San Antonio CineFestival: A Reclamation of Chicano Cinema




Gamez, Kristin

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Chicano cinema is a genre of film that was born out of the Chicano Movement in the late 60’s, however not much has been written about the exhibition of Chicano film. The Chicano Film Festival began in 1976 in San Antonio, Texas to showcase Chicano filmmakers and their work. The Festival, later renamed, the CineFestival is the longest running Latino film festival in the U.S. and for my report I question how the Festival shared the work of Chicanos and promoted a Chicano discursive space. To answer these questions I turned to the Festival film programs and local periodicals. After my research, I found that the CineFestival served a purpose for Chicano cinema because it not only screened Chicano films, but it also promoted a Chicano discourse and therefore a very unique discursive space for Chicano media. However, I found that the Festival’s direction and motivations change year after year. In turn these changes, influence the Festival’s promotion or lack of promotion and screening of Chicano film. The CineFestival, even though promotes itself as a “Latino” film festival, has an obligation to sustain what it cultivated in 1976; Chicano cinema. This genre of film and its history runs the risk of being forgotten. I ask, if our own film community doesn’t screen or talk about Chicano film, then who will? It is in this report that I further explore these questions and CineFestival’s role in Chicano cinema.



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