Northeastern University will host the opening reception for the 11th annual Boston Latino International Film Festival, which runs from Thursday, Oct. 25, to Sunday, Oct. 28. This year marks the first time the festival will open in Boston – it has previously opened in Cambridge – and the first year Northeastern will serve as a venue for the event.
“The main reason we hold this festival is to show the community who we are as Latinos,” said festival organizer Jose Augusto Barriga, a marketing consultant who is currently pursuing a master’s degree in regulatory affairs at Northeastern.
Noting that Latinos are often maligned by the media, he added, “What we are trying to do it to convey the realities of this diverse group of people through film.”
Northeastern President Joseph E. Aoun recorded a greeting that will be played during Thursday’s free opening reception, which will take place at 5:30 p.m. the John D. O’Bryant African-American Institute.
“Here at Northeastern, we encourage everyone to embrace a global perspective,” Aoun said in the video. “The festival and its mission — to bring communities together through film — supports the same value we seek to uphold in our university community.”
The opening reception will be followed by film screenings at 6:45 and 9 p.m. at the African-American Institute and in 20 West Village F on Friday and Saturday. Harvard University’s Tsai Auditorium will screen films on Saturday and Sunday.
Sixty films from 17 countries will be screened over the course of the festival’s four-day span, which will include guest appearances by more than a dozen directors. All of the films will be subtitled in English and none of them have been previously screened in the Boston area.
Tickets to each of the films cost $10, with an all-access pass for $80.
Alan West-Durán, an associate professor in Northeastern’s Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures and the director of the Latino, Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program, was instrumental in bringing the festival to the university.
“Every year I’ve gone to the festival, I’ve thought this is something we should bring to Northeastern,” West-Durán said. “And finally this year we both got serious about doing it.”
He said the festival’s films would create a dialogue and bring together people with diverse social and economic backgrounds.
“It showcases Northeastern’s commitment to multiculturalism and to reaching out to the Latino community,” West-Durán said “It lets us bring that community to campus and have a relationship with them, building a framework for future collaboration and cooperation.”
– by Matt Collette