Spanish Film Club (SFC), an initiative by PRAGDA, offers grants twice a year to help universities bring the very best in contemporary Spanish and Latin American cinema to campuses to introduce students to the language and cultures of these territories. More than 100 schools have participated in the program in our first year.
The inventive model allows universities to select a minimum of five films from a catalogue to create a film festival on campus. A committee of American and Spanish experts in Spanish language cinema has made an eclectic and diverse selection of films featuring first-time filmmakers and established masters alike. All films feature English subtitles. Representing 15 countries, the films renew every year. Spanish Film Club also allows the organization of virtual Q&As with filmmakers and provides with all the necessary material for its promotion.
The project’s ultimate goal is to introduce students and a generally broader audience to the cultures of these territories and to create a stable exhibition platform of the latest Spanish and Portuguese language cinema.
“It is always my aim to introduce thought-provoking texts that challenge student assumptions about cultural otherness in the courses that I teach. The festival offered a superb repertoire for discussions of this nature.”
Dr. Jennifer M. Formwalt
Assistant Professor of Spanish
Director Spanish Summer Language Institute
North Georgia College
CLICK HERE to read more comments from universities who already hosted the program.
Pragda is indebted to those who inspired and supported Spanish Film Club since its conception, especially to Jorge Sobredo and Delphine Selles, who, in addition to backing the project with advice and recommendations continue to endorse Spanish Film Club with their kind words.
Deputy Director for the Promotion of Culture Abroad of the Secretary of State for Culture of Spain - Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport
“The brilliant Spanish Film Club (SFC) initiative is specifically addressed to a crucial segment of the North American audience: the young and specialized university audience. Using a sophisticated technology platform, SFC aims to create a single user community to generate new audiences and facilitate access to Spanish-language films in a wide range of North American universities. The aim of SFC is to spread knowledge and enthusiasm for Spanish film talent among students through a perfect combination of sharp technology and great cinema.”
Film Office Director Cultural Services, Embassy of France
“While people across the United States have few options to see foreign films on the big screen, it is very exciting to see Pragda embark on an initiative that will allow young adults to experience the wealth of Spanish and Latin American films. Over the years the Tournées Festival has played a crucial role in nurturing interest for French cinema among students. Spanish Film Club will certainly play that same role for Spanish-language films and I wish the program a lot of success.”
Outside of a few well-known exceptions, there is very little distribution of contemporary Spanish and Latin American cinema throughout universities. One of Pragda’s goals is to provide professors and educators from every department access to materials rarely or never seen within North America and other territories. In addition, we are interested in opening markets for films that would normally have a difficult time reaching general audiences. Knowledge and cultural exchange are keys in a country where Hispanics are the largest minority.
SFC was created to answer the following questions by students and professors:
1. Why can’t professors teach about Human Rights, for instance, with new, exciting, and up-to-date documentaries?
2. One of the best ways of learning a language is through films and TV, why can’t we use these tools in class?
3. I don’t have the resources to travel, but I love learning about the many cultures addressed in class. I wish professors could explain the different customs of the regions they teach with more illustrative tools than books.
4. Wouldn’t it be terrific to watch never-before-seen films in Spanish, right on my university campus?
5. How could I meet students from other university departments who share the same love for Spanish culture?
6. I am tired of watching always the same Hollywood stories, but there are no art-house theaters in my university town. Can’t the university organize alternative screenings of national and independent cinemas?