26th Cine Las Americas International Film Festival


Coming-of-Age, Disability, Documentary, Drama, Female-Directed, Immigration, LGBTQ+, Music, Trauma
The 8th annual Femme Frontera Filmmaker Showcase features short films by women and non-binary filmmakers from the U.S.-Mexico border regions of El Paso, Texas, Las Cruces, New Mexico, and Cd. Juárez, Chihuahua, México.
Comedy, Drama, Female-Directed
The Sepulveda family reunites to revive a cherished tradition in honor of their late grandfather. But as they come together, long-held secrets and simmering tensions threaten to unravel their close-knit bonds. The biggest revelation: matriarch Anselma's risky move to help her grandson Matias puts their family restaurant and livelihood at stake, forcing them all to reassess their roles within the family.
Drama, Female-Directed, Grief
Chiara is the matriarch of an Italian-descendant family torn apart. After her youngest son moves out, she decides to go along with her husband Alfredo on his trips as a salesman to the bars of Serra Gaöcha. Their trust in each other breaks down when Chiara finds out about Alfredo's life on the road and he realizes she hides something. A turtle and a deck of cards will put their 50-year relationship to the test.
Comedy, Drama
Three married couples undergoing therapy are summoned by their female psychologist to a meeting. The psychologist won’t be attending the reunion herself, but she will give to them instructions about what they must do. Thus, to the sound of a trumpet (literally), the six protagonists will gradually air their dirty laundry concerning their relationships and bring up issues like taking care of the kids, the different home tasks, money, jealousy and sex, until it all leads to a most unexpected and equally shocking end.
Afro-Latin@, Drama, Female-Directed, Music, Trauma
Desi, a 12-year old girl, spends her days dreaming on the beaches of Boca Chica of becoming a famous singer, but her goal is threatened by the insidious future that awaits some of the girls in her town. A future that is perpetruated by some of those closest to her. Only her music can save her. Juxtaposing the realities and expectations of a young girls in the Dominican Republic, Boca Chica shines a light on the insidious child sex trade and the lives it seeks to destroy.
Afro-Latin@, Documentary, Female-Directed, Music
From the Colombian coast to New York City, CATAPUM is a powerful story of three women across three generations who discover strength in Bullerengue, an ancestral musical tradition, using it to resist, heal, and celebrate life. Their daily routines, the landscapes they inhabit, and the songs they carry reveal the depth of their experiences, interwoven with the cultural richness of Bullerengue. Themes such as oral tradition, race, community, immigration, and identity emerge within this context. As their individual stories unfold, they converge into a collective memory, offering a narrative of the Colombian armed conflict that honors the universal healing and reconciling power of music.
Art, Drama, Family, Female-Directed
The 1960s. María Margarita is the youngest of four siblings from a family living in a mining town in the Atacama Desert in Chile. Their most special time of the week is Sunday, when they all go to the cinema to enjoy stories that transport them to other worlds. The girl's parents soon realise that the young girl has a very special gift, an almost uncanny ability to retell films. The girl's extraordinary talent will spread throughout the village, changing the fate of her family at the same time that the country is being transformed forever. With standout performances from Academy Award® nominee Bérénice Bejo, BAFTA nominee Daniel Brühl, and multiple-time Goya Award winner Antonio de la Torre, The Movie Teller is a celebration of our capacity to defy even the harshest circumstances, to find love, community, inspiration, and hope where there seems to be none.
Activism, Afro-Latin@, Animation, Art, Displacement, Documentary, Female-Directed, Feminism, History, Indigenous, Sports
These shorts represent individual and community topics and concerns in their contemporary contexts. The works screened in this category are eligible for a Jury Award for Best Documentary Short.
Coming-of-Age, Drama, Grief
Federico and his brother Simón live their adolescence to the fullest until the day Simón dies when he falls from a balcony at a party. While his family environment crumbles before his eyes, Federico tries to live his last weeks of school normally. Unable to mourn, he grows closer to Laura, his brother's ex-girlfriend, with whom he seems to find relief and, above all, love. Together, not only will they live a story far from everything they imagined, but they will finally be able to begin their mourning.
Drama, Female-Directed, Religion, Suspense
Trapped in a destiny she did not choose, Leni joins her father, Reverend Pearson, in his Evangelical mission. The car is having trouble working, so they need to stop in Gringo´s car repair shop, a man dramatically opposed to faith, who lives with Tapioca, a teenager under his guard. Time drags, a storm is coming and Reverend Pearson is getting obsessed with saving Tapioca´s soul. Leni sees in the power Pearson is exerting on the young man, echoes of her own story. She confronts him for the first time, believing her life will start at that very moment, accepting her destiny.
