Press Release
Contact: Julia McMahan
press@cinelasamericas.org
512-­710­-9544

21ST CINE LAS AMERICAS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL WELCOMES SPECIAL GUESTS, FEATURING MICHEL FRANCO AND LUCIA GAJA

AUSTIN, Texas (April 24, 2018) — Dedicated to promoting cross-cultural understanding through film and media arts, the Cine Las Americas International Film Festival (CLAIFF) continues to forge new partnerships as well as invite renowned filmmakers from all over the Americas to Austin for the 21st annual festival.

Among the special guests who will be in attendance, CLAIFF21 announces the presence of Michel Franco (left). A celebrated talent originally from Mexico City, the films Franco has written, directed, and produced have won numerous international awards. As writer/ director/ producer, Franco’s film After Lucia received the Best Film Award at Un Certain Regard at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, and Chronic was nominated for the Palme d’Or and won Best Screenplay at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. He produced 600 Miles (directed by Gabriel Ripstein, and winner of the Best First Feature award at the 2015 Berlin Film Festival) and From Afar (directed by Lorenzo Vigas, and winner of the Leone d’Oro at the 2015 Venice Film Festival).

At this year’s CLAIFF21, Franco will be present for two films’ screenings and Q&As. Franco produced the documentary El vendedor de orquídeas (The Orchid Seller), another venture with director Vigas, screening at 4:00pm, Saturday, May 5, at the AFS Cinema (6406 N I-35 Suite 3100). That same evening at AFS Cinema at 8:00pm, in co-presentation with the Austin Film Society, and co-sponsored by the Consulate General of Mexico in Austin, Franco joins us for a screening of his most recent work Las hijas de Abril (April’s Daughter). April’s Daughter was part of Cannes International Film Festival, 2017 and won the Jury Prize, Un Certain Regard. Franco filmed scenes for April’s Daughter in chronological order — something he does on all his films — moving back and forth between locations and cities as the story required. He also edits on set, allowing him to analyze what he has shot in real time and to make small adjustments as filming progresses, thereby enhancing the verisimilitude of the progression of the characters and their relationships. Information on attendance and tickets are available at cinelasamericas.org.

Also from Mexico, CLAIFF21 welcomes Lucía Gajá (left), to present this year’s Ambulante Showcase. Ambulante Org. is a non-profit organization, founded in 2005 by Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna, and Elena Fortes. It is committed to supporting and promoting documentary film as a tool for cultural and social transformation. Ambulante brings documentaries and training programs to places where they are rarely available in order to foster cultural exchange, encourage a participative, informed and critical attitude in the audience, and open new channels of expression in Mexico and abroad. Each year, Ambulante organizes an international film festival, which tours Mexico for two months with a lineup including over 100 titles from 30 countries. For more information on Ambulante, visit www.ambulante.org.

Ambulante and CLAIFF partner for the fourth consecutive year to present a selection of socially-engaged documentaries from Mexico to festival-goers in Austin. Gajá’s presence at CLAIFF21 is co-sponsored by the Consulate General of Mexico in Austin. Gajá 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. The films in this year’s selection feature Gajá’s Austin, Texas-based documentary about the 2005 court case of Rosa Jiménez, Mi vida dentro (My Life Inside), as well as her more recent work Batallas íntimas (Intimate Battles), that follows stories from women from Finland, India, Mexico, Spain and the United States who’ve survived domestic violence. The full Ambulante selection details are available at www.cinelasamericas.org. Gajá, a documentary filmmaker and professor, is a CLAIFF21 juror for the feature films which will be screened at the MASS Gallery.

More guests to be announced as the festival nears. The complete lineup for the 2018 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 www.cinelasamericas.org

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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.