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Fronteras: CineFestival enters its 45th year of highlighting the Latino experience on the big screen

CineFestival is the original and longest running Latino film festival in the U.S.

It returns to San Antonio for its 45th year with over 70 screenings of documentaries, feature-length films, and shorts.

Eugenio del Bosque, the festival’s director, said CineFestival has a long history of highlighting Latino filmmakers from San Antonio, the state of Texas, and the world.

“CineFestival became a large international film festival with a very strong presence of Mexican cinema in the `70s in the `80s, for obvious reasons – San Antonio being an enclave of Mexican culture,” he said.

Eugenio del Bosque, director, CineFestival
Eugenio del Bosque, director, CineFestival

One film featured at CineFestival is La Frontera, directed by filmmaker and El Paso native, Iliana Sosa. The Austin resident said it’s part of a trilogy produced by HBO called God Save Texas.

“I feel very lucky to have had the opportunity to direct this episode,” she said. “It felt like a huge responsibility to try to really convey the complexity of la frontera and we explore issues of nepantla in the episode -- the state of in-betweenness which a lot of fronterizos/fronterizas experience, and I think also people of color in this country.”

Another film featured at the festival is The In Between by Eagle Pass native, Robie Flores. She returned to her hometown in the wake of her brother’s death and the 2016 election to recapture the essence of her childhood.

“One of the biggest topics of the time was the border and people coming through. We know all that rhetoric,” she said. “And to be there at the center of the news at that time was so disorienting, because I was like, ‘did I just imagine my entire childhood, or what?’”

Catch La Frontera, The In Between, dozens more films, and other special events at CineFestival, July 11-14, at San Antonio’s Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Park North (map), and at the Carver Community Cultural Center (map).

Ticket information and a complete list of events and screenings is available here.

Norma Martinez can be reached at norma@tpr.org and on Twitter at @NormDog1