Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Cine Las Americas announces CLA2020 Virtual Showcase (July 16-19, July 23-26)

Austin, TX (June 24, 2020) – Cine Las Americas announced the film lineup for the CLA2020 Virtual Showcase presented by the Cine Las Americas International Film Festival (CLAIFF) & the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center (ESB-MACC). Taking place on consecutive weekends, July 16-19 and July 23-26, the virtual event will present 49 films (7 features, 32 shorts, and 10 music videos) hailing from 12 different countries. The films represent the works of some 60 directors with over 30 being female, as well as films from Indigenous filmmakers, LGBTQ+ filmmakers and POC filmmakers.

Following the postponement of the 23rd edition of Cine Las Americas International Film Festival until a future date due to the coronavirus pandemic, Austin’s signature film festival celebrating films made by and/or about Latinxs and Indigenous peoples of the Americas immediately began the process to find alternative ways to give films that would have been featured at the film festival this year a featured platform. CLA Executive Director Jean Anne Lauer said, “This presentation of a virtual showcase of films is a testament to the dedication of our staff to find a way forward and continue to foster connections between our Latinx filmmakers as well as those of Indigenous heritage and Texas audiences – even if we can’t do so in person. While this special event will mark the final in my tenure with the organization, I’m incredibly honored to have worked with dedicated board, staff, volunteers, and supporters over the past 12 years, and look forward to a bright future for Cine Las Americas.”

Last month, CLA began working with the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF) to cross-promote films and start the process of building a relationship between the organizations to create an all-important bridge and support system for their films between the two filmmaking hubs of Austin and Los Angeles. During that announcement, CLA Lead Program Associate Ernie Quiroz said, “During a time when a common refrain is ‘We’re All in This Together,’ we are embracing that idea and looking to form and sustain alliances with organizations that share our desire to promote filmmakers’ work, and of course, share our love of film with our communities.”

The CLA2020 Virtual Showcase co-presented by the ESB-MACC and in partnership with LALIFF, the Texas Archive of the Moving Image (TAMI) and other entities, is the next step in the organization’s retooling and re-imagining, and expansion of its efforts on behalf of Latinx filmmakers and those of Indigenous heritage. CLA programmer Florencia Choto says the organization and its staff feel that CLA is an essential platform for those filmmakers, and that belief has galvanized and fueled their mission to connect the Austin and Texan audiences with these works despite the challenges presented by both COVID-19 and the nation’s upheaval due to protests across the country. Fellow programmer Alan McLane Alejos added, “Being part of a great festival that stands for stories from the Americas and its Indigenous communities, is one of the reasons to continue programming and showcasing the best films and to support the filmmakers during these uncertain times. The movies that are part of the digital edition keep providing a glimpse of the complex and yet magical world we live in.”

Narrative feature competition films include Patricia Velásquez Guzmán’s Costa Rican and Chilean drama APEGO (ATTACHMENT) about an architect facing a career and family crossroads, Fernando Zuber’s Argentinian film CIEGOS, about the physical and emotional journey a 13-year-old boy takes with his blind father to his hometown, and Dainara Toffoli’s Brazilian drama MAR DE DENTRO (THE SEA WITHIN), about a professional woman dealing with an unplanned pregnancy.

Documentary feature competition films include Claudia Escobar’s U.S and Mexican co-production, DEAR HOMELAND, which tells the story of Mexican singer/songwriter Diana Gameros coming of age in the United States while finding her voice as an artist, Eliza Capai’s Brazilian documentary ESPERO TUA (RE)VOLTA (YOUR TURN), which looks at the Brazilian student movement from the protests of 2013 until the election of the new president, Jair Bolsonaro, in 2018, and Simón Uribe’s Colombian film SUSPENSIÓN (SUSPENSION), which focuses on the project of a modern road seeking to overcome the imposing geography of the Andes.

All films and videos presented in the CLA2020 Virtual Showcase will be offered free of charge, with prior registration, and all will be eligible for Audience Awards in their respective categories. For more information for access to the CLA2020 Virtual Showcase and additional details, visit

CLA2020 Virtual Showcase films and descriptions


Director: Patricia Velásquez Guzmán
Countries: Costa Rica/Chile, Running Time: 80 min
Ana is a divorced architect with two daughters. There is a possibility for Ana in her work: a project that would mean moving to Mexico along with professional advance. In the middle of the separation of her parents, and her dad's cancer diagnosis, Ana will have to make decisions that will affect her entire family.

Director: Fernando Zuber
Country: Argentina, Running Time: 82 min
This is a story about a journey between a father and a son. The father is blind, his son can see. They return to the father’s childhood home in the countryside where Paraguay and Argentina seem to blend. That house and that forest are the last of his visual memories. The son is starting his life and going through puberty. His mission will be to guide his father but the journey will lead to enduring and unforeseen discoveries for both of them.

