Press Release
Contact: Julia McMahan


AUSTIN, Texas (March 26, 2018) – Cine Las Americas (CLA) announces the 21st Annual Cine Las Americas International Film Festival (CLAIFF), scheduled for May 2-6, 2018. Films will be presented at three primary partnership venues: AFS Cinema (6406 N I-35 Suite 3100); The Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center (600 River St.); and MASS Gallery (507 Calles St. Suite 108). Additional screenings and events will take place at other venues around the capital city during the five-day festival.

Cine Las Americas is committed to offering a diverse program of national and international feature and short films as well as music videos, experimental, and animation selections. The festival showcases narrative and documentary films and videos from all the Americas (US, Canada, North Central, South America, and the Caribbean) and the Iberian Peninsula. Films and videos screen in competitive and non-competitive sections. There are eleven Award Categories, including the annual Hecho en Tejas Awards. This year, the coordinating committee is pleased to offer cash awards to prize categories, including for Audience Awards for Best First or Second Dramatic Feature, Best Documentary Feature, Best Hecho en Tejas Film, and Best Music Video.

As a non-profit, partner venues are critical to sustaining CLAIFF’s mission. The festival returns to a familiar location this year, the newly renovated arthouse locale in The Linc center, now operated by the Austin Film Society (AFS). Holly Herrick, Head of Film & Creative Media at AFS, comments on the partnership: “AFS is proud to partner with Cine Las Americas (CLA) on another edition of a festival that contributes so much to the cinematic cultural landscape of Austin. CLA’s work is aligned with AFS’s artistic goals to present excellent film programs from diverse communities that are often under-represented in our US media landscape. We are so glad CLA is making their home at the AFS Cinema, a destination for the discovery of international and independent film.” The AFS Cinema will serve as host to a variety of CLAIFF film premieres and the Hecho en Tejas showcases.

The City of Austin and Austin Parks & Recreation have supported CLAIFF for over a decade, providing a space at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center (ESB-MACC)where attendees can enjoy film screenings that are free and open to the public. Every year, thanks in large part to the ESB-MACC, one-third to one-half of our program is accessible and free to the public. Linda I. Crockett, Media, Marketing & Event Coordinator for ESB-MACC explains: “I have been a supporter of Cine Las Americas since 1998, and I’m elated to have brought this important festival to the ESB-MACC as a partner to provide a venue where film lovers can come and share this most unique of film experiences that represent the imagination and creativity of US Latino filmmakers and those from Latin American and the Spanish speaking islands.” As in previous editions, one of the highlights at ESB-MACC is the annual “Emergencia” Youth Film Festival, a presentation of emerging talent and showcasing work by Latinx and Indigenous youth, based in Texas and around the globe.

MASS Gallery teams up with CLAIFF as a new venue this year to present the screenings of the International Competition: Feature and Short films in Narrative and Documentary categories. Founded in 2006, MASS is a collectively run nonprofit gallery and project space based in Austin, Texas. Erin Gentry, President of MASS and a collective member since 2011, notes: “MASS Gallery is excited to host the Cine Las Americas film festival. Cine Las Americas is a great organization doing important work to bring Latinx film making to Central Texas, and we are thrilled to support their film festival as a partner venue for the 2018 film festival.”

In her fourth year as Film Festival Director, and her tenth year with CLAIFF, Jean Anne Lauer leads the coordination of film presentations and special events. “This year, as in years past, the festival board, staff, and volunteers, are working tirelessly to plan a festival that serves our core mission of creating spaces for cross-cultural engagement, interaction, and understanding. We do this through our selection of films, but also through the events like Cine Latina (that celebrate women filmmakers) and Cine Sin Fronteras (a gathering designed to bring together diverse artists and nonprofit groups in our community), to just name a couple,” says Lauer.

Lauer continues: “I’m especially excited about our core program team for CLAIFF21, which is lead by five talented and passionate individuals.” Rebecca Morelo Jackson returns this year as Short Film Programmer as Film Program Coordinator. In addition to her work with CLAIFF, Jackson is a producer and graduate student at the University of Texas at Austin, with roots in El Paso, TX, and Colombia. Alan McLane Alejos joins the lead program team as Film Program Associate for feature films. He is a León, México, based film consultant with programming experience for independent film festivals and cultural projects. Maribel Falcón, a long-time involved staff member is back as a guest curator for music videos. She is a Tejana creative + cultural organizer, currently based in San Antonio, TX. Iliana Sosa, a CLAIFF jury member for the festival’s 20th edition in 2017, also joins the team as a guest curator for the Hecho en Tejas program. She is a first generation Mexican American filmmaker that has directed both long form and short form narrative fiction and documentary content. Sosa is currently based in Austin, TX. Christian D. Nelson, a locally based filmmaker and photographer, leads the youth film jury in their selection of the films for the “Emergencia” Youth Film Festival. Emergencia is a special program of CLAIFF, featuring films made by emerging filmmakers ages 19 and under.

In 2017, the festival screened 172 titles – 39 feature films, 99 short films and videos, 26 music videos, and 8 spots. In its history, Cine Las Americas has presented more than 2,100 films in Austin and at various screenings across the state of Texas, becoming one of the most prestigious Latino film organizations in the country.

The lineup for the 2018 Cine Las Americas International Film Festival will be announced in April. 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.