Area colleges promote Latin American Film Festival

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Grand Valley State University and other area colleges and sponsors have joined together to present the second annual Grand Rapids Latin American Film Festival, April 7-9. Six of the most acclaimed Latin American films will focus on a wide range of contemporary topics.

The festival is open to the public and all events at Wealthy Theatre are free. The festival opens April 7 with two screenings of Roberto Girault's film, "El estudiante," from Mexico, at Celebration! Cinema River Town at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m.  A $3 admission is charged at this event only.

On Friday April 8, the festival will continue at Wealthy Theatre with a special guest and two films:

   "Maldeamores" (Lovesickness), from Puerto Rico, directed Carlitos Ruiz and Mariem Pérez, at 5 p.m.

   "Voces inocentes" (Innocent Voices), from  Mexico/El Salvador, directed by Luis Mandoki at 7:30 p.m.

   Special guest, screenwriter Oscar Torres, will introduce his semi-autobiographical movie, "Voces inocentes." After the film, Torres will answer questions and discuss his childhood growing up in war-torn El Salvador, and the use of children in armed conflicts.

The festival concludes on Saturday, April 9, with three films at Wealthy Theatre:

   "Contracorriente" (Undertow), from Peru, directed by Javier Fuentes-León, at 2 p.m.

   "Paraiso Travel" from USA/Colombia, directed by Simon Brand, at 4:30 p.m.

   "El secreto de sus ojos" (The Secret in their eyes), from Argentina, directed by Juan José Campanella, at 7:30 p.m.

Institutional sponsors of the festival include: Aquinas College; Calvin College; Chiaroscuro Film Series; Consulate of Mexico, Detroit; Michigan Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities; and Wealthy Theatre. Grand Valley's support includes Latin American Studies, Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Office of Multicultural Affairs, School of Communications, and the Departments of English, History, and Political Science.

Visit grlatinofilmfest.wordpress.com for more information on the films and festival.