Saturday, 01 June 2013 16:57

Showcase: Sofia and the Stubborn

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There is a type of movie for everyone, have you found yours?

Carmen García Maura (born 15 September 1945) is a Spanish actress with a career that has spanned six decades. Maura is best known for her collaborations with famous Spanish film director Pedro Almodóvar.

In this movie Maura becomes Sofia, whose dreams of seeing the ocean have long been thwarted by a husband who refuses to take a vacation. She takes matters on her own hands after best friend and co-conspirator Mercedes dies, venturing out on her own, and leaving her husband to take care of those tasks he long took for granted. 

Plenty of filmmakers have employed fairy-tale trappings to tell stories about emotionally stunted adults, but in this Colombian feature the approach feels warranted: had the story been presented any other way, it might have been unwatchably sad. Almodovar regular Carmen Maura plays a passive, childlike woman who's never left her isolated village; the "stubborn man" is her husband, a benign tyrant who's kept her from ever leaving. Maura's endearing, mainly silent performance recalls Giulietta Masina in Nights of Cabiria, and the colorful production design evokes Disney cartoons.  

In Spanish with subtitles.

Tonight at 7:00 pm, in The Guild Cinema

Co-sponsored by Bernalillo County, New Mexico.

Friday, 31 May 2013 21:16

Showcase: MIA

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There is a type of movie for everyone, have you found yours?

Tonight's story deals with the right to the pursuit of happiness, the right to be part of the community of those who have chosen a different form of living which isn't morally accepted by most. MIA allows us to review the issue of discrimination, intolerance, exclusion, the need for equality, but also the infinite capacity that human beings have to love.

MIA is the striking new feature by Argentine filmmaker Javier Van de Couter. The film, winner of the inaugural Premio Maguey at the Guadalajara International Film Festival tells the story of Demure Ale. She makes a living collecting and recycling rubbish in Villa Rosa, a shantytown of gay and trans people on the outskirts of Buenos Aires. One day, she finds the diary of Mía, a woman who committed suicide. Compelled by her story, Ale becomes determined to find the young daughter Mía left behind and to return the diary. Though the initial encounter with the girl and her grief-stricken father is rocky, Ale and the daughter form a secret friendship. Featuring a luminous performance by Camila Sosa Villada as Ale, this is a heartwarming, gentle, and deeply moving drama about the healing power of love.

Tonight at 7:00 pm, in The Guild Cinema

Co-presented by Southwest Gay and Lesbian Film Festival


Thursday, 30 May 2013 17:17

Blancanieves - Opening Night Film 2013

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There is a type of movie for everyone, have you found yours?

"It's too soon to declare a trend, but a silent film once again seems likely to become a success in the contemporary film world: 'Blancanieves,' a striking, visually stunning Spanish feature, written and directed by Pablo Berger."

The quote is taken from Roger Ebert's review of the film, released after his participation in the 2012 Toronto Film Festival. The legendary journalist watched this unique re-telling of the classic Brothers' Grimm fairy tale 'Snow White', and felt something special. "This film is a wonderment", he wrote.

Blancanieves is a breathtakingly beautiful film and a uniquely spirited homage to the black-and-white Golden Age of Europe'. Set in a romanticized 1920s Seville, Berger's Snow White is Carmen, the daughter of a famous bullfighter, who lives under the tyrannical rule of her monstrous, evil stepmother, Encarna. She escapes and joins a troupe of bullfighting dwarves, where her beauty and natural talent in the ring attract notices from the press. But soon the news reaches Encarna, who at last she knows where to find Carmen, and she prepares for the final showdown.

Pablo Berger walked away with 10 statues and top honors at this year’s Spanish Film Academy's Goya Awards ceremony. If you trust Pedro Almodovar, this is “the best Spanish film of the year”.

We know this piece is special enough to be opening festival’s first edition. Watch it yourself, join the dark side of Andalusia and have a truly Flamenco experience. Remember to stay for the National Institute of Flamenco and Sol de la Noche performances. La fiesta por fin comienza.

There isn’t a better way to start our Latino journey.

Opening Night at the National Hispanic Cultural Center - Bank of America Theatre (7:00 PM) 

Tuesday, 30 April 2013 18:37

A conversation with Keira Philipp-Schnurer

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Keira Philipp-Schnurer is from Ohio. She is responsible for Community Outreach for ¡Cine Magnífico!, and she oversees the community education (outreach) programs for the Latin American and Iberian Institute at the University of New Mexico. She kindly accepted to be interviewed for you guys. Enjoy it!

