Press Release
Contact: Valerie Menard


AUSTIN, TX (April 28, 2017) – Promoting cross-cultural understanding through film and media arts from all over the Americas, the Cine Las Americas International Film Festival (CLAIFF) continues to forge new partnerships as well expose new voices to the local community. For the twentieth festival, CLAIFF20 announces a new partnership with the Santa Cruz Theater, 1805 E 7th Street, where the Narrative Features and Shorts in competition, and the Documentary Features and Shorts in competition, will be screened. All films screened at the Santa Cruz will compete for awards, with the features also open to votes from the audience. CLAIFF has also partnered this year with the Blanton Museum of Art, 200 E Martin Luther King Jr Blvd., where new releases, including the opening night film (May 3) Me estás matando Susana (You’re Killing Me Susana) and closing night film (May 7) ,2017 Sundance Audience Award winner, Sueño en otra idoma (I Dream in Another Language), will be screened.

Among the special guests who will be in attendance, CLAIFF announces the presence of María Inés Roqué (left), director of production and training at Ambulante Más Allá (AMA), a division of Ambulante. Ambulante is a Mexican non-profit organization founded in 2005 by Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna, Pablo Cruz, and Elena Fortes. Between 2011 and 2017, more than 100 young filmmakers have been trained through AMA, and 34 shorts and three feature length films have been produced through the program. Roqué will introduce the Ambulante Showcase selections to be held at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center, 600 River Street, May 4-6, 6 p.m. each evening, and entertain questions from the audience after the screenings, which are free and open to the public. Roqué, a documentary filmmaker and teacher, is a CLAIFF juror for the feature films screened at the Santa Cruz Theater.

CLAIFF also welcomes Tracy Rector (right), an indigenous rights advocate, to the festival as a member of the Feature Film jury. Rector was on location during the Standing Rock protest for one month in 2016. Incorporating reflections on that experience with her other artist and activist work, Rector will give a free talk, “A Conversation with Tracy Rector: You are on Indigenous Land,” 1:30-2 p.m., May 7, at Spider House Ballroom, 2906 Fruth St.

Rector’s five-minute 360º video, virtual reality-based production, Ch’aak’ S’aagi (Eagle Bone), will screen at Originator Studios on May 7. The film will be available for drop-in viewing from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. At Originator, viewers will be able to wear VR headsets while sitting on chair hammocks, suspended from the ceiling, to experience the film.

“Our first project was a collaboration with Tracy Rector, who is an indigenous activist,” said Mischa Jakupcak, filmmaker and one of five founders of Mechanical Dreams Virtual Reality that produced the project. “When she looked at what she wanted to create, the whole process was completely different.” Rector is the first indigenous filmmaker to screen a work in this format.

The full lineup for the 2017 Cine Las Americas International Film Festival, as well as information on attending the festival, is available online. For more information and to check for screening schedules go to


ABOUT CINE LAS AMERICAS: Cine Las Americas is a multi-cultural, 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Austin Texas, offering theatrical screenings of films made by 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.