Preview: Festival de Cine Latino Americano

Honoring the many Latinx contributions to the silver screen, The 2nd Annual Festival de Cine Latino Americano will be kicking off this weekend Feb. 23–25 in Denton. The focus of the festival is to find the very best international Latinx content, then showcase and support the existing, as well as the emerging, creative Latinx filmmakers across the world. Films are presented from all over Texas to South America, and judges will choose which films will be showcased and awarded on the final night of the festival, Sunday the 25th.

The festival will take place in the Lyceum in the University of North Texas, UNT Media Arts Building, UNT Senate Room, and at UNT on the Square.

On Friday, the opening night, there will be a red carpet along with food cooked by a sponsored chef. Saturday, there will be an honorary award for Jesse Borrego as well as a panel of guests of the Latino image in Hollywood. Sunday, there will be music, dancing, and an award ceremony along with a tribute to Pedro Infante and Cantinflas.

“I started this festival because I always felt there was a lack of diversity when it comes to film festivals in the Dallas area. Growing up, there were only two or three films I could relate to and I believe there was a need for Latin films to be represented, too,” said Gabriel Duran, founder of the festival.

Duran, also on the panel of judges, currently teaches at the University of North Texas and takes pride in his job.

“You know, when you do something you love, it doesn’t feel like work. One of my proudest moments is seeing my son see the job I’ve done. I’m proud of teaching him that with hard work and perseverance, anything is possible,” Duran said.

Although teaching is important to him, he describes film as “his life.” Duran’s work in film has won awards and been screened at more than 40 different occasions all around the United States and London.

An idea that started with a small committee of three grew to eight, and Duran hopes the festival continues down this path.

“I hope it just grows and I hope it can become a big four-day celebration of Latin culture, the music, food, and, of course, film too which is very important”.

FDCLA will also feature a Mexican film that came out a month ago, and this festival will be the only place that shows it in the entire United States. The other judges include Vicente Moctezuma, Alex Garcia Topete, Keziah Sanchez, Marielena Carpanzano, Domingo Garcia, Lance De Los Santos, Rosy Duran, Isabel Deniz, Bethany Larranago, Danny De La Paz, Lizette Barrera, and Edui Tijerina Chapa.

For more information about the event, schedule and tickets, visit the official festival page at:

Header image photographed by Noom Peerapong on Unsplash
Header image layout designed by Mateo Granados