Tiffany Ireland is a Florida Museum of Natural History educator.
This event will be the 10th Gainesville Latino Film Festival. How long have you been involved, and what have you learned from the event in the past years?
This will be our third year. It’s a fun program and fun learning what new movies are coming out. It’s nice to have a bilingual event.
What do you think is the most beneficial part of GLFF for the community and students of the area?
I think actually bringing the movies to the general public. A lot of the movies that they’re showing, you will not view or will not find in the Gainesville area. Even though there’s an audience for it, you can maybe see one or two of them over at the Hippodrome Theater.
What does the Florida Museum of Natural History have to offer to the community participating and attending GLFF during the month-long event?
- In October, we’ll be having our Megalodon Exhibit, which is a bilingual exhibit and talks about the largest shark ever, the Megalodon.
- We will also be opening in August our Panama Exhibit. It is the 100th anniversary of the Panama Canal. We have a scientists exchange going on with the Florida Museum of Natural History, and scientists and paleontologists in Panama and with their museum of natural history of showing fossils that they’re finding because of the new reconstruction with the canal.
- This is a great time to find those kinds of fossils because that’s the land bridge between North America and South America. We’re working with Latin scientists, men and women. This is a program that they’re also using to teach in the schools in Panama, California, Texas and Florida.
- Sal de Pacha is the movie that we’re partnering with [GLFF]. It has to do with the salt patch in Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia. The largest salt flat in the world very well-known for the salt that you can harvest there. It is talking about an Indian culture that actually collects the salt and trades it. A lot of the people, especially in our community, don’t understand how in many parts of the world salt is a commodity. It’s called Sal de Pacha because it’s Ketchuan (Quechua) for land. We’re going to be talking about the difference and where you can find salt in your life.
- On October 5, we’ll be having our ButterflyFest. One of the main things we’ll be talking about is the migration of the monarch butterflies that go through Canada down through the United States, past the Gulf of Mexico and into Mexico in this very particular place called the Yucatan Peninsula. It looks like billions of butterflies covering every surface. It’s one of the largest migrations in the world.
- Most of our exhibits are bilingual, and it’s talking about the exchange of animals. For examples, llamas actually originated from North America and migrated to South America. [Among others] sloths, horses and armadillos that we believe are North American. But with the research they’re doing with the Panama Canal now, it is able to prove there is a huge biodiversity exchange through the Isthmus of Panama.
As a sponsor/partner for GLFF, in what ways are you helping make this event a successful one?
We’re doing some interesting programming. Most likely everybody that is helping with it is bilingual, English and Spanish. The movie itself is an adult movie, but we’re trying to show some of the science to children and families to make it a little more relatable.
Do you think GLFF is a significant event in a town filled with students and residents of different cultures, and if so, why?
Yes. I, myself, am Peruvian-American. There’s a large community who love the Latin culture, whether they are or not.
What is your favorite part of being a sponsor/partner for GLFF?
I get to learn the movies. Every year is something new and current.
For the 10th GLFF, what do you expect to see different this year at the festival?
We are hoping for a larger audience to come, and also to be able to grow with the film festival. We have multicultural events, but there’s more languages and cultures in Gainesville than anyone knows.
Any other advice, tips, and commentary you would like to add?
Come! Come! Enjoy! Come to the museum itself. It’s a great place to be. It’s free and open for everybody.