In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Alexandria World Languages Department hosted a Spanish and Latin American Film Festival from September 15 to 23. The festival was made possible by a grant awarded to Professor Martha Davis by Pragda, SPAIN Arts & Culture and the Secretary of State for Culture of Spain.
NOVA was one of 46 colleges and universities throughout North and South America and Australia, and one of only three community colleges in the U.S. to receive the grant. The Alexandria Office of Student Life and Spanish American Latino Student Association (S.A.L.S.A.) also provided funding and support.
The festival featured five films from Chile, Argentina, El Salvador, Spain and Paraguay. Many highlighted the countries’ linguistic diversity by including speakers of Chinese, Russian, Arabic, Guaraní and Korean in addition to Spanish. All of the films showcased communities that have been largely unrepresented in cinema, such as Asian immigrants to South America and illiterate adults.
For example, “Wilaya,” the selection from Spain, is the first narrative movie filmed on location in an Algerian refugee camp for Saharawis escaping the decades-long conflict in Western Sahara. The 2014 film, “Malacrianza/The Crow’s Nest,” was the first fiction film from El Salvador to be produced since 1969 and the first ever to enjoy worldwide release.
The films were followed by lively discussions moderated by professors Davis, Carlos Schroder, James Baer, Lama Hamdan and Eddy Arana. Thank you to the moderators, all who attended and those who encouraged their students to attend, especially Alexandria professors Dali Tan, Amanda Trostle, Peter Ruffner and Carolyn Lorente and Woodbridge Professor Lindsay Félix.