• Donald Tetto

Southwestern is hosting a film festival this fall that will feature five films from Spain and the Americas.

The films will be shown in Olin 105 from 7-10 p.m. on Thursday nights beginning Sept. 5. The films and the dates on which they will be shown are as follows:

Sept. 5: “Wilaya” (2012, Spain)

“Wilaya” is the story of a girl named Fatimetu who is born to a Sahrawi family in a Saharan refugee camp in Algeria and later sent to live with foster parents in Spain. After the death of her mother she returns to the camp. After having been absent for 16 years, Fatimetu is torn between life in the desert and her memories of her family and friends in Spain. Nadhira Mohamed’s performance as Fatimetu landed her the Best Actress award at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival.

Sept. 12: “La Demora/The Delay” (2012, Uruguay, Mexico, France)

Selected as Uruguay’s entry for the 2013 Academy Awards, “La Demora” is the story of a woman named Maria who lives with her three school-age children and 80-year-old father, Agustin. It’s clearly a struggle for her to make ends meet and to juggle all of her commitments. Agustin has periods of lucidity, but his mental deterioration is such that Maria explores the possibility of his either living with another relative or moving into some kind of care facility. When both of these options are found wanting − on the same day − Maria makes a drastic decision.

Sept. 19:  “El Regreso/The Return” (2012, Costa Rica)

After living 10 years in New York, 30-year-old Antonio returns to San José, Costa Rica, where he is forced to deal with the realities he ran away from. He is welcomed by his intense sister, Amanda, whose husband recently abandoned her, and their young son, Inti, who is apprehensive about Antonio’s presence. When things take an unexpected turn, Antonio is forced to remain home far longer than he had anticipated. “The Return” is the highest grossing Costa Rican film ever and the first to earn international recognition.

Sept. 26: “Father’s Chair” (2013, Brazil)

Theo is a successful doctor in the wealthy suburbs of São Paolo. Having always placed his job before his family, he is a failure as both a father and husband. But when his 15-year-old son disappears, having sold all of his belongings and left town on a newly acquired black stallion, Theo goes to great lengths not only to find his son, but to rediscover himself.

Oct. 3: “Despues De Lucia/After Lucia” (2012, Mexico)

Six months after the death of his wife in a car accident, Roberto and his teenage daughter Alejandra set off from Puerto Vallarta for a fresh start in Mexico City. Alejandra finds her feet more easily than Roberto but she soon becomes the victim of escalating bullying at school. Ashamed and unable to tell her father, Alejandra’s silence ultimately takes a dreadful toll. “After Lucía” earned the prestigious Un Certain Regard prize at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and was the Mexican submission for the 2013 Best Foreign-Language Academy Award.

The film series is sponsored by the Spanish Department at Southwestern, along with the student groups Sigma Delta Pi (the Spanish honor society) and Latinos Unidos. It is being made possible with the support of Pragda, the Secretary of State for Culture of Spain, and its Program for Cultural Cooperation with United States Universities, as well as many departments and programs across the university.

Question-and-answer sessions via Skype with three of the film directors will follow the movies on Sept. 5, Sept. 19 and Oct. 3.

All the films are free and open to the public.