About the Festival

The Grand Rapids Latin American Film Festival was organized in 2010 to screen and discuss contemporary Latin American cinema with a West Michigan audience. The festival operates out of Grand Valley University’s Latin American Studies program and is organized by a consortium of professors, students, and film professionals from Aquinas College, Calvin College, Davenport University, Ferris State University, and Grand Valley University.

To accomplish its goals of screening and discussing contemporary Latin American cinema, the festival organizing committee selects a group of films from across Central and South America, the Caribbean and the Latino and Hispanic diaspora.

Film Selection

Films are selected primarily based upon their content, artistic, and technical merits.  Generally films are selected which represent an issue or cultural aspect important to a particular country.  For example, one of last year’s film selections, El Baño del Papa (The Pope’s Toilet) is a very good example of Uruguay’s tradition of tragically comedic theatre.

Student Participation

Each of the festival’s films will be introduced by a local college student who will also lead an introduction after the film.  Additionally, the students are encouraged to write a brief, analytic paper addressing the film’s content, technical merits, and aesthetics.  These papers are made available to the general public via the festival’s blog site.


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