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Thursday, June 01, 2023

Film fest commences, hopes to teach about Hispanic culture

The Latina Women's League kicked off the third annual Latino Film Festival on Saturday at the Hippodrome State Theater. The festival, part of Hispanic Heritage Month, features a free movie every Saturday at 2 p.m. through Oct. 13.

"A group of us decided it was time we help the community," said Victoria Gomez de la Torre, vice president of the Latina Women's League. "Education seemed to be an appropriate venue to start with."

The film festival's opening movie was a documentary called "Encajar en el Mundo," which translates to "Weaving One's Way into the World."

The film depicts the journey of artist Antonio Martorell and a group of experienced Puerto Rican lace weavers that have constructed an enormous stage curtain out of white bobbin lace for the Raul Julia Theater at the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico.

The process of creating this unique masterpiece is highlighted in the film and exposes the combination of imagination, diligence, individuality, teamwork, collaboration and challenges that produced the curtain.

The movie showed how the artist came up with the idea for the curtain and the effort that went into making it.

This movie was chosen as the first film of the festival because it shows how different backgrounds weave themselves together, like the lace, and combine to accomplish something great, said guest Phillip Williams, professor of political science at UF.

Every year, the Latina Women's League picks a different theme for the film festival, said president Victoria Condor-Williams. This year, the film festival is geared toward focusing on current issues, how our world is constantly changing and how that affects different people and cultures.

"We all must join with people with the same heart and mind in order to do something bigger and better in this world," Hidalgo said.

The Latina Women's League has been working in Gainesville for 3 years, and it is the forum for discussion and education about Latin American culture to everyone who lives in the community, said Gomez de la Torre.

"We don't want to impose anything on anyone when it comes to learning another language or learning about other cultures," said President Victoria Condor-Williams. "We just want to give everyone the opportunity to learn. We want to give everyone a little taste."

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