DENTON (UNT), Texas - A film festival at the University of North Texas gives Latino filmmakers an opportunity to show off their perspective on the screen.
The event begins with the red carpet and reception at 6 p.m. Feb. 23 (Friday) and a screening of “La Habitacion,” a drama from Mexico that makes its U.S. debut.
The festival will continue with the screening of 34 films, some with specialized topics such as short features, documentary shorts and young filmmakers. On Feb. 24 (Saturday) at UNT on the Square, there will be a master class in script writing, an awards ceremony honoring actor Jesse Borrego (“Fame,” “Dexter”) for his contributions to the film industry and a panel discussion on “The Latino Image in Hollywood.”
The event will end at 6 p.m. Feb. 25 (Sunday) with a closing night awards celebration that will feature mariachis, Mexican Folklorico dancers and a tribute to Mexican film stars Pedro Infante and Cantinflas.
What: Festival de Cine Latino Americano, a film festival featuring films from Latin America and panel discussions, sponsored by the nonprofit organization of the same name and the University of North Texas’ Department of Media Arts.
When and Where: Feb. 23 (Friday)-Feb. 25 (Sunday) at various times and locations at the University of North Texas and UNT on the Square, 109 N. Elm St. Find a schedule at http://fdcla.org/tickets---info.html#schedule.
Cost: Tickets cost $5 for film blocks, $20 for student VIP passes and $30 for general VIP passes. Buy tickets at https://filmfreeway.com/FestivalDeCineLatinoAmeria/tickets.
More information: Visit UNT’s transportation services website to learn more about parking, including new rules. Patrons have two options for parking:
1.) ADA/handicapped patrons may park directly east of the Radio, Television, Film and Performing Arts Building (RTFP) in Lot 50 in the designated spaces.
2.) Patrons may pay to park through the app ParkMobile in the Union Circle Parking Garage.
Filmmakers submit their films through an online panel, with about half making the cut for the festival, said Gabriel Duran, a filmmaker and lecturer of media arts at UNT. The first festival took place in 2016 in Fort Worth.
Duran says the festival serves as a springboard for those who don’t have an opportunity to show their movies outside their native countries. Filmmakers come from Brazil, Cuba, Honduras, Mexico, Peru and Spain.
“It’s a good thing to see films outside the norm,” Duran said. “Being a filmmaker, I would show up at other festivals and I could relate to one or two films.”
Rudy Cervantez, who graduated in 2016 as a radio-television-film major, will present his film “That’s My Boy,” about a boy who is fed his favorite dish. The film is only 15 seconds long.
The film has been shown at 30 festivals around the world, but he said it was important to be seen at a festival devoted to Latino filmmakers. At the Houston Latino Film Festival, one audience member approached him after the screening and question-and-answer session and told him, “It was really nice to see a Hispanic film director at the end of the movie.”
“That put a smile on a face,” Cervantez said. “I think it’s important just to show there are people who are not given an opportunity or voice.”