Picture the scene: a short, empathetic Mexican woman dedicated to the art of massage has abruptly and unexpectedly entered into this superficial dynamics of extremely wealthy people gathering with a glass of exquisite cocktails. She remains unseen because she, herself, is not able to fit into this social ambiance in which she rarely believes and yet moves around to somehow make her point within such an elitist view of life. Her name is Beatriz and she is totally out of place. 

Salma Hayek claims this role along with her astonishing performance as the Mexican Goddess, Frida Kahlo, to be her favorite performances of all her long career as an actress. Perhaps this has to do with Beatriz´connection to life itself and those who live in it. The actress has said to own a bunch of animals including dogs, cats, goats, birds and gold-fishes. But what is it that makes this role so special for the universal Mexican actress?


Beatriz (Salma Hayek) is about to participate in a revealing dinner with totally different people


It may be her simplicity, which combined with the hypocrisy of Californian elite resounds days after watching the movie. It could very well be her strong connection and empathy with the surroundings. The audience is able to feel her aching heart for human abusive behavior when it comes to his attitude towards the Earth, animals and other human beings. Perhaps what makes this specific role special is how unexpected the story turns out by the end of it, leaving each and everyone perplexed after witnessing what more than one would enjoy doing... Don´t worry, I am not going to make any spoiler. 

I may be the reflective type rather than the fireworks lover. Perhaps this movie, which my friends claim to be weird-ish, heads towards an attempt of providing a Woody Allen or French-like gathering around a table, good wine and profound conversation about what life looks like and what´s our place in it. However, Beatriz at dinner seems to go beyond. It´s not just an inner (I am guilty) pleasure observing an apparently defenseless woman trying to defeat individuals oblivious to nowadays reality but also quite enjoyable to do so through a powerful woman that transcends her character. 

It seems to me that class clashing is among the most interesting things in this social-political turmoil that cinema can provide. It must not be easy to take part in a diametrically opposed ambiance where your ideas are shuttered by people you don´t necessarily agree with, but at least Beatriz can say aloud she sticks to her principles and keeps being coherent with them. She deliberately tries to make her points over and over again unsuccessfully, embarrassing the guests continuously. The thing is that being out of place is a complete art.                                                    


Happy belated Father´s Day 2017 from ALFF ¡Cine Magnífico! 

People will wonder why it is we are wishing you all a happy Father´s Day. The one and only reason is that we like to wish our beloved parents day after day how great they are! Cinema has shown over the years this strong bond that unites us with our fathers no matter where or when. If I may, this works also as a personal call to tell mine, who is far away in Spain, how much I love him. Now, who would be the first loving father that would come to your mind within the 7th Art? I guess there are as many tastes as colors and yet one of them could be... Bingo! Robin Williams in Mrs. Doubtfire, perhaps the most representative example of a fighter, knowing the situation he and his family is confronting and never giving up on his children. 


Mrs. Doubtfire having fun while cleaning 


If you also have straight away several examples of movies where giving fathers work so hard to make their children´s life better, that could only mean two things: a father is irreplaceable and loving cinema makes you one of us!

Today is the World Environment Day and we want to celebrate it by making visible important values such as respect for nature, sustainable development and green attitude diffusion. Being part of the cinema sphere implies relating the latter with everything taking part of our society. Environmental awareness is no longer seen as a hippy concern but rather as a world-wide issue involving every human being no matter the background.

The world needs to be protected not owned and spreading the word about this is crucial for every living thing on planet Earth. Cinema has showed us over the years different sides of nature either from a catastrophic perspective, an educational one or else romanticized. Every case has helped however to increase environmental awareness in many different levels. The 7th Art is a great platform to serve major causes in a remarkably artistic way.

Here we offer a small selection of movies visibly related to the environment: 


"Avatar" (2009) by James Cameron is one of the highest-grossing films ever, widely known by its fierce nature preservation message


"Finding Nemo" (2003) by Andrew Stanton and Lee Unkrich under Disney and Pixar alliance came to revolutionized animation movies and at the same time making us reflect on the importance of cooperating with one another and respecting the marine environment 


"Before the flood" (2016) by Fisher Stevens under National Geographic and with the actor Leonardo DiCaprio is one of the most recent, devastating portraits of human unlimited consumerism and its consequences 

Every kind of film may show very well the issue in question: fiction, animated and documentary. Each and one of the ones here have shaped somehow my view on nature and how I can deconstruct at least partially the unlimited consumerism mode I have been raised in. Let´s take a step further in protecting the environment and let´s make cinema a great part of the process.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017 13:54

Support ¡Cine Magnífico!