Director: Dainara Toffoli
Country: Brazil, Running Time: 97 min
Manuela is a successful professional who has to deal with the transformation of her body and her routine when she finds herself pregnant. In the midst of these challenges, fate strikes again, affecting her destiny. Despite never contemplating motherhood, when the baby is born, she has to learn to be a mother.


Director: Claudia Escobar
Countries: United States/Mexico, Running Time: 58 min
DEAR HOMELAND tells the story of Mexican singer/songwriter Diana Gameros coming of age in the United States while finding her voice as an artist. Told in large part through her hauntingly beautiful music, her 20-year journey takes her from Ciudad Juárez to San Francisco, where we watch Diana assert herself not only as a musician, but as an immigrant and advocate for immigrant rights. Through music, she finds the courage to share her own story of being undocumented — channeling her fears and the weight of her separation from her family into powerful songs.

Director: Eliza Capai
Country: Brazil, Running Time: 93 min
When Brazil’s economic and social crisis deepened in the last decade, students protested and occupied hundreds of schools, demanding better public education and the end of austerity measures. Inspired by the collective voice of the movement itself, the documentary is narrated by three high school students, who represent central points of their struggle.

Director: Simón Uribe
Country: Colombia, Running Time: 73 min
With more than two dozen curves per mile, the San Francisco-Mocoa highway, where the Andes meet the Amazon jungle, may be the most dangerous road in the world. Shrines dot the route, marking the spots where many have died. In addition to the hair-raising blind turns, it is frequently beset by landslides and catastrophic flooding. Beautifully photographed, geographer Simón Uribe’s SUSPENSIÓN is a mesmerizing cinematic portrait of a deadly road... when disaster strikes.


Director: Kim Elizondo Navarro
Country: Cuba, Running Time: 13 min
After a long life as a faithful housewife, Cuca (70) faces the death of her husband. The news brings with it the arrival of family and neighbors to her home, forcing her to pause her mourning and attend to the formality of the event. After the rituals, in the privacy of her room, Cuca is shaken by the absence of her husband and faces her solitude for the first time.

Director: Erica Tremblay
Country: United States, Running Time: 12 min
The lives of a Native woman and nine-year-old boy intersect over the course of a school day on a reservation in Oklahoma.

Director: Gabriel Amaral
Country: Brazil, Running Time: 23 min
When Nego discovers that the cacau farm he lives and works on is going to be sold, he must face not only the loss of his home and job, but also the daily contact he has with the land he cherishes so much.

Director: Juan Pablo Arias Muñoz
Country: United States, Running Time: 20 min
Haunted every night by monsters of unknown origin, an isolated woman finds a stranger in the woods and struggles between her safety and her sexual desires.

Director: Julio Mas Alcaraz
Country: Spain, Running Time: 17 min
Paco and Jose are two teenage boys living in a marginal neighborhood of Madrid, a place hostile to each of their dreams. With serious family problems, and surrounded by an aggressive, macho, homophobic environment, they must lead a double life to hide the beginning of a romantic relationship and their passion for flamenco dance.


Directors: Kristen Lappas, Tom Rinaldi
Country: United States, Running Time: 29 min
A boxing gym on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation teaches young girls how to defend themselves in response to over 100 Native American girls and women from Montana having disappeared, been murdered, or their status remains unknown in the past two years.

Directors: Tatiana Issa, Guto Barra
Country: Brazil, Running Time: 19 min
On a small island at the mouth of the Amazon River called Cotijuba, we are invited to meet Dominique, whose mother raised all by herself her three transgender daughters. On the way to visit her mother, Dominique reminisces about her life as a survivor of prostitution and police brutality due to unconditional love, understanding, and affection.

Director: Felipe Holguin Caro
Country: Colombia, Running Time: 14 min
When a couple fights publicly, leave each other and eventually reconcile as if nothing happened, the neighbors organize them a “Cachera”; a bizarre serenade to ridicule them with sharp verses, trumpets, sticks and pans, in the middle of the night.

Directors: Carlota Coronado, Clara Roca
Country: Spain, Running Time: 22 min
Everything is born with a riddle. A riddle with a very simple answer, but for many people the answer is not so obvious. Why?

Director: Tyotsi’tsyatyerenhton Candace Maracle
Country: Haudenosaunee Territory, Running Time: 17 min
Yakonnhéhkwen is a Kenyen’kéha word meaning “it sustains her.” Ann found healing in the rare traditional Iroquoian art form of black ash basketry. She also became keenly aware that her ancestors were there to show her the way. This is a short film about the depression that brought her to brink of suicide and her journey home, back to her culture and learning to truly value herself as an Onkwehonwe woman and artist.


