The work of acclaimed Latino filmmaker and producer Hector Galan will be one of the highlights at this year's CineFest Nuestra America, one of the premier Latino film festivals in the United States. In fact, this year's event is titled "Visiones" to honor a new work of Galan's to be premiered at the festival. "Visiones" is a series on Latino art and culture that will air on PBS in 2004. Attendees at CineFest will get a special, one-hour taste of this major upcoming series. Galan will deliver a keynote lecture Thursday, Oct. 23, at 3:30 p.m. at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Cinemathque (4070 Vilas Hall, 821 University Ave.)
CineFest takes place in Madison from Oct. 22-26, coinciding with the Wisconsin Book Festival. In fact, the events' organizers have forged a collaboration to offer some joint events. CineFest is a program of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies program (LACIS) and its partners. The Book Festival is organized by the Wisconsin Humanities Council. This collaboration is quite a natural one; CineFest coordinator Willie Ney has noted the strong connection between literature and films in Latino cultures. Ney writes, "Oral literature and cinema has played an active role in helping Latinos of various cultures establish identities in the United States."
In addition to Galan's appearance, CineFest-goers can enjoy the California-based hip-hop group Company of Prophets and other musical acts, writers Roberto Rodriguez and Patrisia Gonzales, and much more. For complete information on CineFest events and related programming, visit the CineFest Nuestra America.
Those who are unable to travel to CineFest events will be pleased to know that, through a collaboration with Wisconsin Public Television (WPT), some of Hector Galan's films will be broadcast, including "Accordion Dreams," which airs Thursday, Oct. 23, at 9 p.m. Other programs relating to Latino cultures will also air throughout October, such as the documentary "Freedom to Work," airing Tuesday, Oct. 21 at 7 p.m. and again Wednesday, Oct. 22 at 10 p.m., and "Foto-Novelas 2," airing Tuesday, Oct. 21 at 10 p.m. Visit the WPT Web site for a full schedule of Latino programming in October.
The annual CineFest Nuestra America is truly a collaborative event, involving not only LACIS but also the Wisconsin Arts Board, Centro Hispano of Dane County, UW-Madison Cinematheque, the Wisconsin Film Office and numerous other supporters. This year's offerings, coupled with exciting new links between CineFest and the Wisconsin Book Festival, promise to bring the film festival to an even wider audience.