Press Release
Contact: Jean Anne Lauer



AUSTIN, Texas (February 5, 2019) – On January 31st, the Cine Las Americas board, staff, and volunteers welcomed each other and the community of sponsors, donors, and members to the annual Season Launch Party, held at the Latinitas Austin headquarters.

The announcements for the evening included the reveal of this year’s festival poster design and news from the board and staff in anticipation of the 22nd annual Cine Las Americas International Film Festival, planned for May 1st – 5th of this year in Austin, TX. The festival showcases contemporary films and videos from Latin America (North, Central, South America, and the Caribbean) and the Iberian Peninsula. Films and videos made by or about Latinxs in the U.S. or the rest of the world, as well as films and videos by or about Indigenous groups of the Americas are also invited to participate.

Melinda Gonzales Boe, nonprofit development professional, has served on Cine Las Americas’ board for four years. She opened remarks for the evening as the newly elected Chair of the board. Other board officer members include Lindsey Ashley, Deputy Director of the Texas Film Commission, now serving as the Vice Chair and Treasurer for Cine Las Americas, and Denise Garza Steusloff, certified meeting professional, who steps into the role of Secretary. The executive board is rounded out by the participation of John Estrada, Francisco Garcia, David Gil, and Jonathan de la Luz, all of whom bring experience in media arts and passion for Cine Las Americas’ mission to their roles. “Cine Las Americas is an organization near and dear to my heart,” says Boe. “Since the beginning, Cine Las Americas has worked to offer a unique opportunity for films that otherwise will not find a place on the big screen. I consider it both an honor and a privilege to lead the Cine Las Americas board, working alongside such a group of dedicated, talented people. I look forward to working together as we look for new ways to strengthen and support the organization.”

One of the other major announcements of the evening was the formal recognition of the appointment of Dr. Jean Anne Lauer to the position of Executive Director of Cine Las Americas. Lauer brings to the position fifteen years of experience in promoting the development and exhibition of Latinx, Iberoamerican, and Indigenous film and media. She holds a Ph.D. in Radio-Television-Film from the University of Texas at Austin, worked with the Guanajuato International Film Festival and their International Pitching Market for ten years (2004-2013), and has worked with Fantastic Fest in Austin TX since 2013 in various capacities. Lauer began working as a Film Program Associate at Cine Las Americas in preparation for the 12th annual festival in 2009 under the Executive Direction of Eugenio del Bosque; she accepted the role of Festival Director in preparation for the 17th annual festival in 2014 when del Bosque turned to other professional endeavors. “I was delighted to see everyone at the launch party this past Friday,” says Lauer. “I have been honored to be at the helm of the festival for the past few years, working with incredible board members, staff, volunteers, and other collaborators, to continue to develop the organization in continuity from the founders’ vision. A lot has changed in the landscape of Latinx and Indigenous media arts in the past 22 years. However, it remains necessary for us to build community support around the creation and viewing of these films and videos, because representation and distribution opportunities still lag far behind where they should be in mainstream settings. We’re committed to shining the spotlight on great filmmakers and other talented artists through our programs.”

Leading up to May’s festival, the organization will continue its tradition of presenting a number of films through series with partnering organizations. These include Latin American new releases and retrospectives at the AFS Cinema in partnership with Austin Film Society, a Latin American retrospective under the banner of the CineNoche series at Violet Crown Cinema, and a series of films from Mexico as part of CineClub México presented at the Consulate of Mexico in Austin. Information on all upcoming programming is available at


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.