Latinx Films To Watch At SXSW 2018

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By Richard Gonzalez

Filmmakers, industry professionals, and of course celebrities will soon descend on Austin, Texas for this year’s annual South By Southwest Film Festival. Over the last few years, SXSW has made a concerted effort to create a quality film festival within it’s even larger conference. Through their attempts, they have not only improved the quality of programming but brought a larger scale of films to Central Texas.

An integral part of these efforts has been the exceptional job they have done including Latinx films in their programming. These featured films come from different parts of the world and SXSW provides these filmmakers an opportunity to find distribution and reach the largest audiences possible. To those looking to attend the event, a look at the festival’s schedule may be a bit overwhelming. We have done some research and found some of the Latinx films we are most excited to see this year. Here are some films to add to your schedule and help you navigate the next few weeks.

¡Las Sandinistas!

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¡Las Sandinistas! aims to showcase the untold stories of the women who fought in Nicaragua’s 1979 Sandinista Revolution. While the women broke barriers through their involvement in combat, they continued to be marginalized for years after—their contributions all but forgotten. Now years later, amidst violence towards women becoming increasingly dangerous in Nicaragua, these brave women are back at the forefront fighting for equality. [Showtimes]

An Uncertain Future

The film explores the issue of immigration through the lens of motherhood. An Uncertain Future follows two expectant mothers in Austin, Texas as they grapple with the reality of anti-immigrant sentiments and the uncertainties their families face as President Trump takes office. The film presents an intimate look into the prescient anxiety immigrants endure in Texas while facing attempted enactments of Senate Bill 4 and constant ICE raids.  [Showtimes]

Agave: The Spirit of a Nation

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This film not only highlights the plant that produces both Tequila and Mezcal, two spirits that are at the height of popularity right now but follows three families that have dedicated their lives to producing the spirit. The film weaves together each families story and gives insights into how what they produce affects the land around them. [Showtimes]

Nossa Chappe

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When a plane carrying members of Brazil’s Chapecoense Football club crashed on November 28, 2016, it left all but three members dead. The film chronicles the journey of those affected and the issues faced as they grapple with how to rebuild, whether to move on at all, and how exactly they would be able to do that. This documentary gives unprecedented access to players’ families, the surviving players, and members of the new team. [Showtimes]

They Live Here, Now

The documentary gives a close and personal look at the residents of Casa Marianela—a refugee house based in Austin, Texas. The residents come to the U.S from all over the world seeking asylum. The film ultimately provides the audience a more personal perspective into the complex reasoning behind how refugees end up in the US. It engages the hot-button issue of immigration, which dominates the daily news cycle, but provides a more intimate look into the issues at play.[Showtimes]

Ruben Blades Is Not My Name

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The film gives insight into the life of the Latin American icon, Ruben Blades. Blades burst onto the New York Salsa scene in the 1970’s and has had a vibrant and compelling career that has span several decades. The documentary chronicles Blades’ life as he’s gone from Grammy-winning artist to a successful actor in several films, to a Harvard graduate, and everything in between. This film offers unprecedented access to Blades and is a celebration of his illustrious career. [Showtimes]

Virus Tropical

Based on the graphic novel by Power Paola, Virus Tropical follows Paola,  a woman born into an unconventional family who uses her strength and feminist views to find her independence and handle devastation that happens in her life. The animated film brings the story to life and shows you the unique view of the world that the creator set out to present. [Showtimes]

Blindspotting

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Filmmaker Carlos Lopez Estrada makes his feature-length directorial debut in this story about two friends, one of whom is trying to survive his last three days of probation and has to deal with his childhood friend who also happens to be a bad influence. The film is set within the backdrop of Oakland, a city the two grew up in and is in the throes of gentrification. [Showtimes]

You can find the full list of films at SXSW.com and you can follow us while we spend the next two weeks covering South By Southwest on all of our social media handles.

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