thursday afternoon. “El Color de la Guayaba” is about Bautista, a man who has driven a public car for over 44 years in Puerto Rico and who picks up Ada, a woman who wants to be driven across the island. While the two are driving straight through Puerto Rico, Ada wants to stop for guava ice cream. As the two are searching for a stand that has the ice cream, Bautista begins to tell Ada stories, five stories that all involve guava fruit in the story.

The stories deal with a variety of people with various issues such as witchcraft, sexual orientation discrimination, and necrophilia. According to professor of education Carlos Torre, chairman of the Latino & Native American Advancement Committee, the film was partially financed by Public Broadcast Service -Puerto Rico and this was a hard sell because of the mature themes included in “El Color de la Guayaba.” Torre said this film was chosen for its impact.

This Thursday in the theater, the second film to be previewed will be “Canela,” a film by Mexican filmmaker Jordi Mariscal.  “Canela” is about a traditional Mexican restaurant in Mexico City owned by Tere. After the death of her daughter, Tere loses her passion for cooking but with her granddaughter Maria’s help regains her passion. While Tere is away, the restaurants chef Rosi introduced trendy neo-Mexican fare to the menu. The film then becomes about which style of food will win out, traditional or neo?

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“El Color de la Guayaba” is will be featured in the Latin Film festival in February 2013.

In addition to these films, Torre said that there should be 13 – 16 films at the film festival in February, including a short film from Chile, and a comedy horror film from Cuba, “Juan of the Dead.” Torre said he was surprised by this film.

“I did not expect a film like it coming out of Cuba,” he said. “It makes fun of both the Cuban government and the United States. It criticizes all sides.”

Torre said that the film festival will feature many of the directors, actors, and producers of the films to discuss their work.

The film festival is very instrumental in building relationships between cultures and between people in general, Torre said.

“This has been an incredible vehicle bringing Latinos and non-Latinos together,” Torre said. “Last year the film festival drew over 650 people.”

He said most were Southern students, but some were from the New Haven community, including a good amount of public school students. Torre said this was a good opportunity for the high school and middle school students to meet Southern students and see that it is possible to attend college.

Torre also said the film festival broadens non-Latino’s knowledge of the various Latino cultures.

“The film festival has helped non-Latinos to start learning more about the Spanish speaking world,” he said, “and the great differences.”

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