SXSW Film News: Audience Award Winner “Ruben Blades is Not My Name” to Screen in CineFestival This Summer

By Liz Lopez

Sources: SXSW, GCAC

The 40th annual CineFestival will be hosted and celebrated by the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center (GCAC) this summer. This film festival is the longest running Latino film festival in the country. San Antonio’s original indie film festival will take place July 5-8, 2018, to coincide with the Guadalupe’s Summer Series of events and the historic Guadalupe Theater’s 76th Anniversary.

Among the extraordinary programming for CineFestival is the audience award winning documentary, “Ruben Blades Is Not My Name,” directed by Abner Benaim (2018, USA, 85 minutes). The film is in Spanish with English subtitles.

Synopsis: Latin American icon Ruben Blades was at the center of the New York Salsa revolution in the 1970’s. His socially charged lyrics and explosive rhythms brought Salsa music to an international audience. Blades has won 17 Grammys, acted in Hollywood, earned a law degree from Harvard, and even ran for President of his native Panama. Critically acclaimed director Abner Benaim takes us on a journey through Ruben’s fifty-year career, revealing that Ruben might still have both musical and political ambitions. This is a film about a living legend and his struggle to come to terms with his legacy.

The film will be offered for viewing on Saturday, July 7 from 8pm – 11pm. CineFestival will be held at 1301 Guadalupe St. in San Antonio, Texas 78207.

I attended the screening of this film at the SXSW Film Festival and although I was not able to interview Ruben Blades during the festival, I was able to meet him prior to the morning screening, as he made himself available to the public in attendance for photos while they waited in line for the film to begin.

This is a fantastic film and one that Mr. Blades wanted to have done in order to tell the story himself, rather than by others. During the Q & A, when I asked about what he found to be most challenging during the process of this production, he said it was opening up about himself so much, especially since he prefers his privacy (we see scenes from him in his home with his wife, among others).

I highly recommend the film and it is event by the Audience Award it won at the festival this past March, many people agree with me.

Tickets to attend the festival are available in various categories:

VIP Badge – $80 (Includes all Films, After Parties, Receptions, and access to CineFestival Lounge)

Festival Badge – $40 (Includes all films)

Premium Ticket – $25 (July 5 & 7 evening screenings, includes film and After party)

Regular Ticket – $10 (July 5, 6, 7, 8 evening screenings, film only)

All Other Screenings – $8

After Party Ticket – $15 (July 5 & 7) – does not include the film.

The Guadalupe Theater is located at 1301 Guadalupe Street, San Antonio, TX 78207. For more information and the complete programming schedule, visit their Facebook page and

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