Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Acción! Cine Colectivo fosters supportive, educational space for Hispanic filmmakers at UT

Courtesy of Ximena Chavez

Lights, camera, Acción! Amongst the constant cycle of creation at the Department of Radio-Television-Film (RTF), a new student organization has joined the mix. 

Entering its first official semester, Acción! Cine Colectivo serves as UT’s first Latinx/Hispanic film organization. With the goal of leveling the playing field for all Latinx/Hispanic film students, Acción! Cine Colectivo plans to host workshops that provide knowledge about film while creating a sense of community for its members. 

Co-president and radio-television-film senior Ximena Chavez said being the minority in her classes made it harder for her to speak about her stories.

“I wasn’t seeing people like Latinos in my classes,” Chavez said. “I wanted to provide a safe space for people to come and tell those stories, whether it be of their culture or something that they came up with.” 

Sofia Alejandro Barrios, a radio-television-film sophomore and Acción! Cine Colectivo Events director said that the Intro to Film classes she took taught the history of film through American classic movies, which didn’t speak to her. 

“When you see famous directors or famous film editors they’re mostly white cis males. We want people to know that’s not the only thing that you have to look up,” Alejandro Barrios said. “You do have a place in film.” 

Outside of being a minority of the population in classrooms, Latinx/Hispanic people made up only 14% of employees in the motion picture and video industries in the United States in 2022.

Co-president and radio-television-film senior Marlon Smith said that the limited representation the Latinx/Hispanic community gets in Hollywood fails to accurately represent them. 

By having this space at UT we have an opportunity to, finally, tell the stories that we want to tell without being boxed into stereotypes,” Smith said. 

Future meetings will include opportunities for students to gain knowledge about Latinx/Hispanic film, sound, lighting and various types of equipment. Additionally, Chavez said the group wants to host a speaker series with people from Latinx/Hispanic backgrounds who succeeded in the field. 

“It’s important to build community and reassure everyone that we have each other’s back,” Kacey Foss, radio-television-film senior and member of Acción! Cine Colectivo, said. 

As a culture-specific group, Acción! Cine Colectivo struggles to access meeting rooms because of the lengthy reservation approval system SB 17 requires. While talks among the group about giving in to SB 17 arose, they decided to remain true to their goal of creating a safe environment for Latinx/Hispanic film students. 

“We wanted (Acción! Cine Colectivo) to be very much shaped around the people and the culture,” Chavez said. 

In the future, Acción! Cine Colectivo aims to produce a short film with an entirely Latinx/Hispanic film crew.

“Hopefully, this org can serve as a starting point for everyone,” Smith said. “Even if there are laws that are trying to erase our footprint, there will always be someone or something that fights for it.” 

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