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Multinational mix: Online Cine Magnifico features films from Spain, Latin America

A scene from “La virgen de agosto.” The film will open Cine Magnífico on Thursday, Nov. 19. (Courtesy of Instituto Cervantes)

Despite the pandemic, Silvia Grijalba knew that Cine Magnífico had to continue.

The Instituto Cervantes executive director decided to take the Latin film festival online.

“We wanted to go ahead with the festival because it’s something that we really love to do,” she says. “We had the option presented to us, and we took it.”

Cine Magnífico will celebrate its eighth edition entirely online from Thursday, Nov. 19, through Saturday, Nov. 21.

All movies will be available at

Grijalba says the festival offers a selection of 20 movies – seven full-length movies and 13 short films. Eight are premieres in the United States, nine are premieres in New Mexico and three are premieres by producers from Albuquerque.

On Thursday, Nov. 19, the festival will open with “La virgen de agosto” by Spanish producer Jonás Trueba.

“Canción sin nombre” will screen Friday, Nov. 20. (Courtesy of Instituto Cervantes)

The four full-length films making their New Mexico premieres are “Pólvora en el corazón” by director Camila Urrutia, the Peruvian production “Canción sin nombre” by Melina León, the American production “Take Out Girl” by Hisonni Johnson, and the Dominican production “La fiera y la fiesta” by Israel Cárdenas and Laura Amelia Guzmán. “La fiera y la fiesta will close out this year’s festival.

“Take Out Girl” will screen Thursday, Nov. 19. (Courtesy of Instituto Cervantes)

“We wanted there to be a mix between different countries,” Grijalba says. “We also wanted to show support for the New Mexico film community. It’s such a huge industry here.”

This year, Cine Magnífico strengthens ties with the other side of the Atlantic Ocean and includes a especial collaboration with one of the oldest film festivals in Spain – La Mostra de València.

La Mostra will be represented in Albuquerque with two movies produced by Valencian producers: the documentary “Camagroga” by Alfonso Amador and “Zero” by Iñaki Sánchez Arrieta.

The movies will screen for the first time in the United States, here in Albuquerque.

La Mostra will also be present at Cine Magnífico an online meeting with its artistic director, Eduardo Guillot, Valencian film directors Alfonso Amador and Andrea Jaurrieta, and Grijalba.

The meeting will be available at the Instituto Cervantes’ official YouTube channel starting at noon Nov. 20.

Geraldine Chaplin in a scene from “La fiera y la fiesta.” (Courtesy of Instituto Cervantes)

“Having to move the festival to a virtual setting gives people more opportunity to see the films,” Grijalba says. “It’s something that will help the festival grow more. The panels are also done virtually and this wouldn’t have happened if it was in person.”

The short movie program includes “Divorcio” by Spanish actress and director Bárbara Santa Cruz, “La crisis” by Pedro Aguilera and Juan SardÃ, and “9 Pasos” by Marisa Crespo and Moisés Romera.

Albuquerque filmmakers are also represented in the festival, with “The Awakeover” by Stephen Burhoe, “Flush” by Sheridan O’Donnell and the world premiere of “Get It” by Alejandro Montoya.

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