The Fifth Annual International Film Festival will be presenting five films from Latin America and Spain in hopes to bring together the SFA and Nacogdoches communities through presentation of the films, viewing and open discussion on topics of social issues.
Each film will be held for one night only in room 142 of Liberal Arts North, with two of the five films receiving a second showing at the Judy B. McDonald Public Library. Each show will start at 7:00 p.m. and end around 9:30 p.m. The festival will be held Oct. 7, 8 and 9 and Oct. 14 and 16.
This year, the film festival has been made possible by grants from Pragda and Humanities Texas, in collaboration with SFA’s Department of Languages Cultures, and Communication and The Division of Multidisciplinary Programs. Dr. Gabriela Miranda-Recinos and Dr. José Neftalí Recinos, directors of the festival, said that their first intention of the festival was to bring together the SFA and Nacogdoches Community.
“When we first began doing the International Film Festival, we thought that by bringing in new voices, new films, new cinematic productions from Latin America and Spain, [it] will be of interest to our students and our community,” Miranda-Recinos said. “Our goal was not only to reach, of course, SFA community, but also the outside Nacogdoches community and bringing them into the University, get them to know us.”
Dr. Neftalí Recinos said that the International Film Festival was one thing he and Miranda-Recinos, as professors, could bring to SFA that had not been done before.
“When performing services [for the university], usually we tend to choose what we want to do,” Neftalí Recinos said. “[Nacogdoches does] have a place where we can watch films, but the films that we get is everything Hollywood is throwing out there. They don’t bring anything different.”
The films chosen for the festival are different from the typical Hollywood film.
“You don’t have the blockbuster Hollywood film in Latin America. But, you do have films that focus on particular historical periods or contemporary problems that this particular society is living,” Miranda-Recinos said. “Latin American film, in its history, has always been very socially conscious.”
Students and members of the community interested in film will be able to see what types of ideas, concepts and cultural shifts are present in these particular stories.
“To have the students have the opportunity to view films from different countries, that’s the main motivation behind it…to present students with the opportunity to experience a different type of narrative,” Recinos said.
A presenter will lead a pre-and post discussion to bring to the audience’s attention specific things to look for and to think about while watching the film. The questions and ideas are meant to spark critical thinking and active listening and learning within viewers. Dr. Mario Morena, visiting professor at SFA, is one of the speakers who will be presenting one film and leading a discussion.
“When [Dr. Miranda-Recinos and Dr. Recinos] asked me if I wanted to do it, it was a real honor because I know they are thinking about very special people [who are] able to have a quick and responsive connection with the audience,” Moreno said.
By showing films from different countries, Morena said that this is a way borders can be broken.
“We can see what life is like in different cultures, and people need to open their eyes,” Morena said. “By showing foreign movies we are breaking borders. You belong to other societies in the way that other societies belong to you.”