Cine Las Americas CLA2020 Virtual Showcase premieres this weekend, July 16-19, with a consecutive showcase July 23-26. The virtual event will present 49 films hailing from 12 different countries and will feature the work of over 30 female directors, Indigenous, POC, and LGBTQ+ filmmakers.
Following the postponement of the 23rd edition of Cine Las Americas International Film Festival due to the coronavirus pandemic, Austin’s signature film festival launched the virtual showcase to give films that would have been featured at the film festival this year a featured platform. All films and videos presented in the CLA2020 Virtual Showcase will be offered free of charge, with prior registration, and all will be eligible for Audience Awards in their respective categories.
CLA2020 Virtual Showcase Line-Up
NARRATIVE FEATURE COMPETITION
Director: Patricia Velásquez Guzmán
Countries: Costa Rica/Chile, Running Time: 80 min
Ana is a divorced architect with two daughters. There is a possibility for Ana in her work: a project that would mean moving to Mexico along with professional advance. In the middle of the separation of her parents, and her dad’s cancer diagnosis, Ana will have to make decisions that will affect her entire family.
Director: Fernando Zuber
Country: Argentina, Running Time: 82 min
This is a story about a journey between a father and a son. The father is blind, his son can see. They return to the father’s childhood home in the countryside where Paraguay and Argentina seem to blend. That house and that forest are the last of his visual memories. The son is starting his life and going through puberty. His mission will be to guide his father but the journey will lead to enduring and unforeseen discoveries for both of them.
MAR DE DENTRO (THE SEA WITHIN)
Director: Dainara Toffoli
Country: Brazil, Running Time: 97 min
Manuela is a successful professional who has to deal with the transformation of her body and her routine when she finds herself pregnant. In the midst of these challenges, fate strikes again, affecting her destiny. Despite never contemplating motherhood, when the baby is born, she has to learn to be a mother.
DOCUMENTARY FEATURE COMPETITION
Director: Claudia Escobar
Countries: United States/Mexico, Running Time: 58 min
DEAR HOMELAND tells the story of Mexican singer/songwriter Diana Gameros coming of age in the United States while finding her voice as an artist. Told in large part through her hauntingly beautiful music, her 20-year journey takes her from Ciudad Juárez to San Francisco, where we watch Diana assert herself not only as a musician, but as an immigrant and advocate for immigrant rights. Through music, she finds the courage to share her own story of being undocumented — channeling her fears and the weight of her separation from her family into powerful songs.
ESPERO TUA (RE)VOLTA (YOUR TURN)
Director: Eliza Capai
Country: Brazil, Running Time: 93 min
When Brazil’s economic and social crisis deepened in the last decade, students protested and occupied hundreds of schools, demanding better public education and the end of austerity measures. Inspired by the collective voice of the movement itself, the documentary is narrated by three high school students, who represent central points of their struggle.
Director: Simón Uribe
Country: Colombia, Running Time: 73 min
With more than two dozen curves per mile, the San Francisco-Mocoa highway, where the Andes meet the Amazon jungle, may be the most dangerous road in the world. Shrines dot the route, marking the spots where many have died. In addition to the hair-raising blind turns, it is frequently beset by landslides and catastrophic flooding. Beautifully photographed, geographer Simón Uribe’s SUSPENSIÓN is a mesmerizing cinematic portrait of a deadly road… when disaster strikes.
NARRATIVE SHORTS COMPETITION
Director: Kim Elizondo Navarro
Country: Cuba, Running Time: 13 min
After a long life as a faithful housewife, Cuca (70) faces the death of her husband. The news brings with it the arrival of family and neighbors to her home, forcing her to pause her mourning and attend to the formality of the event. After the rituals, in the privacy of her room, Cuca is shaken by the absence of her husband and faces her solitude for the first time.
Director: Erica Tremblay
Country: United States, Running Time: 12 min
The lives of a Native woman and nine-year-old boy intersect over the course of a school day on a reservation in Oklahoma.
LUGAR ALGUM (NO PLACE)
Director: Gabriel Amaral
Country: Brazil, Running Time: 23 min
When Nego discovers that the cacau farm he lives and works on is going to be sold, he must face not only the loss of his home and job, but also the daily contact he has with the land he cherishes so much.
THE HISTORY OF MONSTERS
Director: Juan Pablo Arias Muñoz
Country: United States, Running Time: 20 min
Haunted every night by monsters of unknown origin, an isolated woman finds a stranger in the woods and struggles between her safety and her sexual desires.
ZAPATOS DE TACÓN CUBANO (CUBAN HEEL SHOES)
Director: Julio Mas Alcaraz
Country: Spain, Running Time: 17 min
Paco and Jose are two teenage boys living in a marginal neighborhood of Madrid, a place hostile to each of their dreams. With serious family problems, and surrounded by an aggressive, macho, homophobic environment, they must lead a double life to hide the beginning of a romantic relationship and their passion for flamenco dance.
DOCUMENTARY SHORTS COMPETITION
BLACKFEET BOXING: NOT INVISIBLE
Directors: Kristen Lappas, Tom Rinaldi
Country: United States, Running Time: 29 min
A boxing gym on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation teaches young girls how to defend themselves in response to over 100 Native American girls and women from Montana having disappeared, been murdered, or their status remains unknown in the past two years.
Directors: Tatiana Issa, Guto Barra
Country: Brazil, Running Time: 19 min
On a small island at the mouth of the Amazon River called Cotijuba, we are invited to meet Dominique, whose mother raised all by herself her three transgender daughters. On the way to visit her mother, Dominique reminisces about her life as a survivor of prostitution and police brutality due to unconditional love, understanding, and affection.
Director: Felipe Holguin Caro
Country: Colombia, Running Time: 14 min
When a couple fights publicly, leave each other and eventually reconcile as if nothing happened, the neighbors organize them a “Cachera”; a bizarre serenade to ridicule them with sharp verses, trumpets, sticks and pans, in the middle of the night.
LA EMINENCIA (THE EXPERT)
Directors: Carlota Coronado, Clara Roca
Country: Spain, Running Time: 22 min
Everything is born with a riddle. A riddle with a very simple answer, but for many people the answer is not so obvious. Why?
YAKONNHÉHKWEN (IT SUSTAINS HER)
Director: Tyotsi’tsyatyerenhton Candace Maracle
Country: Haudenosaunee Territory, Running Time: 17 min
Yakonnhéhkwen is a Kenyen’kéha word meaning “it sustains her.” Ann found healing in the rare traditional Iroquoian art form of black ash basketry. She also became keenly aware that her ancestors were there to show her the way. This is a short film about the depression that brought her to brink of suicide and her journey home, back to her culture and learning to truly value herself as an Onkwehonwe woman and artist.