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'Octubre' to highlight Hispanic Film Festival

December  16, 2010

Augustana College invites the public to its 16th annual free Hispanic Film Festival each Wednesday from Jan. 19-Feb. 9, 2011.

Organizer Dr. Jeanneth Vasquez said the festival gives the campus and community a chance to see movies that probably would not screened here otherwise.

"There is a rich film industry in Spain and the Latin American countries," she said. "We take great pleasure in introducing their masterpieces to the Augustana and community."

The highlight of the festival will be a pre-release screening of the Peruvian film Octubre, winner of the Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard category at the Cannes Film Festival. The award recognizes young artists and innovative work. Octubre is the debut of brothers Daniel Vega Vidal and Diego Vega Vidal as writers and directors.

The special screening is sponsored by Augustana's Community Engagement Center.

All films are in Spanish with English subtitles. Admission is free. Films will be shown at 7 p.m. The first three movies will be shown in the Hanson Hall of Science auditorium (room 102). The last film, Octubre, will be shown in the auditorium of the Olin Center (next door to Hanson Hall).

For more information, contact Dr. Vázquez, (309) 794-7670.

The films:

Jan. 19: Lake Tahoe

(Mexico, 2008, 89 minutes, rated R)

Teenage Juan crashes his family's car into a pole and then scours the streets searching for someone to help him fix it. His quest will bring him to an old paranoid mechanic whose only companion is Sica, his almost human boxer dog; to a young mother who is convinced that her real place in life is as a lead singer in a punk band; and to "The One who Knows", a teenage mechanic obsessed with martial arts and Kung Fu philosophy. The absurd and bewildering worlds of these characters drag Juan into a one day journey in which he will come to accept what he was escaping from in the first place -- an event both as natural and inexplicable as a loved one's death.

Lake Tahoe was the winner of the Alfred Bauer Prize and FIPRESCI Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival. At the Ariel Awards in Mexico, it won prizes for best feature film, best actor and best director, Mexican Ariel Awards

Jan. 26: Sin Nombre (Unnamed)

(Mexico, 2009, 96 minutes, rated R)

Seeking the promise of America, a beautiful young Honduran woman, Sayra, joins her father and uncle on an odyssey en route to the United States. Along the way she crosses paths with a Mexican gang member who is trying to outrun his violent past and elude his former associates. Together they must rely on faith, trust and street smarts if they are to survive their increasingly perilous journey towards the hope of new lives.

Feb. 2: Alamar

(Mexico, 2010, 73 minutes, not rated)

Jorge and his young son Natan travel to Chinchorro, Mexico, where Jorge hopes to show Natan his Mayan heritage before he returns to Italy to live with his mother. At first the boy is physically and emotionally uncomfortable with the whole affair, and gets seasick on the boat taking them to their destination. But as father and son spend more time together, Natan begins a learning experience that will remain with him forever.

Alamr won prizes at the Rotterdam International Film Festival and the Morelia International Film Festival in Mexico. It was an official selection at festivals in Toronto, Berlin, Miami and San Francisco.

Feb. 9: Octubre

(Peru, 2010, 83 minutes, rated R)

Clemente, a money lender in Lima, Peru, centers his life around money and uses it to guide his relationships with people. One day he returns home to find an abandoned baby, left by a prostitute he visited. Although he tries to care for the child, one of his clients, Sofia, goes to look for the birth mother. The story occurs in October, callled the time of the Lord of Miracles, as thousands join processions thruogh the city celebrating Lima's patron saint.

Diana Sanchez of the Toronto International Film Festival called Octubre "moving and charming... a story as emotionally rich as it is thematically compelling. With their wonderful use of religious symbolism, the Vegas brothers present a fresh vision of Lima, a city that seems to pray collectively for new hope."