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Film festival casts Latino culture as the lead

Northeastern will co-host the 12th annual Boston Latino International Film Festival, the goal of which is to strengthen inter-cultural understanding through one of the world’s most popular mediums.

More than 70 films from 17 countries will be screened over the course of the six-day festival, which begins Thursday and runs from Nov. 14-17 and Nov. 22-23.

“Twelve years ago we had an idea to provide the greater Boston community with a high-quality film festival that would capture and highlight the diverse experiences of Latinos in the United States and abroad,” said festival organizer Jose Barriga, who is pursuing a master’s degree in regulatory affairs at Northeastern. “Since then, the festival has grown immensely, and support from the community has been phenomenal.”

Alan West-Durán, on the stairs, and Jose Barriga, to his left, at last year's film festival at Northeastern. Photo by Marisol Marquez.

Alan West-Durán, on the stairs, and Jose Barriga, to his left, at last year’s film festival at Northeastern. Photo by Marisol Marquez.

Alan West-Durán, who played an instrumental role in bringing the festival to Northeastern for the second consecutive year, echoed Barriga’s call for cultural solidarity. “A festival like this can only help bridge the gap between different communities,” said West-Durán, an associate professor in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures and director of the Latino/a, Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program. “Northeastern is proud to showcase the beauty, depth, and creativity of Latino/a and Latin American cinema and culture.”

Northeastern will screen a score of shorts, documentaries, and feature-length films in 20 West Village F on Saturday, Nov. 16 and Sunday, Nov. 17. Harvard University, the festival’s co-host, will screen some four-dozen films in Tsai Audi­to­rium on Nov.14-15 and Nov. 22-23.

Saturday’s program at Northeastern will begin at 1:30 p.m. with a panel discussion on media and immigration, one of the festival’s recurring themes. Sunday’s program will begin at 2 p.m. with a screening of The Second Cooler, an award-winning documentary on illegal immigration.

Northeastern students with a valid Husky Card may attend the festival for free. For attendees at large, tickets to each program cost $10 and all-access passes cost $80. For more information, please visit http://www.bliff.org/.