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Mar 5, 2018 4:47 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Aspiramos To Hold First Film Festival At Southampton High School

“Mi Gran Noche” will be screened Friday, March 16, at Southampton High School at 6:30 p.m. as part of the Aspiramos Film Festival.
Mar 6, 2018 10:42 AM

Aspiramos, an organization with a mission to help Latino students succeed in life, will hold its first film festival next week at Southampton High School to raise money for a scholarship program.

The festival consists of two movies—“Mi Gran Noche” and “Neruda”—which will be shown back to back on Friday, March 16.

Isabel Sepulveda, a founding member of Aspiramos and the brains behind the event, said she came up with the idea of holding a film festival because movies are a great tool to educate people about different cultures.

“The idea to raise money and promote my culture with a film festival was mine,” Ms. Sepulveda said in an email. “As a first-generation [immigrant] and somebody who goes back [to Chile] every year, I know how important it is to break stereotypes. Movies are great for this.”

Not only is Ms. Sepulveda a co-founder of Organización Latino-Americana of Eastern Long Island, she also helped start the OLA Film Festival, which held its 14th annual festival this past November. Now, Ms. Sepulveda is continuing her efforts with the Aspiramos Film Festival.

Aspiramos—which translates to “we aspire” in Spanish—is an organization that is made up of teachers, community liaisons, and others who work toward making a difference in Latino students’ lives by raising money to help them go to college or attend BOCES.

Barbara Fair, who helped form Aspiramos, said she was shocked when she learned Latino students rarely apply for scholarships—so she wanted to help change that.

The organization was started in the fall, as was a scholarship fund that will be used to help Latino students pay to further their education.

According to Ms. Fair, it does not matter if a student needs help going to neurosurgeon school or needs the training to become a welder or dental surgeon.

“We’ll take each case, student-by-student,” Ms. Fair said.

Since announcing the film festival, the organization has raised nearly $3,000 through sponsorships, which include Hampton Coffee Company and the Southampton Teachers’ Association.

“The school members in this organization want to make a difference in the [lives of these] students, [especially] the newcomers, so they are useful to society and we don’t lose them,” Ms. Sepulveda said. [This] is more about members of the school who see or hear every day about financial issues that some of our students have.”

“Mi Gran Noche,” which will be shown at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, is a comedy about the production of a television series that surrounds Spain’s New Year’s Eve celebration, or Nochevieja. Following the showing of “Mi Gran Noche” will be “Neruda,” a film about Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, beginning at 8:30 p.m.

The festival will take place at Southampton High School, which is located at 141 Narrow Lane in Southampton Village. Tickets for the film festival are $10, and will be available at the door or by calling 631-591-4611.

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