CLAIFF NEWS: Cine Las Americas International Film Festival 26th Anniversary edition May 15-19

The Austin-based Cine Las Americas International Film Festival (CLAIFF) returns for its 26th Anniversary edition from May 15-19 in Austin, TX. The festival serves as one of the primary showcases in the United States for films and videos from Latin America (North, Central, South America, and the Caribbean) and the Iberian Peninsula, representing over 15 countries throughout Ibero-America. The film festival hosts films and videos made by or about Latinx people in the U.S. or the rest of the world, with movies and videos about indigenous groups of the Americas also featured.

CLAIFF opens with Alejandra Vasquez and Sam Osborn’s festival favorite, Going Varsity in Mariachi. The screening is scheduled for Wednesday, May 15, at the AFS Cinema. The documentary follows Edinburg North High School’s Mariachi Oro as they compete for a state championship. With a fiery passion for music, their coach guides the varsity band through a steep competition season and a fraught year in their adolescent lives. Abby Garcia, the film subject of Going Varsity in Mariachi, is scheduled to attend. The film premiered at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Jonathan Oppenheim Editing Award, followed by screening at the SXSW Film and Television Festival, among many along the festival circuit last year. This festival is an excellent opportunity to view this memorable documentary.

The Closing Night film will feature Lone Scherfig’s La Contadora de Peliculas (The Movie Teller). The film stars Academy Award® nominee, Bérénice Bejo, BAFTA nominee Daniel Brühl, and multiple-time Goya Award winner Antonio de la Torre in the 1960s set story of a young girl with an exceptional gift – an almost uncanny ability to retell films. The girl’s extraordinary talent will spread throughout the village, changing the fate of her family while the country is being transformed forever.

Cine Las Americas’ signature programming track, “Hecho en Tejas,” supported by HEB, Austin PBS, and the Texas Film Commission, showcases local filmmaking talent with varied backgrounds via films and videos shot and/or produced in Texas. It returns with a series of inspired shorts during a special presentation at the Austin PBS studios on Saturday, May 18, with a reception and Red-Carpet entrances celebrating all the attending filmmakers.

Filmmakers anticipated to be in attendance include Gabriella A. Moses (Director, Boca Chica), Noelia Lacayo (Director, Comunidad), Lucy Morales (Director, Delmar), Iliana Sosa (Director, God Save Texas: La Frontera), Donnick Cary (Writer/Producer, Hail To the Breadsticks), Nina Barbier (Director, Healing of the Dragonfly), Diane Kessler (Producer, Healing of the Dragonfly), Juan Yepes (Igualada), Core Ruiz (Director, I’m Gonna Disappear), Raquel Herrera (Cast, I’m Gonna Disappear), JoeBill Muñoz and Lucas Guilkey(Co-Directors, The Strike), Alex Wolff and Joe Rocha (Co-Directors, Taco Mafia).

Cine Las Americas will present screenings at AFS Cinema (6259 Middle Fiskville Rd.) and Austin PBS (Clayton Lane/Wilhelmina Delco Dr.), with additional special events at We Luv Video (100 North Loop Blvd E) and Nepantla Art Gallery (1209 East Cesar Chavez Street).

Cine Las Americas is supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Texas Commission on the Arts, and the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Department. For more information about Cine Las Americas and how to buy a badge or individual tickets, visit

Source: CLAIFF

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