Director: M. Burger
Country: United States, Running Time: 12 min
A lonely energy healer continues to push her body and her spiritual health to the brink when she is confronted with an especially physically and spiritually trying healing session in this experimental, horror short film.

Director: April M. Sánchez
Country: United States, Running Time: 12 min
Delia is forced to spend a weekend with her estranged grandfather when her mother must leave on a last-minute trip for work. Tensions arise when Abuelo insists Delia must eat his homemade menudo, even though Delia is a vegan! Delia and Abuelo come together and bond over their shared love of food. Together they create a new cookbook inspired by their favorite family recipes.

Director: Justin A. Rodriguez
Country: United States, Running Time: 12 min
Darkness follows a television faith healer while he’s striving to be the best in Texas.

Director: Angela Chen
Country: United States, Running Time: 17 min
Parallel stories of broken relationships between parents and their children striving for the American Dream all revolving around one explosive night at a fast food joint in Texas.

Director: JoeBill Muñoz
Countries: United States/Mexico, Running Time: 27 min
FOLLOW THE SUN is an observational style documentary that captures the everyday moments of a migrant shelter in Mexico City filled with losses, triumphs, and excruciating moments of waiting. FOLLOW THE SUN invites you to understand life in limbo.

Director: Sarah Kuck
Countries: United States/Peru, Running Time: 19 min
TARCILA is a short documentary that introduces viewers to activist Tarcila Rivera Zea, a Quechua elder fighting for indigenous rights in Peru. Zea’s lifelong efforts to empower her people are growing increasingly crucial, as the weather becomes unreliable and climate change raises the stakes. Tarcila focuses on solutions, highlighting what’s working for indigenous farmers. Zea is the hero of this story, her journey shows the potential power of including women in the response to climate change.

Director: Sharon Arteaga
Countries: United States, Running Time: 6 min
A cinematic essay where Abby, a first-generation high school student, describes what she and her mom learn about people when cleaning their homes. House decor and items left around convey a privilege that unveils Abby’s imagination, jealousy, and frustrations.

Directors: Sean Bloomfield, Cimela Kidonakis
Country: United States, Running Time: 103 min
Having devoted his life to helping the less fortunate, Fr. Rene Robert was regarded as a "living saint" in the tight-knit community of St. Augustine, Florida. In April 2016, when Fr. Rene failed to show up at a church service, local residents joined law enforcement in searching for the beloved priest. The true crime documentary WHERE THERE IS DARKNESS follows the nationwide search for Fr. Rene, which resulted in a series of shocking revelations and the discovery of a 20-year-old letter in which Fr. Rene seemed to foretell his own fate.


Director: Kristian Mercado
Music by: Black Pumas
Country: United States, Running Time: 5 min
Incredible music video from Black Pumas, the Austin-based duo which is Eric Burton and Mexican-American Adrian Quesada.

Director: Caitlin Díaz
Music by: Sávila
Country: United States, Running Time: 14 min
Told through the lens of the maternal experience, ÉCHALE SÁVILA follows the band Sávila on an ancestral journey, unraveling truths within themselves along the way. Through this video Sávila seeks to answer questions such as, “How do we break the cycle of suffering? How do we honor historical trauma? And how can we use it to heal and empower?”

Director: David Lombana
Music by: Systema Solar
Country: Colombia, Running Time: 4 min
Get together, dance and sing from different parts of the country and the world connected by the universal language of music. One of the objectives of our Caribbean group is to showcase the importance of making music to share, to unite and to celebrate life.

Director: Gabi Padilla
Music by: Gabi Padilla
Country: United States, Running Time: 5 min
FAM explores themes including how distance between family members impacts relationships over time, how death can unite and divide family, and how my own family has personally helped support and build me up to become the person I am. The video features vocalist Santhya as well as my sibling, Mother, and Father: Mar, Yolanda, and Juan Padilla.

Director: Ikaika Cofer
Muisc by: Y la Bamba
Country: United States, Running Time: 4 min
This song was written to empower my mother, myself and all women, the queer community, those who have and continue to struggle to be heard. This song along with this video is to validate our paths and power.

Director: J/Blue
Music by: La Reyna Tropical
Country: United States, Running Time: 4 min
NO ME QUIERES focuses on our friend Diana Diaz: a first generation Afro-Mexicanx from Costa Chica, Oaxaca and the beauty and heartbreak in her relationship as a queer woman of color.

Director: Leo Aguirre
Music by: Nicotine
Country: United States, Running Time: 6 min
Nicotine's song RUNNING paints a vivid portrait of her past and presents the internal struggles associated with departing from home. Her longing and perseverance clash, creating a lucid dream in which her emotions are vividly externalized.

