5th Annual Georgetown Latin American Film Festival (GLAFF)
This past April 5th, 6th, and 7th, the School of Foreign Service LatAm Council and Center for Latin American Studies hosted the 5th Annual Latin American Film Festival, featuring three fantastic Central American documentaries. The Film Festival attracted between 75 and 170 excited attendees each night over course of the three-day event, with representatives from the Georgetown, policymaking, and the greater-Washington academic communities.
The Film Festival opened with a pre-screening reception in the ICC Galleria. Employees of several Latin American embassies and prominent NGOs staffed tables promoting study and travel in the region. Attendees enjoyed traditional Brazilian brigadeiro and pão de queijo as they got to know one another and shared their love of film.
First Lady of the Revolution kicked off the Film Festival with a screening in the ICC Auditorium. The film follows the astounding life of South Carolina-born and Alabama-raised Henrietta Boggs, who would become the First Lady of Costa Rica upon her 1941 marriage to Jose 'Don Pepe' Figueres. Her tenure as First Lady led to a decade-long journey through activism, exile and political upheaval and, ultimately, lasting progressive reforms. The screening concluded with a panel moderated by Director of Center for Latin American Studies, Father Matthew Carnes, Ambassador Roman Macaya Hayes, Former Ambassador Muni Figueres, and James Mirabello, the Production Manager for the documentary.
Olancho, directed by Georgetown’s own Christopher Valdes, packed the Pre-Clinical Science Building Auditorium on Friday evening with over 170 attendees. Olancho is the story of a group of musicians who perform for the powerful drug cartels in Honduras. Their songs glorify the traffickers who have destroyed their country, and who sometimes threaten the lives of their loved ones. The film captures the both thrilling and terrifying power dynamics between the band and the cartels as it follows the bandmates’ tours through the province and one member’s eventual flight to safety. This captivating screening culminated in a panel moderated by Professor Anna Deeny, featuring Christopher Valdes and Mónica Oehler Toca, a representative from Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
Dreaming Nicaragua closed the three-day festival with an amazing screening in the Healy Family Student Center on Saturday. Dreaming Nicaragua is a film set in rural Nicaragua that follows four children living in extreme poverty. The movie's plot moves with the travels of an art teacher who provides a creative outlet for the students to escape the stresses of their reality and let themselves dream of a better future - a future free from the vicious cycle of hunger, child labor, and violence. Despite the extreme circumstances, the children and their families face their lives with an inspiring unity, strength and humor. A panel moderated by Marcela Perez, Director of Grants at Fabretto, featuring Marcelo Bukin, Director, and Amy Ostrander from Project Concern International ended what was an engaging three-day experience with film and emotions.
The LatAm Council and Center for Latin American Studies would like to thank all who attended the film screenings, the panelists who enriched these fascinating films, and the staff and students who made the Film Festival possible in the first place. We look forward to seeing everyone next year at the 6th Annual Latin American Film Festival in April 2019!