Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.
The Daily Lobo The Independent Voice of UNM since 1895
Latest Issue
Read our print edition on Issuu

UNM celebrates Latino films

Dream of first Latin American film festival in the state comes to fruition

The Southwest Film Center will premiere the films “Orfeu,” Nuyorican Dream” and “The Charcoal People” Friday, Saturday and Sunday as part of its Latin American Film Festival

The festival is the first of its kind at the SWFC, and co-directors Roberto Appicciafoco and Emily Davis say they hope to see it prosper in future years.

“Always shoot high, that’s what I think,” said Appicciafoco, who spoke with directors for two years about his ideas for a Latin American Film Festival in New Mexico.

“Growing up in a Latin American community on the east coast, and then moving here and seeing what was offered as far as visuals were concerned, to be honest there wasn’t much coming forth,” Appicciafoco said.

Appicciafoco said New Mexico is in a crucial place on the Latin American land map, and the absence of a celebration for Latino films here is inappropriate. Latin American film festivals have taken place in cities all over the country, such as Chicago, Miami and Los Angeles, but Appicciafoco will be the first to tell you that Albuquerque’s film market is too inadequate to catch many quality movies.

“There aren’t that many venues here in this town, and they’re closing up all the time,” Appicciafoco said. “There are a lot of good films out there that should get a chance here. It’s not all about what comes out of Hollywood.”

The SWFC is one of those important venues for UNM and the Albuquerque community for two reasons: its commitment to films that need a premiere, and its accessibility to the community. Davis stressed that an item of protocol on the center’s agenda is to offer its space as a debut arena for independent films that will never see light at the box office. She also says the film center is an important link in the film festival chain.

“A lot of times film festivals are not easily accessible to people, especially college students who can’t make it to Taos and Santa Fe and pay eight bucks to see a premiere,” Davis said. “So we bring those movies to the students and the Albuquerque community.”

Kim Nolan, director of the Student Organization of Latin American Students, inspired Appicciafoco to follow through with his long-term goal of bringing such a film festival to UNM. For two years, SOLAS has shown Latino films on campus, and, for this festival, it has joined forces with the SWFC and the Guild Cinema to promote Latino filmmaking. The four films selected by SOLAS, “Once,” “No Nos Tientes,” “Mass Allada de los Gritos” and “Zapatista,” will be shown in Dane Smith Hall Room 123 Monday and Tuesday at 7 p.m. The Guild, 3405 Central Ave. N.E., will show the best foreign film nominee “Amores Perros,” and anyone interested should call the Guild at 255-1848 for show times.

The premieres of “Orfeu,” Nuyorican Dream” and “The Charcoal People” will be shown at the SWFC in the Center for the Arts Building, Room 2018. “Orfeu” is a light-hearted, full-length 16 mm color film about love and war in the slums of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, during the annual Carnival celebration. “Nuyorican Dream” is a video documentary about the reality of the American nightmare for Puerto Rican immigrants in New York City. Some of the scenes in this piece, which follow Robert Torres and his family through their struggles, are difficult to watch as Torres runs into perpetual confrontation with his drug-addicted, poverty-stricken family. Finally, “The Charcoal People” is a masterpiece and by far the best offering this weekend. A high quality documentary about the deforestation of South American jungles for the luxury of everyone except the people who work there, this film drives a hard message — South America still experiences slavery conditions.

For complete show times and listings of films beginning Friday, pick up a brochure at the SWFC central office, B-92 in the basement of the Student Services Building or call them at 277-5608.

Enjoy what you're reading?
Get content from The Daily Lobo delivered to your inbox
Powered by SNworks Solutions by The State News
All Content © 2023 The Daily Lobo