“As we remember our rich past and become creators of our present, we look to the film and video artist to express our deepest aspirations and our vision of a new society founded on justice, truth and the spirit of sisterly and brotherly love.” - Adan Medrano, Director 2nd Annual CineFestival. CineFestival has evolved. At its inception in 1976 it was called the Chicano Film Festival, created and organized by Centro Video of Oblate College of the Southwest. Its stated purpose was three fold: hold public screenings that were “both a celebration of Chicano life as expressed in film and an opportunity for critically analyzing the state of the art of Chicano film making;” bring together filmmakers from around the country “to discuss the place of film and video in the Chicano community,” and assist filmmakers in the distribution of their films. The vision for CineFestival en San Antonio remains the same.By 1980 the Chicano Film Festival had become CineFestival en San Antonio, and was intended to showcase film and video by Latinos and Chicanos.
The festival provided a unique opportunity to meet other Latino and Chicano film and video makers from across the U.S. and dialogue with representatives from national funding and distribution agencies. It was also a celebration of the “life and vitality expressed in the film and video entries.”During the 2nd Chicano Film Festival, Jack Valenti of the Motion Picture Association of America spoke about a potential market for films that reflected the diversity of experiences in our community. Now, thirty years later, the explosion has occurred. Is there more to do? Of course. Yet, it is a testament to this current reality of the Latino film community that so many films on immigration are being released and distributed-almost all independently or through public television. Complexity of story parallels the complexity of life; diversity of product mirrors the diversity of life. Immigration complexity is impossible to tackle exclusively through film.