Chateles del campo (Country Kids)Chateles del campo (Country Kids)

Following an announcement earlier this week of their official Opening/Closing night films, Cine Las Americas announced today the list of titles selected for participation in the Hecho en Tejas program at the 17th Cine Las Americas International Film Festival, which runs April 22-27, 2014.

For this year, the Hecho en Tejas program showcases 14 films representing work by filmmakers from around the state, including Austin, Arlington, Corinth, Edinburg, El Paso, Houston, San Antonio, and San Marcos. While some of these films are indeed made by upcoming talent, bringing diverse content and maturing, local voices that can reach universal audiences, the selection also includes the works of veteran filmmakers. As a whole, these films add to Cine Las America’s level of diversity and artistic excellence, and compliment the festival’s international lineup, which includes more than 140 films from over 30 different countries.

“This year has been amazing for Texas films and filmmakers, and with 5 features and 9 shorts, our Hecho en Tejas program is bigger than ever! I think that audiences will be surprised by the level of diversity within this Hecho en Tejas lineup. Both in terms of places in Texas being represented, and Texas filmmakers traveling outside of the state to tell stories of local, national and international interest,” Jean Lauer, Programming Director, Cine Las Americas.

Other sections of the festival also feature Texas-ties, including films in the Emergencia Youth Film Competition, the Cine Joven: Mundos Diferentes telenovela from Austin School of Film, and a retrospective of early Chicano films directed by San Antonio native, Efraín Gutiérrez. More details to come about these programs.

About the ‘Hecho en Tejas’ program

Cine Las Americas presents “Hecho en Tejas,” a series of films shot and/or produced in Texas, to showcase the wide variety of work being produced in the state by filmmakers with varied backgrounds. This year’s Hecho en Tejas film presentations will take place during the festival on Saturday, April 26 and Sunday, April 27 at the Marchesa Hall and Theater, Austin Film Society’s new home for classic, independent and art house film programming. For a fifth consecutive year, Cine Las Americas is pleased to count on a partnership with the Texas Archive of the Moving Image (TAMI), to present a jury award to the best “Hecho en Tejas” film.

About the films

Features

Chateles del campo (Country Kids)
Dir. Jason Outenreath Nicaragua/USA, Documentary, 2013

CHATELES DEL CAMPO is a playful and deeply personal documentary about growing up in rural Nicaragua. Connecting educators, parents, and kids, the film explores crucial issues facing the country through the lighthearted tone of its youthful protagonists. Following the students and teachers of two rural elementary schools over the course of an academic year, school is revealed not just as a place of reading, writing, and arithmetic, but also a place to learn the responsibilities of adulthood that loom large over many children’s daily lives. CHATELES DEL CAMPO explores the space where the forces of education, environment, and childhood collide, and celebrates the fact that no matter the country, culture, or language, kids will be kids.

LaDonna Harris: Indian 101
Dir. Julianna Brannum USA/ New Zealand, Biographical Documentary, 2013

The film is the first documentary about Native activist and national civil rights leader, LaDonna Harris. After moving from Walters, OK to Washington DC with her US Senator husband, Harris began an extensive and public life of Indian political and social activism. One of her first assignments was to educate the executive branch of the US government on the unique role of American Indian Tribes and their relationship with the federal government. This course was called “Indian 101” and was taught for over 35 years. The film explores her achievements, the personal struggles that led her to become a voice for Native peoples, and her contemporary work to reshape Indian Country in America and abroad.

Las Marthas
Dir. Cristina Ibarra USA/ Mexico, Documentary/History, 2013

The annual debutante ball in Laredo, Texas is unlike any other. Part of the largest celebration of George Washington’s birthday in the world, a select group of mostly Mexican-American girls is chosen each year to dress in elaborate gowns representing iconic figures from America’s colonial history. Their goal: to recreate a party hosted by Martha Washington, but this time set along the US/Mexico border. A year in the making, each girl’s dress can weigh 100 lbs and cost up to $30,000 — nearly the median family income of Laredo. Las Marthas follows two of the girls — Laurita Garza Hovel and Rosario Reyes — as they prepare for this extraordinary rite of passage. The theatrical release of this film, which we are pleased to present, features footage and delves more into complexities not included in the broadcast version.

Micha
Dir. Eugene Martin USA, Drama/Coming of Age, 2013

The death eight years ago of Micha’s Lebanese father left he and his Mexican mother destitute. When his mother dies suddenly, it leaves Micha no choice but to leave Mexico and seek work and a future in the United States. Micha attempts to navigate the northern route of migrant and service workers to build a life for himself in Texas. After staying on the streets in Brownsville and Dallas, Micha lands in the small town of Denton, Texas where he meets a homeless young woman, Penny, who helps him learn how to survive and find community. 

Waiting for Sandoval
Dir. David B. Carren USA, Thriller/Fantasy, 2014

Daniel Ortiz lost the only thing that mattered to him when his fiancé was murdered in the jungles of Central America ten years ago. When he attends a stage play about that painful era, Daniel is suddenly pulled into the production itself, and finds himself trapped in a Central American prison the woman he loves. Will he save her? Will they get a second chance? Or will they die together in a place with no name or hope?

Shorts

Almost Crimes Dir. Diego Vega Peru/USA, Drama, 2013
Ex-Votos
Dir. Ivete Lucas Mexico/USA, Drama, 2013
Gift of Gab
Dir. Diego Rico USA, Comedy, 2013
Hinojosa
Dir. Juan Pablo González USA/Mexico, Biographical Documentary, 2013
La cuesta: Worlding a Sidewalk
Dir. Alvaro Torres, Daniel Perera Costa Rica/Guatemala/USA, Experimental Documentary, 2013
Life of Giorgio
Dir. Sergio Carvajal-Leoni USA/Italy, Comedy, 2013
La dama y el caballo
 (The Horse Bride) Dir. Simon Quiroz USA, Drama/Fantasy, 2012
The Good Kind
Dir. Ofelia Yanez USA, Drama/Coming of Age, 2013
The Book of Joe
Dir. Mario Pena USA, Action/Sci-Fi, 2013

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