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Santa Barbara Latino CineMedia Fest program

UCSB and community organizations announce the Inaugural Santa Barbara Latino CineMedia Festival

SUMMARY FACTS:
• The Inaugural Santa Barbara Latino CineMedia Festival
• A new film festival that celebrates the creativity and vision of Latin
American, U.S. Latino and Native American filmmakers
• Highlights include a special film-live performance of The Grey Automobile /
El Automóvil Gris and a tribute to Mexican filmmakers Arturo Ripstein and
Paz Alicia Garciadiego, Regents' Lecturers in Film Studies
• Fifteen film screenings of works from Mexico, Argentina, Colombia,
Brazil, Canada and the United States
• Features the Youth CineMedia Project that works with 60 underserved
students from La Cuesta, Isla Vista and Carpinteria
• Wednesday, April 14 - Sunday, April 18
• Locations throughout Santa Barbara
• Tickets/information: UCSB Arts & Lectures at 893-3535

UCSB Arts & Lectures and the UCSB Department of Film Studies announce the Inaugural Santa Barbara Latino CineMedia Festival, a five-day celebration of the creativity and vision of Latin American, U.S. Latino and Native American filmmakers from Wednesday, April 14 through Sunday, April 18. Fifteen film screenings will take place throughout Santa Barbara, uniting the university and the community, increasing the visibility of Latino culture and media works, and cultivating future filmmakers prepared to tell powerful personal stories unique to their communities. “The Latino CineMedia Festival creates a space for the expression, inclusion and exploration of Latin American and Latino media arts,” states the festival’s Artistic Director, Cristina Venegas, Assistant Professor in the UCSB Department of Film Studies. “To do this we present the work of talented filmmakers that represent the plurality of Latin culture.”

The festival's opening night film El Fondo del Mar / The Bottom of the Sea (Damián Szifrón, 2003, 91 minutes) will screen on Wednesday, April 14 at 8 pm at the Paseo Nuevo Cinema. “Jealousy leads a young architecture student into dangerous waters in [this] well-made psychological thriller from Argentine newcomer Damián Szifrón,” Variety claims. “More than its Buenos Aires setting, which remains in the background, pic is distinguished by a strong pace and pumped-up tension, as the youth’s worst fears come true.” A free reception open to the public will follow the screening at the Casa de la Guerra Adobe.

The festival’s closing night film El Gavilán de la Sierra / The Mountain Hawk (Juan Antonio de la Riva, 2002, 100 minutes) will screen on Sunday, April 18 at 4 pm at the Paseo Nuevo Cinema. Nominated for five Ariels (the Mexican equivalent of the Academy Awards), this powerful film tells the tale of a street balladeer in Mexico City who returns to his village in Durango to find out the truth about his famous outlaw brother Gabriel, known as the “Mountain Hawk.” A free reception open to the public will follow the screening at the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum.

Another highlight of the festival will be the residency of director Arturo Ripstein and screenwriter Paz Alicia Garciadiego from Mexico. The festival will screen their films La Reina de la Noche / The Queen of the Night, which tells the story of Lucha Reyes, a legendary bisexual chanteuse who committed suicide in 1944, on Wednesday, April 14 at 5 pm at UCSB Isla Vista Theatre and Rojo Carmesí / Deep Crimson, Mexico’s 1997 Oscar entry in the best foreign-language film category, on Thursday, April 15 at 5 pm in UCSB Isla Vista Theatre. These two free screenings will feature Q&A's with the filmmakers, Regents' Lecturers in the Department of Film Studies, who will also meet with students in informal discussions in classroom settings.

The festival will also feature a presentation of The Grey Automobile / El Automóvil Gris on Thursday, April 15 at 8 pm in UCSB Campbell Hall. The Grey Automobile is an intriguing mix of theater and film, international traditions, and modes of expression. Enrique Rosas’ The Grey Automobile (1919) - one of Mexico’s greatest silent films - chronicles the real life turn-of-the-century Grey Automobile Gang of bandits that wore military uniforms to gain access to the homes of Mexico City’s wealthy. As the film progresses, three actors - one in Japanese, one in Spanish and one in English - comment and give unique voices to each of the film’s characters, playing with language, treading the fine and fascinating line between correct interpretation and misinterpretation generated by the encounter of two distant and very different cultures. A Mexican pianist also accompanies the film, creating original compositions from a battery of Japanese and Mexican silent film.

The Festival’s Youth CineMedia Project, directed by Osiris Castaneda, engages 60 students associated with La Cuesta Continuation School, the Isla Vista Teen Center, and the Carpinteria Camper Park in ongoing activities designed to teach media literacy, build basic filmmaking skills and engage students in developing stories on the issues affecting them and their communities. The Youth CineMedia Project Film Premiere will screen on Sunday, April 18 at 1 pm at the Marjorie Luke Theatre, Santa Barbara Junior High School. The student-made documentaries explore subjects as diverse as the Filipino experience in Central California, the protest against the repeal of California drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants, a history of murals in California and a look at the lives of Latino youth in Isla Vista.


Artistic Director Venegas claims, “We will focus on developing community media arts with the youth of Santa Barbara County through seminars and media production workshops. The festival serves as a venue for the work of students and for their participation as artists and visionaries. We see the festival, with the support from key institutions, as the means to construct an arts community that focuses on the Latino experience.”

Short films by Native American filmmakers will precede many of the feature film screenings and a panel with the filmmakers will be held on Saturday, April 17 at 11 am in the Mary Craig Auditorium at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. The majority of these films come from the Native Forum at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, while three were chosen by Mario Caro, a Fellow in the UCSB Center for Chicano Studies.

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