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CCU to hold five-week Latin American film festival

September 29, 2021
Mauricio Castillo, assistant professor in Coastal Carolina University’s Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies, will host five film screenings and discussions during the University's s

Coastal Carolina University’s Department of Languages and Intercultural Studies (LIS) presents its second annual Latin American Film Festival, a five-week event featuring award-winning films from Latin American countries. All events include a film screening and subsequent discussion with Mauricio Castillo, assistant professor in the LIS department; four of the five events will include Zoom discussions with respective directors. Events take place on consecutive Wednesdays at 5 p.m. beginning on Wednesday, Sept. 29, in the Lib Jackson Student Union movie theater. All events are free and open to the public.

The film festival is representative of numerous programs and initiatives within the Thomas W. and Robin W. Edwards College of Humanities and Fine Arts, manifested within the LIS department, including a new motto: “Learn Local, Go Global.” Castillo noted that sharing and discussing films from Latin American countries – including Brazil, Mexico, Paraguay, and Bolivia – allow CCU students, faculty, and community members to learn the cultural and historical contexts surrounding the stories in addition to enjoying the art form.

Castillo, who hand-selected the films, said the works are timely and relevant to a student and community audience.

“The topics are contemporaneous,” Castillo said. “The main characters are mostly young people dealing with a globalized world, and I feel students will identify with them readily. The topics are diverse and include LBGTQ themes, family issues, and topics of violence, corruption, race, and social class. Viewers will see how people in Latin America deal with these issues. Initially, the audience will see the differences, but ultimately, they’ll see how similarly they tackle these issues. There’s no difference from how these things happens in the U.S.”

The series is also part of a new minor in film studies and is one element of a larger emphasis within the college.

“The LIS department faculty see ourselves as promoters of diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Castillo. “And we do many other cultural events that we require in our courses. We have panel discussions, we have speakers, and we just opened an Intercultural Languages Resource Center, where students can meet, interact with one another, watch short films, and participate in tutoring.”

Castillo says the focus isn’t limited to the CCU campus, though. “We also promote languages in the community, all around Horry County. We have Language Day, during which we invite high school students from area schools. They come in for an event where we play games and talk about the importance of learning other languages. So, this is part of a whole project we have in the department that we see ourselves as ambassadors of DEI.”

Film schedule:

Wednesday, Sept. 29: Bacurau

Wednesday: Oct. 6: Midnight Family

Wednesday, Oct. 13: Alice Júnior

Wednesday, Oct. 20: 7 Boxes

Wednesday, Oct. 27: Southern District

For more information, visit coastal.edu/culturalarts or contact Castillo at mcastillo@coastal.edu or 843-349-6972.