Ledes from the Land of Enchantment

Cine Magnifico celebrates “New Hollywood” with a hybrid event, films by locals

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) – Albuquerque’s premier Latino film festival opens for the ninth time this weekend. Cine Magnifico is hosting a hybrid event with events and demonstrations both in person and online.

The festival shows 20 films that are New Mexico premieres and all of which are directed by Latin American filmmakers. According to their website, the festival prides itself on its mission to raise awareness of Latino culture.

The Instituto Cervantes de Albuquerque, which oversees the festival, offers Spanish courses, courses in arts and culture, business, teacher training, and more within the National Hispanic Cultural Center. Silvia Rodríguez Grijalba, executive director of the institute, said that this year they would focus on the local film industry, calling New Mexico “New Hollywood”.

The festival will host panels with local and international Latin American and Hispanic filmmakers in the industry. “We thought it would be more interesting if it was online because then everyone could see it. In this way, Albuquerque is made known worldwide, ”said Rodríguez Grijalba.

In addition to four films produced by filmmakers from Albuquerque, films from numerous other Spanish-speaking countries will be shown. Besties, Happy Anniversary, Millennium Bugs, and Scary Finger are films made in New Mexico that showcase local talent.

Happy Anniversary Director DeAngelo Bethea said he was on a mission to create meaningful cinema. “It is important that the Albuquerque community supports and highlights our local Latin American / Hispanic filmmakers because our voice is unique. The stories we have to tell as Latinos are what make our Hispanic heritage so incredibly poetic, ”said Bethea. “As a Latino, I say, this is our time to shine. US-based Latino filmmakers and actors have emerged as strong supporters of the need for inclusion and opportunity. Whether in front of the camera or behind the scenes, Latinos pave the way for filmmakers and others struggling to be heard, seen and understood. “

Christina Gopal was executive producer on her crew on Besties, a short film about a group of teenagers growing up in the modern world. She said she was proud to be a part of something that is so important to the community. “As a Hispanic filmmaker, I think that’s perfect. I am glad that they can bring films with them and present them here because they not only promote us Hispanic filmmakers, but also show the world what we have to offer as filmmakers, ”said Gopal.

Alejandro Montoya Marin is no stranger to filmmaking and has been doing it in Albuquerque for 10 years. For his feature film Millennium Bugs, which revolves around a group of friends in the days before 2000, Montoya Marin wanted to capture the authenticity of Duke City.

“I love working with local talent. I love to work and highlight everything that is local because I feel with the expansion of all businesses coming to Albuquerque. It is critical to maintain some authenticity and local expertise in any productions that are made to show others about Albuquerque so that people from other places can take it with them, learn and become familiar with it, ”said Montoya Marin.

The films will be screened in the Guild Cinema in Nob Hill. For a full list of virtual and in-person events and films, visit cinemegnifico.com.

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