Animation, Comedy, Coming-of-Age, Culture, Documentary, Drama, Education, Female-Directed, Indigenous, Politics, Telenovela, Thriller
Celebrate a special section of the Festival showcasing works by filmmakers 19 years or younger. The works screened in this category are eligible for Jury and Audience Awards for Best “Emergencia” Youth Film.
Attending filmmakers, badge-holders and Cine Las Americas Members are invited to mingle and network at We Luv Video, a revamped Austin institution preserving physical media and the magical sensory experience that comes with it.
Documentary, Female-Directed, Immigration
GOD SAVE TEXAS is a documentary trilogy that takes viewers on a journey through one of the most controversial states in the union, guided by three directors, each with a unique and personal perspective. In episode 3, LA FRONTERA, Mexican-American filmmaker Iliana Sosa explores how Nepantla, a Nahuatl word for the concept of “in-between-ness”, characterizes her relationship to both her Mexican heritage and her hometown of El Paso, Texas, and how that unique hybridity allowed the city to come together and heal in the wake of a devastating 2019 mass shooting.
Activism, Documentary, Indigenous, Sports
Writer producer Donick Cary (The Simpsons, Parks and Recreation, Have a Good Trip) has been a huge fan of the Washington D.C. pro football team since before he could walk. Passed down from his dad, he was excited to pass the tradition onto his kids. Donick never questioned the team name and or Native American logo until one day, while watching a game, his 9-year-old son, Otis, asked him if it was racist. When Otis suggests they ask Native Americans how they feel, it sends the two on a cross-country journey full of unexpected surprises. From the halls of Congress (Deb Haaland) to Pulitzer Prize finalist Tommy Orange; from the creator of the show Reservation Dogs (Sterlin Harjo) to real life reservation dogs (teens on the Pine Ridge rez), the film brings to light the stories and perspectives of Native Americans from all walks of life in the United States.
Community, Culinary, Documentary, Drama, Female-Directed, Grief, Immigration, Religion
“Hecho en Tejas” is a series of films produced in Texas. The films are eligible for an Audience Award and a Jury Award presented in partnership with the Texas Archive of the Moving Image (TAMI). Join us for a red carpet with the Texas filmmakers in attendance and reception following the screening!
Afro-Latin@, Documentary, Politics
In Colombia, a nation marred by profound racial and socio-economic disparities, a Black woman from a rural background challenges the status quo by launching a presidential campaign. Reappropriating the term “igualada,” Francia Márquez, catapults a movement to the upper echelons of power, by refusing to “know her place.” Fifteen years in the making, this documentary peels back the curtain on how unprecedented change can happen.
Drama, Experimental, Female-Directed, Relationships, Sci-Fi
In the not-so-distant future of 2084, Ángel finds himself trapped as a climate migrant in an unspecified smart city, under constant surveillance. Amidst a bleak and oppressive existence, Ángel makes a living by cultivating plants, preserving the fading wisdom of seeds. Within this desolate landscape he crosses paths with Sofia, another climate migrant who works at a recycling facility. Fate intertwines their lives when a chance encounter reveals an unexpected connection: a shared language. Fueling Ángel's longing for human connection and a glimmer of hope, he reaches out to Sofia. Aware of the omnipresent digital monitoring, Ángel decides to communicate with her through the timeless medium of pen and paper, fostering an intimate, clandestine bond. As their secret correspondence unfolds, a friendship grows between Ángel and Sofia as does their desire for liberation from excessive control.
Crime, Thriller
Alejandro is an experienced airline pilot. He loves his profession but is hiding a secret: a medical condition that would mean immediate retirement. Intelligence Service agents discover it and they start blackmailing him, demanding he take some mysterious bags on the Buenos Aires-Madrid route, no questions asked. Vigilant because of the enigmatic cargo he’s carrying, Alejandro is soon submerged in a universe of intrigue and corruption, placing him and his loved ones in danger, while he attempts to escape alive, no matter the price.
Dance, Drama, Female-Directed, Relationships
Rosa still lives by her husband’s rules despite the fact that he died six months ago. Her worsening relationship with her son has left her estranged from her only family. When she meets Juan, a divorcee, with whom she shares her passion for tango, she starts to rediscover herself and something starts to change. But before she can move on she's confronted with some uncomfortable truths.
