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LAFF Film Update
Thursday, 24 March 2011
Due to the technical difficulties at the Library and Archives Canada over the past few days, our official remaining dates of the Latin American Film Festival — including rescheduled films — are as follows:

Friday, March 25th @ 7:00pm (19h): Hildalgo: The Untold Story (Mexico)
Friday, March 25th @ 9:15pm (21h15): Chance (Panama)
Rescheduled LAFF Screenings
Thursday, 24 March 2011
Do to the technical difficulties we faced Thursday night, the films of Dominican Republic, El Salvador, and Ecuador will be rescheduled as follows:

Even though many of the day's events (Thursday, March 24th) have been cancelled at the Library and Archives Canada, the films from Honduras and Guatemala are still planned to be shown tonight as scheduled. Keep checking our website for more information.

UPDATE: Tonight's screenings (Thursday, March 24th) of the films from Honduras and Guatemala have also been cancelled. We will be posting rescheduled dates as soon as they are available.

We thank your for your understanding through all of this.

A Message from the LAFF Festival Patron
Wednesday, 16 March 2011
Good evening, dear friends.

Tonight, at the opening of the Festival, of which I have the pleasure of being the honorary president again this year, I would first of all like to tell you that I sincerely regret not being able to be physically present among you. But I will be back in Canada on March 21st, and will soon find my way back to the Festival.

I feel a particular attachment to the Latin-American Film Festival, because I deeply believe in the role of cinema and generally of culture in diplomatic action. I know that in this day and age, to speak of cultural diplomacy may create an uproar, in a world where culture is too often shelved in the leisure department, associated with idleness and non-productivity, in short linked with the luxuries we indulge in when we are satiated.

How confusing that is! Whether it be through education, creation, self-seeking, exchange with others, quest for meaning or spiritual realization, from the time our ancestors drew pictures on cave walls to our current-day 3-D movies, the use of arts and culture has been part of the exchanges human beings have had amongst themselves. 

Culture is the first attempt and the last recourse to outwit misunderstandings with our fellow humans, and therefore culture is the first diplomatic action of the civilized world. It substitutes dialogue to conflict, it contributes to building a viable peace, nationally or internationally.

Such is my belief as a film-maker and as a philosopher. I can say that my wife, the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, also shares this belief, and that it is what we developed throughout her mandate as 27th Governor General of Canada.

In particular, cinema has allowed to weave durable links in the context of the visits we made to Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, Guatemala and Costa Rica, visits that have added to my former knowledge of Chile, Peru, Cuba, Haiti, and many other Southern countries where movie-making had previously led me. 

Viewing movies and talking about movies go beyond simply comparing the  conditions of production, the economic constraints and the role of television. They also have to do with confronting social projects and respective visions of culture. The above elements represent fundamental issues in which globalization can successfully develop itself only by taking into account, in detail, the specificity of nations, communities and individuals. There lies the fundamental geopolitical tenet if we want to ensure an harmonious and respectful development of economic relations, an equitable  sharing of responsibilities between all parties involved in environmental management and protection, and an openness to international dialogue, while making sure that we have put in motion all the components that are needed to resolve world conflicts and reduce social inequities.

I am very happy to notice that, through everyone's understanding and effort, through your presence here, and through the tenacity and loyalty of my friend Tom McSorley and the Canadian Film Institute, we can say that this Festival is a perfect example of what cultural diplomacy is  : a contribution to the peace effort on this continent, with a view of building a better and fairer world. 

I wish you all a wonderful festival. 

See you soon.

His former-Excellency Jean-Daniel Lafond
Film-maker and author
Co-president and CEO
Michaëlle Jean Foundation
Latin American Film Festival Sponsors
Thursday, 10 March 2011
Thank you so much to our sponsors who have helped to make this event possible!

AhoraAuténtica CubaBarrick Gold CorporationClub CalienteCaribe SolLibrary and Archives CanadaCanada Council for the ArtsDepartment of Foreign Affairs and International Trade CanadaDende do recifeCité CollégialeDos EquislGRULAOttawa CitizenDiffusArtFestival LatinoIndustry ImagesMambo Neuvo LatinoNovotel HotelsCity of OttawaTACA AirlinesTNTViva Urbain
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