San Antonio’s original Latinx film festival returns on Tuesday, July 11 through Sunday, July 16, 2023, at the historic Guadalupe Theater with a greater than-ever Texas filmmaker presence. Featuring 114 films, including 38 films from San Antonio and 40 films from the Lone Star State, the 44th CineFestival San Antonio continues to support local and regional filmmakers, while offering a well-rounded program to local audiences that also includes national and international films that highlight artistic excellence and diversity.
“We never know how many films will be submitted each year, but with a total of 312 entries this year, the amount of work being done by local and regional Latinx, and indigenous filmmakers is staggering.” said CineFestival Programmer Eugenio del Bosque. “Of course, the work varies in quality, and many of these films are short films, yet it is very encouraging to see young and veteran filmmakers in San Antonio and Texas are hard at work. We look forward to being a part of bringing an audience to these films and helping some of these voices mature, now and in the years to come.”
The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center will add an extra day to the 44th CineFestival San Antonio to accommodate the high volume of submissions. This year, the festival will feature 31 screenings showcasing 15 feature films and 99 short films.
“The festival continues to grow in popularity and in fact, this is the second time in the past three years, that we extended the festival to another day. We wanted to make sure we were able to showcase as many local and regional artists whose unique voices need to be heard.” said del Bosque.
The festival will open on Tuesday, July 11 with a special 30th anniversary screening of “Blood In, Blood Out,” directed by Taylor Hackford. This event will be hosted by Jesse Borrego, San Antonio’s own stage and film actor and CineFestival artistic advisor. The screening will be free and open to the public and will be a unique opportunity to revisit this seminal work of the Chicano film cannon based on the true-life experiences of screenwriter Jimmy Santiago Baca and starring Borrego, Damian Chapa, Benjamin Bratt, Enrique Castillo, and Valente Rodriguez, among many others.
“CineFestival is an important vehicle to showcase the Latino narrative. It offers the community a unique chance to see authentic Latino stories being told, from Latinx filmmakers, whose work may not easily be found at the movie theater,” said Borrego. “When you feature a free screening of a movie like ‘Blood In, Blood Out’ in the heart of the Westside, it’s hard to not miss the cultural significance of it being featured by the Guadalupe’s CineFestival,” he added.
The festival will close with the San Antonio premiere of the documentary “Going Varsity in Mariachi,” directed by Alejandra Vasquez and Sam Osborn, which focuses on Edinburg North High School’s acclaimed Mariachi Oro in South Texas, as they rebuild their twenty-member varsity group and work on a shoestring budget to compete in the state championships, and the winner of the Jonathan Oppenheim Editing Award at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival.
The 44 CineFestival San Antonio will offer 13 free screenings, including Family Day on Saturday, July 15 with a morning block presenting a selection of youth films made by artists, 19 years of age or younger, followed by “On Guard: A Story of American Youth” (Dir. Allen Otto, 2023, Texas) and “Home Is Somewhere Else” (Dir. Carlos Hagerman, Jorge Villalobos, 2022, Mexico).
Free screenings will also include Senior Cinema, on Thursday, July 13 at noon featuring “Conjunto Blues” (Dir. Joel Celestino Settles, 2020, San Antonio) dedicated to San Antonio’s elderly film and music community. Beginning on Wednesday, July 12, “Cine en el Barrio” presents four screenings featuring a selection of international short films from Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Peru, Spain, and Venezuela; and a collection of short films showcasing Latinx and indigenous talent from around the US.
Three Texas short film showcases include a total of 17 short films from artists working in Austin, Brownsville, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Edinburg, Kyle, El Paso, Pflugerville, and Weslaco among other Texas locations.
All 44th CineFestival San Antonio screenings will take place at the historic Guadalupe Theater, located at 1301 Guadalupe Street, San Antonio, TX 78207. Full festival schedule and tickets will be available Friday, June 23 at guadalupeculturalarts.org. Individual tickets are $8 and festival passes are $40.
For more information call 210.271.3151, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.guadalupeculturalarts.org/cine-festival/.