The Providence Latin American Film Festival, one of the largest film festivals in New England, Â spiced up the city this past weekend.
Panel discussions, workshops and exhibitions were held along with music that took place between the screenings of their chosen films. The event lasted four days and screenings were held at URI Feinstein Providence Campus, Bryant University, and the Warwick Public Library, where they celebrated their twenty-third anniversary. Movies were displayed from Mexico, Guatemala, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Spain, Peru, and Paraguay.
The festival opened on Thursday, Oct. 1 with a screening of Buscando A Gaston (Peru), and ended on Sunday, Oct. 4 with a screening of “Ixcanul” (Guatemala). There were also screenings of “7 Cajas” (7 Boxes), “La Foto de PapÃ¡” (Dad’s photo), “SeÃ±or Kaplan,” “LlÃ©vate Mis Amores” (Take Away My Love), “Viva Zapata!,” and “El Cuerpo” (The Body). After each film, a panel discussion was held.
This year, all admission tickets were free in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Anthony Quinn, the mexican-born actor, painter, photographer and writer. The film, “Viva! Zapata,” was played during the festival, starring Quinn, along with Marlon Brando and Jean Peters. There were also exhibits of Quinn’s professional photographs shown throughout the event.
On the last day of the event, the last film “Ixcanul” was shown. It’s a Guatemalan and French film about a 17-year old Guatemalan girl named Maria. People from certain Guatemalan villages hold very traditional cultures, and being born into a traditional family, Maria is forced to live under a strict and organized lifestyle. She is forced to marry a man she does not love.
Unlike the other movies, “Ixcanul” was not in Spanish, but instead it is in a Guatemalan dialect called Kaqchikel with Spanish subtitles. “Ixcanul” is full of betrayal, tragedy, and sacrifice. The film has drawn a lot attention, and is one of the most discussed Latin American films of the year.
After the screening of “Ixcanul,” Antonio Aguilar, executive director of PLAFF, talked about how great this event turned out, and how there are many people that attend the festival every year.
“The event started mainly because there weren’t many places playing Latin American movies,” Aguilar said.
He explained that the festival also began to raise awareness and pride for film from around the world, in this case being Latin American countries.
The annual festival encourages more viewers every year. PLAFF will release their 2016 festival date in January.