16th Annual Cine Las Americas to Take Place April 16-21

The 16th annual edition of Austin's Cine Las Americas will take place April 16-21 featuring a selection of films from North, Central and South America as well as the Caribbean and the Iberian Peninsula. Films made by or about Latinos in the U.S. and the rest of the world, as well as films by or about indigenous groups of the Americas will be celebrate through the screening of 54 feature films and 66 short films in 10 program sections.

These categories in which the films will participate in, include New Releases; Narrative Features in Competition; Documentary Features in Competition; Competition sections for Narrative and Documentary Shorts; Hecho en Tejas, featuring works made by Latino and indigenous filmmakers in the state of Texas; Panorama, including features and shorts out of competition; New Visions/Work in Progress; and Emergencia, including youth films made by artists 19 years old or younger.

Opening night of the festival begins with the Spanish film Blancanieves, directed Pablo Berger, which is set in Southern Spain in the 1920's and is a tribute to silent films. A famous bullfighter, hated by her evil stepmother -played by Maribel Verdú, runs away with a troupe of dwarves.

The New Releases section presents a selection of fifteen narrative and documentary features by promising newcomers and established greats. Relishing in presenting films with a diversity of themes, genres and styles, the films included are De jueves a domingo / Thursday till Sunday (pictured top left), directed by Dominga Sotomayor, a Chilean road movie set entirely in and around the car belonging to a middle-class family on their last four-day trip to the north of Chile, the Argentine film Las acacias, directed by Pablo Giorgelli, about a lonely truck driver who picks u; and befriends a mother and her baby en route from Asunción del Paraguay to Buenos Aires and Cinema Tropical's 2012 recipient for Best Film, O Som ao Redor / Neighboring Sounds (pictured right) directed Kleber Medonça Filho from Brazil.

The Narrative and Documentary competition include 20 feature films which are eligible for both a jury award and an audience for Best Narrative Feature. Of these is the Ecuadorian film Mejor no hablar de ciertas cosas / Porcelain Horse directed by Javier Andrade, which is a portrait of two brothers consumed by addiction and a lack of direction, who feed each other's worst habits, dragging their upper-middle class family down with them.

The Documentary competition features films with a common thread of being underrepresented in popular media such as El Alcalde / The Mayor (pictured left) directed by Emiliano Altuna, Diego Enrique Osorno, Carlos Rossini, which takes place in northern Mexico, where the murder of municipal mayors is a common practice in the fight to control territories by the drug cartels. New Visions / Works in Progress include the American-Peruvian production of La navaja de Don Juan, directed by Tom Sanchez and Los Scavangers, directed by Valente Rodriguez and made in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas.

The Panorama section includes films which the festival considers essential in sharing with its Texan audience including Kimberly Bautista's Justicia para mi hermana/ Justice for My Sister, which examines the issue of femicide by taking an intimate look at one family's loss. Close the heart of Texas, is the category Hecho en Tejas, which highlights films produced and in the state. The films included are Blood Cousins, directed by Regan Arevalos, Larry Garza, Jess Castro from USA and the Mexican-American production of Bordando la frontera / The Border directed by Rene Rhi.

Closing night features 7 cajas / 7 Boxes, directed by Juan Carlos Maneglia and Tana Schémbori, which is the story of a man offered the chance to deliver 7 boxes with unknown contents in exchange for $100.