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Spanish-language film festival coming to KU

Friday, October 10, 2014

LAWRENCE — Celebrating the vibrant film cultures of Chile, Mexico, Costa Rica, Brazil and Spain, ¡Vamos! Spanish Language Film Festival will bring contemporary international films to Lawrence. Free and open to the public, the festival opens Wednesday, Oct. 15, and ends Nov. 14. Public screenings are listed below.

The films vary from challenging documentaries to intricate films within a film. These works push hard at the frameworks of filmmaking, generate ideas about history and raise questions about indigenous rights, politics and nationalities.

“Bringing these films to KU and to Lawrence is an act of passion. There will be no other way to see these films. Some of them are still on the film festival circuit, and some of them may never be distributed in the U.S. or available online,” said Meg Jamieson, lecturer in KU film and media studies. “These films are connected more by their sense of innovation and urgency than by any particular national or cultural making.”

Jamieson added, “These filmmakers are dealing with the stuff of the world. No matter where you live and where you are from, these themes of indigenous rights, colonialism, migration, nationality, and the press of economics, politics and history structure our lives and either give us possibilities or shut them down. This is the world we all share; these filmmakers are working with it.”

Film screenings are as follows.

“También la Lluvia” (“Even the Rain”)
Wednesday, Oct. 15, at 5:30 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art Auditorium

This masterful film-within-a-film raises questions about exploitation in South America, blurring the lines between past and present, fiction and reality. Homemade tamales will be provided by a local chef, and Bart Dean, professor of anthropology, will lead a discussion following the screening.

“The Death of Pinochet” (“La Muerte de Pinochet”)
Followed by a Q & A with the film’s director, Ivan Osnovikoff
Monday, Oct. 20 at 1:30 p.m.
Oldfather Studios, Room 120
“The Death of Pinochet” uses original footage and the testimonies of four characters who lived through that day to relate the end of a key chapter in Chile’s history. A work that balances tragedy and comedy, it is a surprising portrait of Chilean society.

“The Return” (“El Regreso”)
Wednesday, Oct. 29, at 6:30 p.m.
Oldfather Studios, Room 100

“The Return” is the story of a delightful and life-changing journey back to Costa Rica. After living 10 years in New York, 30-year-old Antonio returns to San José, where he is forced to deal with the realities he ran away from. 

Wednesday, Nov. 5, at 5:30 p.m.
Spencer Museum of Art Auditorium

“Xingu” is based on a true story. During their exploration of central Brazil in 1943, the Villas-Bôas brothers encounter the Xingu Indians and devote their lives to preserving Xingu culture. A post-screening discussion with Luciano Tosta, professor of Spanish & Portuguese, will follow.

Co-sponsors for the festival include the Department of Film & Media Studies, the Center for Global & International Studies, Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies, Ermal Garinger Academic Resource Center, Spencer Museum of Art, the departments of Spanish & Portuguese and Indigenous Studies, the Latin American Graduate Organization, and Centro Hispano as a community collaborator.

The Spanish Film Club series was made possible with the support of Pragda, Ministry of Education, Culture, Culture and Sports of Spain, and SPAIN arts and culture.

The Department of Film & Media Studies is one of four departments in the School of the Arts. As part of the KU College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the School of the Arts offers fresh possibilities for collaboration between the arts and the humanities, sciences, social sciences, international and interdisciplinary studies.