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Latin X film festival

The Spanish Club at Texas Woman’s University was given the opportunity to host a LatinX Film Festival from April 16 through April 21.

This event would not be possible without the help of Pragda, a Latin Cinema organization based in New York. Pragda created a program named Spanish Film Club, where schools around the United States could sign up and apply for a grant to pay half of the costs of the copyrights of the Latin Films. 

“One of Pragda’s goals is to provide educators access to Spanish and Latin American cinema that, outside of a few well-known exceptions, is rarely or never seen within North America and other territories,”  states the Pargda website.

Last semester the Spanish Club was founded by Dr. Angela Mooney and some of her students. They applied for the Spanish Film Club grant, and they won the grant. Now, they’re able to show some films and create the LatinX Film Festival here at TWU. 

Mooney and the officers of the Spanish Club were tasked to choose a few films out of 90 that were provided to be shown for the Film Festival. Mooney started by selecting 20 films and wrote down the synopsis of each of the films, making a voting system to make it a bit easier than seeing all 90. From those 20 films, the faculty of the Department of Language, Culture and Gender Studies plus the officers of the Spanish Club voted, and the top 5 films that got the most votes won and would be shown. 

“The process of choosing the films was interesting. It was a collective effort on choosing the films and I’m very happy with the result,” said Mooney.

With a diverse production team, including women, men, as well as indigenous directors, the films shown presented different perspectives on Latin culture. Mooney wanted to highlight the importance of LatinX culture, history and traditions through films, which can empower students who see themselves reflected on the screen and validate those who do not. Pragda also shares the same views as Mooney; they want to bring attention and awareness about the culture.

“Pragda believes that knowledge and cultural exchange are essential. Especially in the U.S. where the Hispanic and LatinX population is the largest minority” states the Pargda website. On April 16, the Spanish club hosted a watch party in the ACT building to view 2 films, “Alice Junior ” and “Luchadoras.”  The first film revolved around the story of a transgender boy going to school in a very conservative environment. The film’s message was about embracing who you are as a person and taking charge of your own identity and happiness. The second film took place in a town called Cuidad Juarez, where femicide occurred frequently. To escape this fate, a lot of women would turn to become Luchadoras, a female wrestler.. This film sheds a light on the horrible acts women in Latin culture go through for just being women.

 First year student Ahiny Alba, the public engagement officer in the Spanish club stated she enjoyed helping organize this event and watching some of the films.

“I was so excited when Dr. Mooney told us that we won the grant from the Spanish Film Club,” said Alba  “It was the first stepping stone of getting the word out and putting the Spanish Club’s name out there.” 

Mooney stated that she wants to try to make this an annual or bi-annular event here at TWU and that the Spanish Club will be making more fun events in the future.

“I might apply next semester and we might not get it next semester, but maybe next spring. The Department of Language, Culture and Gender Studies, they’re so happy this is happening, and we have great support from them,” said Mooney.

Eduardo Rivas Plascencia can be reached at

Photo credit to TWU Department of Language, Culture & Gender Studies.

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