UTPA will be the first university in The University of Texas System to screen the films from the Global Film Initiative, which counts the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, New Orleans Center for Creative Arts, St. Louis International Film Festival, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Texas Tech University, among others in its membership and screening sites.
The UTPA Library, Alumni Association and several individual supporters have partnered to bring the series to the UTPA community. Led by Nadia Gallegos, business analyst II for Admissions and New Student Services, and Virginia Haynie Gause, media and marketing librarian, a committee was formed to gauge interest and secure the funding to purchase the films, which will be deposited at the UTPA Library after being shown in the public screenings. These films will then be available through the library’s online catalog.
Both Gallegos and Gause think the film series will provide the local community a great window to the diverse world we live in.
"This film series is a fantastic opportunity for the community to discover and get pleasure from different cultures while also learning educational facts and gives value to stories from every corner of the world," they said.
The 10 films, which include English subtitles, will be featured throughout the school year with screenings of each film being held on Thursdays at 7 p.m. and Fridays at 3 p.m. All films are planned to be shown in the UTPA Student Union Theater and each screening will include educational activities from the country in turn. A complete schedule of film screenings is available at http://php.lib.utpa.edu/globallens.
Screening of the first film will be Thursday, Sept. 9 and feature "Becloud (Vaho)," a film from Mexico directed by Alejandro Gerber Bicecci. A kick-off reception open to the public will also be held at 6 p.m., Sept. 9 in the UTPA Library lobby. Additionally, an art exhibit on the day of the opening reception will acknowledge and honor Rio Grande Valley artist Will Martin, a recently retired UTPA faculty member who has mentored many others in the community.
The Global Film Initiative is a non-profit organization committed to promoting cross-cultural understanding through cinema. To learn more about the Global Film Initiative and view a trailer for the film series go to http://www.globalfilm.org/global_lens.htm.