Spotlight on San Antonio

Texas' longest-running Latinx film festival lifts curtain on 2019 lineup

Texas' longest-running Latinx film fest lifts curtain on 2019 lineup

Premature film still
After screening at Sundance, Premature makes its South Texas premiere at CineFestival. Courtesy photo

Part of what makes CineFestival such an important part of Texas' cultural landscape is its emphasis on Texas filmmakers — specifically Latinx filmmakers. Back for its 41st year, the country's longest running Latinx film festival is showcasing dozens of films, including 30 that were shot in Texas and 17 filmed in San Antonio.

San Antonio's Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center once again plays host to the four-day affair, which runs July 11-14. The fest also serve as the backdrop for the world premiere of Phoenix, Oregon, a new movie from San Antonio's own Jesse Borrego.

The festival was curated around this year's theme, "Frontera in Focus," and includes both features and short films in its lineup. Opening the festival on June 11 will be The Infiltrators, directed by Alex Rivera and Cristina Ibarra.

This is the film's official South Texas premiere following its debut at Sundance. According to a release, "The Infiltrators tells the true story of young immigrants who get arrested by border patrol, and put in a shadowy for-profit detention center, on purpose."

Immigration is a key theme of this year's lineup, explains Cristina Balli, executive director of Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center. "Immigration and how it affects communities near the border has emerged as another major theme with filmmakers looking at the issue with fresh eyes and avoiding some of the clichés audiences have seen before," she says via release.

Other special CineFestival events includes an entire program of films from young filmmakers, a curated lineup celebrating female directors, family fun day (complete with a showing of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and more. A complete schedule can be found here.

CineFestival's will close out the long weekend with a showing of Premature, directed by Rashaad Ernesto Green. Like The Infiltrators, Green's film also premiered at Sundance to critical acclaim and will make its South Texas debut during the fest.

Early bird badges are on sale for $40 now through June 14, and includes access to all films. After that date, the price goes to $50. Individual tickets are also available and priced at $10 for evening shows and $8 for daytime shows. After parties, meanwhile, are free.