Discovering Latin America Film Festival – Meet My World

In its 10th year, the Discover Latin America Film Festival has brought together many filmmakers from all parts of the continent. This year’s festival, however, saw them work in conjunction with Casa Alianza, a charity organization that works to rehabilitate homeless children in South America, particularly those affected by sex trafficking.

The Meet My World event, produced by another charity organization Amantani, is a compilation of short films by children in a less, but by no means less pertinent, dire situation; the children are from a marginalized culture in the Peruvian Andes and one that is perceived as backward. This charity has built boarding houses for these children who had once to travel far and through dangerous terrain to get a basic education.

The films are a series of ‘How to’ films of local customs like mud ovens, guinea pig stews and catching fish with only your hands. These were broken up with reply videos from celebs like Michael Palin, and talks from individuals working both on the film and in the charity. The talks themselves were interesting in giving the audience further information on their cause and the results they’ve accomplished thus far. In making this a compilation it ensures the audience is fully engaged with their intention and is able to see the various customs of this increasingly marginalized culture.

It must be noted that these films are less instructional and more focused on the preservation of culture. This, in conjunction with the talks, absorbs the audience in their culture. Furthermore, the positive tones conveyed in the films, as well as the talks, makes it more of a celebration rather than a desperate plea.

The event closed on a ‘Making-of’ short documentary, which was a missed opportunity due to the lack of subtitles for the predominantly English-speaking audience. But it nevertheless rounded off a positive event on preserving and celebrating culture, and rather than exploit the crisis the children in this area are facing, it aimed to shed light on the positive impact the organization has had on their lives.

To find out more about the “Meet My World” series, click here, or visit the website at www.meetmyworld.org

Matthew Lee is an undergraduate student in the field of Film Studies at King's College London and a freelance film critic with keen interests in World Cinema, Cult Cinema and Silent Cinema.