Timely & Poignant Films Top Las Cruces International Film Festival Lineup
Social justice, immigration Issues, Space Exploration, and The Human Condition (humorous and otherwise) all grace the screens at the 2019 Las Cruces International Film Festival. “International” describes 40 of the 90 films screening at this year’s festival, as they are from countries outside the US! The films below are listed with their individual ticket prices, however festival VIP passes can also be purchased which include all films and workshops including Celebrity Film Screenings, and special VIP After Parties. All tickets and passes are available at Visit Las Cruces, the Rio Grande Theatre, or on this website. Additional information is available on the festival schedule or by calling 575-646-6149.
The Ballad of Gregario Cortez, starring Edward James Olmos, kicks off the Festival on Tuesday, February 19 at 7 pm at the Historic Rio Grande Theatre in downtown Las Cruces.
Who was Gregorio Cortez and what did he do to warrant his 10-day pursuit by posses, sheriffs, and rangers across the state of Texas in June of 1901? The story is rooted in both history and myth. Director Robert M. Young presents the tale with no real white hats or dark ones; everyone suffers when communication breaks down. And Cortez’s role in the story changes throughout the film, depending on who’s doing the talking.
Cortez’s unhappy tale is thanks to the shortcomings of a translator who didn’t understand the distinction in Spanish between “horse” (caballo) and “mare” (yegua). The sheriff, investigating accusations of horse theft, is instantly convinced of Cortez’s guilt and comes after him with a gun, shooting Cortez’s brother in the process. Cortez shoots and kills the sheriff and the hunt begins.
Olmos will receive the Mark Medooff Humanitarian Award and Robert M. Young (age 97) will receive the LCIFF Auteur Award at the event. Both will be in attendance. Tickets $30
Two grieving fathers, one a judge, and two dirty cops, Director Wes Miller takes us into a tragic situation as families are torn apart and conventional morality is mangled. River Runs Red, winner of the Best Feature Length Dramatic Film Award at its premiere at the Down Town Los Angeles Film Festival, has been named the Opening Night Film of the 2019 Las Cruces International Film Festival.
The film stars George Lopez, Taye Diggs, and John Cusack as well as Gianni Capaldi, Jennifer Tao, Luke Helmsworth, and LCIFF alum RJ Mitte.
Director Wes Miller, several of the actors, (including Lopez) and the producers will present a q&a after the film. River Runs Red will screen at Allen Theatres Cineport 10 on Wednesday, February 20 at 7:00 pm. Tickets $30
Spare Parts, is the true story of 4 undocumented high school students, each facing their own issues, that join forces under the tutelage of their teacher (George Lopez) and enter a national Underwater Robotics Competition. The current champion? M.I.T. The story, inspired by the documentary “Underwater Dreams” is told with compassion, humor, and the undeniable strength of the human spirit. George Lopez will be honored with the Outstanding Achievement Entertainment Award following the film screening Thursday, February 21, 7:00 pm Allen Theatres Cineport 10. Tickets $30
Chi-Town, director Nick Budabin’s documentary, follows Keifer Sykes on his meteoric rise from Marshall High School on Chicago’s West Side to his improbable shot at the NBA. His life is riddled with victims of gun violence. Former NMSU Basketball player, Shawn Harrington, returned to his hometown Chicago and was coaching Keifer at his own high school alma mater years after appearing in the iconic basketball documentary Hoop Dreams, when he was shot and paralyzed in a case of mistaken identity, Director Nick Budabin, Shawn Harrington, and former NMSU Coach Rus Bradburd will present a q&a after the film which screens, Friday, February 22 at 7 pm. at Allen Theatres Cineport 10. Tickets $8.
The Wall, USA Today’s Pulitzer Prize-winning documentary, features rare footage from some of the most remote reaches of the U.S. – from the canyons of Texas’ Big Bend National Park to the Southern Arizona desert as Border Patrol agents recover bodies from the desert. Viewers will be able to watch journalists travel the length of the U.S.-Mexico border – by land and air – documenting the possible effects of a wall on security, communities, commerce, the environment, immigrants and property rights. The screening will be followed by a panel q&a presented by contributing USA Today journalists, Saturday, February 23 at 12 Noon, Allen Theatres Cineport 10.