The Latino and Iberian Film Festival opened Wednesday at Yale University with scheduled screenings of about 50 movies.
Filmmakers from nearly 20 different countries including Spain, Brazil, Cuba, Chile, and Peru are in New Haven for panel discussions that follow the movie screenings, all of which have English subtitles and bring an increased awareness of Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking cultures.
A film by Brooklyn-based filmmaker Rachel Lears, "The Hand That Feeds," tells the story of an undocumented worker in a New York City bakery who took the unusual step – risking deportation – to join with coworkers at local delis and restaurants to form an independent union.
Festival director Margherita Tortora said she hopes viewers will come away from the film with a more nuanced understanding of the complex issues facing immigrants.
"Every once in a while, I do get someone who says: you gave the immigrants faces and personalities and lives and families, and now they’re real people to me, and not just numbers," Tortora said.
The film festival, which runs through Sunday, November 15, is free and open to the public.