CineMás: A Beginning

By Jaime Villegas, Cultural Events Assistant

The seed for CineMás sprouted from the depths of some of the most creative brains here at the Latin American Coalition. It’s a project that has been in development for three years but was just looking for the right vehicle to launch it. With Charlotte’s already expansive and diverse event catalog, the challenge was how to create something that differentiated CineMás from existing film series. It had to bring fresh films that haven’t made their way to the United States and at the same time bring all of Charlotte’s wonderful neighborhoods together. From the beginning, the mission was to highlight the passionate talent that comes from Latin American countries, that tends to linger in the shadows waiting for their big break in the States.

When Tony, our Cultural Events Director, came to me with the idea I fell in love with it and immediately wanted to get started on the project. Like any new venture, there is a lot of groundwork and planning involved. Brainstorming sessions were very popular during those few weeks and little by little the pieces of the puzzle came together. Within the first sessions, CineMás began to take form and we had secured our first film, location, and date.

With CineMás, the objective is to create a setting where curious minds can meet and exchange ideas after watching a film they can connect with on a personal level. To engage in conversations about our similarities rather than our differences. I want to reignite people’s love for foreign films that know is still there. There is so much talent and passion from our Latin American neighbors that hasn’t been acknowledged or praised. I hope to shine a bright light on those actors, directors, and screenwriters that lead those dramas, comedies, and documentaries that I hope the Charlotte community will come to love.

This film series, as it has come to be known around the office, has become my baby and I never thought that my passion for films would lead to this. I am eternally grateful to my wonderful colleagues at the Coalition that have mentored and guided me through our endeavor. On Thursday, March 14, 2013 we will proudly launch CineMás and premiere with El Regreso at 7:00 p.m. We hope to see you all there!

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