The 18th Latin American and Spanish Film festival started on 5 September 2019 and was a great success. The festival brought films from Latin America and Spain to eleven different cities throughout New Zealand over a two month period.
The festival is getting better and better every year. Numbers of attendees improved steadily from 3,300 viewers in 2012 to approximately 6,400 last year and it was expected that in 2019 even more people would enjoy the festival.
The range of movie topics was wide, from comedy, drama and thrillers to documentaries, hopefully appealing to the personal taste of those interested in the Spanish and Portuguese language and the countries that speak it. As the pictures were subtitled, there was no requirement to have knowledge of the language to enjoy them.
The films showed human nature and people´s feelings. Friendship and team work were portrayed in different ways, as well as family, showing the diversity of our society and the way each culture can interpret these qualities. Moreover, it is great to see that cultures share common traits.
As a film fan and a teacher always looking for resources for my classes, I am always impressed and glad to see that despite personal discrepancies team work prevails in society, as we have seen in the films played. In general the cinema is a huge resource to create activities for the class and to consolidate team work among students. Working together makes them stronger and smarter, because they learn from each other.
In fact, the Latin American and Spanish Film festival is an example of this quality; if ten countries, institutions and sponsors had not put their work and effort together, we would not have had the luck of seeing 10 films that reflect the idiosyncrasy of language and culture in Latin Latin America and Spain. And this will be echoed in our lessons, when teaching language and culture.
Clara Jimeno Gomez - Spanish National Language Adviser