On Saturday, March 7, about twenty Columbia alumni and guests attended the Miami International Film Festival's world premier showing of Algún Lugar (translated, "On the Road, Somewhere"), a film about about three Dominican teenagers who embark on a hilarious and touching pre-college road trip, into the very heart (and soul) of the Dominican Republic.
Before heading across the street to the show at Tower Theater on Calle Ocho, alums enjoyed food and drinks at Ball and Chain restaurant. After the film, there was a talk-balk session with the directors and cast. As serendipity would have it, Columbia University connections are not hard to find. The co-writer/producer, Wendy Muñiz is a current PhD student at Columbia's Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures.
After the show, Wendy shared that, "Algún Lugar is our Ópera Prima – me and my husband’s– and for me it marks a turning point in my career as scriptwriter and producer. We came up with the idea for the film before moving to Morningside Heights, but developed the script during my first three years as a PhD student at the Department of Latin American and Iberian Cultures, [living] near the Casa Hispánica."
Wendy especially appreciated "Columbia’s vibrant intellectual and creative community," saying that it was the "laboratory" in which the film was created. She states, "I drew inspiration for the film from my own personal experience as a student who had chosen cultural studies as a career and had been able to follow that passion all the way to Columbia, as well as from the personal and outstanding stories of my students."
As the Columbia University Club of South Florida, we seek to continually make these Columbia connections - connecting alums to each other, and to arts, culture, and academics in our community. This event was organized by Club Past-President Mark Stoutenberg.