CineFestival kicks off its 42nd year on the West Side

80 films featured as part of festival at Guadalupe Theater

CineFestival is celebrating its 42nd year at the historic Guadalupe Theater on the City’s West Side with 80 films.
CineFestival is celebrating its 42nd year at the historic Guadalupe Theater on the City’s West Side with 80 films.

SAN ANTONIO – CineFestival is celebrating its 42nd year at the historic Guadalupe Theater on the City’s West Side with 80 films.

According to the event’s organizers, CineFestival was made possible this year by a $25,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

More than half of the films are from Texas, with seven feature films and 23 short films having close ties to San Antonio, including the documentary, “Juanito’s Lab”.

On opening night Wednesday, visitors got to see the documentary that took 15 years to make. “Juanito’s Lab” focuses on the life of the blind musician and popular accordionist, Juanito Castillo. The film was directed by Guillermina Zabala and Enrique Lopetegui.

“‘I’ve known the directors Guillermina and Enrique for so long,” Jesse Borrego said. Borrego is a San Antonio native and actor most known for his performance in the movie “Blood In Blood Out”.

Actor and San Antonio native, Jesse Borrego excited about the 42nd CineFestival. (Copyright 2021 by KSAT - All rights reserved.)

“I’ve known them as journalists, as writers, as producers, as filmmakers, and so, it’s beautiful to see their dream project come to fruition and (share) it with the audience (at) Cine Festival,” he said.

Included in the San Antonio film showcase are “Dangerous in Daylight”, “Emma Tenayuca and the 1938 San Antonio Pecan Shellers Strike”, “Marbachumentary”, “Sandra’s Return”, “El Camaroncito” and more.

For Borrego, supporting young talent is a big part of his life. Borrego said he wants to help Latinx filmmakers keep telling their stories and those of their brown communities.

“I frequently see our stories in the entertainment world being taken over by another cultural perspective,” Borrego said. “That’s what I call the “cultural uncanny valley”, you know, where they miss that boat. And I think the solution is exactly what they’re talking about: more inclusion.”

CineFestival runs through Saturday with the closing night film “Love and Baseball” directed by San Antonio native, Steve Acevedo.

Tickets are available and can be purchased online for $8 or a CineFestival pass for $40. Proceeds of CineFestival benefit the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center to help continue with their mission to cultivate, promote and preserve Chicano, Latino and Native American arts and culture.

To purchase tickets and see the film guide, click here.


About the Authors:

Alicia Barrera is a KSAT 12 News reporter and anchor. She is also a co-host of the streaming show KSAT News Now. Alicia is a first-generation Mexican-American, fluent in both Spanish and English with a bachelor's degree from Our Lady of the Lake University. She enjoys reading books, traveling solo across Mexico and spending time with family.