The Hispanic Film Society of Victoria

thanks all who attended…

The 11th Annual

Latin American and Spanish Film Week

Sept 16 to 26, 2021

We will see you in 2022!

In 2021 we offered a hybrid film festival concurrent with an academic colloquium on the topic of Journeys and Migrations. The event took place from September 16 to 26, 2021.

The in-person screenings took place from September 22 to 26 at Cinecenta on the UVic campus, and “Journeys and Migrations: a Colloquium on Contemporary Hispanic Cinema,” on Saturday, September 25 on the UVic Campus (Harry Hickman Bldg 105). Check out the program here.


September 16 and 17:

La llorona (The Weeping Woman)
by Jayro Bustamante
(Guatemala, 2019 – 101 min.)


A tale of horror and magical realism, La llorona follows Enrique, a retired general who oversaw the Mayan genocide, haunted for his devastating crimes by a wailing spirit. Bustamante’s horror thriller masterfully weaves suspense and history to grapple with Guatemala’s recent quest for social justice. La llorona was selected as the Guatemalan entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 93rd Academy Awards.

September 18 and 19:

by Leticia Jorge
(Uruguay, 2019 – 88 min)


After the patriarch of the Mazzotti family dies, the sale of his house is imminent. All the members of his middle class family seem to have reached an agreement, but Ernesto, the elder son, cannot bring himself to go through with it. Although it has been a year since his father passed away, the idea of allowing the house he built to become a tacky cabin compound upsets him deeply. Due to an unexpected delay in the execution of the sale, the family embarks on a weekend of misguided anger, clashing wills, unresolved nostalgia, beach chairs, Bach flower remedies and run-ins with the law. A weekend where everyone will bump into each other, figurative and literally speaking. Alelí is an entertaining, endearing, sometimes wrenching comedy about family. Alelí was Uruguay’s entry to the Best International Film at the Oscars.

September 20 and 21:

Limiar (Threshold)
by Coraci Ruiz
(Brazil, 2020 – 77 min)


Threshold is an autobiographical documentary made by a mother who follows the gender transition of her adolescent son: between 2016 and 2019 she interviews him, addressing the conflicts, certainties and uncertainties that pervade him in a deep search for his identity. At the same time, the mother, revealed through a first-person narration and by her voice behind the camera that talks to her son, also goes through a process of transformation required by the situation that life presents her with by breaking old paradigms, facing fears and dismantling prejudices “Nuanced and incredibly generous, Threshold offers a moving and inspiring narrative that delivers a compassionate record of love and understanding for us all” (Ravi Srinivasan).

September 22 through 26


by Renato Barbieri
(Brazil, 2019 – 101 min)


Inspired by real events: Pureza (in a wonderful performance by Dira Paes) is a story of resilience, justice and love. After 6 months without news from her son, Abel, who had left for the gold mines in southern Pará, Pureza departs from her native town, with nothing but the clothes on her body and few savings kept in a purse. She retraces Abel’s journey and ends up finding a system that lures and entraps rural workers. Fighting against a perverse system of entrenched interests and corruption, her denunciations finally push the Brazilian government into action to combat the scourge of modern slavery.


Sin señas particulares (Identifying Features)
by Fernanda Valadéz
(Mexico, 2020 – 94 min)


It has been months since Magdalena has heard from her son after he left Guanajuato, Mexico, to go find work in the United States. Local authorities are pushing her to sign a death certificate, but she is not ready to give up hope. With the deck stacked against her, Magdalena journeys on her own across a beautiful and often dangerous Mexico. After some close calls, she runs into the recently deported Miguel, about the same age as her son and on a solo journey of his own. The two join forces to help each other find their missing loved ones and hopefully get closure once and for all. Identifying Features was an official selection at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.

FRIDAY Sept 24:

by Icíar Bollain
(Cuba/Spain, 2018 – 115 min)


Yuli is the nickname given to Carlos Acosta by his father, Pedro, who considers him the son of Ogun, an African god and a fighter. As a child Yuli avoids discipline and education, learning from the streets of an impoverished Havana. His father, however, has other ideas, and knowing that his son has a natural talent for dance, sends him to the National Ballet School of Cuba. Despite his repeated escapes and initial poor behavior, the boy is inevitably drawn to the world of dance, and begins to shape his legendary career from a young age, becoming the first black dancer to be cast in some of the most prestigious ballet roles, originally written for white dancers, in companies such as the Houston Ballet or the Royal Ballet in London.


A media voz (In a whisper)
by Heidi Hassan and Patricia Pérez
(Cuba, 2019 – 80 min)


The film is part of Journeys and Migrations: a Colloquium on Contemporary Hispanic Cinema

Childhood friends Patricia and Heidi grew up in Cuba, where they both went to the film academy. Independently of each other, they fled the malaise and censorship of their homeland. Heidi ended up in Switzerland, Patricia in Spain. They had no contact for years. Now both 40, they seek a way to approach each other again, choosing the medium that suits them best: video letters. Both have continued to film their lives, even though it seemed unlikely that they would ever work in film again. In their frank audiovisual communication, the two migrants recount all the roundabout routes they have taken in their lives: Patricia’s years selling mojitos, Heidi’s search for work and connection with society in Geneva, and the struggle with alienation and nostalgia for a country that has undergone profound transformations. The result of the letters, ingeniously edited into a chronological yet freewheeling whole, is a sensitive, two-sided account of uprootedness, motherhood, love of film, friendship and freedom.

* This movie will be presented by Dr. Zaira Zarza. Stay after the screening for a conversation about the film and the topic of migration in Hispanic cinema with Drs. Susan Lord (Queens) and Zaira Zarza (U of Montreal).

SUNDAY Sept 26:

Frontera Sur (Border South)
by Raúl O. Paz-Pastrana
(Mexico and USA, 2019, 88 min.)


The film is part of Journeys and Migrations: a Colloquium on Contemporary Hispanic Cinema

Mexico and the United States crack down on the trails north, forcing immigrants into more dangerous territory. Told against the backdrop of the unforgiving desert trails, ‘Border South’ weaves together migrant stories of resilience and survival from different vantage points. The film exposes a global migration system that renders human beings invisible in life as well as death.


We acknowledge and respect the lək̓ʷəŋən peoples on whose traditional territory the University of Victoria stands, and the Songhees, Esquimalt and WSÁNEĆ peoples whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.