The SIP FilmFest organizing committee has selected “Contemporary Women’s Visions from Spain, Italy, and Latin America” as the theme for this year’s festival. Building on last year’s success, recent films from Italy, Latin America, and Spain will be screened in venues on grounds and downtown. All films will be free and open to the general public, and they will be screened in their original languages with English subtitles.

Women directors have often been neglected by mainstream audiences and by canonical academic syllabi. At a time of renewed uncertainty for women’s rights, we would like to continue giving voice to female filmmakers, protagonists and minor characters who question the status quo with their gaze, their stories, and their behaviors, and have gone beyond traditional portrayals of women. Our selection of movies for this year’s Festival encompasses a variety of countries and latitudes, bringing a cross-cultural and global point of view of women’s experiences to the forefront.

Thursday, September 27

5 p.m. La novia del desierto / The Desert Bride
(Cecilia Atán and Valeria Pivato, Argentina/Chile, 2017)
Newcomb Hall Theater, University of Virginia

54-year old Teresa has worked for decades as a live-in maid with a family in Buenos Aires. When the family sells the house, she is forced to take a job in the semi-desert region of San Juan. During her first stop at the pilgrimage site of the miraculous “Difunta Correa”, she loses her bag with all her belongings. This unexpected incident stalls Teresa’s life long enough to make her reappraise her existence, and the ways in which she could take ownership of it.

watch the trailer

Friday, September 28

3:30 p.m. “Representations of the Slum in Argentine Cinema.”
A talk by Dr. Rocío Gordon (Christopher Newport University). Gibson-211.

Since their consolidation as an urban phenomenon in the 1950s, the shantytowns of Buenos Aires have been represented in Argentine visual media, but it wasn’t until the 1990s and early 2000s that they became more permanent in television and cinema. This presentation will focus on a current trend called cine villero (slum dweller cinema) and how through the use of a digital medium and long takes, a new cinematic experience is created in which the villero becomes an open subject whose agency is reaffirmed.

Friday, September 28

8 p.m. Era d’estate / Once in the Summer (Fiorella Infascelli, Italy, 2016)
Charlottesville City Hall Council Chambers

In the summer of 1985, two anti-Mafia judges along with their families are transferred to a safe house in a small island north of Sardinia. Sparkling seas and a gorgeous landscape fit for a relaxing holiday are in sharp contrast with the constant threats to their lives from the Mafia and sabotage of their mission from within the Italian government. Based on actual events, this is a story of friendship grounded in a mutual commitment to truth and justice.

watch the trailer

Saturday, September 29

2 p.m. Los Adioses / The Eternal Feminine (Natalia Berinstain, Mexico, 2017)
Nau Hall 101

The film traces an important turning point in the life of Rosario Castellanos, one of the most important feminist authors in Mexican literature. In the early 1950s in Mexico City, Castellanos is fighting to have her voice heard in a society run by men. She is also involved in a tumultuous marriage that brings out her fragility and contradictions. At the peak of her career and her marriage, her struggles ignite a discussion of gender roles that will mark a turning point in her life.

watch the trailer

Saturday, September 29

8 p.m. El Olivo / The Olive Tree (Iciar Bollaín, Spain, 2016)
Charlottesville City Hall Council Chambers

20-year old Alma works on a chicken farm in Castellón, on the east coast of Spain. She has a profound connection with her dearly beloved grandfather even though he stopped talking years ago. When he begins to refuse to eat, Alma becomes obsessed with an idea: the only way to save her grandfather is to recover the millennial olive tree that the family uprooted and sold against his will 12 years earlier.

watch the trailer

Sunday, September 30

2 p.m. Como nossos pais / Just Like Our Parents (Laís Bodanzky, Brazil, 2017)
Nau Hall 101

Rosa decides to break out of her usual obligations when her mother makes a surprising disclosure. Her new direction reveals that life still holds many surprises. This is a story about a woman who confronts the self-imposed and impossible expectations on herself as daughter, mother, wife, and breadwinner.

watch the trailer

We hope to see you at the Festival!

SIP FilmFest 2018 Organizing Committee:

Esther Poveda Moreno
Sarah Annunziato
Nuria Ballesteros Soria
Francesca Calamita
Lilian Feitosa
David Florez-Murillo
Esperanza Górriz Jarque
Alicia López-Operé
Paula Sprague
Matthew Street
Zaida Villanueva García


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