Keira, can you present yourself?

Hello, all! It’s a pleasure to be here and a thrill to be involved with ¡Cine Magnífico!

What's the UNM Latin American& Iberian Institute? 

It’s a mouthful, is what it is. We call it the LAII for short.  We’re a National Resource Center for Latin America, a designation that the U.S. Department of Education bestows upon a select number of post-secondary institutions to recognize language and area studies for a given part of the world. There are NRCs for Asia, Africa, Latin America, etc. We’re one of 20-some NRCs for Latin America. And, what else…I guess, in a nutshell, I’d say that we’re an interdisciplinary resource at UNM.  We work with faculty and students across campus, and with community partners off campus.

Maybe describe one or more of your projects for us through these years.

We have so many projects! We’re always doing something. In fact, last year was one of our busiest yet. It’s possible we broke our own records, because we partnered with over 50 campus and community organizations to sponsor a ton of programs. I think we had over 100 events on campus and then around 70 events for K-12 teachers! But if I had to pick, I’d say that the two conferences we held this past year were pretty spectacular. In the fall, we coordinated a symposium around human trafficking and the U.S.-Mexico border, and in the spring we held a conference around colonial studies – specifically, “Authority and Identity in Colonial Ibero-America.” Both of those were top-notch because we had the chance to match our UNM faculty with experts in the field from all across the country.

You may have many students involved your activities, but how do you approach the general public? Are your events mostly open to the public? Again, anything cool happening soon?

You’re right. Mostly we work with students, and a good amount with faculty. But it’s also a treat for me to outreach to the wider community beyond UNM. In fact, that’s my role. I supervise the LAII’s community education programs, otherwise known as our outreach efforts. Part of the purpose behind being an NRC is to try to share resources and expand awareness across audiences.  We’ll work with everyone interested in Latin America! It’s the best part of my job.  And anyone can come!  All of our events are free and open to the public, though usually it’s a bear to find parking on campus. 

And the coolest thing happening soon? Easy. ¡Cine Magnífico! It’s been a real pleasure to work with Milly. And you! And our festival programmer, Roberto! To see this thing come to life. 

What's LAII’s mission? 

Believe it or not, I have our mission memorized. Thankfully it’s not long. We try to, and I quote, create a stimulating environment for the production and dissemination of knowledge of Latin America and Iberia at UNM. 

What's your job there?

I think I skipped ahead with my earlier ad lib, but, in short, I oversee our outreach programs. I wear a few hats around the office, but primarily I coordinate our events and other outreach programs.

What's the Institute’s relationship with the Instituto Cervantes and Cine Magnifico?

A great partnership is what it is. We share the common goal of wanting to promote and encourage a wider understanding about Latin America and Iberia – in terms of language, history, culture, you name it. That’s all in terms of our wider partnership. In terms of ¡Cine Magnífico, well, our partnership is more specific to education. The LAII offers educational outreach programming to help bring Ibero-American cinema to the community year-round, particularly to K-12 audiences.  Then, while the LAII tackles that part, Instituto Cervantes does the heavy lifting necessary for bringing the festival to life.

Why is that relationship important to Albuquerque's community?

Good question. I suppose you could answer that any number of ways, but one answer is that our partnership has allowed us to leverage resources and produce events that otherwise wouldn’t be possible. ¡Cine Magnífico! is a perfect example.  It’s come about in large part due to our partnership and our mutual interest in seeing something emerge that can build and become bigger over time.

Is there anything else that you'd like to add?

First, thanks. This has been fun. Second, for anyone who’s interested in learning more about the LAII and our many projects, I’d say check out the LAII’s website at Third, hit me up at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. !  If anyone out there has ideas or suggestions for community outreach events focused on Latin America or Spain, let’s talk!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013 21:47

Flamenco and Tapas Fundraising Fiesta

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Instituto Cervantes is proud to collaborate with Marble Brewery in the organization of Festival Cervantes, next Saturday, April 13.

Friday, 22 March 2013 22:47

Meet ¡Cine Magnífico! Team

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Greetings film lovers, ABQ community, artists and accidental readers. This team is working hard to make this first ¡Cine Magnífico! Latino Festival a reality. Keep reading if you want to find out more about who we really are.

Monday, 18 March 2013 00:00

Get Involved!

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This is why we are organizing a Latino Film Festival in Albuquerque.