NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Stephen F. Austin State University’s Department of Languages, Cultures and Communication in collaboration with the Division of Multidisciplinary Programs will bring five foreign cinematic productions to the SFA campus during the Fifth Annual International Film Festival.
The features will begin at 7 p.m. Oct. 7, 8 and 9, and Oct. 14 and 16, in Liberal Arts North, Room 142 on SFA’s campus. Admission is free. The festival will show one film each night with English subtitles. SFA faculty members will lead pre- and post-discussions of the films.
“Everybody Knows (Todos lo saben)” will kick off the festival. This story follows Laura (Penélope Cruz), a Spanish woman living in Buenos Aires, who returns to her hometown outside Madrid with her children for a wedding. While catching up with friends, Laura’s daughter is kidnapped, and old secrets find their way into the present.
Dr. Mario Morera, SFA visiting professor in the Department of Languages, Cultures and Communication, will lead a discussion on the film’s topics, including culture and identity, family, immigration and exile, and more.
The second night will feature “A Translator (Un traductor)” a film set in Havana, Cuba, in 1989. The film stars Rodrigo Santoro, of “Westworld” fame, as a Russian literature professor who receives orders from the government to act as a translator between Cuban doctors and the families of young patients from the Chernobyl disaster. Dr. Alexandra Martynova-Van Kley, SFA professor in the Department of Biology, will discuss the films portrayal of culture and identity, family, global economy, health and aging, international politics, human rights and more.
The third feature, “Birds of Passage (Pájaros de verano),” will take the audience to the La Guajira Desert, where an indigenous Wayúu clan tells their story. Guided by matriarch Ursula Pushiana, the clan faces constant risks of violence and incarceration from outsiders in Northern Colombia. Cultural differences arise and threaten to destroy the Wayúu’s way of life. Dr. Gabriela Miranda-Recinos, associate professor in the Department of Languages, Cultures and Communication, will discuss the film’s use of violence, criminal justice, indigenous people, religion and more.
“Camila’s Awakening (El despertar de Camila)” will be featured the fourth night of the festival on Oct. 14. The film explores how Camila, a teenager whose ambition is larger than life, deals with trials after she suffers a cerebrovascular accident that forces her to reinvent herself with courage, humor and love. Dr. Dianne Dentice, associate professor in the Department of Anthropology, Geography and Sociology, will lead a discussion regarding body image, disability, women and youth, and more.
The festival’s final feature is “I Girl (Yo niña),” which tells the story of Armonia, a young girl living among the lakes, rivers and forests of Southern Argentina, away from a consumer society and civilization. Armonia navigates life alongside Pablo and Julia, neo-hippies, vegetarians and questioners of the system. Dr. Anne Smith, professor of philosophy, will lead a discussion about activism, education, global economics, sociology and more.
Foreign film standards vary from those in the United States, and film topics may address controversial subject matter. Use discretion when deciding to view these films.
The International Film Festival was made possible with the support from Pragda, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports of Spain, Spain Arts and Culture, and a grant from Humanities Texas.