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Silvia Rodríguez Grijalba and Óscar Aibar speak at The KiMo Theater for the Cine Magnifico film festival on Friday, Sept. 23.

10th Annual Cine Magnifico festival spotlights Latine filmmakers

The Instituto Cervantes Albuquerque hosted the 10th annual Cine Magnifico Latino Film Festival from Sept. 13-25, showcasing a variety of Latine films, directors and actors. On Friday, Sep. 23, the main program of the festival began with a viewing of “El Sustituto” (The Replacement) by Spanish film director Óscar Aibar and an opening cocktail party.

Analy Morales Chavez, a worker at the festival, spoke on the purpose behind the festival and the importance of hosting the event during Hispanic Heritage Month.

“It was originally created because there weren't really a whole lot of festivals around that really encapsulated the true Latino flavor of movies. We had all these films that were being created about the Latino community, but not films that were being brought from Latin countries,” Morales Chavez said. “So that was the original purpose of it,  just to bring a little bit of culture and different perspectives, different themes into a very artistic city.”

Based on a true story, “El Sustituto” follows a young cop in 1982 who arrives at a coastal town investigating the death of the officer he replaced. He then uncovers a community of former Nazi officers hiding on the island living and becomes obsessed with catching and turning them in.

Silvia Rodríguez Grijalba, executive director of Instituto Cervantes Albuquerque, spoke on the importance of the film’s impact on the audience and the history the film explores.

“The history ... is some people who (were) Nazis in (World War II), and now they are living in Spain, so I think it makes you think about this impunity of the people that has made horrible things,” Rodríguez Grijalba said. “And suddenly they arrive to a place where nobody knows who they are. And also that the people —  if you have money — they don't look at you in a bad way. So I think that it has a lot of reflections to make.”

Cine Magnifico screened a range of films throughout the festival while also hosting talks with directors from the various films. Rodriguez Grijalba spoke on why Aibar’s film was chosen to open the main part of the festival.

“When we are thinking about what kind of film could be the opening, this one was absolutely one of our favorites. We wanted something that could be interesting for the people here in Albuquerque, international themes. And also, he's one of the most famous filmmakers in Spain. He's the director of one TV series that is absolutely amazing … We knew that he would enjoy really to come here,” Rodríguez Grijalba said.

Elizabeth Secor is a beat reporter for the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at or on Twitter @esecor2003

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