By Liz Lopez

The CineSol Film Festival is celebrating 26 years and returns to where it all started on South Padre Island. The festival will be held at South Padre Island Convention Center on November 23-24, offering 31 independent films that include five documentaries, three features, and 23 shorts. The films hail from other countries, as well, including one from France, one from Malaysia and eight from Spain. The festival will also feature a Texas Filmmakers’ Showcase and the 14th Annual 36 Hour Film Race results.

The Celebrity Guest this year will be Breaking Bad’s RJ Mitte and he will be on a panel on Sunday after the Saturday evening screening of “Carol of the Bells” where he will be part of the Q&A.

A film highlight for the festival is the screening of the Audience Award winning documentary, Our Quinceanera, directed by California based filmmaker, Fanny Veliz Grande. The 75 – minute feature is about a high school principal in a small town in Texas that hosts a yearly quinceanera for students that can’t afford it. The event started with four girls and it is now a celebration for 80 girls. The entire border town of San Benito, TX gets together to reach these girls that with the power of community any dream can come true.  Saturday, November 23 (3pm) and Sunday, November 24 (3:10pm). 

Another award – winning film that premiered at this year’s SXSW Film Festival in Austin is “Building the American Dream” directed by Chelsea Hernandez. Across Texas, an unstoppable construction boom drives urban sprawl and luxury high rises. It’s dirty secret: abuse of immigrant labor. A story of courage, resilience and community, the film reveals shocking truths about the hardworking immigrants who build the American Dream, of which they are excluded.  Saturday, November 23 (1:30pm).  

A fabulous film that premiered at the Fantastic Fest 2017 in Austin is “Tigers are not Afraid” directed by Mexico’s Issa Lopez. This 84 -minute film has been on the film festival circuit in 2018 and has had a limited theatrical run this year. A haunting horror fairytale set against the backdrop of Mexico’s devastating drug wars, “Tigers are not Afraid” follows a group of orphaned children armed with three magical wishes, running from the ghosts that haunt them and the cartel that murdered their parents.  Saturday, November 23 (4:45pm). 

On and Off-Screen Inclusivity of People of All Abilities Discussion by RJ Mitte.  60 minutes. Exploring the importance of ensuring that on-screen and off-screen environments accurately represent how our world looks, inclusive of those of all abilities. As the conversations around diversity becomes more prevalent in the way casting is handled, this panel will discuss how the industry can grow to be more inclusive, and what the areas of opportunity are. The significance of people of all abilities seeing themselves represented on screen and in behind-the-scenes entertainment industry careers is so important and what it will take for more authentic on-screen portrayals of cognitive, speech, developmental, and mobility disabilities.  Sunday, November 24 (1pm).

Harvest Season is directed by Bernardo Ruiz.  Harvest Season delves into the lives of people who work behind the scenes of the premium California wine industry, during one of the most dramatic grape harvests in recent memory.  Sunday, November 24 (1:45pm).   

For the full schedule and how to buy the tickets to attend, visit to www.cinesol.com.               

Source: CineSol, SXSW, Fantastic Fest Film Festivals

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