“Cinema in Latin America,” taught by Costa Rican filmmaker Jurgen Ureña Arroya, will be a new elective course offered this fall in the ACM Costa Rica: Language, Society, & the Environment program.
The multi-faceted course, taught in Spanish, will range from cinema history, to analysis and discussion of political and cultural aspects of films, to hands-on exercises in which students create their own short films.
Ureña, who is currently developing his first feature film, entitled “Broken Days,” has a master’s degree in creative documentary from the Autonomous University of Barcelona and teaches cinema history and documentary at the School of Cinema and Television of Veritas University. His short films have been screened at festivals in Cannes, Trieste, La Habana, Clermont-Ferrand, Washington, Cartagena, and elsewhere.
Costa Rican filmmaker Jurgen Ureña Arroya, who will teach the new “Cinema in Latin America” course this fall.
“This is the first time he has taught for ACM, but he has experience teaching film to students from the U.S. for other programs in Costa Rica,” said Mario Morera, Spanish Language Coordinator for ACM’s Costa Rica programs.
“This guy has great ideas,” Morera continued. “The first essay that students write for the class will be a script for a short film they are going to produce using their cell phone cameras. Teaching the students how to make a documentary is going to be part of his class, too.”
According to Morera, Ureña is planning to give students the opportunity to be involved in the production of “Broken Days,” and possibly even appear in the movie.
The program’s curriculum offers students choices for two of their four courses. For their semester-long elective, students select either “Cinema in Latin America” or “Neotropical Biodiversity and Conservation,” taught by Program Director Christopher Vaughan. During the second half of the program, they take their pick among three language electives: “Fantasy, Horror, & Terror: Latin American Fears in Literature,” “Latin American Rock in Spanish: Voices of Social Criticism,” or “Advanced Grammar and Composition in Spanish.”
The required courses are “Spanish Grammar, Conversation, and Culture” and “Introduction to Costa Rica,” which includes a three-week stay with a host family in a rural area to provide students with a comparison to the program’s urban location in the capital city of San José.