Cine Las Americas announced a list of its 2017 program for the 20th Cine Las Americas International Film Festival to be held in various venues from May 3-7 in Austin. The list includes the opening and closing night features and what has become a signature of the festival lineup, the “Hecho en Tejas” film program. All films are presented in English or with English subtitles (if English is not the original language).
The full festival lineup will include feature films, including new releases that are new to the Austin market, short films, documentaries and music videos. Together, they highlight a diversity of themes, genres and styles characteristic of contemporary national and international cinema trends.
“We are really pleased with how this year’s program is coming together, offering an impressive lineup of films from both established directors and new filmmakers,” festival director Jean Lauer said. “The selections are diverse as usual, but audience members may notice that we have included more films produced and co-produced by Mexican filmmakers than in previous years. We felt it was especially important this year to showcase work from Texas’s neighboring country, as part of our mission of promoting cross-national understanding.”
Featured guests during the festival include “Ambulante Más Allá” director of training and production, María Inés Roqué, who will be a feature film juror and will introduce each Ambulante program, taking place at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center.
Films will be presented at the Blanton Museum of Art, 200 E. MLK Blvd., the Santa Cruz Theater, 1805 E. Seventh St., and the ESB-MACC, 600 River St.
The opening night feature film is “Me Estás Matando Susana” (“You’re Killing Me Susana”), directed by Roberto Sneider and featuring Gael Garcia Bernal and Veronica Echegui. Bernal’s character, Eligio, is a fun-loving, charismatic actor who wakes up one morning to realize that his wife Susana (Echegui) has left him without a word or warning. The film will screen at the Blanton Museum of Art at 7 p.m. on May 3.
CLAIFF marks its twentieth effort with a list of remarkable premieres, including the documentary film, “Dolores,” May 4, 6 p.m. at the Blanton Museum of Art. Granted unprecedented access to both Dolores Huerta and her children, director Peter Bratt sheds light on this enigmatic, intensely private woman. The film chronicles the life of United Farm Workers co-founder, Dolores Huerta. History books may focus on the leadership role that Cesar Chavez played with the UFW, but Huerta, the mother of 11, was right by his side, during the boycotts, marches and strikes that the UFW used to bring attention to the plight of the laborers in the fields.
The closing night feature is “Sueño en Otro idioma” (“I Dream in Another Language”), also from Mexico. A 2017 Sundance Audience Award winner, the film is directed by Ernesto Contreras and tells the story of a young linguist who travels to the Mexican jungle to research a language on the verge of extinction. The film will screening on May 7 at 7 p.m., Blanton Museum of Art.
A perennial favorite, the “Hecho en Tejas” program, features films and videos shot and/or produced in Texas, showcasing the wide variety of work by filmmakers with varied backgrounds and experience. These selections complement the festival’s national and international lineup, and include films from both up-and-coming talent and veteran filmmakers. For the eighth consecutive year, Cine Las Americas is partnering with the Texas Archive of the Moving Image, to present a jury award to the best “Hecho en Tejas” film. This year’s “Hecho en Tejas” jury member is one of the founders of Cine Las Americas, Celeste Quesada.
To purchase tickets, passes or a membership and a badge, as well as the full schedule for the festival, visit cinelasamericas.org.