Press Release
Contact: Jean Anne Lauer



AUSTIN, TX (May 10, 2019) — Cine Las Americas announced the award winners of the 22nd annual Cine Las Americas International Film Festival (CLAIFF22), on Sunday, May 5th, bringing an end to five film and event-filled days celebrating the work of Latinx, Ibero-American, and American Indigenous filmmakers. CLAIFF22 concluded with announcements of the winners, presented by executive director Jean Anne Lauer, festival jury coordinator Elena Bessire, and jury members Richard Montoya, Cynthia C. Corral, and Paul Espinosa. The evening’s ceremony was followed by a screening of the closing night film, the Peruvian box-office hit No me digas solterona (Don’t Call Me a Spinster) with writer and director Ani Alva Helfer and executive producer Alex Pedemonte in attendance.

“This year’s closing night celebrated 22 years of Cine Las Americas, which is no small accomplishment. I’m so proud of this festival that continues to represent diversity and inclusion through the film, video, and other arts, and remains an essential event in Austin’s spring calendar,” stated Lauer. “We were honored to open this year’s slate with luminaries Edward James Olmos and Richard Montoya in attendance, to welcome talented filmmakers, actors, and musicians to the stage daily, and to wrap the festival with the second feature by the inspirational writer/director Ani Alva. There is such positive energy imbuing each screening and gathering, and I’m thankful to everyone who has been a part of the success of CLAIFF.”

The festival showcased contemporary films and videos from all over the world, with primary emphasis on films of the Americas. The selection was comprised of 114 titles representing 25 countries in production or co-production of the titles: Argentina, Australia, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Germany, Jordan, Mexico, The Netherlands, Peru, Portugal, Qatar, Spain, Syrian Arab Republic, UK, Uruguay, USA, Venezuela. All films were presented in English and/or subtitled.

The festival granted jury and audience awards in ten categories, including the annual Hecho en Tejas competition, and the Emergencia Youth Film competition. New this year, to be announced after the festival, there will be a Chemistry award of services for deliverables for post theatrical windows of a feature narrative or documentary film. Founded in 2010 in Mexico City, Chemistry offers full services in digital cinema workflow, data management, post production supervision, color correction, vfx, and the highest quality in packaging for exhibition and distribution.

Please join us in congratulating the following winners, as announced May 5th, 2019 at CLAIFF22 Closing Night Ceremonies.


Narrative Feature Competition (for a 1st or 2nd Feature)

Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature
Dir. Sergio Umansky Brener, Mexico

Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature
Dir. Richard Levien, USA

InkTip Award
As part of the narrative feature prize package, Sergio Umansky Brener, director of OCHO DE CADA DIEZ (EIGHT OUT OF TEN) and Richard Levien, director of COLLISIONS will be offered an InkTip Script Listing. InkTip Script Listings provide writers/filmmakers with the opportunity to get their scripts read by InkTip’s extensive network of producers, reps, managers, agents, and other qualified industry professionals.

Documentary Feature Competition

Jury Award for Best Documentary Feature
Dirs. Elizabeth Castle, Christina D. King, USA

Audience Award for Best Documentary Feature
Dir. Luke Lorentzen, Mexico

Feature Film Jury Statement, on their selection of Narrative and Documentary Winners
   “Though it’s often said that there were so many excellent films at a given fest, the programmed documentary and narrative films at this year’s Cine Las Americas were a powerful testament to the power and responsibility of the story teller in the Americas. It took an entire brunch of several visits to all food stations to decide this year’s excellent films. EIGHT OUT OF TEN and WARRIOR WOMEN are just the sort of films that capture a moment, the imagination of a festival and the kind of message we can send out to the world. The urgency of the Mexico City and Women telling Women’s stories was crucial to the jury.
   “The characters in EIGHT OUT OF TEN and WARRIOR WOMEN reverberate for us — stories spanning several centuries of colonial think, and at their core both carry the fire of the storyteller and reach for the north star of social justice. Two great companion pieces (cousins if you will) bridging a sort of border and blasting our notions of global thinking and what to expect at the local cinema-plex.
   “Love, the Jury”

Narrative Short Film Competition

Jury Award for Best Narrative Short
Dir. Carolina Markowicz, Brazil

Statement from the Jury
“O ÓRFÃO accomplishes the breadth of story of a feature, but does this in the timeframe of a short film. It features dynamic characters and displays the additional barrier that LGBTQ children experience when being adopted.”

Documentary Short Competition

Jury Award for Best Documentary Short
Dir. Jas Doyle Pitt, Bolivia/UK

Statement from the Jury
“ABRÁZAME shares a story not seen in the US — that of young children being raised in prison by their incarcerated mothers. It gives the viewer a look inside these children’s world and puts a human face on our pre-conceived notions of prison life.”

Hecho en Tejas Competition

Texas Archive of the Moving Image (TAMI) Award
Dir. Sharon Arteaga, USA

Statement from the Jury
“PLANE PRETEND provides a memorable and moving homage to the uncertain journey of undocumented siblings crossing the border into the United States in an earlier generation. Eliciting strong performances from a small ensemble of actors, the frame of this well directed film includes a novel and surprising take on December 9, 1980 the day John Lennon was killed, weaving the memory of one of his signature songs, ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,’ into the emotional narrative of the crossing.”

Hecho en Tejas Audience Award
Dir. Sharon Arteaga, USA

Music Video Competition

Audience Award for Best Music Video
Dir. Caitlin Díaz, USA

Emergencia Youth Film Competition

Audience Award for Best Youth Film
Dir. Jonathan Landeros
Salt Lake City, UT, USA


THE JURY FOR CLAIFF22: The Feature Film Jury was comprised of guest filmmakers Ani Alva Helfer (director of No me digas solterona / Don’t Call Me A Spinster, Peru), Adam Khalil (co-director of Empty Metal, USA), and Richard Montoya (co-director of Carlos Almaraz: Playing with Fire, USA). The Hecho en Tejas juror was filmmaker Paul Espinosa (director of Singing Our Way to Freedom, USA). The Short Film Jury was comprised of Cine Las Americas Film Selection Committee members Cynthia C. Corral, Dino Costa, and Kevin Mouton.


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.