Carlos Almaraz: Playing With Fire
Carlos Almaraz: Playing With Fire

Feature films, short films, music videos, and more, highlighting a diversity of themes, genres, and styles characteristic of contemporary national and international cinema trends will be presented at the twenty-second Cine Las Americas International Film Festival (CLAIFF22), May 1 to 5, 2019, in Austin, Texas.

This year’s CLAIFF will kick off on Wednesday, May 1st, with the documentary CARLOS ALMARAZ: PLAYING WITH FIRE at the AFS Cinema – with co-director Richard Montoya in attendance. Carlos Almaraz was one of the leading figures in the Chicano art movement of the ’70s and ’80s and the subject of a recent LACMA exhibition. CARLOS ALMARAZ: PLAYING WITH FIRE is the first ever retrospective look at the life, work, and legacy of this important figure in Chicano culture whose life was tragically cut short by AIDS in 1989. The film is co-directed by multimedia artist Elsa Flores Almaraz and features interviews with Edward James Olmos, Cheech Marin, and Shepard Fairey.

The spotlight films at AFS Cinema continue on Thursday evening, May 2nd, with a screening of  WINDOWS ON THE WORLD. WINDOWS ON THE WORLD, a film about a father and son, stars Edward James Olmos and is directed by his son Michael D. Olmos. Ed Olmos stars as Balthazar an undocumented busboy working at the top floor restaurant Windows on the World on the morning of 9/11. His family, including his son Fernando are back in Mexico and can only watch TV while they await word from Balthazar. As the days turn to weeks Fernando decides to make the journey from Mexico to New York City. Along the way, he discovers the hard truths about his father, the melting pot of America, and the immigrant experience.

Friday evening’s 8pm headliner at AFS Cinema is HUACHICOLERO (THE GASOLINE THIEVES), the debut feature film from Mexican filmmaker Edgar Nito. The plot centers on Lalo, a teenager in need of quick cash to try and win the affection of Ana. He turns to the local huachicoleros, gangsters who siphon off gas from government pipelines and sell it on the black market. His plan backfires when he realizes one of the thieves has feelings for Ana as well.

And at 8pm on Saturday evening at AFS Cinema, Austin Film Society co-presents with CLAIFF the enigmatic EMPTY METAL directed by Adam Khalil and Bayley Sweitzer, a film that is at times political manifesto, revolutionary treatise, or post apocalyptic fantasy, depending on your point of view; a bracing, challenging call to arms – perhaps literally. EMPTY METAL world premiered at the Film Society Lincoln Center in 2018 where they wrote about the film: “Filled with energy, rage, and the smallest measure of hope, EMPTY METAL is a new kind of political film for these extraordinary times.” Khalil will be present at the screening for discussion and Q&A about this polemic film. 

On closing night, May 5th at AFS Cinema, CLAIFF will present this year’s festival award winners, followed by a screening of the Peruvian box office hit NO ME DIGAS SOLTERONA (DON’T CALL ME A SPINSTER), written and directed by Ani Alva. In this film, Ani aims to offer a fresh take on the classic romantic comedy. Patricia is a 35-year-old hopeless romantic who discovers her long-time boyfriend Alonso has cheated on her with beautiful 20 year old Belén, just before their wedding. Patricia is forced to return to the ranks of single life where she will try to survive with the help of her close friends. To add to her troubles, her mother reminds her daily that she’s about to miss the boat. NO ME DIGAS SOLTERONA has been a success as it has been watched by almost 900 thousand viewers, making Ani the first female director to achieve such success at the box office in Peru, and now it comes to Austin.

22nd Annual Cine Las Americas International Film Festival Linep


OPENING NIGHT: Carlos Almaraz: Playing with Fire, Dirs. Elsa Flores Almaraz & Richard Montoya, USA 

CLOSING NIGHT:No me digas solterona (Don’t Call Me a Spinster), Dir. Ani Alva Helfer, Peru 

Additional New Release Titles:

* América, Dirs. Erick Stoll & Chase Whiteside, USA 

* Boni Bonita, Dir. Daniel Barosa, Brazil/Argentina 

* Cómprame un revólver (Buy Me a Gun), Dir. Julio Hernández Cordón, Mexico/Colombia 

