Troy University set to host Cuban Film Festival this month

Published 11:00 pm Monday, February 3, 2014

The Troy University Library will host another international film festival in February, this time featuring films by and about Cuba.

On three successive Tuesday evenings Troy University students and area residents are invited to learn more about the United States’ closest neighbor island in the Caribbean. The films will be shown at 7 p.m. in Patterson Hall room 103. They are free and open to the public.

Lisa Vardaman, Troy University Library, was instrumental in putting together the Film Festival. One factor was her participation in Troy University’s first ever Study Abroad to Cuba between summer B and fall semester in 2013.

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“Getting the opportunity to travel to Cuba was a great thrill,” Vardaman said. “I have traveled all over the world as part of Semester Abroad, but being in Cuba was a rare event for Americans. We wanted to choose films which represented a broad view of Cuban culture and history.”

The first feature is a zombie satire, “Juan of the Dead’, on Tuesday February 11. Vardaman will host and introduce the movie.

Filmgoers on Feb. 18 will see “The Motorcycle Diaries,” which is about a motorcycle road trip that Che Guevara took when he was younger and how it transformed him. It will be hosted by Dr. Johanna Alberich of the Department of Modern Languages and Classics.

On Feb. 25, the film is “Buena Vista Social Club,” an award-winning documentary about traditional Cuban music, which is hosted by Doc Kirby of the Hall School of Journalism and the John M. Long School of Music. Last summer’s Study Abroad met the current members of the iconic musical group and enjoyed two of their public performances.

“We were fortunate to have one faculty team leader, Dr. Johanna Alberich, who was born and raised in Puerto Rico,” Vardaman said. “She is not only fluent in Spanish but very knowledgeable about Caribbean culture. Our other faculty team leader, Doc Kirby, had made five previous trips to Cuba and knew the people, places and history very well.”

The two have announced a similar Study Abroad trip for this May. The February Film Festival hosted by the Troy University Library welcomes anyone interested in Cuba to attend all three successive Tuesdays, beginning Feb. 11.