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Jon Vickers
IU Cinema

John Nieto-Phillips
Departments of History and Latino Studies

Last modified: Thursday, March 29, 2012

IU Cinema to host university's first Latino Film Festival and Conference

MARCH 29, 2012

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University will host its first Latino Film Festival and Conference April 5 to 7 at IU Cinema.

Gun Hill Road

A Grand Jury Nominee at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, "Gun Hill Road" follows Enrique (Esai Morales) as he returns home from a stint in prison and struggles to come to terms with changing times and forces that may tear his family apart.

Print-Quality Photo

Meant to showcase the richness and complexity of Latino life -- both in the U.S. and at its margins in places such as Cuba and Mexico -- the film festival and conference will take on themes related to migration, work, family, sexuality, race, love, (il)legality and yearning.

"Latinos' lived experiences are integral to American life and American history. This Latino Film Festival and Conference will highlight the history and culture of Latino communities, but it also will celebrate the vibrancy of contemporary Latino film," said event co-organizer John Nieto-Phillips, an associate professor in IU's departments of History and Latino Studies. "For instance, immigration is a very hot political issue right now. When people talk about it, they tend to do so in the abstract. They discuss immigration policy or legal reform. What these films do is give viewers a window into the complex lives of Latinas and Latinos. It's putting a human face on these contemporary political issues."

"A major portion of the festival highlights the work of young Latino filmmakers taking on important social and family issues in fresh and interesting ways," IU Cinema director Jon Vickers said. "The guest filmmakers that are attending will connect well with our student audience."

The film series features:

  • 7 p.m. April 5: "Sleep Dealer," which took two prizes at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.
  • 10 p.m. April 5: The dark teen comedy "Blacktino," which won Best Director at the 2011 New York International Latino Film Festival.
  • 10 a.m. April 6: The documentary "Farmingville"
  • 7 p.m. April 6: Sundance Film Festival nominee "Gun Hill Road"
  • 9:30 p.m. April 6: 1982 Golden Globe nominee for Best Motion Picture "Zoot Suit"
  • 3 p.m. April 7: A look at 1961 Havana in "Memories of Underdevelopment"
  • 5 p.m. April 7: The life of an intellectual who leaves the Cuban Revolution behind in "Memories of Overdevelopment"
  • 8 p.m. April 7: Winner of Best U.S. Feature Film in the 2011 New York International Latino Film Festival, "Maria My Love"

Three directors will discuss their films during the festival -- Alex Rivera, Rashaad Ernesto Green and Miguel Coyula -- and novelist and screenwriter Edmundo Desnoes will be present for the screening of "Memories of Underdevelopment." The academic conference includes a keynote address given by Charles Ramirez Berg, a leading scholar on Mexican film.

The festival and conference are sponsored by Indiana University's Chicano-Riqueño Studies Program, Latino Studies Program, Black Film Center/Archive, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Department of Communication and Culture, Department of History, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, Department of American Studies, College Arts and Humanities Institute, Office of the Vice Provost for Faculty and Academic Affairs, College of Arts and Sciences, La Casa-Latino Cultural Center and IU Cinema. The event is co-organized by professors Nieto-Phillips, Anke Birkenmaier and Deborah Cohn, in collaboration with Vickers.

Want to go?
Free tickets for the film series can be obtained at the IU Auditorium Box Office from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or 30 minutes before each screening at IU Cinema. Tickets can be obtained online here. All events related to the academic conference are free and open to the public. A full schedule is available here.

About IU Cinema
Indiana University Cinema is a world-class facility and program dedicated to the scholarly study and highest standards of exhibition of film in its traditional and modern forms. For more information on the facility or programs, call 812-856-2503 or visit

Arts Week Everywhere
The Latino Film Festival and Conference is one of the highlights of Arts Week Everywhere, the annual celebration focused on arts on campus and in the community. Coordinated by the Office of the Provost and students in IU's Master of Arts Administration program, Arts Week Everywhere events take place throughout the month of April.

For more information about Arts Week Everywhere, visit