San Antonio's CineFestival, the nation's longest-running Latino film festival, starts Thursday

Screenings will run through Sunday at Alamo Drafthouse Park North and the Little Carver Civic Center.

click to enlarge The Compass, an anthology featuring hometown star Jesse Borrego (Blood In, Blood Out), is among the films screening at CineFestival 2024. - Courtesy Photo / Guillermina Zabala
Courtesy Photo / Guillermina Zabala
The Compass, an anthology featuring hometown star Jesse Borrego (Blood In, Blood Out), is among the films screening at CineFestival 2024.
CineFestival, the longest-running Latino film festival in the nation, is back for its 45th edition.

This year, the event continues with its focus on Texas filmmakers, especially those from the 210. The festival kicks off July 11 at the Little Carver Civic Center with screenings of local short films, including student films, in the Vistas de San Antonio program. These shorts include The Compass, an anthology film featuring hometown star Jesse Borrego (Blood In, Blood Out).

The first feature screening, San Antonio director director Isaac Rodriguez’s Tamale Season, follows a traditional, family-owned tamale shop as it struggles to survive competition from a tamale shop with healthier options that opens in the neighborhood.

On July 12, one episode of the HBO docuseries God Save Texas will screen with Austin-based director Iliana Sosa in attendance. The episode explores the ever-changing relationship the U.S. has with migrants from south of the border and how first-generation immigrant children like herself connect to their own identity as they navigate two cultures.

Sosa and fellow filmmaker Robie Flores, who’s presenting her film The In Between, will lead a July 13 master class for attendees. That evening will include a screening of Flores’ coming-of-age documentary, which centers on quinceañeras in South Texas.

On July 14, the festival will close with the feature A Little Family Drama from filmmaker Nadia Zoe. The film tells the story of a Mexican American family preparing for a family reunion.

Other events taking place at this year’s festival include screenings in the U.S. Showcase and Texas Showcase categories and a special 30th anniversary screening of the 1994 film ...and the Earth Did Not Swallow Him (...y no se lo tragó la tierra) from director and co-write Severo Perez.

Festival-goers also should try to fit in some of the Mequite Award-nominated films throughout the week, including the short 3:00am The Graveyard Shift from Matamoros native Armando Ramirez Cardenas and the documentary short Savior from San Antonio director and producer Ray Santisteban.

“From an audience perspective, I’m excited that they’ll be able to watch films that they won’t be able to see anywhere else and hopefully see themselves reflected in these stories,” said Eugenio del Bosque, Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center grants manager and CineFestival director. “For the artists, I’m excited that they will get the opportunity to network and to see work that relates to their own work. In general, I’m excited to create a movement and make more things happen for filmmaking in San Antonio.”

Free (some events)-$45 (all-access pass), various times, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema Park North, 618 Northwest Loop 410 Suite 307, and Little Carver Civic Center at the Carver Community Cultural Center, 226 N. Hackberry St.,

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