The annual Latin American and Spanish Film Festival is returning to Whanganui for the fourth time thanks to a group of Hispanic enthusiasts living in Whanganui.

Antonio Salas, Andrea Gardner, Queralt Scott, Marilyn Wilkie and Beverly Stuart, with support from Whanganui District Council, are bringing 11 films to Whanganui audiences with free screenings from October 19 until November 11.

The 11 feature films come from Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Uruguay, Mexico, Cuba, Ecuador and Spain and will screen on Thursdays and Saturdays.

All movies are free and will show in the Davis Lecture Theatre on Thursdays at 7pm, with matinee screenings at 4pm on Saturdays.


Chilean ambassador to New Zealand, Rodrigo Espinosa, will attend a special fiesta celebration at the Sarjeant Gallery on October 21.

The event will feature Hispanic food, music and dance and another special feature of this year's festival will be the release of a new single and video from Grammy Award-winning Panamanian singer and songwriter Rómulo Castro.

Castro visited Whanganui in February this year and recorded part of the song with local young Maori and Whanganui High School students.

The song and video will be released on October 26 when students at High School will get the chance to watch it for the first time.

"All the movies in this year's festival have won awards around the world, including at Cannes," says Marilyn Wilkie.

"By chance, many of them feature children, and are stunningly well-acted.

"The offerings from Brazil, Colombia, Cuba and Ecuador tackle the issue of child poverty and how children find hope when the world seems pitted against them."

There are comedies from Argentina, Peru and Uruguay which Ms Wilkie says "take a gentler and happier approach to inter-generational difficulties and responsibilities".


"The films tackle universal concerns that everyone will relate to," she says.

The first screening on October 19 will be Argentinian comedy, Son of the Bride (El hijo de la novia) directed by Juan José Campanella.

The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and won the Silver Condor for Best Film when it was released in 2001.

Son of the Bride will screen at Davis Theatre, Watt St at 7pm on October 19.

The festival schedule and movie details can be picked up from the Sarjeant Gallery, Whanganui District Library, i-site and from local cafes, or by going to