Written by

Dear friends of our Albuquerque Latino Film Festival ¡Cine Magnífico!

This is a calling aiming to get your support. I know we are constantly overwhelmed by the massive amount of proposals looking for as much supporters as possible. We cannot fight against that and yet I truly think this is worth it. By supporting ¡Cine Magnífico! financially you are not only strengthening individual creators from all over the Hispanic-American sphere and broadly speaking Art as a means to reach people with many different backgrounds; but also participating from a certainly special way of life. Being Hispanic-American is defined by a characteristic sense of humor, the power to keep moving ahead as well as a loving attitude towards family, friends and universal values. Creating the conditions so that these creators can tell the stories they want is a beautiful act of comradeship and ultimately a matter of awareness when it comes to diversity. 

Donations may be done in any quantity, we appreciate every kind and truly thank our supporters. We understand crowdfunding campaigns are usually boosted by individuals and yet there must be those sponsors who want to contribute with bigger quantities so here there is the information in that regard:


The crowdfunding campaign is already on air, so there we go! Make sure you enjoy cinema as we certainly do. 

Instituto Cervantes Albuquerque is very proud to launch the 5 th Edition of the Albuquerque Latino Film Festival ¡Cine Magnífico! in collaboration with the National Hispanic Cultural Center, Guild Cinema and the Latin American & Iberian Institute. This year 2017 the festival will be running from September 14 th to 17 th , three whole days in which people will have the chance to enjoy cinema proposals from all over the Latin American sphere, with Hispanic culture as the core topic in relation to many other socially important topics such as migration, cultural identity, LGTBQ, Spanish language, indigenous and so on.

ALFF ¡Cine Magnífico! is not unaware of the recent political turmoil going on in nowadays worldwide society, especially for the Hispanic American community in the USA. That is why more than ever we need as much of the support we all can provide from Latinos in Albuquerque and broadly speaking New Mexico to unite for a common cause: CINEMA.

We believe in cinema as an extremely powerful tool to empower people, to let them dream, to allow them access to information and hence participate actively from what´s going on around us. We believe in cinema as a means to confront and deceive prejudices, to speak up for those in an unprivileged position. Let´s work together for a non frivolous use of this magnificent Art.

This 2017 ALFF ¡Cine Magnífico! is going to be a gathering of people rowing to the same purpose: normalize diversity, what´s more, celebrate it. We understand how New Mexicans are deeply in touch with their roots and do want to strengthen that beautiful sense of identity that above all constitutes an ode to unity. Countries such as the USA, Mexico, Cuba, Venezuela, Spain, Chile, Argentina and many more will be participating with courageous cinema proposals ranging from feature films to short films, documentaries, dramas, comedies, thrillers, road movies… just as the diversity we want to highlight.

Take a step forward and join us from whatever perspective you may want to contribute: filmmaking, festival volunteering and general public. You will enjoy a series of events full of surprises and love for cinema. Mark your agenda because this late September you have a rendez- vous with the 7 th Art.

Selecting the best recent Latino cinema is our task, yours is to live it, love it and spread the word about it!

mr kaplan stillAlvaro Brechner’s second feature length film, Mr. Kaplan, has received international acclaim as well as the honor of representing the nation of Uruguay as best foreign language film in several festivals throughout the world.  Part of the international appeal of Mr Kaplan, aside from its mixture of the profound and the humorous, the tragic and the comic, this film centers on a subject familiar to all, especially in today’s world: memory. 

