Last night I attended the Opening Night party for this year’s Cine Las Americas Film Festival. The fest, in its 8th year, is an annual celebration of new work in the world of Latin American and Native American filmmaking. The party last night was a nice way to get my body ready for the endless activity (and yes, that includes parties) I’ll experience as I leave for Tribeca on Friday.
The Opening Night film, which I did not catch, was Machuca from Chile. But worry not, I’ve seen many of the films in the festival. I’m one of three jurors for the Features and Shorts competition. So I’ve spent a lot of my time going through various films in advance of the festival. One of the things I can certainly say is this: judging by the shorts I watched, there are some amazing Mexican filmmakers about to break big once they make features.
There’s been the controversy surrounding the Mexican film industry over the last year or so, and the worry about losing funding, is warranted. The talent is booming there in a big, big way. Some of the shorts filmmakers from Mexico you should keep an eye on? Gabriela Monroy, Tim Parsa, and Andrea Eduardina Casar Acosta to name just a few. There are also plenty of filmmakers from Chile, Argentina, and more that look promising. But the wealth of talent to come out of a country in danger of losing essential film financing is staggering. It’s great that something like Cine Las Americas can exist to keep us all aware.