Tag Archives: Harvard University

The 11th annual Boston Latino International Film Festival

Opening Film and Reception: 

Thursday, October 25th

Northeastern University

John O’Bryant African-American Institute

40 Leon Street, Northeastern University

Closing Film and Reception:

Sunday, October 28th

Harvard University

Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University

1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 0213

CGIS South, S-010, Tsai Auditorium,

The 11th Boston Latino International Film Festival at Harvard University and Northeastern University

Boston – Only America’s biggest and greatest cities host Latino film festivals; Boston is one of such cities. This year the Boston Latino International Film Festival (BLIFF) will host its 11th annual event which will be filled with four intense days of films, receptions and special events in four days on between October 25th– 28th

BLIFF is a yearly event on it’s 11 edition. Every year we receive between 250 – 300 applying films to our festival. This year BLIFF will be hosted between Oct. 25-28 at Northeastern and Harvard University and will screen a selection of 60 films from 15 Latin American countries.

“The Northeastern community is proud to host this important festival and proud to showcase the beauty, depth, and creativity of Latino/a and Latin American cinema, diversity and culture.” said Professor Alan West-Durán, Director of the Latino, Latin American and Caribbean Studies Program at Northeastern University. Professor West-Duran is also in charge of bringing BLIFF to Northeastern University,

Films will be screened at two different venues: at the John O’Bryant African-American Institute at Northeastern University and at the Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University. Prices will be  $10 per program at both locations. ALL FILMS IN SPANISH AND PORTUGUESE WILL BE SUBTITLE IN ENGLISH. Panels, the opening and closing receptions will be free and open.

“Eleven years ago we had an idea to provide the greater Boston community with a high-quality film festival that would capture and highlight the diverse experiences of Latinos in the United States and abroad. Since then, the festival has grown immensely, and support from the community has been phenomenal,” said Jose Barriga, founder and director of the festival.

The Boston Latino International Film Festival is committed to breaking stereotypes and building communities by using the medium of film to strengthen inter-cultural understanding and promote work of independent filmmakers. Over 60 films from over 14 countries will be featured, including the United States, Argentina, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Spain and Mexico, among others. All of these films will be premiering in Boston.

BLIFF 2009 is sponsored in part by the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University, John O’Bryant African-American Institute at Northeastern University, Vista Higher Learning, El Planeta, MasTV, TuBoston.com, Heineken, BASE, Hope and Confort, The Association of Mexican Restaurant of New England and Jose’s Mexican Restaurant.


2012 BOSTON LATINO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS 

THURSDAY, October 25

Northeastern University

John O’Bryant African-American Institute

40 Leon Street, Northeastern University

5.30 p.m. OPENING RECEPTION (FREE)

6.45 p.m. OPENING PROGRAM

Luminaris / Spain / Juan Pablo Zaramella / 2012 / 6min / Short

Long Distance / Cuba / Esteban Insausti / 2010 / 93min / Narrative Feature – Trailer 1 – Trailer 2

9.00 p.m.

The Perfection in your hand / Spain /Guillermo P. Bosch / 10min / Short

Mayan Renaissance / Guatemala / Dawn Engle / 2012 / 68min / Documentary – Trailer

 

FRIDAY, October 26

Northeastern University

West Village F, Room #20, 2pm -10pm

7.15 p.m. Flamenco Program

Mexico Flamenco / Spain-Mexico / Josep Badell & Carlos Snachez-Llibre / 2012 / 53min / Documentary – Trailer

9.30 p.m.  Spanish Shorts Program

A Story for the Modlins / Sergio Oksman / 26min / Doc – Trailer

That Wasn’t Me / Esteban Crespo / 23min / Fic

The Birth / Xavi Sala / 14min / Fic

The Wedding / Marina Seresesky / 12min / Fic – Trailer

What the eye doesn’t see / Natalia Mateo / 15min / Fic

Prologue / Lucas Figueroa / 8min / Fic

.Sub / Jossie Malis Alvarez / 15min / Fic – Trailer

Zombi / David Moreno /  12min / Fic – Trailer

 

SATURDAY, October 27

Northeastern University

West Village F, Room #20, 2pm -10pm

1.30 p.m. PANEL (FREE)