* Councilwoman, Dir. Margo Guernsey, USA 

* El baile de la gacela (The Gazelle’s Dance), Dir. Iván Porras Meléndez, Costa Rica/Mexico 

* El pueblo soy yo: Venezuela en populismo (I Am the People: Venezuela Under Populism), Dir. Carlos Oteyza, Venezuela/Mexico 

* El silencio de otros (The Silence of Others), Dirs. Almudena Carracedo & Robert Bahar, Spain/USA/Canada/France 

* Empty Metal, Dirs. Adam Khalil & Bayley Sweitzer, USA 

* Enigma, Dir. Ignacio Juricic Merillán, Chile 

* Falls Around Her, Dir. Darlene Naponse, Canada 

* Harvest Season, Dir. Bernardo Ruiz, USA 

* Huachicolero (The Gasoline Thieves), Dir. Edgar Nito Arrache, Mexico/USA/UK/Spain 

* La camarista (The Chambermaid), Dir. Lila Avilés, Mexico 

* Lo que siento por ti (What I Feel for You), Dir. Raúl Camilo, Dominican Republic 

* Mamacita, Dir. José Pablo Estrada Torrescano, Mexico/Germany 

* Rojo, Dir. Benjamin Naishtat, Argentina/Brazil/France/Netherlands/Germany 

* Rutas en febrero (Roads in February), Dir. Katherine Jerkovic, Canada/Uruguay 

* Segunda estrella a la derecha (Second Star to the Right), Dir. Ruth Caudeli, Colombia 

* Singing Our Way to Freedom, Dir. Paul Espinosa, USA 

* Socrates, Dir. Alexandre Moratto, Brazil 

* Tarde para morir joven (Too Late to Die Young), Dir. Dominga Sotomayor, Chile/Brazil/Argentina/Netherlands/Qatar 

* Temporada (Long Way Home), Dir. André Novais Oliveira, Brazil 

* Vientos del sur (Southern Winds), Dir. Franco García Becerra, Peru 

* Windows on the World, Dir. Michael D. Olmos, USA


* Collisions, Dir. Richard Levien, USA 

* Guerra de Algodão (The Cotton Wool War), Dirs. Marília Hughes & Cláudio Marques, Brazil 

* Medea, Dir. Alexandra Latishev, Costa Rica/Chile/Argentina 

* Ocho de cada diez (Eight out of Ten), Dir. Sergio Umansky Brener, Mexico 

* The Grizzlies, Dir. Miranda de Pencier, Canada


* Bakosó: AfroBeats de Cuba (Bakosó: AfroBeats of Cuba), Dir. Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi, Cuba/USA 

* El silencio es un cuerpo que cae (Silence is a Falling Body), Dir. Agustina Comedi, Argentina 

* Midnight Family, Dir. Luke Lorentzen, Mexico 

* Nos llaman guerreras (They Call Us Warriors), Dirs. Jennifer Socorro & Edwin Corona Ramos & David Alonso, Venezuela/USA/Mexico/Jordan 

* Warrior Women, Dirs. Elizabeth Castle & Christina D. King, USA


Feature Film: 

* Bentley’s Will, Dir. Zachary P Grigg, USA 

Short Films: 

* Cake, Dir. Esmeralda Hernandez, USA 

* Cantina, Dirs. Erik Mauck & Daniel Reyes, USA 

* First Generation, Dir. Aaron Chávez, USA 

* Plane Pretend, Dir. Sharon Arteaga, USA 

* The Bubbleman, Dir. Sachin Dheeraj Mudigonda, USA 

* This Feels Like a Setup, Dir. Patrick Higgins, USA 

* West of Leona, Dir. Christopher James Thompson, USA


* Hombre, Dir. Juan Pablo Arias Muñoz, Chile 

* ĩuja ɓekea (Swamp), Dir. Juan Sebastián Mesa, Colombia 

* Lo cotidiano (The Usual), Dir. David Lara, Spain 

* Me 3.796, Dir. Elaine Del Valle, USA 

* O Órfão (The Orphan), Dir. Carolina Markowicz, Brazil


* A Cabeça e a Mão (The Head & the Hand), Dir. Marc Serpa Francoeur, Portugal/Canada 

