Austin Cine Las America Runs May 3-7, 2017
Austin, Texas – Latino voices continue to seek venues in the capital of Texas for expression, including through non-profit organizations. One of the longest-running cultural events devoted to Latino and Indigenous films and filmmakers, Cine Las Americas, achieves an important benchmark this year, presenting its 20th annual Cine Las Americas International Film Festival (#CLAIFF20), May 3-7, 2017. The festival is the brainchild of Lara Coger and Celeste Quesada (née Serna Williams) who, together with other organizers, recognized that the Latino experience in Austin was not being seen or heard. “Latin American cinema seems to be overlooked in this country,” Coger told the Austin Chronicle in 1998. “You can see French film, British film, and even German film, but rarely films from Latin America.”
Every year, CLAIFF boasts a full compliment of feature film premieres, beginning on opening night this year with a presentation of Me Estás Matando Susana from Mexico, starring Gael García Bernal and directed by Roberto Sneider. The festival will once again offer narrative and documentary feature and short films, as well as music videos and experimental and animation selections, in competitive and non-competitive sections. Eleven award winners will be announced including perennial favorites the Hecho en Tejas Awards, and the Audience Award for Best “Emergencia” Youth Film.
CLA remains committed to what its founders began, showcasing Latino independent films and filmmakers, and has grown to highlight films from all of the Americas, including from diverse Native American and LGBTQ+ communities.