Latin American & Spanish Film Festival (LASFF)
The Latin America and Spain Film Festival is an annual cultural event in New Zealand that showcases contemporary films from participating countries.
LASFF 2023 website
Each year, the Latin America and Spain Film Festival brings Latin American, Spanish and New Zealand communities together through the big screen. The festival programme includes up to 10 films that cover a wide range of genres, topics and styles. Through the lenses of filmmakers and artists, the film festival exposes the audience to Latin American and Spanish culture, history and languages.
For New Zealand’s growing Latin American and Spanish communities, the film festival provides a sense of “home away from home”. Its popularity has grown over the years and increasing numbers of people from other backgrounds now come to enjoy the films.
Each year, a different embassy in New Zealand is responsible for hosting the festival. In 2018, when the Embassy of Mexico hosted the festival, Mexican director Roberto Girault travelled to New Zealand to open the event with his film Illusiones S.A. While in New Zealand, he shared his experiences as a Mexican filmmaker with leaders of New Zealand’s film industry and creative media students. In 2019, when the Embassy of Brazil hosted the festival, Brazilian director David Schurmann introduced his film Pequeno Segredo and gave masterclasses to students in Wellington and Auckland. His interview with Kim Hill on RNZ’s Saturday Morning show reached over 250,000 listeners.
The festival began in 2001, and the most recent edition toured 11 cities around New Zealand between September and December 2022. Around 7000 people went to see one of the films in the programme.
The festival is a non-profit venture, and all screenings are free of charge. The film festival is run by the Latin American and Spanish embassies in Wellington, with support from the Latin America Centre of Asia–Pacific Excellence, Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa Massey University and a range of corporate sponsors.
Published 02 November 2023
“The festival is a way to engage with Latin American and Spanish cultures and celebrate the differences. While it represents a home-away-from-home experience for many cinemagoers, for a growing audience it provides a virtual opportunity to learn about, experience or revisit other cultures."
Launched in 2001
Davis Theatre, Whanganui
Kina Beach, Nelson
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