During his time at UC Santa Barbara, undergraduate Oscar Dominguez has taken to heart the concept of community service. His great passion, as he has described it, is the desire to create a social impact while empowering others.
Domiguez is bringing that passion to UCSB in the form of the Central American International Film Festival, of which he is the director. The series begins Friday, May 19, at UCSB’s MultiCultural Center. The screenings are free and open to the public.
The two-day event will showcase seven films and include Q&A sessions with directors Melissa Perez and Tania Romero and film writer Oscar Torres.
The films include “Nothing” (El Salvador); “I Was Born There” (Costa Rica); “En Tus Manos” (El Salvador); “Waiting on the Alchemist” (El Salvador); “Still Devout” (El Salvador); “Hasta Con Las Unas” (Nicaragua); and “Innocent Voices” (El Salvador).
“Having a background in communication, community engagement, film appreciation and Central American culture has motivated me to organize this film festival,” Dominguez said. “My communication major has taught me about the research, influence, structure, principles, weaknesses and roles behind film and media, which led me to recognize that film festivals, as any other source of film distribution and communication channels, have the tools and capacity to positively empower, motivate, educate, attract and open people’s state of minds while supporting the creation of a better and more informed society.”
As a member of Hermanos Unidos and UCSB First and working at the Associated Students Food Bank and the campus’s MultiCultural Center, Dominguez has seen the impact of community service. He also is a member of the non-profit El Salvador Community Corridor Organization and the political advocacy group Latino Coalition of Los Angeles.
“This film festival is my way of giving back to the students and campus by casting a light on stories, history, culture and talent that everyone can appreciate and learn from,” he said. “At the same time, the festival is an opportunity I give to myself and to others to appreciate the beauty and power of culture and in this case, the Central American culture.”
More information about the film series, including a complete schedule of screenings, is available on the festival’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CentralAmericanFilmFestival/.