Kent State Film Festival provides new content with Spanish flair

Poster courtesy of Massa dOr Produccions

Poster courtesy of Massa d’Or Produccions

Jason Meek

Kent State’s Institute for Applied Linguistics will be showing critically acclaimed Spanish films of the past decade at a film festival starting this Friday at the Michael Schwartz Auditorium.

The Spanish and Catalan-language films will be subtitled in English. Admission is free to the public. Faculty and students will be leading discussions after each film is shown.

The film festival is a collaboration between Kent State’s Institute for Applied Linguistics and the History Department. The films were provided by the Embassy of Spain.

Laura Gasca Jimenez, a Spanish professor in the Institute of Applied Linguistics department, has also served as a coordinator at the San Sebastian International Film Festival in Spain at which the Catalan film “Pa Negre” was shown. She will be leading the discussion for the film at Kent State’s film festival.

Jimenez said that compared American films, Spanish films tend to be independently made with lower budgets, but feature more philosophical and experimental themes. The theme of family is present in many of the films being shown, and that is a theme universal to people from all cultures, Jimenez said.

Most of the films being shown are set during or after the Spanish Civil War in the early 20th century and underscore its effect on the Spanish people. “No” is a Chilean film dramatizing the true story of how an advertising campaign was able to end the rule of dictator Augusto Pinochet.

Francoise Massardier-Kenney, director of the Institute for Applied Linguistics, has helped organize foreign film festivals in past years for a variety of languages and cultures, including French and Latin American cinema.

“We hope that people will enjoy hearing the language, see scenes they would never see in the United States and be interested in the stories being told,” Massardier-Kenney said.

All the films have received critical acclaim and awards. The Catalan film “Pa Negre” won nine Goya awards, which are the equivalent of the Oscars in Spain. The Chilean film “No” received an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film.

The festival will show five films from Feb. 28 to March. 15.

Contact Jason Meek at [email protected].