Contemporary Cuba: Film and Media

3.00 p.m. Cuban Shorts Program #2

AM / Dariela Minoso / 13min / Fic

Delirio / Alejandro E. Alonso & Lazaro O. Lemus / 8min / Doc

Madre, la tierra / Ernesto Perez / 15min / Doc

Afuera / Vanessa Portieles & Yanelvis Gonzalez / 20min / Fic

La Sasita / Ariagna Fajardo / 19min / Doc

 

4.30 p.m. International Program

Known Secrets / Honduras / James Joint / 17min

El Rey / US – Central America – Austria / Stefan Lechner / 53min / Documentary – Trailer

 

6.00 p.m. Immigration Program #1

Underprivileged / USA / Rafael Lanus / 15min

Incommunicado / P. Alberto Sanchez / 9min

Q&A with Director P. Sanchez & Producer Mike Paskett

Admissions / Chloe Smolarski / 50min / Documentary  – Trailer

Q&A with Visiting Director

 

AT HARVARD UNIVERSITY

SATURDAY, October 27

Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University

1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 0213

CGIS South, S-010, Tsai Auditorium,

2.00 p.m. International Program

The World Outside / USA / Zachary Kerschberg / 10mi

Q&A with visiting Director

Delivery / Fabien Ortiz / 12 min.

La Mirada Perdida / Argentina / Damian Dionisio / 11min

La Camioneta / Guatemala – USA / Mark Kendall / 72 min / Documentary – Trailer

4.00 p.m. With My Heart In Yambo / Ecuador / 138min / Documentary – Trailer

6.00 p.m. Central American Program

Inside El Porvenir / Honduras- Switzerland / Rainer Hoffmann & Erika Harzer / 2012 / 85min / Documentary

Q&A with Director Rainer Hoffman

Co-Presented by: Swissnex Boston – Consulate of Switzerland – Trailer

SUNDAY, October 28

Harvard University

Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University

1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA 0213

CGIS South, S-010, Tsai Auditorium,

 

4.30 p.m.  Arts, Crafts & Local Economies

Banking on Trust / Argentina / LeeAndrea Morton / 38min / Documentary – Trailer

Silvestre Pantaleón / Mexico / Roberto Olivares / 65min /Documentary

6.30 p.m. CLOSING FILM

Esperanza / USA / Michael Martinez / 9min / Fic

Anyone Out There / Brazil / Tiaraju Aronovich / 2012 / 115min / Narrative Feature – BLIFF’s Curator’s 2012 Choice!

8.30 – 9.30 P.M. CLOSING RECEPTION (FREE)

 

Animals in Labs Week, Part 1

Sunday, April 22, marked the beginning of Animals in Labs Week. For more than 10 years InCity Times has tried to enlighten folks about the needless torture of animals, courtesy of the many labs, research institutes and universities throughout the US and the world. So many of these horrific experiments (see below) are unnecessary! So many of the animals (ie chimps) lead deprived, horrific lives for decades – all in the name of industry/science. The cosmetic industry has subjected millions of rabbbits to toxic levels of makeup – pointless “overkill.” Monkeys have been given the AIDS virus and then … at the end of their lives … not even mercifully retired to gentler habitats. Cramped cages, hardened handlers, blood curdling deaths, animals in labs live a kind of hell that we can never imagine. From Harvard University where recently five chimps have died in their research labs, to high school “experiments,” animals in labs suffer … and need your help. Read on to learn more! – Rosalie Tirella

Some animals can use tools? Who cares?

By Kathy Guillermo

Years ago, I had a wonderful companion animal named Angus. He was a remarkable little fellow who loved to greet visitors to my house and snuggle next to me on the sofa. His favorite food was Chinese carry-out, and he went bonkers when he saw the white cardboard containers come out of the plastic bag on the kitchen table. He was loyal and sweet-tempered—probably not so different from your own dog or cat.

Except that Angus wasn’t a dog or cat. He was a rat.

A brown rat with shiny black eyes and a long pink tail. He lived on a table-top in my home, where he never had to be shut in his cage. He liked to cruise around the house perched on my shoulder.

