Spanish film festival reveals other cultures

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Lacey Alexander
Staff Writer

The Department of Modern Languages and Classics and the Troy University library will be hosting a Spanish film festival after a grant was awarded to the school.
With the aid of a grant by Pragda, a film distribution company specifically for Spanish and Latin American films, the festival will present five foreign films on separate dates throughout March and April. All of the films presented will be in the Spanish language and have free admission.
The Spanish Film Festival will be the first at Troy. The films were chosen by the four Spanish professors in the department and will portray a multitude of different cultures of multiple countries.
Johanna Méndez Alberich, assistant professor of Spanish, chose “Las Vacas Con Gafas,” a Puerto Rican film, and “El Regreso,” a Costa Rican film.
“I’m Puerto Rican… and Puerto Rico’s part of the United States, but it does have their own cinema, their own films,” Alberich said. “I chose ‘El Regreso’ because I wanted to tie it in with my study abroad…I take a group every summer to Costa Rica…I really wanted to show them a film out of that country.”
“This will open people’s eyes to other languages, other cultures,” Alberich said. “There’s all different themes…poverty, and social injustice, and politics… I want people to think outside of the United States.”
While the films are all of the Spanish language, Alberich said that the films’ content all represent a different culture.
“One’s from Spain, one is from Argentina… and the last film is out of Mexico but it’s about Bolivia,” she said. “Each one of the films, the dialects will be completely different. But even if you don’t speak Spanish, you should be able to see visually and see culturally, politically and socially the differences between countries.”
The grant to present these films only went to one other college in Alabama, and will allow the films to be shown at the different Troy campuses.
Alberich also said that while she did most of the Spanish paperwork, she was approached by media librarian Lisa Vardaman about the opportunity, and that the two of them worked together to make the festival happen.
“Lisa Vardaman’s done just about everything,” Alberich said. “I give her a lot of credit. She has a love for the Spanish-speaking world that she wants to share as well. We’re a good team.”
All of the films will be shown in Patterson Hall, Room 105 at 4 p.m. “Pa Negre” was presented on March 5, and “El Regreso” will be shown on March 19, “Las Vacas con Gafas” on March 26, “Infancia Clandestina,” an Argentine film, on April 2, and “Tambian la Lluvia,” a Spanish film, April 9.

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