Film Festival to amplify Latinx voices, stories, perspectives

Three young people
A scene from Alice JĂșnior

Apr. 11, 2024 – DENTON – Assembling a movie festival sounds like fun. Choose your favorites. Films that move the audience and make them think. Maybe just entertain. Problem is, where do you start?

"The roster from the distributor is huge," explained Angela Mooney, Texas Woman's University assistant professor who organized TWU's inaugural Latinx Film Festival, which will take place April 16-21. "They told me, just choose."

Just choose? How do you narrow down a list of films? Do you pick a theme? Do you maintain a variety of topics and directors and voices?

"No, we're going to do this together," Mooney said.

From the list of New York-based distributor Pragda, Mooney, who teaches courses in Spanish, Latin American Women Writers and Filmmakers, and Latin American Culture, narrowed the list down to 15.

"Amazing films," Mooney said. "I tried to get a selection of different countries and different directors. I tried to create a selection that would represent indigenous groups or LGBTQI+. I tried to pick ones that won awards.

"I asked our faculty (in the Language, Culture and Gender Studies department) and the Spanish Club board members to vote," she added. "These are the films they selected. It was very interesting that the students and the professors seemed attracted by the same films."

The festival will feature five films, two shown on April 16 in Administrative and Conference Tower room 301 and three streamed online. The festival is organized by LCGS and made possible in part by a Spanish Film Club grant from Pragda. Supported by the Spanish government, the grant covers a substantial portion of the licenses for five selected films and facilitates the streaming of the event.

All of the films are in Spanish with English subtitles. The festival is open to the public.

Here are the films in the festival:

Alice Júnior, April 16 in ACT 301 at 5 p.m.
"This is a comedy from Brazil that deals with LGBTQI plus," Mooney said. "It's a coming-of-age story of a trans girl. I think the students and the professors like this film, reading the synopsis, because it's very light and it's very joyful. And sometimes you don't see joyful narratives relating to the subject. So it's a comedy, but it's very respectful. They do a good job showing that you also can have happy stories even when you're dealing with that subject."

Luchadoras, April 16, ACT 301 at 6:30 p.m.
"Luchadoras is a documentary," Mooney said. "It deals with violence on the board in Mexico, how those women, they are luchadoras (female wrestlers) deal with a lot of difficulties and challenges. They face their life, but they're fighting. They're fighting in the ring and they're fighting life. It addresses issues of violence and discrimination, but also highlights the importance of enjoying life. So it's both things. There is violence there, but there is a lot of resistance from the women."

Seeds: Black Women in Power, streaming online April 17-21
"This is a documentary about how the feminist black movement in Brazil is taking over politics and how they're growing after the murder of activist Marielle Franco," Mooney said. "She was a city councilor. After her, a lot of other black women start taking over politics and get involved, and how her life multiplied in other lives and to make changes in Brazil. It's a very powerful documentary."

Adriana’s Pact, streaming online April 17-21
"This is more of an autobiography, from Chile," Mooney said. "There was a dictatorship in Chile, and still today artists are dealing with that subject and mostly about disappearances and violence that happened. This is a more complicated story. The filmmaker tries to find more about the history of her country through the history of an aunt who has hidden stories, so she's going over her family story and finding out about the country."

Guie’dani's Navel, streaming online April 17-21
"Guie’dani's Navel is from Mexico," Mooney said. "The main character is a young indigenous girl, and her mom works as a maid. Guie’dani is not going to accept this kind of class relationship and race relationship. The mother is not very empowered, but this girl is, and she will not accept that. She's not going to keep doing the cycle and be a future housekeeper.

"It's very important to have a Latinx film festival at a Hispanic-serving institution like TWU," Mooney said. "It fits. This fosters cultural representation, understanding and community engagement. Community engagement here on campus but also beyond."

For more streaming information, visit the Latinx Film Festival website.

Streaming information

Click here to stream the online films (valid April 17-21).
Username: SFC@TexasWomansUniversity
Password: TexasWomansUni2024SFC

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Page last updated 11:36 AM, April 12, 2024