The Ring

2014 Latin American and Spanish Film Week at Cinecenta

Thu, 2014-08-21 15:34

The Latin American and Spanish Film Week returns in mid September to Victoria for a fifth year.

The event will take place from Sept. 16–21 at the University of Victoria’s Cinecenta theatre.

This year’s line-up features documentaries about two iconic Latin American women as well as four fictional films, including an urban thriller, family dramas and a social comedy.

The event is organized by the Hispanic Film Society of Victoria, whose founding members are three Hispanic and Italian Studies professors: Dr. Lloyd Howard, Prof. Chrissie Forster and Dr. Dan Russek.

It also includes former student of the department Zoey Ockenden and community member Dr. Isabel Leal. The Society aims to promote the cultural diversity of Latin America and Spain in the community, as well as raise awareness of relevant social and political issues through film.

A screening of Mercedes Sosa: the Voice of Latin America by Rodrigo H. Vila kicks off the festival. This documentary explores the famous 20-century Argentine folksinger, who was a larger-than-life character influential for her musical talents and her social commitment. The film is a wonderful introduction to Mercedes Sosa’s work as well as a celebration of her life.

On Sept. 17 is the screening of 7 Boxes, an entertaining thriller that takes place in the depths of the Municipal Market in Asunción, Paraguay’s capital. 7 boxes is an action-packed film that follows Victor, a youngster who has to run for his life when caught in the midst of a criminal plot.

Rosario by Shula Erenberg will be featured on Thursday, Sept. 18. This is a documentary about the travails of social activist turned politician Rosario Ibarra de Piedra. A central figure in the Mexican left and well-respected across the political spectrum, Ibarra has been fighting for the defense of human rights and government accountability since the 1970s.

On Friday the 19, The Amazing Catfish by Mexican Claudia Saint-Luce will be shown. A bittersweet family drama, it follows Claudia, a lonely young woman who ends up joining a quirky family. The film explores, with insight and humour, our human bonds in the face of sickness and death. The Amazing Catfish was recognized as the best Latin American feature at the 2014 Mar del Plata International Film Festival and was awarded the Fipresci Prize in the Discovery Program for emerging directors at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival.

The Delay, by Rodrigo Plá, is set in Montevideo, Uruguay. The film explores the plight of María, a middle-aged woman and mother of three, who struggles to take care of her 80-year-old father, Agustín. An insightful drama about family relations during trying times, The Delay is a masterfully directed film that leads the spectator to a suspenseful resolution. The film will be shown on Saturday, Sept. 20.

The Film Week wraps up on Sunday, Sept. 21 with a comedy hailing from Spain. A Gun in Each Hand, by Cesc Gay, is a clever collection of vignettes that present a portrait of 40-something manhood and its shifting role in contemporary Barcelona. The film stars a talented cast of Spanish-language actors, including Candela Peña, who won best supporting actress at the 27th Goya Awards, and Argentina’s favourite Ricardo Darín.

The fifth Latin American and Spanish Film Week is sponsored by the Department of Hispanic and Italian Studies, the Department of Women’s Studies, the Division of Continuing Studies, the Faculty of Social Sciences, the Office of Community Relations and the Office of the Vice-President Academic and Provost at UVic, as well as by CRD Arts Development Service and the Consulate General of Mexico in Vancouver. The Society is grateful for the support of the Passion for Tango Society, the CFUV radio program Postales Musicales de Latinoamérica (101.3 FM) and community member Randall Recinos-Drago.

The event is open to the public, and all films are subtitled in English. Regular prices apply.

If you wish to contact the organizers or get more information about the Film Week, go to hispfilmvic.ca or email hispfilmvic@gmail.com.