Story by Natalie Przybyla, Staff Writer
Photo Courtesy of GRMC.ORG
Wealthy Street Theater was home to the Latin American Film Festival from September 17 to September 20. The festival housed films shot in countries like Mexico, Nicaragua, Venezuela and many more. People from all around came to the Wealthy Street Theater to see this cultural event which brought more to the table than just some great food and fantastic films.
At the Latin American Film Festival, college professors and students from Davenport University, Calvin College, Grand Valley State University, and Aquinas made appearances to volunteer and watch some movies from south of the border. Student volunteer, Jamye Nunn from GVSU commented on how diverse the program ended up being and how pleased he was to be a volunteer at the Wealthy Street Theater, especially for such a great festival.
Davenport professor Jackie Davila stated, “The goal is to open some eyes. We have been encouraging students to come by and take a look.”
It was clear that the students were having a good time and learning a thing or two about Latin American cultures. Not a second was wasted by a frown— there was far too much to enjoy for that.
Aquinas College sophomores Megan Verburg and Haley Jones, and junior Alyssa Willson attended the festival Saturday for some extra help with their Spanish studies. They all sat together and spoke en Espanol to better their experience. The girls all had a good time and seemed to have left with a wider range of knowledge for the Spanish language.
The last show on Saturday night called “La Pantalla Desnuda” (The Naked Screen) came with an extra scene when director of the film, Florence Jaugey, stepped up to answer a few questions about the film. “La Pantalla Desnuda” centered around a leaked sex video that was supposed to stay between a couple. As the film progresses, the tensions between the couple and their friends and families rises. The fallout of events is incredibly realistic.
Jaugey said, “My inspiration for the film was reality. Technology causes problems everywhere— even in a lesser developed country like Nicaragua. I like to use ‘little city, big hell’ when we talk about things like what happened in the film.”
Although “La Pantalla Desnuda” was a shining star of Saturday’s shows when it came to a strong cultural impact, many of the other films were just as relevant and enjoyable. “El Paraiso” (The Paradise) was a romantic comedy about a married couple in Mexico City who just wanted to lose a bit of weight. The genres of the films ranged from comedy to drama to documentary and were an absolute joy to watch.
All-in-all, the Latin American Film Festival was a great time with even better people. If the LAFF comes back to Eastown next year, be sure to catch it. You might learn a thing or two.
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