Fort Worth’s Human Relations Unit has partnered with Artes de la Rosa Cultural Center for the Arts, Fort Worth Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas to create the film series.
Movies That Matter Latino went into planning after another movie event, “Latinos: 500 Years of History,” had success this past summer.
“Film can be a powerful education tool,” said Veronica Villegas, manager for Movies That Matter for the Fort Worth Human Relations Commission. “Film provides a non-confrontational way for its audience to gain knowledge and insight into issues that can often be difficult to talk about. It allows each viewer to draw his or her own conclusions about what they have seen.”
The first film, “Ella es el Matador”, was shown on Sunday and covered the topic of gender equality in Spain and Mexico by using the example of female matadors and the struggles they face trying to do what they love.
“There is a message of pursuing your dreams; you can look and take away negatives but there are also positives where people are chasing their dreams against massive opposition,” said Miguel Leatham, a panelist and Director of the Anthropology program at TCU.
Each film focuses on a different part of Latino culture with the purpose of teaching.
The purpose isn’t to tell people what to think or do but to provide facts, create an awareness and to give people something to think about, said Villegas.
The films are followed by an open discussion with a panel of experts on the topic covered in each film, including a scholar to provide context and a representative from a local organization to provide a list of resources available to the public.
Discussions were added to the films after visitors would stand outside the theater and compare their thoughts, said Villegas.
More films will debut throughout the year.
The next film, which covers a month-long festival honors George Washington’s birthday, is set to play June 4. It will be followed by two other films on Sept. 3 and Dec. 3, showing the journey of three Salvadoran women to the United States and the dream of a third grader, respectively.
There is no admission fee to any of the films and previews of the next films are found on the Human Resource Unit’s webpage.