Monthly Archives: April 2011

Trina Calderon, Character Development and Screenwriter, Down for Life, Offers Master Class

Mexican American Cultural Center, Black Box Theater
Thurs. April 28th 4:00 PM

A Latina screenwriter, in the current US film industry, is rare. Maybe not as rare as it was 20 years ago, but most of the films at the theater don’t have many Latina filmmakers in the credits. It remains the case that the business does not offer Latinas many of the same opportunities that men making action or thriller films seem to get. Join Writers Guild of America, West (WGAW) member Trina Calderon as she discusses her work on the film Down for Life (Dir. Alan Jacobs), for which she was hired to develop a script based on a true story of gang life and death in South Central Los Angeles. Down for Life is Trina’s first screenplay to be produced, and she considers herself lucky that she was able to write a Latina story.

For more information visit:

Cine Las Americas Film Fest Runs April 21-28, 2011


The 14th Cine Las Americas International Film Festival runs April 21-28, 2011. This year’s lineup includes over 100 films, of which 62 are feature films and include many World, North American and Regional Premieres, both independent and bigger budget films from all over the world including Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Spain, Portugal.

Julio Hernandez Cordon’s Marimbas del Infierno (Marimbas from Hell) will open the fest at 7pm on Thursday, April 21 at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar in Austin. Produced in Guatemala, this film boldly explores the boundaries of fiction and documentary. Closing the festival is Matias Bize’s La Vida de los Peces (Life of Fish) at 9:45 pm on Thursday, April 28 also at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar. The film was Chile’s foreign-language Oscar submission in 2011 and features actors Santiago Cabrera and Blanca Lewin.

Marimbas del Infierno (Marimbas from Hell) is a comical documentary following three unlikely characters from Guatemala city as they attempt to fuse improbable music styles, marimba and heavy metal. La Vida de los Peces (Life of Fish) is a Chilean drama that follows the life of Andrés, a 30ish travel writer based in Berlin who returns home to Chile for a reunion that could change Andrés’ life forever.

In addition to a full lineup at the Alamo Drafthouse South Lamar, Cine Las Americas will be showcasing many free screenings at the Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center (MACC) as well as providing the local austin community with the opportunity to attend free Master Classes with industry professionals.

To view full lineup, please visit:

Thursday, April 21 Film Screening: “IMPUNITY: What kind of war for Colombia?”

IMPUNITY: What kind of war for Colombia?” is an award-winning documentary by José Lozano and Hollman Morris

Thursday, April 21, 2011
6:00 PM
Studio 4D
, room 4.122 at CMB building (KLRU/KUT building)
Free and Open to the public.

Screening of the new, award-winning documentary, followed by discussion with Hollman Morris.
Colombia today: the biggest trial against Paramilitary armies – accused of killing thousands of Colombians – is designed to create “peace and justice”. Instead the process comes to an abrupt halt, when the political and economic interests in the paramilitary war are uncovered.
Are the victims’ families doomed to stay victims forever or are they able to fight Impunity.

Hollman Morris is an award-winning Colombian journalist who founded Contravía (Countercurrent), a television show that reports on the impact of the country’s long-running social and armed conflict with the most marginalized members of Colombian society, including its peasants, Afro-descendants, and indigenous peoples. His exclusive eyewitness accounts have won him international recognition, as well as intimidation and death threats. Although the U.S. denied him a visa recently, international pressure led the government reverse its decision. Currently he is a Nieman fellow at Harvard University

Mexican Documentary “Circo” showing soon in Austin’s newest theater

LMS alumnus Elizabeth Skerrett asked us to share this information with you. The Violet Crown Cinema is opening in Austin on April 29. Violet Crown is a modern art house cinema located on 2nd Street in between Guadalupe and San Antonio, that will soon showcase art, independent, documentary and international film.

Set within a century-old traveling circus, CIRCO is an intimate portrait of a Mexican family struggling to stay together despite mounting debt, dwindling audiences, and a simmering family conflict that threatens this once-vibrant family tradition. Tino, the ringmaster, is driven by his dream to lead his parents’ circus to success and corrals the energy of his whole family, including his four young children, towards this singular goal. But his wife Ivonne is determined to make a change. Feeling exploited by her in-laws, she longs to return to her kids a childhood lost to laboring in the circus.

Filmed along the backroads of rural Mexico, this cinematic road movie opens the viewer to the luminous world of a traveling circus while examining the universal themes of family bonds, filial responsibility, and the weight of cultural inheritance. Through an intricately woven story of a marriage in trouble and of a century-old family tradition that hangs in the balance, CIRCO asks: To whom and to what should we ultimately owe our allegiances?

April 14: Lecture on U.S. Spanish-language Radio

CMAS Plática: Inés Casillas
Sounds of Surveillance: U.S. Spanish-language Radio Patrols La Migra

Thursday, April 14, 2011
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Chicano Culture Room (UNB 4.206),
Texas Union, The University of Texas at Austin

Both the number of U.S. Spanish-language radio stations and the budget for U.S.-Mexico border enforcement have undergone unprecedented growth since the 1980s. While trade magazines credit booming Latino population numbers for radio’s growth, Professor Dolores Inés Casillas (UC Santa Barbara) argues that the immigration climate has transformed the character of Spanish-language programming. U.S. Spanish-language radio serves as an acoustic ally for Latino listeners – particularly for its most legally vulnerable immigrant listeners – as they “navigate” the U.S. during moments of political discrimination.

UT homepage features Latino filmmakers in the Dept of RTF

This week’s UT homepage feature is about Latino filmmakers in the Dept of RTF. A companion piece, on MFA candidate Ivete Lucas, is on the Know website. Links are included below.