Directors: Gretel Marin y Krudas/ Krudxs Cubensi
Music by: Krudas/ Krudxs Cubensi
Country: Cuba, Running Time: 5 min
Feminist manifesto about the demand for equity and the freedom of women and queer people to be happy in this macho world. It's a communal anthem about the enjoyment and acceptance of our diversity.

Director: Roberto Trejo Reyes
Music by: La Bruja de Texcoco
Country: Mexico, Running Time: 7 min
The Witch reveals herself after performing for her followers at a small bar, then releases her spell on them.


Director: Kristen Quintanilla with SAY Sí
Country: United States, Running Time: 5 min
Music video produced by SAY Sí media arts schools for the song “Block Makes a Difference” that was created by theatre students for their showcase No Filters.

Director: Jake Cortez with SAY Sí
Country: United States, Running Time: 4 min
A young teenager struggles with identity issues when celebrating their birthday at home.

Director: Sharleny Gonzalez with Reel 2 Reel
Countries: Dominican Republic/United States, Running Time: 2 min
Two countries, one teen and her journey discovering that home does not need to be a place.

Director: Ahtziri Gonzalez, Ana Navarro, Jennifer Cordova with The Representation Project
Country: United States, Running Time: 6 min
Late-life depression affects about 6 million Americans ages 65 and older. This hidden yet common reality is shared through the stories of Maria and Ofelia, who reflect on their own journeys with depression and the role that their local community senior center has played in making them feel less alone.

Directors: The Burn Family
Country: Canada, Running Time: 8 min
When Lilly, a giant orange monster, embarks on an adventure at a lakeside fishing camp with her friend Fluffle, no one suspects the mysterious secret she will discover in the depths of the lake.

Director: Justin Castro with SAY Sí
Country: United States, Running Time: 3 min
A story that explores school challenges from the perspective of a hearing impaired middle schooler.

Directors: Abigail Spillane, Aidan Pavia, Bradley Nicosia, Emily de Leon, Emily Gutierrez, Ethan Jones, Jasmin Lara, Louvriel Barrios, Nathan Hammerschmitt, Ryan Murage, Samuel Marchant with Reel 2 Reel
Country: United States, Running Time: 4 min
Where there is light, there will be shadows. A group of young animators explore their relationships with their shadow side.

Director: Janetzy Cruz with Youth Programs at BAVC
Countries: United States, Running Time: 4 min
A Mexican immigrant reflects about how he fought and decided to come to the United States for a better life. While living in the United States, he comes to his own definition of the American Dream.

Director: Karla Mejia with Reel 2 Reel
Country: United States, Running Time: 3 min
A young woman celebrates the connection she has with her brother through the art of photography.

Director: Ollie Rodriguez with SAY Sí
Country: United States, Running Time: 4 min
When two brothers visit their mother's grave they find someone from their past who will reveal a secret from their childhood.

Director: Viggo Williams with Baycat Academy
Country: United States, Running Time: 3 min
This documentary highlights how Bay Area artist and jewelry designer Vida Vazquez is creating a more diverse and inclusive art industry.


Director: Joaquim Macho Albiol
Country: Spain, Running Time: 6 min
Alex is enjoying his favorite movie when suddenly something breaks into his house. Someone's trying to hurt his mother. Despite being something completely unknown, our protagonist will do everything possible to protect her. It is then that we discover what that monster represents, which escapes Alex's innocence.

Director: Kacey Foss with SAY Sí
Country: United States, Running Time: 18 min
CONVALESCE is about a teenager who is suffering from a mental illness that distorts his reality.

Directors: Isabel Lozano, Leonie Sarath, Griselda Martinez, Susana Torres, Nattaly Gomez with The Representation Project
Country: United States, Running Time: 8 min
Joselyn immigrated to the United States from Honduras when she was 9 years old. Now as a mother herself, Joselyn reflects on the decision her mother made to move to the United States in order to have a better life.

Director: Emily Clarissa Barba with Mustang Filmwerks
Country: United States, Running Time: 6 min
Luna, a Hispanic-American high school student, is tormented by the looming threat of the deportation of her undocumented father. Trapped by her fear, she lives her life under increasing pressure to protect her family as her father works for their future.

Director: Carlo Rodriguez with SAY Sí
Country: United States, Running Time: 13 min
Suffering from Asperger's syndrome, Ty withdrew from elementary and middle school by staying home with his mother. Now, he's ready to attend high school regardless of the obstacles he will need to face.

Cine Las Americas is a multi-cultural, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Austin Texas, offering theatrical screenings of films made by and/or about Latinos or Indigenous peoples of the Americas. Films from Spain and Portugal are also included, enhancing a truly Pan-American cinematic experience. The mission of Cine Las Americas is to promote cross-cultural understanding and growth by educating, entertaining and challenging the diverse Central Texas community through film and media arts.

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