Whittier College’s Spanish Film Festival started on Feb. 10, 2016 with a screening of The Facilitator, “a political film about human rights” according to PRAGDAs website. That screening, along with others the club has put on, were funded by a grant from the PRAGDA Spanish Film Club. “At that time, I believe Video Production Services (VPS) was trying to venture into something new and unique, which is what the Spanish Film Festival really is,” offered Kelly Santos, president of VPS. “Cinema can be one of the most important tools in terms of gaining a cultural perspective. Here in the U.S., cinema often lacks in diversity. We want to celebrate films made by other cultures because of the informative and impactful visual experience they provide.”
The VPS student organization has hosted a Spanish Film Festival at Whittier College annually for the past four years. The films VPS selects are based on their subject matter; they try to select films that showcase the complexities of Latinx life. This year’s film particularly focuses on difficulties in adjusting to a new country or new lifestyle.
The festival is more than simply a showcase of various films; it is meant to be a celebration of cultures that are often overlooked. The first film for this year was Birdboy: The Forgotten Children on March 6, followed by La Soledad on the 13, Summer 1993 on the 27, Crow’s Nest will be shown April 3, and the final film will be The Future Perfect on April 10. Each movie will occur in the Campus Courtyard at 6:30 p.m., or in the event of rain — which seems to be occurring shockingly often — the screening will take place in Hoover 100.
This celebration is not yet guaranteed for next year, but there is certainly a hope that it persists. If students are interested in getting involved in more events like this, they can come to a VPS meeting, which are held at 5:30 p.m on Wednesdays in the Office of Student Engagement conference room.