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Latin America, TT so close yet divided

Melissa Doughty Friday, April 21 2017

CHILEAN ambassador Fernando Schmidt Ariztía said while Trinidad and Tobago (TT) and Latin America were so close geographically, there appeared to be a cultural divide.

Arizt?a made the statement at a press conference held on Wednesday to introduce the media to this year’s CineLit: a literary film festival held annually during the NGC Bocas Lit Fest.

The conference was held at National Library and Information System Authority (NALIS), Hart and Abercromby Streets, Portof- Spain. Arizt?a was joined by his colleagues; Dolores Kunst, deputy head of mission, Argentine embassy; Tania Estevez, counselor, Dominician Republic embassy; Panamian ambassador Carmen Gabriela Menendez; Oriol Sola Pardell, deputy head of mission, Spanish embassy; Carmen Gil Erazo, deputy head of mission, Costa Rican embassy; and Mexican ambassador Jesus A Lopez Gonzalez.

The eight-day literary film festival will screen 27 films based on great literary works from Latin America, Spain and even TT , with three films on the late Nobel Laureate Derek Walcott being shown.

CineLit began on April 18 with a screening of Histiorias del Canal, which tells the story of five lives influenced by the building of the Panama Canal, at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine campus. The embassies of Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Spain and Venezuela, jointly, put together this year’s CineLit.

The festival is in its second consecutive year. Arizt?a said, “Culture is beyond geographical space. Culture is beyond established regions and this is behind the concept of CineLit.” “Caribbean culture and Latin American culture, that lies only seven miles away from the shores of each other, can be enriched through dialogue.... The ideas of others can enrich our ideas and our creativity.” “The cultures of Latin America and Spain want to continue with this dialogue. CineLit is that attempt through its cinema, its film.” “We are so close but something happens that we appear to be divided in spite of the distance of seven miles between our respective geographical and cultural worlds.” When asked about ways in which the divide could be bridged, Arizt?a and his colleagues mentioned several projects to deepen ties between their respective countries and Latin America.

Arizt?a mentioned that Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley would be visiting Chile, in late May for bi-lateral talks on trade, energy and other issues to, “narrow the gap.” While, he said, language can be a barrier, the films have English subtitles which bridges the linguistic barrier between Latin America and TT .

The films will be screened at three locations; NALIS’ AV room, UWI St Augustine’s Centre for Language and Learning auditorium, its Film Unit on Carmody Road, St Augustine and the Alma Jordan Library’s audio visual room. The official launch, with a free public screening of The Motorcycle Diaries, will take place today at NALIS’ amphitheatre, at 7pm.



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