Cine las Americas Film Festival in Austin Comes to an End with 7 Cajas

7 Cajas screened during the Miami International Film Festival last month and the Cine las Americas International Film Festival scored it too in order to share it with film fans. What a fantastic film 7 Cajas turned out to be and it was the perfect way to close out the film festival in Austin that left many film fans elated and in a celebratory mood.

Follow some highlights of the film festival journey I took with photos after the festival went into full swing from Wednesday thru Sunday. On Wednesday, I was able to watch the great short, Medio Minuto, followed by the feature, Las cosas como son, Tres and Mejor no hablar de ciertas cosas, all very good. The latter known as Porcelain Horse by the English title, is by director Javier Andrade (Ecuador) was in the Narrative Feature Competition and won the Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature.

On Friday, California based director Tom Sanchez was in town for the screening of his film, La Navaja de Don Juan, shot in Peru. I was able to meet and interview him. He was accompanied by his lovely wife, Amy, and his aunt and uncle who reside in Austin.

Tom Sanchez [MACC exterior] IMG_0737

We met at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center, where I was able to take the photograph of him on a sun filled afternoon. This interview will follow soon. [Photo credit: Liz Lopez]

On Friday, at the Stateside Theater I viewed the documentary Hijos de las nubes: la ultima colonia, by director Alvaro Longoria, with Javier Bardem as producer and narrator. Eye opening and excellent filmmaking, it is the winner of a Goya Award in Spain.

Alvaro Longoria and Jeanne [IMG_0740]

Jean Anne Lauer, Film Program Director for Cine las Americas, looks on as Alvaro Longoria participates in the Q&A. [Photo credit: Liz Lopez]

Another great short film is one from Spain, Zombi, by director David Moreno, was in the Short Film Competition and won the Jury Award for Best Narrative Short. This is very well deserved! I loved it.

Mark and Eugenio QA [IMG_0750]

Eugenio del Bosque, Cine las Americas Executive Director, looks on as Hasta Nunca director Mark Street participated in a Q& A with the audience at Alamo Drafthouse Village Theater where this narrative feature screened on Friday during the festival.

Mark Street [Village lobby] IMG_0754

Hasta Nunca Director Mark Street at Alamo Drafthouse Village Theater posed after the screening and talked to his fans in the lobby. [Liz Lopez]

Saturday night, I returned to the Alamo Drafthouse Village Theater and saw more great films, including the fantastic short, A Red Girl’s Reasoning that I hope will become a feature film.

It was followed by Nos Vemos Papa (See You, Dad) by director Lucía Carreras (Mexico) which won a Special Jury Award for Performance by Cecilia Suárez. The film has some issues about the father/daughter relationship and subsequently, the next film I viewed that evening, Regina, also had this issue as one of the themes. It certainly has some very hard scenes to watch, but it is very well done.

Regina_filmmakers [2] Village [IMG_0883]Jimena del Peon (Production Designer) and Director Javier Avila drove from Mexico for the World Premiere of the film during this film festival. They were gracious to pose after the long drive and late night screening and talked with fans. [Photo credit: Liz Lopez]

On the final day of films, Sunday, April 21st, I was able to view Los Scavengers directed by Valente Rodriguez. I will share one photo from my time with him that day, as I will have a different article with the interview and other photos. This is a  great young adult/adventure film and I had a great time with him during the interview.

Valente_front of CLA screen [IMG_0889]

Valente Rodriguez at the Stateside Theater [Photo credit: Liz Lopez]

I was also able to view the Austin premiere of Las Acacias, a road movie directed by Pablo Giorgelli (Argentina/Spain). This is the directorial debut film for Giogelli and he won the Camera d’Or at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.

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