Cine Las Americas

Cine Las Americas: Opening Night, and a Thursday Preview


All InclusiveCine Las Americas opened with All Inclusive and an appreciative audience. While many filmmakers are in town for the fest, All Inclusive, picked up by Lionsgate last year, is opening in Mexico and the press junket is underway there.

Director Rodrigo Ortuzar's drama focuses on a family on vacation at an all-inclusive resort during hurricane season. The approaching hurricane parallels the emotional tempests each family member keeps hidden from the others, reaching the predictable climax at the height of the storm. That's not to say it's not an enjoyable film; it balances serious and silly quite well. It also uses closeups on faces extremely well, with some very memorable images. The cast will probably seem familiar to mainstream film audiences; lead Jesus Ochoa has been a featured actor in Quantum of Solace and Beverly Hills Chihuahua. Martha Higareda, who played the sulky Camila, was in Street Kings and will appear in the upcoming sequel to Smoking Aces.

Cine Las Americas Starts Tomorrow


Cine Las AmericasYou might assume that Austin's film fests are limited to SXSW and Austin Film Festival ... okay, and Fantastic Fest too. But this town supports a number of other great festivals, including Cine Las Americas, which starts tomorrow.

The 12th Cine Las Americas Festival, a 10-day celebration of cross-cultural media arts, includes a diverse selection of films in different genres. Slackerwood will be covering Cine Las Americas, so watch this space for reviews and previews of films screening during this international festival. The films are from all over the world, but emphasizing the Americas, with a special focus this year on movies from Chile.

Austin Film Society has pointed out films that feature AFS/Texas Film Production Fund alumni, including Bracero Stories, The Least of These, and two shorts in the Hecho de Tejas (Made in Texas) category, Los Ojos de Javier and Duplex.

Festival passes are $70, and AFS members get a discount. Opening and Closing Night film tickets are $10. Some films are free; check the schedule for details, but it looks like most if not all the films screening at the Mexican American Community Center (MACC) are free. Other venues include the Paramount, Regal Metropolitan, Alamo Village, and Alamo South.

Quick Snaps and News: 'Santos' is Back in Town

Santos at FF 08

I don't know how I missed this earlier, but the Cine Las Americas lineup this year includes a popular film from Fantastic Fest, Santos. The Chilean movie is about a comic-book artist who suddenly discovers that the fantasy superhero world he's been writing about may actually be real. It's very silly and full of dorky jokes, and I got a kick out of it. I wasn't the only one -- Santos won a Special Jury Award for originality and vision at Fantastic Fest.

The above photo is from the Q&A after the film, in which writer-director Nicolas Lopez chatted with Alamo Drafthouse co-founder Karrie League. I don't have any notes from that Q&A, but check out Kevin Kelly's interview with Lopez from SpoutBlog.

Elizabeth Avellan was one of the film's producers -- I believe Troublemaker Studios helped out with some of the special effects. You might remember that Avellan was at the Fantastic Fest awards ceremony and even chugged a beer.

Santos will play Cine Las Americas on Tuesday, April 28 at 7 pm at Alamo Ritz. You can buy tickets or a fest pass from the Cine Las Americas website.

Cine Las Americas Lineup Now Available


Cine Las AmericasThe Cine Las Americas International Film Festival has just announced most of its 2009 festival lineup, including the opening and closing-night films.

The fest opens on Wednesday, April 22 at the Paramount with the film All Inclusive (Todo Incluido), which is about a Chilean-Mexican family taking a summer vacation together.

Tear This Heart Out (Arrancame La Vida) closes Cine Las Americas on April 30 at Alamo South. The film is about a young woman fighting for her freedom in post-revolutionary Mexico.

The Least of These, the documentary that played SXSW about immigrant families at the Hutto Residential Center in Taylor, is the only Austin-related film I know that's playing at Cine Las Americas. I'm sure there are more in the lineup that I don't realize have Austin connections ... if you know of any, please share that info in the comments.

Cine Las Americas takes place from April 22-30 at several Austin venues, including the Paramount, Alamo South, Alamo Village, Regal Metropolitan, and the Mexican American Cultural Center. A full schedule is expected soon. You can buy tickets for individual films, or a film pass for all events and parties for $70.

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