Fort Hays State University prides itself on being a place that celebrates diversity and works to help others gain a better understanding of different cultures. There are a variety of activities on campus that works towards making students more culturally diverse by allowing them to experience another culture’s languages, traditions, and customs.
One of these activities is the Hispanic Film Festival, created by Dr. Chita Espino-Bravo and Dr. Paul Siegrist in 2007. This festival was designed as a way to allow students, faculty, and members of the Hays community to experience Hispanic culture through film. The films chosen for the festival are shown in Spanish with English subtitles and deal with current and past Hispanic issues. Before each film, there is an introduction of both the film and the director to help get viewers into the material that is being covered in the movie. The films are chosen by Dr.Chita Espino- Bravo, with help provided by Dr.Castaneda from 2010 until fall of 2015.
The festival has developed quite a following over recent years, winning the 2008 Conversation with Diversity Project Grant and the 2008 Program for Cultural Cooperation between Spain’s Ministry of Culture and United States Universities Grant. The two grants provided funds to allow speakers Patricia Hart of Purdue University in Indiana and Dr. Oliveira from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln to come and introduce films and directors at FHSU.
The first film chosen to be shown this semester was the 2004 Chilean film Machuca, which was directed by Andrés Wood, and was set in 1973 Santiago during Salvador Allende’s socialist government. The showing took place on Wednesday, February 3rd at 6:00 p.m. in Albertson Hall Room 169. The film was well received by viewers.
Dr. Chita Espino-Bravo shared that the students, faculty, and Hays community members seem to really enjoy the Hispanic Film Festival, and the opportunity to learn about another culture that it provides them with. The main purpose of the Hispanic Film Festival is to expose people in Hays to cultures they are generally unfamiliar with, through films that they would otherwise not see.
The festival takes place all throughout the school year and provides people with a chance to expand their cultural horizons.
The next film in the festival is La Misma Luna, and will be shown on March 23rd at 6:00 p.m. in Albertson 169.