cinelasamericas.jpgLocation: Austin, Texas

Festival Dates: April 19 – 26, 2007

Deadline: January 15, 2007

Late Deadline: January 31, 2007

Like our Association of the Week, the National Association of Independent Latino Producers, the Cine Las Americas International Film Festival (CLAIFF) is dedicated to promoting the voice of the Latino film community. What began as a Cuban film retrospective in 1997 has blossomed into an eight-day multicultural event that will celebrate the festival’s tenth anniversary in style. “Emerging Latino filmmakers and masters alike were largely invisible in the context of cinema in the U.S.,” says Jacqueline C. Rush Rivera, director of programming at CLAIFF. “Our objective has been to break down these cultural and institutional barriers and I think we are succeeding.”

Over the years, CLAIFF has established itself as an essential part of the Austin film scene, founding several after-school workshops for local high school students and using the festival to showcase the best of Latino and indigenous moviemaking that was often overlooked by more mainstream fests. At this year’s festival, in addition to adding three days to the calendar, CLAIFF plans to introduce a video art program featuring experimental works and more than 100 films made by or about Latinos and indigenous groups of the Americas. Says Rivera of the festival’s impact on its attendees: “Our audience has an opportunity to realize a deeper understanding of various cultures as well as a deeper appreciation of the art form.” For more information on the festival and submitting your film, visit

Sound Off:
What are some of the best underground Latino or indigenous films you’ve seen in recent years? Are film festivals the best way to get films like these into the mainstream consciousness? Let us know in the comments section!