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Sin Fronteras Film Festival spotlights Latin America

Sin Fronteras Film Festival spotlights Latin America

Posted by Juan Gavasa on February 24, 2015

Protests, artistic traditions and violence came together to demonstrate the diverse and profound social realities of Latin America in this year’s 2015 Sin Fronteras Film Festival.

The Student Organization for Latin American Studies organized the free event, which included nine films that came from Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, Peru, Chile, Brazil and California.

SOLAS member Sarah Leister, said the festival aimed to raise awareness about social justice in Latin America. Local and global communities connected with the films where themes such as sexuality, immigration, identity, culture and injustice were shown, she said.

“We hope that it will spur discussions in classrooms and community organizations about human rights issues and even artistic expression,” Leister said. “These are forms of education that might help people explore their own identities.”

Karla Molinar-Arvizo, a student member of the UNM Dream Team, said festivals such as Sin Fronteras helps emphasize and reflect the multifaceted hardships experienced by Latino and Hispanic groups. Putting a face to the issues counters the risk of these realities being dismissed by the general public, she said.

“When you see it on camera you have clear evidence; it mobilizes you,” Molinar-Arvizo said.

Leister said the films bring Latin America to the forefront of the Albuquerque community.

“When you see the films it does not make Latin America seem like a far away region,” Leister said. “It transcends borders because the issues that these films talk about relate to issues that we are dealing with here in New Mexico.”

Seventeen departments promoted and financially supported the festival, she said. The Graduate and Professional Student Association provided the largest financial support for the festival.

Valentine Fisher, deputy chief of staff for GPSA, said SOLAS is known for providing fantastic material and research that has brought UNM national recognition in the field of Latin American Studies.

“SOLAS brings incredible cultural content to the Albuquerque community,” Fisher said. “These movies show different cities, cultures, communities, and the more we have of that and support, the better we become as a city in Albuquerque.”

Albuquerque has roots in Latin America as well as being a melting pot of many other cultures that makes the city international, he said.

“There is a kind of exponential effect of bringing different cultures here and I think people really appreciate it,” Fisher said. “I think Albuquerque is the perfect place for this festival and we are going to see it build momentum for years to come.”

One Peruvian film, “Sigo Siendo,” followed the journey of several musicians as they navigated through oppressive socioeconomic conditions with the goal of commemorating family, friends, art and tradition through performance.

Lucas Zuniga, a sophomore in studio art, said the film was provocative and moved him musically and emotionally.

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