This year’s offerings cover a cultural spread from Portugal to Brazil, from Argentina to the US. Presented primarily in Spanish with English subtitles or in Portuguese with English subtitles, the films provide a much deeper glimpse into Latin American culture than the Hollywood film industry chooses to highlight. In order to reach as many different audiences as possible, festival organizers have scheduled screenings at several diverse venues throughout Albuquerque: The National Hispanic Cultural Center (1701 Fourth Street SW), the KiMo Theatre (423 Central Ave. NW) and The Guild Cinema (3405 Central Ave. NE).
This year’s ¡Cine Magnifico! kicks off with a VIP opening reception at the National Hispanic Cultural Center on Sept. 4. Starting at 6pm, guests are invited to join organizers for tapas and drinks before the opening night film. That film, Black is Beltza, starts at 7pm. The film is an animated adult drama, chronicling the true story of some puppeteers/artists who came from Spain in 1965 to attend a parade along New York’s Fifth Avenue. There, they came face-to-face with our country’s often hypocritical racial discrimination and the shifting political landscape of Vietnam-era America. The film’s director, Fermin Mugruza, is on hand for a post-film Q&A. This particular opening night event is free and open to the public, but seating is limited. To guarantee a ticket, you need to RSVP to email@example.com.
Screenings continue Thursday with the Bolivian drama Muralla/The Goalkeeper (noon at Guild Cinema). This thought-provoking thriller follows a formerly iconic soccer player whose life has fallen to ruin. In order to save his desperately sick son, he contemplates an unthinkable act. That’s followed by The New Mexico & Spanish Short Film Program (7pm at KiMo), a collection of local and international shorts, mini-documentaries and feature film trailers. An after party with several of the filmmakers is scheduled in the KiMo lobby starting at 9pm.
On Friday there’s a special outreach film for schools: the Spanish feature Los Futbolísmos (10am at NHCC). This family film, about a group of preteens trying to solve a mystery and save their school’s athletic program, is based on the popular kids book series. It is presented free to the public. At 2:30pm audiences are invited to the Peruvian political thriller Caiga Quien Caiga/All Can Fall (Guild Cinema 2:30pm). The Guild screenings continue with the Mexican drama El Ombligo de Guie’Dani/
Saturday starts with the Chilean drama Perro Bomba (Guild 2pm), about a young Haitian living in Santiago de Chile unexpectedly pressured to help a childhood friend who is a newly arrived illegal immigrant. The Argentine comedy Re Loca/Super Crazy (Guild 4:50pm) is another of the festival’s many New Mexico premieres. It centers on an overworked young woman who has a magical encounter that forces her to impulsively say and do everything that crosses her mind. The day ends with the Short Film Program: USA (Guild Cinema 6pm) and the Guatemalan LGBTQ drama Temblores/Tremors (Guild Cinema 7:45pm).
This year’s !Cine Magnifico! closes out on Sunday with its final two offerings. The Brazilian biopic Marighella (Guild Cinema 4pm) relates the true story of Carlos Marighella, a politician, writer and guerrilla fighter who worked to overthrow Brazil’s military dictatorship and was named public enemy number one in the late ’60s. The Spanish comedy Campeones/Champions (Guild Cinema 7:30pm) goes a completely different direction, spinning the story of an assistant coach for a professional basketball team who gets into a drunk driving accident and finds a new purpose in life when he is sentenced to supervise a special basketball team made up of developmentally disabled athletes.
Tickets for the 7th annual ¡Cine Magnifico! are available for purchase in advance online (at cinemagnifico.com) or at the NHCC ticket office (1701 Fourth Street SW) during festival days. Individual film tickets are $10 general admission or $8 seniors and students. Tickets to the New Mexico Short Films Program are $5. For $25 you can pick up a four-film punch card. For $45 you get the complete festival pass. For a comprehensive schedule of events go to cinemagnifico.com.