So it was with particular interest that I read a study on rats, which found that rats can be trained to use tools, to understand the tools’ functions and to choose the most appropriate tool when presented with more than one. Before this, the study says, it was thought that only primates and some birds, in addition to humans, were capable of figuring this out.

So here’s my response, and I hope it’s yours too: Who cares?

Should we change the way we view rats because some of them can be taught how to use a little rake to draw food toward themselves? Of course not. We should change our attitude toward rats because they are thinking, feeling, living beings with a sense of humor, an affectionate nature and a capacity for suffering that the human race should stop ignoring.

This study is just the latest in a long line of experiments that should have convinced us of this long ago. Researchers at the University of Berne, Switzerland, announced that rats are influenced by the kindness of strangers. If rats have been assisted by rats they’ve never met before, they are more likely to help other rats in the future. A sort of rodent version of “Pay It Forward.”

Other studies have shown that rats become distressed when they see other rats being electrically shocked. We shouldn’t be surprised—though apparently the experimenters were—that the rats become even more agitated if they know or are related to the rat being shocked.

Scientists with special recording equipment have shown that rats laugh out loud in frequencies that can’t be heard by the human ear. Young rats who are being tickled are the most likely to giggle. Rats have been shown to be altruistic and have risked their own lives to save other rats, especially when the rats in peril are babies.

All of these studies, including the one on tool use, are published in journals, and news releases are sent out, and science bloggers chat online about them, but in the end, what difference does it make to rats? Rats and mice, that other unfairly maligned species, are still used and killed by the tens of millions in U.S. laboratories every year. They are denied even the minimal coverage of the Animal Welfare Act, the only federal law offering any sort of protection to animals in laboratories.

So while it may pique the curiosity of some that rats can be taught to use tools, the more interesting result of this and all the studies that came before it is that experimenters apparently can’t be taught to put the results of studies to good use. If experimenters had this ability—the sort of reasoning that should get one from A to B in a logical way—they’d read the evidence that rats can think, learn, feel, laugh, act altruistically and risk their lives for others, and they’d stop caging and hurting them in laboratories. When a person knows that another being can suffer, and yet deliberately sets about causing that suffering, shouldn’t we worry less about which species can use tools, and more about the callousness of some people?

Kathy Guillermo is vice president of Laboratory Investigations for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the author of Monkey Business, The Disturbing Case That Launched the Animal Rights Movement. Readers may write to her at: PETA, 501 Front St., Norfolk, VA 23510; www.PETA.org.

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States should give bunnies a break

By Kathy Guillermo

Not so long ago, every pregnancy test performed in a laboratory involved killing a rabbit. Happily, better methods were developed and the old rabbit tests, along with the euphemism, “Did the rabbit die?”—meaning, “Are you pregnant?”—faded into history. The new tests were quicker and easier and represented a big leap forward for lab technicians, as well as for rabbits.

New Jersey and California have embraced a similar kind of progress by passing laws that prohibit product tests on animals when a federally approved alternative exists. Every state should follow suit and mandate the use of available non-animal tests instead of live animals. Every manufacturer—not just those in New Jersey and California—should use the non-animal methods available, whether or not such a law is in place.

Here’s one reason why: Companies have tested chemicals for corrosivity by locking rabbits into full-body restraints and smearing a chemical onto the shaved skin on their backs. A chemical is considered to be “corrosive” if it eats through the skin, burning away several layers of tissue. No painkillers or anesthetics are used. At the end of the test, the rabbit is killed or “recycled” into other tests.

Chemical corrosivity can now be evaluated using a “human skin equivalent” test called Corrositex, approved by federal officials, which uses a protein membrane designed to function like skin. The results are accurate, it’s quick and no one gets hurts.

There are a surprising number of sophisticated non-animal tests now in use and in development. Unlike Corrositex, not all of them have been given the thumbs up by government officials, but that hasn’t stopped scientists here and around the world from recognizing that these new methods are faster, cheaper and a whole lot kinder. PETA has contributed more than $760,000 so far to the development of these superior test methods.

Many researchers also understand that humans differ from animals in their metabolism, biochemistry, physiology, genetic makeup and gene expression and that this means that studies on animals can mislead us. This is most obvious in the pharmaceutical arena. Nine out of 10 drugs that test safe and effective on animals fail in human trials. Adverse reactions to prescription drugs that do make it to market—drugs successfully tested on animals—kill 100,000 people in the U.S. every year, making it one of our country’s leading causes of death.

