Faculty in area studies or literature and language departments are increasingly asked to organize film series, and yet PhD and MA programs rarely prepare graduate students for such endeavors. Film festivals in particular offer scholars a unique opportunity to connect with broader audiences, and this course will train students in the critical implications of festival organization. Students will develop both practical curatorial experience and a greater historical understanding of the film festival as a phenomenon, while also examining what it means to translate their area studies expertise for new publics.
The cinema of the Hispanic world will be our case study. Students will gain a foundation in Spanish and Latin American film history from 1896 to the present, while also connecting with local and international experts in film programming, including personnel at the Guanajuato Film Festival, SIFF, the Seattle Latino Film Festival, the Cervantes Institute, and The Sitges Film Festival. Most importantly, students will work throughout our quarter of study in small curatorial groups to prepare a small-scale film festival for Latino high school students in Washington State, with all of the relevant accompanying documentation.