As the world has seemed since the second World War to be engaged in an unending war that may switch setting from decade to decade, but always focuses around the same issues of fear and insurgency, it has become increasingly difficult for national communities to construct collective historical memories.  Because information and narratives of political conflict saturate our every glance at a television or cell phone screen, notions of exactly what is happening and why become increasingly difficult to grasp as a collective whole.  One community that has been struggling with this process since the second World War are the world’s Jews, many of whom are spread out from places like Israel, to New York to Uruguay and Argentina.  Capturing ninety year old Nazis and extraditing them to Israel has been a common motif for south American Jews for several decades now, and the aged character Jacobo Kaplan seems to represent the tiredness of this common story: despite how important these moments are for members of the Jewish community and anyone else who feels the need to continue the process of international justice, Jacobo Kaplan’s hunt for a suspected ex-Nazi in Uruguay takes on an almost comic, albeit tragic, nature.

Jacobo Kaplan and his younger friend, Contreras, become a duo of amateur detectives that grasp for meaning in their own lives by investigating and tracking an elderly man they suspect of past involvement in heinous crimes.  But does anyone actually still care?  And why are they actually chasing him?  For what end?  We find through these two characters partial answers to these questions, no matter how dry, hilarious or painful they may be. 

 Mr Kaplan is our Showcase Film on Saturday Night, 8 PM - September 19th at the Bank of America Theater.  See you all there!! This is a must-see for all!

climas posterClimas follows the separate stories of three Peruvian women.  Through these three women, three different stages of a woman{s life in Peru are told through the main characters, as well as three different socioeconomic classes and three different regions of Peru.  The young woman is Eva, who is experiencing her first sexual encounters and lives in the “selva” region.  The woman entering the phase of maternity is Victoria, who is from the upper class in the capital city of Lima and has a terrible secret of her own.  Finally we have the story of Zoraida, an elderly woman from the Andean region who receives an unexpected visit from her son.

Climas is directed by Enrica Perez, a Lima native who has made a great impact in the Peruvian film scene with this film, her feature length debut.  Perez has explained in interviews that one of the driving inspirations and underlying themes of this film, which she has worked on for the past eight years, was the idea that living in different climates have an amazing impact on the way we live and experience our lives and the lives of others.  We often talk about economic and social divisions, but we don’t talk as much about climate divisions.  For this reason, the climate and natural environment of each of the three main geographical settings – the selva, the city and the Andes – plays a large role in the narrative of each of the three characters who live there.  

Join us for this expansive and evocative drama, three stories in one nation.  Our Showcase Film screening is on Saturday evening, September 19th at 6PM @ The Bank of America Theater.  See you all there! 

3-BELLEZAS RP3 Bellezas

Saturday, 19 de Septiembre

4 PM

National Hispanic Cultural Center, Bank of America Theater

Director: Carlos Caridad Montero

Carlos Caridad Montero’s highly acclaimed feature film debut 3 bellezas (“3 Beauties”) is here at CineMagnifico. 3 Bellezas is a black comedy about two Venezuelan national obsessions: beauty queens and plastic surgery. Although this may seem to solidify an already dangerous stereotype about Venezuelan society, director Caridad Montero has a skill for expressing what is known to be real, everyday life experience in his country, while also leveling a social critique through his film.

Perla, played by Diana Peñalver, is a former beauty queen who dreams, or more than dreams, about seeing her young daughter, Carolina, become a beauty queen like her mother. And Perla will do almost anything to see this happen, including damaging her relationship with her own family. With help from her sister, Estefania, Perla forces her daughters to endlessly practice the catwalk, teaches them how to diet and how to wear swimsuits and gowns the proper way. Through all of this hilarious dark humor, Caridad Montero manages to expose a cultural obsession with beauty familiar to most Venezuelans and to those living in many other nations, including our own. Certainly, this theme is not totally foreign to United States society, and calls to mind the iconic stereotype of beauty and culture in southern California.    

Through his first several short films that made a splash in international festival circuits, Caridad Montero has gained the attention of the public and academic critics alike, a gap between styles of spectatorship that is often difficult to bridge. This speaks to the Maracaibo native’s ability and unique capacity to express in realistic terms the everyday life in popular Venezuelan society while simultaneously satisfying the academic desire to see a dynamic critique of this very same society that is being portrayed. Caridad Montero, before even delving into feature length films, has seemed to quickly master the art of making films that carry weighty social critiques, but only to the viewers that want to see them – for anyone else, it could seem like a movie that simply ‘expresses the reality’ of a life in Venezuela. In this way, Caridad Montero, with the release of his first feature length film, has quickly become one of Venezuela’s most important directors.

