April 06, 2010

Film festival offers look inside Cuba, Mexico

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A film festival later this week at Southern Illinois University Carbondale will provide the audience with a rare look inside Cuba through the work of Cuban filmmakers.

The Open Cinema Film Festival is from 1 to 5 p.m., Friday, April 9, in Kleinau Theatre, on the second floor of the Communications Building.

Award-winning documentary filmmaker Alexandra Halkin, the Chiapas Media Project founding director, will present 11 documentary films from Cuba and Mexico. The Chiapas Media Project is an award-winning bi-national partnership “which puts media in the hands of everyday people to tell their stories in their own voices,” according to event organizers.

Media Advisory

To arrange interviews with Alexandra Halkin, contact Lisa Brooten, associate professor and interim chair of the Department of Radio-Television, or Howard D. Motyl, assistant professor in radio-television, at 618/536-7555.

Halkin will introduce and briefly discuss the films, as well as discuss the Chiapas Media Project, said Lisa Brooten, associate professor and interim chair of the Department of Radio-Television. Halkin will also meet with students while on campus.

Halkin produced four documentaries in the past nine years while working in Mexico. She is a 2007 Fulbright Fellowship recipient and earned a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2004.

SIUC’s Department of Radio-Television, the Global Media Research Center, and the SIUC Fine Arts Activity Fund are sponsoring the festival.

The festival features two screening sessions.

Films from Mexico: 1 to 3:15 p.m.

  • Works by Alexandra Halkin: “Interview with Mariano Abarca,” and “Paying the Price: Migrant Workers in the Toxic Fields of Sinaloa.”
  • Works by Chiapas Media Project: “The Other Communication,” “Water and Autonomy,” “The Land Belongs to Those Who Work It,” and “We Are Equal.”

Films from Cuba: 3:30 to 5 p.m.

  • Works by TV Serrana: “Reason to Be,” “Jose Manuel, the Mule, and the TV Set,” “The Bridge over the River,” Freddie, or Noel’s Dream,” “The Echoes and the Mist.”