Our 6th Film Week took place from Tuesday September 22 to Sunday 27, 2015 at the University of Victoria’s Cinecenta. Once again we brought to Victoria a sample of the best movies produced today in Latin America and Spain. Thanks to all who attended the six-night event.
The 2015 line-up featured a documentary about the Huicholes (an indigenous people in central Mexico who are fighting to keep their ancestral traditions), social dramas from Brazil and Cuba, a crime thriller from Argentina, an urban comedy from Mexico and a road movie from Spain.
Stay tuned for the 7th edition of this cultural event. We will post the line-up, synopses and trailers by August, 2016.
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Director in attendance! Q & A after the show
Sponsored by the Mining Justice Action Committee (MJAC) and CUPE/Vancouver Island District Council
Part of the proceeds of the show will support Mosqoy, a registered Canadian charity that promotes educational and cultural rights for Andean communities in Peru (mosqoy.org)
Huicholes: The Last Peyote Guardians is a story about the Wixarika People, one of the last living Pre-Hispanic cultures in Latin America, and their struggle to preserve Wirikuta, their sacred territory and the land where the peyote grows, the traditional plant that keeps the knowledge of this iconic culture of Mexico alive. However, this territory is in danger. In 2010 the Mexican government granted concessions to several mining companies to explore and exploit the area, a natural reserve of 140,000 hectares of desert and hills in the Mexican state of San Luis Potosí, rich in gold, silver and other valuable minerals. This visually stunning documentary explores the struggles and hopes of the Huicholes today.
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Exploring issues of class privilege among Rio de Janeiro’s decadent elite, Big House depicts a teenage boy's struggle to escape his overprotective parents as they covertly spiral into bankruptcy. Both a coming-of-age film and a social commentary on Brazil’s social inequalities and uneven development, Big House tells a human story, in realist fashion, that captures dreams and anxieties shared by millions of people in today’s globalized economy.
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One of the most heralded Cuban films of the last decade, Conducta provides a sensitive, unembellished look at contemporary life in Cuba. Life isn’t easy for 11-year-old Chala. When he isn’t getting into trouble at school for his violent behavior, or with the police for raising fighting dogs, he has to contend with an alcoholic mother who spends her nights hustling in Havana’s nightclubs. Chala has one person on his side: his teacher Carmela, who absolutely believes that no child is a lost cause. But when Carmela falls ill, Chala himself is in danger of falling through the cracks of an unforgiving system. Winner of the Best Film Prize at the Málaga Film Festival and the 2014 Cuban submission for the Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars.
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This plucky and effortlessly cool black-and-white film from newcomer Alonso Ruizpalacios follows three restless teens during a student strike in 1999. Federico and Santos are roommates in Mexico City, students ‘on strike from the strike’ now that their university has been shut down, when Federico’s brother Tomás arrives. They hit the streets of the chaotic, exciting city looking for famed rock star Epigmenio Cruz, who once allegedly made Bob Dylan cry.” (AFI Fest) Blondes won Best New Narrative Director at the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival, the Audience Awards at the Morelia and AFI Film Festivals, and Best Film and Best Director prizes at the most recent Ariel competition, Mexico’s most prestigious film awards.
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A powerful industrialist is found with his throat cut in his luxury mansion. The famous novelist Betibú agrees to move into the neighbourhood, a posh country club in the suburbs of Buenos Aires, so she can write the chronicles of the case for a prestigious newspaper, but she soon discovers that this killing is just one in a series of murders of powerful men who share a dark past. Betibú is one of the most exciting thrillers coming from Argentina in the last years.
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Beatles fans will recognize the title from the lyrics in “Strawberry Fields Forever,” which John Lennon wrote while in southern Spain playing a minor character in Richard Lester’s anti-war movie How I Won the War. This event forms the backdrop of Trueba’s charming road movie about Antonio, a Spanish schoolteacher who is also an avid Beatles fan. When he learns that Lennon is filming in Almería, in southern Spain, he sets out to meet him. Along the way he makes friends with Belén, a 20-year-old pregnant girl on her way home to her family, and Juanjo, a teenage boy. Lennon’s words take on special significance in a story set in Franco’s Spain. Winner of four Goya Awards, Spain’s top cinematographic prize, including Best Film and Best Director, and the 2014 Spanish submission for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars.
The Hispanic Film Society of Victoria was established in 2012 with the aim of promoting Latin American and Spanish Cinema in Victoria through the organization of an annual Film Week at Cinecenta.
The Society continues the work of the organizing committee which has been in charge of setting up the Latin American and Spanish Film Week since 2010. This is a cultural event that has already become an annual tradition in our city.
By becoming a Society, the members aim to engage more closely the diverse communities in Victoria interested in cinema and the cultures of the Hispanic world.
We invite the public to attend the annual Film Week as well as getting in touch with us to learn more about our activities and the possibilities for volunteering.
The 6th Latin American and Spanish Film Week was organized by the Hispanic Film Society of Victoria and sponsored by the Department of Hispanic and Italian Studies, the Division of Continuing Studies and the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Victoria, CRD Arts Development Service, BC Arts Council, the Consulate General of Mexico in Vancouver, the Mining Justice Action Committee (MJAC) and CUPE/Vancouver Island District Council.
We are grateful for the support of the Passion for Tango Society, the CFUV radio program Postales Musicales de Latinoamérica (101.9 FM), and community member Randall Recinos-Drago for the design of the poster.
Our Film Week has been featured in radio programs and the news media. Check them out:
If you wish to contact the organizers or get more information about the Film Week email firstname.lastname@example.org, or use the space below