Unkind Cuts at Cine las Americas

Jacqueline Rush Rivera exits Cine Las Americas.

After its eleventh, successful year, it seemed like all was going well with Cine las Americas, the annual April film festival celebrating Latino and Native American films from across the Americas. But this week, a small bombshell was dropped when it was revealed that Programming Director Jacqueline Rush Rivera is leaving the festival after five years.

During Rivera's short tenure, and in tandem with CLA Executive Director Eugenio del Bosque, a small staff, and a host of volunteers, the festival and its related programs surged forward in content, breadth, and scope. So why leave when things seem to be on the rise? The dreaded budgetary concerns.

While offering nothing but praise for Rivera and her contribution to CLA, del Bosque explains, "one of [Cine's] key challenges has always been funding of year-round programming operations." He further states that the board has been working over the summer "to increase the membership base for our film exhibition programs, expand our education schedule, and strengthen and diversify our sources of income. As part of this work, we made the difficult decision to combine the Executive Director and Programming Director positions, while realigning responsibilities among other staff roles. I remain in the Executive Director position and will once again assume the programming responsibilities that I previously held at Cine Las Americas."

That's little solace for a person who has been integral to the success of, not only the festival, but to the year-round programs that give CLA visibility throughout the year. But not to worry, Rivera will land on her feet. She is currently looking for work here and abroad and has already "been contacted to run the local campaigns for two film openings," she says via e-mail. Rivera expects to be in Austin at least through October.

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Jacqueline Rush Rivera, Cine las Americas

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