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Latin American Studies Film Series Returns To Campus Oct. 6

Published: October 3, 2011

The Latin American Studies Film Series returns to the University Theater at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 6, with the theme “Reconciling Realities.” Admission is free and parking is available in lot 7.

“This year’s theme of ‘Reconciling Realities’ deals with the way we see things and the ways in which we perceive certain realities which aren’t necessarily that way,” said Film and Electronic Arts’ José Sánchez-H., who has led the series since 2002. “It examines the human condition of how personal perspectives change the way we see the world.”

The Latin American Studies Film Series is presented by the Film and Electronic Arts Department, the Latin American Studies Program and the Romance, German, Russian Languages and Literatures Department, in collaboration with various organizations inside and outside the university including the Academy Film Archive of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Film Acquisition and Preservation Committee, the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival and radio station KPFK.

On Thursday, Oct. 6, the series opens with “Al sur de la frontera (South of the Border),” directed by Oliver Stone (“Wall Street,” “Platoon”). Sánchez-H. first encountered Stone’s documentary while doing research on Bolivian cinema for a chapter of the book International Film Guide 2011. It explores the misrepresentation by mainstream U.S. media of five Latin American countries. Stone interviews seven presidents including Cristina Kirchner from Argentina and her husband former President Nestor Kirchner; Evo Morales from Bolivia; Lula Silva from Brazil; Raúl Castro from Cuba; Fernando Lugo from Paraguay; and Hugo Chávez from Venezuela. This film runs 78 minutes and is in Spanish with English subtitles.

Sánchez-H. is excited about this year’s variety of titles and is especially pleased by the second film of the series arriving on Thursday, Oct. 13, titled “Area Q” made by CSULB Film and Electronic Arts alumni Gerson Sanginitto as writer/director and Carina Sanginitto as director of photography.

A father’s relentless search for his son leads him to an extraordinary discovery that will change his life forever. Thomas Mathews (“Isaiah Washington,” “Grey´s Anatomy,” “Romeo Must Die,” “Clockers,” “True Crime”) is an award-winning reporter who finds his life taking a turn after his son disappears. This film runs 100 minutes and is in English and Portuguese with subtitles.

Sánchez-H. first saw “Area Q” at the Brazilian Film Festival in Los Angeles where it screened to a packed theater. “I am pleased to have representatives of the next generation of CSULB filmmakers in this year’s series,” said the member of the university since 1988. “Students who enrolled at CSULB to study filmmaking are now making movies in other countries. Showing this work in the film series gives alumni an opportunity to share their work with current students.”

On Thursday, Oct. 20, the series continues with a preserved classic film from Puerto Rico, “Dios los cria… (Façade, 1980)” directed by Jacobo Morales. “Façade” was the film debut for Morales, who received a 1989 Best Foreign Language Oscar nomination for his film “What Happened to Santiago?” Morales writes, directs and acts as he weaves together the stories of a businessman, a wife, two brothers, a lover, a friend, a husband, a prostitute and a priest who disguise themselves to deal with their daily lives. The new 35mm print was restored by the Academy Film Archive of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival, and CSULB’s Department of Film and Electronic Arts. This film runs 120 minutes and is in Spanish with English subtitles.

Latin American Studies Film Series Poster

The series’ commitment to film preservation has been present from the beginning, said Sánchez-H. “I’ve been involved in the restoration of Latin American films since 2002 so I was especially pleased to schedule a title by a well-known Latin American filmmaker who is also an actor and poet.

“Film preservation is an important part of film history because it helps to keep films available in the future for other generation of filmmakers, scholars and students who will benefit from this cultural experience,” he said. A Q&A with Josef Lindner who did the film’s preservation will follow the screening.

The last film arrives on Thursday, Oct. 27, with a drama written and directed by Rodrigo Garcia titled “Madres e hijas” (“Mother and Child”). It tells the story of three women struggling to control of their lives. This film runs 125 minutes and is in English.

“This is a wonderful film, written and directed with genuine sensitivity,” said Sanchez-H. “I had the opportunity to see this film at the National Association of Latino Independent Producers Conference. Director Rodrigo Garcia and producer Julie Lynn kindly agreed to come to campus to present this film. I think it is a great opportunity for students who attend the film series to participate in the Q&A and learn from that experience.”

Sanchez-H. believes the series has grown into a significant bridge between town and gown. “It has built a record of excellence over the years and the community expects it to be there for them,” he said. “It offers a great opportunity to see the best in contemporary Latin American film and to learn about other cultures. Come and enjoy.”

More information is available at the Latin American Studies website or by contacting advocacy@csulb.edu.

–Richard Manly