Tonight kicks off the first annual Spanish and Latin American film festival with the movie Clandestine Childhood (or Infancia Clandestina in Spanish) in the Wallace Hall auditorium.
The Department of History and Foreign Languages will be showing newly released Latin American and Spanish films each Thursday night of October at 5 o’clock with one show on October 29, which is a Tuesday.
All of the films chosen will be shown with English subtitles but none will be in spoken English. One film, Father’s Chair (A Busca) will be in Portuguese.
Dr. Alexandra Martinez, the coordinator for the festival and a professor of Spanish Language at Jacksonville State, says the she believes “film is a great way for students to immerse themselves in the language and the culture.”
As each of the films deal with something that students and others around Jacksonville have perhaps encountered, such as immigration, family responsibilities, and cultural identity issues, the films should appeal to those who take the time to attend the festival.
Before each showing, Dr. Martinez plans to relate a little background information on the director and then following the film there will be a short discussion centering on the prevalent themes and the impact it had on those in attendance.
Dr. Martinez has taught at JSU for four years now and has wanted to begin a Spanish film festival and so applied for a grant from Pragda, an organization that wishes to bring Spanish film to the world, in order to fund the film festival and received it.
As this is the first film festival like this, Dr. Martinez says, “I’m hoping a lot of people will come. I don’t know what to expect,” but she definitely wants to try to make the festival an annual or even a semi-annual event.
This is a great way to celebrate Hispanic Heritage month, which began September 15 and will be until October 15.
As a factor in deciding when the films would be shown, Hispanic Heritage month was only a small part.
Dr. Martinez says that this month was chosen because it is the middle of the semester and students wouldn’t have a large homework load, not to mention “it’s a nice way to end the week.”
The Spanish club will also be in attendance at each showing, in order to raise money for the club and its activities.
Last year, the Spanish club took a trip to the Museum of High Art in order to see an exhibit of two Spanish artists.
The club, open to all levels of Spanish speakers, meets once every week at Java Jolt in order to have discussions and use the Spanish language in a setting that is not as stressful as using it in the classroom.