We don’t have to choose between animals and people. It is really a choice between effective and ineffective science.

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A terrible waste of money and lives

By Kathy Guillermo

Are worms gay? If they are, what does that mean for humans? Such questions may sound entirely irrelevant to anything in our lives, but some scientists, including Erik Jorgensen at the University of Utah, have apparently received money to study these questions. The worms—nematodes, really—are tiny, 1-millimeter-long creatures who live in soil. Most are hermaphrodites, which means that each worm produces both sperm and eggs. The Times of London reported that Jorgensen activated a gene in the hermaphrodite worms’ brains, which apparently convinced them to try to mate with other hermaphrodites rather than just with the male worms.

The conclusion, according to Jorgensen’s quote in the Times: “We cannot say what this means for human sexual orientation, but it raises the possibility that sexual preference is wired in the brain.”

Hey, there’s something no one ever thought of before.

This study serves as a reminder that there are only so many research dollars available, and most of it comes from your taxes. Do you want to foot the bill for experiments that don’t have anything to do with preventing or curing illness? Or for studies that are obviously redundant or pointless? Or for experiments that are so cruel that whatever is learned from them simply isn’t worth the cost?

I’m opposed to using animals for experimentation on ethical grounds, and I also believe—as science frequently shows—that most studies on animals aren’t particularly relevant to humans. But even those who support research on animals should be careful about accepting the experimentation industry’s claim that the use of animals in laboratories will help find cures for Alzheimer’s, AIDS, Parkinson’s, cancer and other diseases that are frightening just to contemplate. Consider first what some experimenters get paid big money to do.

Johns Hopkins University announced that it was attempting to create a “schizophrenic” mouse by inserting a gene from the DNA of a human family with schizophrenic members into a mouse. Yet a diagnosis of schizophrenia hinges on the patient hearing voices that aren’t there and seeing things others don’t see. How exactly does an experimenter know if this is true of mice, even if a gene has been inserted?

At Oregon Health & Science University, experimenter Eliot Spindel injects the fetuses of pregnant monkeys with nicotine and then gives the mothers vitamin supplements to see if that makes it “safer” to smoke while pregnant. Yet we’ve known since 1972 that smoking is harmful to human fetuses. Spindel’s money would have been better spent convincing pregnant women not to smoke.

Under the guise of studying fetal alcohol syndrome, David J. Earnest at Texas A&M Health Science Center examined sleep problems in baby rats who were force-fed alcohol. Perhaps Earnest is unaware that human infants don’t binge-drink after birth.

At universities and primate centers across the country, experimenters are still tearing infant monkeys from their mothers to observe the detachment and psychosis that result from this trauma. These are variations on the dreadful experiments conducted by Harry Harlow more than 40 years ago. How often do we need to prove that taking love and comfort from a baby monkey will destroy the animal’s happiness and ability to cope with life?

I could go on and on—monkeys who have the tops of their skulls removed, electrodes stuck in their brains and wire coils implanted in their eyes to look at the connection between eye movement and the brain; birds whose testicles are sucked out so that experimenters can examine what happens to their songs; cats who have their backs cut open and weights attached to their spinal tissue and are then killed, supposedly to study lower back problems in people. The list seems endless.

These animals are caged for their entire lives, traumatized, physically and emotionally damaged, killed and cut up for experiments that don’t even pretend to be about saving humans. Whether or not you agree with me that it’s unethical to do this to animals for any reason, surely it’s obvious that much experimentation on animals is a terrible waste of money and lives.

Kathy Guillermo is vice president of Laboratory Investigations for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and the author of Monkey Business, The Disturbing Case That Launched the Animal Rights Movement.

Public joins Humane Society in urging Harvard University to prohibit severe animal suffering

More Than 26,000 People Call for New Lab Policy

(Dec. 7, 2011) — The Humane Society of the United States sent letters from 26,688 members of the public to Harvard University and 387 other federally-funded colleges and universities, urging the schools to adopt a formal policy that would protect animals in their laboratories from severe pain and distress. The signers of the letters oppose the use of tax dollars to support activities at the schools’ laboratories that cause severe animal suffering.

