Friday, March 12, 2010

Latino Film Festival Set for March 23-April 3

Eleven years ago, Phoenix College launched its first Latin American film festival to provide a venue for students studying Spanish to learn the culture of the language. Phoenix College then opened the Latino Film Festival to the public as community interest increased. Throughout the years, the Phoenix College Latino Film Festival has generated local hype—last year drawing an estimated 250 to 300 viewers.

This year, Phoenix College invites community members to celebrate the 11th Annual Latino Film Festival on March 23, 25, 26, 27, 30 and April 1 - 3, 2010. All films will be shown at Phoenix College with the exception of the opening and closing films, which will be screened at Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N. Central Ave. All films and discussion sessions are free and open to the public.

Discussion and special guest appearances are scheduled to follow each film screening. Special guests and discussion leaders include representatives from the City of Phoenix, Consulate General of Mexico in Phoenix, La Voz Newspaper, Arizona State University, and University of Kentucky. Discussion sessions will cover topics including film content, the creative process of developing and producing films in Latin America, and an analysis of the socio-economic and cultural background of the Latin American country the films represent.

“The Phoenix College Latino Film Festival is a way to promote the interest in national and international affairs among our students and community members,” said Trino Sandoval, PC Spanish faculty. “It is important for all of us to see the connection between Latin America and the United States; and how events in these two regions have consequences, both positive and negative, at different levels.”

Films from Mexico, United States, Colombia and Uruguay will be among those featured.

Films are in Spanish with English subtitles. All films and discussion sessions are free and open to the public. Some movies are for mature audiences.

Films showcased during the 2010 Phoenix College Latino Film Festival include:

El Informe Toledo (The Toledo Report) by Albino Alvarez Gomez
Mexico, 2009

Tuesday, March 23, 2010 / Reception: 5:30 p.m.; Film: 6:30 p.m.
Phoenix Art Museum, Whiteman Hall

Discussion with Film Producer and Director Albino Álvarez Gómez

This film weaves a plot where the passion and mastery of the artist are inseparable from his involvement in historical and social matters. Using a series of 15 self-portrait prints of Francisco Toledo (considered by many to be one of the greatest living Mexican artists), this exciting documentary takes us on a journey from Paris of the 1960s to political conflict in Oaxaca in 2006.

Los Herederos (The Heirs) by Eugenio Polgovski
Mexico, 2008

Thursday, March 25, 2010 / 7 p.m.
Phoenix College, Bulpitt Auditorium

Discussion with Mariana de la Fuente, City of Phoenix

This full length documentary offers a stunning, unadorned portrait of the daily lives of poor working indigenous children in different parts of Mexico. The documentary culled from three years of filming. Film director Eugenio Poglovsky denounces the exploitation of these children while celebrating their resilience and resourcefulness. A documentary for the heart and mind.

La Rosa Blanca (The White Rose) by Roberto Gavaldón
Mexico, 1961

Friday, March 26, 2010 / 7 p.m.
Phoenix College, Bulpitt Auditorium

Discussion with Dr. David William Foster, Arizona State University

A peasant called Jacinto Yañez owns a ranch in the middle of the land that foreign oil companies have bought for their exploitation. Jacinto and his wife Carmen live there with their son Domingo and his wife Guadalupe. Mr. Perez visits Jacinto to offer him a large amount of money for his land, but he refuses, and the governor backs him up. One of the foreign investors gets very angry over his refusal to sell and does all he can to convince Jacinto, but since he’s unable to do it, he kills him and takes possession of the ranch. Finally the murder is discovered and the investor flees.

Los Albañiles (The Bricklayers) by Jorge Fons
Mexico, 1976

Saturday, March 27, 2010 / 7 p.m.
Phoenix College Osborn Center, Dome Conference Room

Discussion with Dr. David William Foster, Arizona State University

The overnight guard of a construction building is assassinated. The police investigation reveals not only the possible causes of the crime but also the corruption within the construction company from the owner of the building to the poorest of the bricklayers and the bricklayers union of this unique construction job.

