A Texas-rich CineFestival returns for its 43rd year of showcasing Latinx films. Featuring 85 films in total, the festival includes 22 films from San Antonio and 24 from elsewhere in Texas.
“Receiving a record number of submissions from filmmakers from across the state and the U.S. is a testament to the privileged position San Antonio has as a cultural hub, bridging the cultures of South Texas and the state’s borderlands with the rest of Texas and beyond,” said CineFestival Programmer Eugenio del Bosque.
The Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center’s Latinx film festival runs from July 6 through 10 at the historic Guadalupe Theater, kicking off with the premiere of director Luis Reyes’ Pepe Serna: Life is Art. The film is an exploration of the life and work of Mexican American character actor Pepe Serna, a native of Corpus Christi whose roles inspired generations of Chicanx actors.
Eight short films make up the San Antonio showcase on Saturday, and the premiere of documentary A Run for More later that day follows Frankie Gonzales-Wolfe, a transgender woman who ran for San Antonio City Council, on the campaign trail and “a journey of self-discovery.”
Films tackling the topic of immigration have been staples in CineFestival’s previous years, said Del Bosque. This year is no different, with a lineup including A Break for Impact, The Garcia Family, What We Leave Behind, Ricochet, and The Southern Front.
The youth films showcase on Saturday spotlights young filmmakers, and other festival showings — like opening night film, Pepe Serna: Life is Art, and Thursday’s Mija — include masterclasses and Zoom appearances by the directors and cast.
“It’s a window to so many worlds,” Del Bosque said of the festival.
Tickets to most screenings are $8, while festival passes are $40 and can be purchased on the festival website.
The festival will offer 10 free screenings, including short films from across Texas, Mexico, Cuba, Peru, Venezuela, Brazil, and Spain. Also included in the free offerings is Family Day, featuring the Texas premiere of the animated film Ainbo, Spirit of the Amazon.
CineFestival wraps up Sunday with the Mezquite Awards — honoring the public’s favorite feature film and jury’s favorite Texas short film — followed by a screening of Cuerpo, a horror film set in 18th-century San Antonio, directed by San Antonio’s own Mark Zuñiga and produced and shot in the San Antonio area with a local cast and crew.
For a full festival schedule, film guide and tickets, see the CineFestival website.