“Americans don’t want to pay for animal research that causes suffering,” said Kathleen Conlee, senior director for animal research issues for The HSUS. “Harvard, which receives public funding for its animal research, is well known as an elite educational institution—it’s time for the university to lead the way in its commitment to animal welfare.”

The schools receiving the request for the new policy receive an estimated $6 billion in federal funding per year to conduct animal research. In 2010 Harvard received over $370 million in federal funds for research that includes experiments involving more than 180,000 monkeys, farm animals, cats, dogs, rats, rabbits and other animals used each year at the university.

Federal laws do not prohibit laboratory research or conditions that cause severe pain and distress in animals, but more than 60 colleges and universities have adopted their own policies that do.

Methods to prevent severe pain and distress for animals in laboratories could include:

Using non-animal alternatives when possible.
Properly using anesthetics and painkillers.
Decreasing duration and intensity of stressors.
Determining the most humane time to end the experiment.
Preparing for emergency situations.

Background
Since 2008, The HSUS has asked Harvard four times to adopt a policy that would prevent severe pain or distress, however the university has yet to adopt such a policy.
#

Media Contact: Anna West, 301-258-1518, awest@humanesociety.org.
Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your Apple or Android device by searching for our “HumaneTV” app.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the Web at humanesociety.org.
Severe Animal Suffering

More Than 26,000 People Call for New Lab Policy

(Dec. 7, 2011) — The Humane Society of the United States sent letters from 26,688 members of the public to Harvard University and 387 other federally-funded colleges and universities, urging the schools to adopt a formal policy that would protect animals in their laboratories from severe pain and distress. The signers of the letters oppose the use of tax dollars to support activities at the schools’ laboratories that cause severe animal suffering.

“Americans don’t want to pay for animal research that causes suffering,” said Kathleen Conlee, senior director for animal research issues for The HSUS. “Harvard, which receives public funding for its animal research, is well known as an elite educational institution—it’s time for the university to lead the way in its commitment to animal welfare.”

The schools receiving the request for the new policy receive an estimated $6 billion in federal funding per year to conduct animal research. In 2010 Harvard received over $370 million in federal funds for research that includes experiments involving more than 180,000 monkeys, farm animals, cats, dogs, rats, rabbits and other animals used each year at the university.

Federal laws do not prohibit laboratory research or conditions that cause severe pain and distress in animals, but more than 60 colleges and universities have adopted their own policies that do.

Methods to prevent severe pain and distress for animals in laboratories could include:
Using non-animal alternatives when possible.
Properly using anesthetics and painkillers.
Decreasing duration and intensity of stressors.
Determining the most humane time to end the experiment.
Preparing for emergency situations.

Background
Since 2008, The HSUS has asked Harvard four times to adopt a policy that would prevent severe pain or distress, however the university has yet to adopt such a policy.
#

Media Contact: Anna West, 301-258-1518, awest@humanesociety.org.
Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your Apple or Android device by searching for our “HumaneTV” app.

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the Web at humanesociety.org.

PETA shuts down Harvard University experiment

Boston –  Following more than a year of vigorous campaigning by PETA, NASA has quietly shelved plans for cruel radiation experiments on dozens of monkeys that would have cost $1.75 million, and we are over the moon!

In the proposed NASA-funded experiments that were to be conducted by an experimenter at Harvard’s McLean Hospital, dozens of squirrel monkeys would have been exposed to a harmful dose of radiation and then isolated in cages and subjected to years of behavioral experiments in order to measure the damage caused by the radiation. Such damage likely would have included cancerous tumors, cataracts, brain damage, loss of motor control, and early death.

Thanks to tens of thousands of letters, phone calls, protests, and tweets by PETA supporters, this misguided plan has been grounded, and monkeys will be spared this cruelty.

 

In addition to PETA members, our campaign also received support from Sir Paul McCartney, Bob Barker, and Alicia Silverstone. Even former astronauts, NASA engineers, and the European Space Agency spoke out on our side and against NASA’s ill-conceived plan to torment squirrel monkeys.

Thank you!