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Film festival casts Latino culture as the lead

North­eastern will co-​​host the 12th annual Boston Latino Inter­na­tional Film Fes­tival, the goal of which is to strengthen inter-​​cultural under­standing through one of the world’s most pop­ular mediums.

More than 70 films from 17 coun­tries will be screened over the course of the six-​​day fes­tival, which begins Thursday and runs from Nov. 14–17 and Nov. 22–23.

“Twelve years ago we had an idea to pro­vide the greater Boston com­mu­nity with a high-​​quality film fes­tival that would cap­ture and high­light the diverse expe­ri­ences of Latinos in the United States and abroad,” said fes­tival orga­nizer Jose Bar­riga, who is pur­suing a master’s degree in reg­u­la­tory affairs at North­eastern. “Since then, the fes­tival has grown immensely, and sup­port from the com­mu­nity has been phenomenal.”

Alan West-Durán, on the stairs, and Jose Barriga, to his left, at last year's film festival at Northeastern. Photo by Marisol Marquez.

Alan West-​​Durán, on the stairs, and Jose Bar­riga, to his left, at last year’s film fes­tival at North­eastern. Photo by Marisol Marquez.

Alan West-​​Durán, who played an instru­mental role in bringing the fes­tival to North­eastern for the second con­sec­u­tive year, echoed Barriga’s call for cul­tural sol­i­darity. “A fes­tival like this can only help bridge the gap between dif­ferent com­mu­ni­ties,” said West-​​Durán, an asso­ciate pro­fessor in the Depart­ment of Lan­guages, Lit­er­a­tures, and Cul­tures and director of the Latino/​a, Latin Amer­ican and Caribbean Studies Pro­gram. “North­eastern is proud to show­case the beauty, depth, and cre­ativity of Latino/​a and Latin Amer­ican cinema and culture.”

North­eastern will screen a score of shorts, doc­u­men­taries, and feature-​​length films in 20 West Vil­lage F on Sat­urday, Nov. 16 and Sunday, Nov. 17. Har­vard Uni­ver­sity, the festival’s co-​​host, will screen some four-​​dozen films in Tsai Audi­to­rium on Nov.14–15 and Nov. 22–23.

Saturday’s pro­gram at North­eastern will begin at 1:30 p.m. with a panel dis­cus­sion on media and immi­gra­tion, one of the festival’s recur­ring themes. Sunday’s pro­gram will begin at 2 p.m. with a screening of The Second Cooler, an award-​​winning doc­u­men­tary on illegal immigration.

North­eastern stu­dents with a valid Husky Card may attend the fes­tival for free. For atten­dees at large, tickets to each pro­gram cost $10 and all-​​access passes cost $80. For more infor­ma­tion, please visit http://​www​.bliff​.org/.

– By Jason Kornwitz

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