Indie film-goers, rejoice! It’s that time of year again. The 38th annual CineFestival, which runs this year from February 19 to February 27, will be screening some of the best contemporary films from latinos and latinas around the world and across the U.S. at the Guadalupe Theater on the city’s west side. If you’re not familiar with the indie film festival, it’s billed as the “nation’s original and longest-running Latino film festival.” Filmmakers will come to San Antonio to screen their films, engage in Q&As and panel discussions, and meet with the public.
If you’re an aspiring filmmaker, the CineFestival is a great opportunity to network, engage in workshops and discussions, and learn first-hand from other filmmakers, actors, and directors. But if you just love indie films and enjoy seeing latinos and latinas from all over the world tell their fascinating stories through the art of cinema, there’s no better time and place than at the CineFestival.
There’s plenty to see over the course of the eight-day festival. While we encourage you to check out as much as you can, we’ve highlighted some of the film screenings we’re particularly excited about, including some from local filmmakers. For tickets and the full schedule of film screenings and other events happening at this year’s CineFestival, click here.
Friday, February 19 (Opening Night)
Mi Familia (7 p.m.)
A 1990s classic, starring Edward James Olmos, Jimmy Smits, and Esai Morales, centered on the hardships of a Mexican-American family throughout the generations. The screening will follow with a discussion on acting, moderated by local actor Jesse Borrego (Blood In, Blood Out), with guest appearances from some of the film's stars, including Esai Morales, Jacob Vargas, and Elpidia Carrillo.
Saturday, February 20
No Más Bebés (7:00 p.m.)
"They came to have their babies. They went home sterilized. The story of immigrant mothers who sued county doctors, the state, and the U.S. government after they were pushed into sterilizations while giving birth at the Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center during the 1960s and 70s. Led by an intrepid, 26-year-old Chicana lawyer and armed with hospital records secretly gathered by a whistle-blowing young doctor, the mothers faced public exposure and stood up to powerful institutions in the name of justice."
Sunday, February 21 (Family Day)
Las Tesoros De San Antonio, A Westside Story (5:00 p.m.)
"Las Tesoros de San Antonio – A Westside Story examines the personal toll and legacy of four South Texas singers of yesteryear: Rita 'La Calandria' Vidaurri, Blanquita Rodriguez 'Blanca Rosa', Beatriz 'La Paloma del Norte' Llamas, and Anita Janet Cortez 'La Perla Tapatia.' "
Tuesday, February 23 (Youth Day)
Youth Screening (6:00 p.m.)
"Featuring the work of San Antonio area high school students. Followed by Youth Awards."
Wednesday, February 24 (Tribute to veteran actor, Pepe Serna)
Gino’s Wife (8:30 p.m.) Aaron Lee Lopez, Narrative, USA―Starring Pepe Serna and Jesse Borrego.
Thursday, February 25
Washington Heights (8:30 p.m.)
"'Washington Heights' tells the story of Carlos, a young illustrator burning to escape the Latino neighborhood of the same name to make a splash in New York City’s commercial downtown comic book scene. When his father, who owns a bodega in the Heights, is shot in a burglary attempt, Carlos is forced to put his dream on hold and run the store. In the process, he comes to understand that if he is to make it as a comic artist, he must engage with the community he comes from, take that experience back out into the world, and put it in his work."
Friday, February 26
Los Punks: We Are All We Have (9:00 p.m.)
"A searing, funny, energetic and insightful look at L.A.’s thriving underground Latino punk scene. We meet the fans, bands, and backyard parties that define the dynamic subculture amidst the urban landscape of East L.A., South Central, Watts and Boyle Heights. The documentary combines intimate you-are-there footage with charismatic personalities to depict a culturally rich and supportive community thriving despite the poverty."
Saturday, February 27
Bordertown (7:30 p.m.)
"Screening of two new episodes of the acclaimed Fox animation series about Border Patrol Agent Bud Buckwald and his next-door neighbor, Ernesto Gonzalez, an ambitious Mexican patriarch who is doing better than Bud despite having been in the United State for less than a decade. Featuring an extended Q&A with series writer Lalo Alcaraz and actor Nicolas Gonzalez, the voice of Ernesto."
Which films are you excited to see at the 38th annual CineFestival? Let us know in the comments below!