Cine Las Americas brings the world to Austin

15th annual Cine Las Americas International Film Festival

The Cine Las Americas International Film Festival is true to its name: it’s an events that brings the world to Austin once a year. With a combination of big budget and indie features, documentaries and short films from all across the U.S., Latin America, Europe and the Caribbean, the final lineup for the 15th edition of the festival, which runs April 24-29, 2012, promises to be a cinematic treat. Film fans will have plenty to chose from with over 100 films from places like Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Spain, Portugal, Canada and the U.S.

Among the many highlights of this year’s edition is Chilean Gonzalo Justiniano’s ¿Alguien Ha Visto A Lupita? (Have You Seen Lupita?), a film about a young Mexican girl who runs away from her family when they try to send her to a mental hospital and embarks on a journey through which she will discover a world that seems much crazier than she is. The film, which was short partly in Austin, will open the fest on Tuesday, April 24 at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar and Mexican actress and singer Dulce María is scheduled to attend the opening night.

Other movies coming into the festival with considerable buzz include Colombian director Carlos Osuna’s Gordo, Calvo y Bajito (Fat, Bald, Short Man), an animated film that tells the story of a man who thinks his depressing life is the result of his looks and then meets someone who’s shorter, balder and fatter; Spanish director Nacho Vigalondo’s Extraterrestre (Extraterrestrial), a Fantastic Fest official selection that tells the story of a man who wakes up in the apartment of a woman he recently met and is forced to deal with an alien invasion; and Sicilian director Simone Rapisarda Casanova El árbol de las fresas (The Strawberry Tree), a documentary with an anthropological slant that follows the daily live of two families in one of Cuba’s last fishing villages. Based on trailers and music, there are also a couple of documentaries that will undoubtedly make an impact in the Live Music Capital of the World. Full of Jamaican sounds, Hit Me With Music is a documentary about dancehall that won Best Documentary at the Trinidad & Tobago Film Festival last year.

Likewise, the Hecho en Tejas portion of the festival brings to the screen Canción del Cuerpo (Song of the Body), a documentary that narrates the experiences of five dance students from the University of Texas at Austin who were paired with five professional Colombian dancers with the goal of creating a new piece of dance.

The festival closes on Sunday, April 29 with Selton Mello’s O Palhaço (The Clown), which will also be screened at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar. The film follows the life of Benjamin, who along with his father Waldemar form the clown duo Thoroughbred and Mongrel, the main attraction of a circus that travels through the dirt roads of the Brazilian inlands.

Besides the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar, there will be screenings at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center (MACC) and at St. Edward’s University. All screenings presented at the MACC and at St. Edward’s University will be free and open to the public. All films are subtitled in English.

To get your badge or for information on single tickets, click here. You can also get them at the Registration Desk starting April 23. The badge will get you into all festival screenings as well as special events and parties. If you want a taste of the world with a Latin twist, Cine Las Americas is something you just can’t miss.

Here’s the complete list of films and their country they’re coming from:


¿Alguien ha visto a Lupita? (Have You Seen Lupita?) – Gonzalo Justiniano (Director), Mexico/Chile/Argentina/Germany/USA

Aquí entre nos (Between Us) – Patricia Martínez de Velasco (Director), Mexico

Baby Shower – Pablo Illanes  (Director), Chile

Bonsái (Bonsai) – Cristián Jiménez (Director), Chile/France/Argentina/Portugal

El estudiante (The Student) – Santiago Mitre (Director), Argentina

Extraterrestre (Extraterrestrial) –Nacho Vigalondo (Director), Spain

Gordo, calvo y bajito (Fat, Bald, Short Man) – Carlos Osuna (Director), Colombia

José e Pilar (Jose and Pilar) – Miguel Gonçalves Mendes (Director), Spain/Portugal

Los viejos (The Parents) – Martín Boulocq (Director), Bolivia

Meu País (My Country) – Andre Ristum (Director), Brazil

Mosquita y Mari – Aurora Guerrero (Director), USA

O Palhaço (The Clown) – Selton Mello (Director), Brazil

Sal (Salt) – Diego Rougier (Director) – Argentina/Chile

Sangue do Meu Sangue (Blood of My Blood) – João Canijo (Director), Portugal

Without a Net – Kelly Richardson (Director), Brazil/USA


Camera obscura – Maru Solores (Director), Spain

Cápsulas (Capsules) – Verónica Riedel (Director), Guatemala

De caravana (Clubbing) – Rosendo Ruiz (Director), Argentina

Dia de Preto (Day of Black)  – Marcial Renato, Marcos Felipe Delfino, Daniel Mattos (Directors), Brazil

El lenguaje de los machetes  (Machete Language) – Kyzza Terrazas (Director), Mexico

Every Emotion Costs – Darlene Naponse (Director), Canada

La llamada (The Call) – Stefano Pasetto (Director), Italy/Argentina

Las malas intenciones (The Bad Intentions)  – Rosario Garcia-Montero (Director), Peru/Argentina/Germany

Música campesina (Country Music) – Alberto Fuguet (Director), Chile/USA

Under My Nails – Arí Maniel Cruz (Director), Puerto Rico/USA


El árbol de las fresas (The Strawberry Tree) – Simone Rapisarda Casanova (Director), Canada/Cuba

Hit Me with Music – Miquel Galofré (Director), Jamaica/Spain

La maleta Mexicana (The Mexican Suitcase) – Trisha Ziff (Director), Mexico/Spain

La mudanza (The Move) – Tatiana Lorca (Director), Chile

La palabra en el bosque (The Word in the Woods) – Jeffrey Gould, Carlos Henriquez (Directors), El Salvador/USA

Morir de pie (Die Standing Up) – Jacaranda Correa (Director), Mexico

Nikkei – Kaori Flores Yonekura (Director), Venezuela

Olhe Pra Mim de Novo (Look at Me Again) – Claudia Priscilla, Kiko Goifman (Directors), Brazil

Up Heartbreak Hill – Erica Scharf (Director), USA

Yakuaya / La esencia del agua (Water Essence) – Marcelo Castillo (Director), Ecuador


Burros (Donkeys) – Odín Salazar Flores (Director), Mexico

Cerro Rico Tierra Rica – Juan Vallejo (Director), Colombia/Bolivia/USA

Con mi corazón en Yambo (With My Heart in Yambo) – María Fernanda Restrepo (Director), Ecuador

El destello (The Flicker) – Gabriel Szollosy (Director), Uruguay

El invierno de los raros (The Winter of the Odd Ones Out) – Rodrigo Guerrero (Director), Argentina

La hora cero (The Zero Hour) – Diego Velasco (Director), Venezuela

Madres 0,15 el minute (Mothers, 15 Cents a Minute) – Marina Seresesky (Director). Spain

Precious Knowledge – Ari Palos (Director), USA

Robert’s Paintings – Shelly Niro (Director), Canada

The Renaissance of Mata Ortiz – Scott Petersen (Director) USA

The Thick Dark Fog – Randy Vasquez (Director), USA

Vou Rifar Meu Coração (I Will Raffle off My Heart) – Ana Rieper (Director), Brazil


All She Can – Amy Wendel  (Director), USA

Canción del cuerpo (Song of the Body) – Andrew Segovia, Gabriela Alcalá (Directors), USA

Hombre y tierra (Man and Earth) – Christian Cisneros (Director), USA

In the Shadow – Nicole Elmer (Director), USA/Puerto Rico

Gabino Iglesias

Gabino is an Austin writer and journalist. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Business Today, the Austin Post, San Antonio Magazine, Bizarro Central, Divergent Magazine, El Nuevo Día and others.

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