Cine Las Americas International Film Festival —
November 15, 2018

Cine Las Americas International Film Festival

By Liz Lopez

Cine Las Americas hosts a great program for the 21st Annual Cine Las Americas International Film Festival, to be held from May 2-6.

The festival offers feature films, short films, and music videos, highlighting a diversity of themes, genres, and styles characteristic of contemporary national and international cinema trends. Film will be presented at three primary partnership venues: AFS Cinema (6406 N I-35 Suite 3100), the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center (600 River St.), and MASS Gallery (507 Calles St. Suite 108). Films are presented in English or with English subtitles (if English is not the original language). Additional screenings and events will take place at other venues around the capital city during the five-day festival.

A still from the new film El Ultimo Traje

This year’s Cine Las Americas kicks off at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 2, at the AFS Cinema. The opening night film is the drama/comedy “El Último Traje” (“The Last Suit”), directed by Pablo Solarz and starring Miguel Ángel Solá.  Abraham Bursztein (Solá), an 88-year old Jewish tailor, leaves Buenos Aires for Poland to try to find the man who saved him from a certain death after surviving Auschwitz. Escaping from his family who wants to put him in a nursing home, after more than seven decades with no news from him, Abraham sets out to find his old friend and fulfill his promise of returning one day to tell him all about the life he had thanks to his friend’s courage. “The Last Suit” has won numerous awards, including the Nueva Vision Award for Spain/Latin America at the Santa Barbara Film Festival, and Audience Awards at the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival and Miami International Film Festival.

On closing night, starting at 7 p.m., May 6 at AFS Cinema, Cine Las Americas will present this year’s festival winners, followed by a screening of “Kayak To Klemtu,” with director Zoe Hopkins in attendance. Hopkins is an indigenous filmmaker whose first short film premiered at Sundance International Film Festival, and she has since gone on to critical acclaim. Her new film is a story about a 14-year-old girl kayaking the Inside Passage to protest a proposed oil pipeline that would damage her home. One day after “Kayak To Klemtu” was filmed, the inevitable happened, and Zoe’s home community of Bella Bella was devastated by an oil spill. “Kayak To Klemtu” premiered at the 2017 imagineNATIVE film festival, winning the coveted Audience Award.

“It’s an annual challenge and delight to coordinate the team who selects all the films and videos that audiences will enjoy at the festival, and I’m proud of how it has all come together,” festival director Jean Lauer said. “We’re looking forward to welcoming new and returning guests to the screenings and events, including the screenwriter and director Zoe Hopkins, some of whose work we’ve shown previously. We’re honored to host Zoe as a guest and jury member for our international Narrative and Documentary Feature Competitions, along with all the guests who will be joining us from Texas and from all over the Americas, in anticipation of celebrating the multiplicity of voices and artists that the selection represents.”

The full schedule for the 2018 Cine Las Americas International Film Festival is online, with more details about releases and other events. For more information, visit cinelasamericas.org.

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