Perhaps one of the most important notes about Caridad Montero’s young career is that he studied film at the film school in San Antonio de los Baños, Cuba. It is evident in his work that when he returned to his home country of Venezuela after graduation, he not only was returning with a new tool belt of film technique, but also a new perspective on his own nation after having experienced life on the Caribbean island to the north.

la isla minima posterLa Isla Mínima (The Marshland)

Directed by Alberto Rodríguez

Showing at the Guild Cinema on Saturday, September  19th at 5PM


La isla mínima won thirteen prizes at Spain’s Goya Awards, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Score and Best Screenplay.

Director Alberto Rodríguez takes us to the territory of his home, where he was born and raised: Andalucía – the deep south of Spain. He takes us there for a mysterious thriller that takes place in 1980. Two detectives with different opinions on how to treat their work unite to investigate the murder of two young women in town. The texture of the film along with the small town mystery and the southern landscape is reminiscent of the first season of True Detective. The artistic aesthetic of the frames were inspired by the photography of Atín Aya. Not only does this film thrill, but it connects to history and politics.

One of the detectives is older than the other, and his style is stuck in the days of Franco’s brutal regime, which is now supposedly finished, although so many of its remnants hang linger above the rural roadways fo the town like gossip and dust in the heat. One of the directors stated linkages with the Franco regime is the state’s poor treatment of women and misogyny that prevailed during the Franco era, but is by no means gone from the culture. As the two detectives, from two distinct epochs of Spain’s recent history, attack the truth of the crimes against these young women, truths about the nature of the community also come to light.

One of Spain’s most celebrated films in recent memory and one that has had a strong reception here in the US, La isla minima is not a film you should miss. Showing at the Guild Cinema on Saturday, September  19th at 5PM. See you all there!!

messi-filmSaturday, September 19

National Hispanic Cultural Center, Bank of America Theatre

2:00 PM


Country: Spain

Director: Alex de la Iglesia

Release Date: 2015

Language: Spanish with English subtitles

The film dramatizes Lionel Messi's early life, combined with documentary footage and interviews with some of the most famous men in recent soccer history. Included in this group are Dutch legend (and former Barcelona player and manager) Johan Cruyff and World Cup-winning Argentine manager César Luis Menotti. Also featured are some of Messi's current teammates, including Andrés Iniesta and Gerard Piqué. Beautiful personal revelations are not omitted; whenever Messi scores and stares skyward with his fingers pointing to the heavens, it is his grandmother to whom he is beckoning—she is still the one to whom he dedicates all his goals.

Alex de la Iglesia has directed this feature length documentary about one of the world’s most recognizable names, and most of the most undeniably dominant players in all of modern sports: Lionel Messi. The film, which documents Messi’s childhood and coming of age, displays the struggles that Messi encountered along the way to be being recognized as a prodigy and an absolute phenomenon. One of the largest obstacles Messi encountered was uncontrollable: his body size. Messi was incredibly short and undersized and because of this he was overlooked by scouts and recruiters. It took the foresight of specific mentors and coaches to see the gem that lay hidden in the rough of Messi’s unorthodox body type. One of the main reasons Alex de la Iglesia was drawn to this project was the message that it holds not just for children, but anyone who is pursuing a dream. Along the way, your disadvantages and weaknesses will be highlighted and revealed, and you may even be told by those closest to you that this dream is not for you. Especially in today’s highly competitive world, this message holds resonance for almost anyone, particularly as they see the unimaginable, colossal place that Messi has gained in international football. And imagine, as a child he was told he was too small to play… he who became the world’s best footballer.

Alex de la Iglesia directed the popular Hollywood movie The Oxford Murders, starring Elijah Wood in 2008. Messi was nominated for an award at the Venice Film Festival. Messi was produced with support and partnership from FIFA, F.C. Barcelona and Messi’s family.

Screening Saturday, September 19th @ 2PM in the Bank of America Theater. See you all there!!!  

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