The Student Voice of Coastal Carolina University



Latin American Film Fest: Educational entertainment

With Hispanic Heritage Month fast approaching, it is time for the fourth annual, free to the community, Latin American Film Festival. 


The event is organized and hosted by Maurico Castillo, a Latin American Studies and Spanish professor at Coastal Carolina University. He, along with his student adviser Valentin Lencina-Rabidoux, have been setting up this event for a few months now.  


The films will be shown in their native language with English subtitles every Wednesday at 5 p.m. starting on Sept. 27 through Oct. 25 in the Coastal Theater, located in room A-103 in Lib Jackson Student Union. The films come from all around the world with “Spider Thieves” from Chile, “Los Lobos” followed by “Nudo Mixteco” from Mexico, Cuba’s “On the Roof” and “Solidarity Planet” from Brazil. 


“Come to the event if you want to experience and benefit from other cultures that are not that far away to look at its similarities,” Castillo said, “There is nothing like being there in person with guests and peers as film is a passive, intercultural exchange.” 


Usually, there are about 60 to 80 students who attend each film, but that number is slowly increasing each year as more members from the Coastal community are drawn toward understanding Latin culture. 


All of the films and some of the grants for the event are donated by Pragda, a leading company in Spanish and Latin American film distribution. They are then handpicked by Castillo so their topics and stories contemporarily relate to the students. These films, besides emphasizing their unique culture, often tell the stories of class struggles with identity, feminism, and bullying within the LGBTQ+ community. 


“It’s a great opportunity to introduce these diverse stories told through Latin American film,” Lencina-Rabidoux said. 


After each film, a 20-minute virtual Q&A will take place on Zoom with some of the directors and other artists involved in the film’s production in order to spark conversation and increase understanding. 


“Within a college setting, a lot of cultural differences can be celebrated through programs like these,” International Student Service Adviser Gabriella Caputo said. “Especially in marginalized communities in America, the Latin American Flim Fest is a crucial way to open the book to cultural exchange and avoid misconceptions.” 


For those planning on stopping by, an opening reception will be held at 4 p.m. before the first showing. There will be food provided, along with a visit from CCU President Michael Benson. 

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