Documentary, Female-Directed, Music
In a South Texas high school auditorium, trumpets ring out, thick guitarrón strings thrum, and violin bow hairs snap and swing wildly through the air. This is the world of competitive scholastic mariachi. This energetic documentary captures the highs and lows of Edinburg North High School’s Mariachi Oro as a green team strives for state championship. With tough love, finely tuned empathy, and a fiery passion for the music, Coach Abel Acuña guides the varsity band through a steep competition season and a fraught year in their adolescent lives. Team captains Abby, Marlena, and Bella prove the value of the skills taught in the band room as they navigate life’s challenges on and off the stage with grace, immutable work ethic, and total charm. Filmmakers Alejandra Vasquez and Sam Osborn transport their audience to this symphonically, aesthetically, and emotionally vibrant world. A directorial debut for Vasquez and sophomore effort for Osborn, Going Varsity in Mariachi is a testament to their ability to explore identity, cultural roots, and pressing social issues with a nuance that foregrounds frankness, boldness, and joy.
Afro-Latin@, Crime, Drama, Female-Directed, LGBTQ+
Suellen, a Brazilian toll booth attendant and mother, falls in with a gang of thieves in an attempt to keep her family afloat. In doing so, she realizes she can use her job to raise some extra money illegally for a so-called noble cause: to send her son to an expensive gay conversion workshop led by a renowned foreign priest.
Crime, Drama, History
The five most ruthless right-hand men in Pinochet’s dictatorship are serving out sentences amounting to several hundred years in a luxury prison at the foot of the Andes, for their crimes against humanity. The place has a pool, gardens and aviaries where they are watched over by guards who feel more like their employees. When one of the inmates gives a TV interview, his declarations fuel an unexpected backlash. The fear of a possible move will make the men do everything in their power to stay put, unraveling delirium and violence.
Documentary, Female-Directed, Indigenous, Trauma
"A stunning tribute to the resilience of Native people and their way of life - SUGARCANE, the debut feature documentary from Julian Brave NoiseCat and Emily Kassie - is an epic cinematic portrait of a community during a moment of international reckoning. Set amidst a ground-breaking investigation into abuse and death at an Indian residential school, the film empowers participants to break cycles of intergenerational trauma by bearing witness to painful, long-ignored truths – and the love that endures within their families despite the revelation of genocide. In 2021, evidence of unmarked graves near an Indian residential school run by the Catholic Church in Canada sparked a national outcry about the forced separation, assimilation, and abuse many children experienced at this network of segregated boarding schools designed to slowly destroy the culture and social fabric of Indigenous communities. When Kassie- a journalist and filmmaker- asked her old friend and colleague, NoiseCat, to direct a film documenting the Williams Lake First Nation investigation of St Joseph’s Mission, she never imagined just how close this story was to his own family."
Coming-of-Age, Crime, Drama, Female-Directed
After a cartel gunman from a small Mexican town is murdered, Sujo, his beloved four-year-old son, is left an orphan and in danger. Sujo narrowly escapes death with the help of his aunt who raises him in the isolated countryside amidst hardship, poverty, and the constant peril associated with his identity. When he enters his teens a rebelliousness awakens in him, and like a rite of passage, he joins the local cartel. As a young man, Sujo attempts to make his life anew, away from the violence of his hometown. however, when his father’s legacy catches up with him, he will come face-to-face with what seems to be his destiny.
Activism, Documentary, Incarceration
Amidst the redwood trees on the California-Oregon border sits one of the most infamous prisons in US history - Pelican Bay. For decades, it held mostly Black and Brown men alone in tiny cells for indefinite periods based on questionable evidence. Then one day in 2013, 30,000 prisoners went on hunger strike. THE STRIKE weaves together, thread-by-thread, a half century of personal and criminal justice history into a single, compelling narrative around the drama of the 2013 hunger strike to end indefinite isolation. Grounded in testimonies from the hunger strikers themselves, the film details how the protest was conceived from a whisper inside the halls of Pelican Bay to a colossal feat across California prisons. With unprecedented access to state prison officials and never-before-seen footage from inside Pelican Bay, THE STRIKE reveals the panic that gripped the highest echelons of state government.
Activism, Afro-Latin@, Animation, Body Positivity, Comedy, Experimental, Female-Directed, Indigenous, Music
Join us for screening and party at Nepantla. The works screened in this category are eligible for Jury and Audience Awards for Best Music Video.
Comedy, Drama
Rocío and David are two siblings who meet again after ten years without seeing each other. David has been incarcerated all this time. When he takes advantage of a prison furlough to escape with his sister to Puerto Plata, the tourist town where they used to spend the summer as a family, they reconnect, recovering memories and making up for lost time.
Animation, Comedy, Fantasy, Female-Directed, LGBTQ+, Racism, Thriller, Trauma
The films are personal and each telling rich stories that will resonate with viewers. The works screened in this category are eligible for a Jury Award for Best Narrative Short.
Documentary, Music
The lively and intimately-crafted documentary Carlos immerses us in rock icon Carlos Santana’s life and musical trajectory. Filmmaker Rudy Valdez bolsters this personal narrative with pulsating, never-before-seen footage — guided by Santana himself, in his own words.