* Abrázame, Dir. Jas Doyle Pitt, Bolivia/UK 

* El vuelo de Michael (Michael’s Flight), Dir. Jesús de Frutos Ayaso, Spain 

* Fast Horse, Dir. Alexandra Lazarowich, Canada 

* La Flaca (The Bony Lady) Dirs. Adriana Barbosa & Thiago Zanato, USA/Brazil/Mexico


* Columbus on Trial, Dir. Lourdes Portillo, USA 

* Corpus: A Home Movie for Selena, Dir. Lourdes Portillo, USA 

* Vida, Dir. Lourdes Portillo, USA


* A morir a los desiertos (To Die in the Deserts), Dir. Marta Ferrer Carné, Mexico 

* Hasta los dientes (Armed to the Teeth), Dir. Alberto Arnaut Estrada, Mexico


* 7 Planets, Dir. Milda Baginskaite, UK 

* Before I Forget, Dir. Razan Hassan, Syrian Arab Republic 

* Birth on the Border, Dir. Ellie Lobovits, USA/Mexico 

* En la Frontera del Arte (On the Margins of Art), Dirs. Miranda Harris-Martinez & Mike Curran, USA/Mexico 

* Hashtł’ishnii (Mud), Dir. Shaandiin Tome, USA 

* Salt in Wounds, Dir. Alison Adriano, Australia


* After the Silence, Dir. Natalie Cubides-Brady, UK/Colombia 

* Ánima, Dir. Fátima Tamayo Anchuelo, Spain 

* Bolas Criollas (Creole Balls), Dirs. Juan Vicente Manrique & Vittorio Dugarte Barbarito, Venezuela 

* Contramaré, Dir. Daniel Marenco, Brazil 

* Es confuso (It’s Confusing), Dir. Matthew Bernard, Cuba/USA 

* Hooghan (Home), Dir. Blackhorse Lowe, USA 

* Libre, Dir. Anna Barsan, USA 

* San Miguel, Dir. Cris Gris, Mexico/USA * Sin vergüenza (Without Shame), Dir. David E. Valdez, USA 

* Sweetheart Dancers, Dir. Ben-Alex Dupris, USA 

* The Ronaldo-over, Dir. Hugh Mitton, UK/Portugal * Wakcha, Dir. Pierre G. Llanos, Peru


Competition Line-up: 

* Atiza, Dir. Arturo Segoviano, Music by Chhoti Maa, Mexico/USA 

* Fantasia, Dir. Caitlin Díaz, Music by Sávila, USA 

* La Victoria, Dirs. Lido Pimienta & Gustavo Cerquera Benjumea, Music by Chancha Via Circuito featuring Lido Pimienta and Manu Ranks, Canada/Colombia 

* Por encima (Above Mountains), Dirs. Camilo Iguarán & Liliana Conde Sierra, Music by MAKU Soundsystem, Colombia/USA 

* Una Casita (A Little Home), Dir. Tatiana del Fuego, Music By STEFA*, USA Official Selection,

Non-competition Line-up: 

* La Diaspora, Dir. Cutter Hodierne, Music by Nitty Scott, USA/Mexico 

* La Llorona (The Weeping Woman), Dir. Tanya Marin, Music by Tanya Marin, USA 

* Marinos, Dir. Omar Zuñiga, Music by Francisco Victoria, Chile 

* Obsidiana, Dir. Camilo Coba Riofrio, Music by Nicola Cruz, Ecuador 

* Santuario (Sanctuary), Dir. Alex Palma, Music by Lester Rey featuring Ric Wilson, USA 

* Veneno, Dir. Hugo Rubiano, Music by Monsieur Periné, Colombia Special Presentation, Videos by Oro Pictures 

* All I Can Say, Dir. Hugo Rubiano, Music by Tempe, Colombia 

* Conexión, Dir. Hugo Rubiano, Music by Juan Pablo Vega, Colombia 

* Hoy para siempre, Dir. Hugo Rubiano, Music by Los Rolling Ruanas featuring Catalina García, Colombia 

* La sombra, Dir. Hugo Rubiano, Music by Monsieur Periné, Colombia


* Lionhearted, Dir. Ricarda Saleh, Germany 

* Tragicomedia, Dir. Vadim Lasca, Music by Le Cinema, Venezuela


* Los ladrones viejos: Las leyendas del artegio (Old Thieves: The Legend of Artegio), Dir. Everardo González, Mexico

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