The nation’s original and longest running Latino film festival returns this summer with the 42nd edition of CineFestival. Presented by the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center, San Antonio’s annual celebration of independent Latino cinema will take place July 8-11, 2021.

42 CineFestival focuses on Chicano, Latinx and Native American cinema, with an emphasis in Texas related films.

Depending on public health guidelines issued for the dates of the festival, the event will be held as a mix of virtual and live events, or exclusively in virtual format.

CineFestival traditionally features screenings, Q&A sessions and panels at the Guadalupe Theater. Workshops, receptions, and after parties are held at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center campus and other community partner venues. Free community events include Family Day presenting a free outdoor screening, a Youth Program showcasing San Antonio student filmmakers, and a matinee Senior Cinema screening for the area’s elderly film lovers.

For over four decades, CineFestival has hosted many of the industry’s pioneering U.S. Latino and Mexican films, actors, and directors. Highlights from past editions include appearances by Gina Rodriguez, Guillermo del Toro, Edward James Olmos, Benjamin Bratt, Jesse Borrego, Esai Morales, Aurora Guerrero, Raúl Castillo, Luis Valdez, Lalo Alcaraz, Cruz Angeles, Hector Galan, and some of the fresh voices in Latino film including Fernando Frias de la Parra, Cristina Ibarra, Alex Rivera and Chelsea Rendon.

A special panel of industry professionals and scholars will serve as members of the jury to choose the winners of CineFestival's Premio Mesquite Awards in the following categories:

Best Texas Short Film
Best Feature Film
Special Jury Awards

The Festival accepts film entries for the following program sections:

US Feature Film Competition: This section is open to works made by or about Chicano, Latinx or Native American filmmakers based in the United States and its territories. Films selected in this category are eligible to compete for the Mezquite Award for Best Feature Film. Films with thematic or production connections to Texas are encouraged to apply.

Texas Short Film Competition: Open to works made by or about Chicano, Latinx or Native American filmmakers based in the State of Texas. Films selected in this category are eligible to compete for the Mezquite Award for Best Short Film.

Entries will be pre-screened for eligibility by a selection committee and not all entries will be programmed. Films must be submitted with English subtitles if dialogue is in a language other than English. Films must have been completed after January 2019.

CineFestival programmers are responsible for all programming decisions. The decisions of the programmers are final.

Overall Rating
  • Chelsea Hernandez

    I've been to CineFestival two years in a row now with a short film and a feature film. I'm hooked! The films programmed are strong. The staff and programmers are so hospitable and audiences are smart and engaging. The theater venue is beautiful and parties are fun! Cinefestival, being the longest running Latino festival, has created an inviting and special place for Latino filmmakers and audiences.

    July 2019
  • Jesusa Marie Vargas

    Wonderful community event that was entertaining and engaging. The theater is beautiful and the guests are friendly and positive. I enjoyed the opportunity to take questions from guests and host and talk about my film.

    July 2018
  • Marco Ortega

    Great programming! Amazing variety of films and beautiful venue!

    March 2017
  • steven bachrach

    The Festival is the oldest Latin@ film festival in the United States, and it is easy to see why when you attend. The roots in the city and particularly within the Latino community run deep. Locals run the festival, and the Guadalupe community organization's various projects, including the film festival, are deeply embedded into the cultural and historical fabric of San Antonio. The festival team, starting with Jim Mendiola and extending to technical team and all staff, go the extra mile for everyone, from filmmakers to catering staff to the audience. Unfortunately for us, we could only stay for a few days, due to commitments back at home, otherwise we would have been there the entire duration of the event. The city and surrounding area are lovely, and provide innumerable cultural and natural attractions. We'll definitely apply again with our next project!

    March 2017