2501 Migrants by Yolanda Cruz
Mexico and USA, 2009

Tuesday, March 30, 2010 / 7 p.m.
Phoenix College, Bulpitt Auditorium

Discussion with Film Director Yolanda Cruz

This full-length documentary explores questions of art, and indigenous community in the context of global migration. Daily, thousands of primarily poor and young indigenous Mexicans abandon their native homes. They start voyages to the “first world” in search of jobs and the hope of a brighter future or any economic future at all. In their wake, they leave behind the hollow footprints of a cultural and domestic abandonment. This documentary portrays the story of Alejandro Santiago, a middle-aged artist and family man from Oaxaca, Mexico. Relatively affluent and erudite, Alejandro returns home after a brief self-exile in France. But upon arrival to his native Teococuilco, he is struck by what he perceives as a virtual ghost town. Alejandro experiences, first hand, the reality that Oaxaca has emerged as one of Mexico’s leading exporters of human labor to the United States. Inspired by this, he decides to create a monumental installation art piece, a 2,501 life-size sculptures as an homage to each individual migrant who left his village.

The Wind Journeys by by Ciro Guerra
Colombia, 2009

Thursday, April 1, 2010 / 7 p.m.
Phoenix College, Bulpitt Auditorium

Discussion with Dr. Juana Suárez, University of Kentucky

For most of his life, Ignacio Carrillo traveled the villages of northern Colombia, playing traditional songs on his accordion, a legendary instrument said to have once belonged to the devil. He eventually married and settled in a small town, leaving the nomadic life behind. But after the traumatic death of his wife, he vows to never play the accursed accordion again, and embarks on one last journey to return the instrument to its rightful owner. On the way, Ignacio is followed by Fermín, a spirited teenager determined to become his apprentice. Tired of loneliness, Ignacio accepts the young man as his pupil and together they traverse the vast Colombian terrain, discovering the musical diversity of Caribbean culture. Hardened by a life of solitude, Ignacio tries to discourage Fermín from following in his footsteps, but destiny has different plans for them.

Gigante (Giant) by Adrián Biniez
Uruguay, 2009

Friday, April 2, 2010 / 7 p.m.
Phoenix College, Bulpitt Auditorium

Discussion with Eduardo Bernal, La Voz Newspaper

Jara is a shy and lonely 35-year-old security guard at a supermarket on the outskirts of Montevideo. He works the night shift, monitoring the surveillance cameras of the entire building. One night Jara discovers Julia, a 25 year old cleaning woman, through one of the cameras and is immediately attracted to her. Night after night, he watches her on the cameras while she works. Soon he starts following her after work: to the cinema, the beach and even to a date with another man. Jara's life becomes a series of routines and rituals around Julia, but eventually he finds himself at a crossroad and must decide whether to give up his obsession or confront it.

Doña Bárbara (Mrs. Barbara) by Fernando de Fuentes
México, 1943

Saturday, April 3, 2010 / 2 p.m.
Phoenix Art Museum, Whiteman Hall

Special Guest: Luis Ángel Castañeda Flores, Consulate General of Mexico in Phoenix
Discussion with Dr. Juana Suárez, University of Kentucky

After studying law in Caracas, Santos Luzardo returns to take charge of his herd in Altamira, in the Venezuelan plain controlled by doña Barbara. The woman has the peasants under her thumb, through a mixture of guile, firm hand and witchcraft. The encounter between doña Barbara and Santos causes her to fall in love with the young man and to try to make him hers what ever the cost.

Generous sponsorship is being provided by Arizona Latin@ Arts & Cultural Center; Consulado General de Mexico en Phoenix, Arizona; Latin American Art Alliance; Maricopa Community Colleges; Phoenix Art Museum; Phoenix College; and Televisa.

For more information on the 2009 Latino Film Festival at Phoenix College, contact Dr. Trino Sandoval at (602) 285-7416 or visit

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