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Vol 57 No. 16 : Sept. 1, 2005
Vol 57 No. 16 | Sept. 1, 2005

Latin American Film Series Returns

The Latin American Studies Film Series returns to CSULB on consecutive Thursdays beginning Sept. 29, at 7 p.m. in the University Theater with a screening of “The Sea Inside.” Admission is free.

The series appears in collaboration with CSULB’s Odyssey program. It is sponsored by CSULB’s Film and Electronic Arts Department, the College of the Arts, the Romance, German, Russian Languages and Literatures (RGRLL), Department and the College of Liberal Arts. The series was organized by Film and Electronic Arts José Sánchez-H., Women’s Studies’ Norma Chinchilla, RGRLL’s Alicia del Campo and Anthropology’s Jayne Howell.

“This series is good for the university because it gives faculty, staff and students the opportunity to learn more about Latin America in general and Latin American films in particular,” said Sánchez-H. 

Past series have included screenings of such prestigious titles as “The Motorcycle Diaries” which screened to acclaim at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival. “The film series went very well that year in the sense that it demonstrated one of our top goals, to expand the audience for Latin American films and to promote the Latin American Studies Program.”

“The Sea Inside,” a narrative film produced, written, directed, composed and edited by Chilean-born director Alejandro Amenábar, won Best Foreign Film at the 2005 Academy Awards. It is based on the true story of Spaniard Ramón Sampedro who fought a 30-year campaign to win the right to end his life with dignity.

On Thursday, Oct. 6, film preservationist Josef Lindner of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Film Archive will give a presentation about film restoration prior to the screening of two classic Bolivian films by Jorge Ruiz, “Mina Alaska” and “Vuelve Sebastiana (Come Back, Sebastiana).” The restoration was supervised by Lindner and Martha Hunt and overseen by the director of the Academy Film Archive, Michael Pogorzelski and Film and Electronic Arts’ José Sánchez-H. “Mina Alaska” is the first Latin American film restored by the Academy Film Archive. Last year, a new 35mm print of “Vuelve Sebastiana” was created by the Academy Film Archive for screenings at film festivals in the U.S. and Europe. The restoration and creation of the 35mm print were done in collaboration with CSULB’s Film and Electronic Arts Department as part of a Latin American film restoration program with the participation of the Academy Film Archive and the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival.

Film camera illustration

“The films that were selected matched our theme of cultures in conflict because they represent a variety of takes on the topic,” Sánchez-H. said.  He also commented on the importance of film restoration, “The preservation of films that are made is essential for the film history of any country or group of people.  Without it, the film experience becomes only written word or part of oral history for audiences in the future, including the film historian.  Because ‘Mina Alaska’ and `Vuelve Sebastiana’ represent an important part of Bolivian film history, I felt it was important to bring these films to campus. The Latin American Studies Film Series offered a good opportunity.”

On Oct. 13, the series continues with the documentary film “Farmingville,” winner of the Special Jury Award at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, directed by Carlos Sandoval and Catherine Tambini. The hate-based attempted murders of two Mexican day laborers in Farmingville, N.Y., a small Long Island town, revealed a new front line in the border wars: suburbia. Carlos Sandoval will introduce the film and afterwards there will be a Q&A.

The film series concludes on Oct. 20, with “Como el gato y el ratón (A Game of Cat and Mouse),” a dramatic film about a squabble between two families which turns into two warring factions directed by Colombian Rodrigo Triana. Triana’s film won the Golden Lion and Youth Awards in 2002 at the Biarritz Film Festival.

More information is available by calling Sánchez-H. at 562/985-7661, Chinchilla at 562/ 985-4760, del Campo at 562/985-5138, Howell at 562/985-5192.   

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