August 1, 2023

"From the Americas" The Biennial of the Americas curates Cinema Azteca film series at the Holiday Theater

Tai Bickham


Cinema Azteca is MCA Denver’s new Spanish language film series presented weekly on Tuesday nights at the Holiday Theater. We invite guest curators to present a selection of movies that offers audiences a diverse and dynamic understanding and perspective of genres from drama, comedy, horror, and documentary traditions of Mexican and Latin American cinema. 

This summer, The Biennial of the Americas guest curated their series title, From the Americas, which showcases select films that represent the cinematic power of storytelling from across the Americas. We interviewed Mariana Esteves, Program Manager with the Biennial of the Americas, to learn more about the organization and curation for this series. 

Can you share a little bit about the curation behind From the Americas? Why did you feel it was important to include these specific films from these countries? 

In Latin America we have a somewhat bigger tradition to appreciate foreign movies and literature, there is just a bigger awareness and interest about the lives of others around us. We are proud of that cultural exchange and that is reflected in the numerous international festivals across the region. When MCA Denver invited us to curate a season for Cinema Azteca, I thought it was a great opportunity to showcase as many countries as possible across the western hemisphere. The Biennial of the Americas mission is deeply concerned about creating empathy and deeper connections with the Americas and movies are just an excellent venue for that.

Oriane Poster

image: Oriane. Venezuela, 1985. Directed by Fina Torres


Could you tell us more about the Biennial of the Americas and the mission of the organization? 

The Biennial of the Americas is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization based in Denver, Colorado. It was launched by civic leaders in 2010, formed around the transformational idea that the north-south axis is a valuable source of ideas and art. We are empowered by the uniqueness of our home and leverage Denver’s collaborative and innovative environment to seek solutions to the complex problems facing our world. Our hands-on work to connect, create, and inspire yields innovative ideas, authentic dialogue, and collaborative action.

Our mission is to create connections, build community, and inspire change across the Americas. Our vision is to be a hub of connectivity between Denver and the Western Hemisphere to support increased awareness, exchange, and cultural empathy.

25 watts movie poster

image: 25 Watts. Uruguay, 2001. Directed by Juan Pab lo Rebella & Pablo Stoll.


What are some of the programs and events that the Biennial produces for the community? 

Our five program areas serve as catalysts for visionary leaders in art, policy, and business to foster innovation and collaboration in the Americas through provocative conversations and  artistic expression. Year-round programming serves as a platform to break down the conceptual boundaries between art, policy, and business by bringing together leading personalities from each sector to engage complex issues in candid dialogue. Our events, symposiums, and summits provide opportunities for industry leaders, artists, thinkers, and invited participants to build partnerships, develop projects that stimulate economic growth, and seek comprehensive approaches to shared challenges and opportunities.The Biennial monthly newsletter features international content related to arts & culture, innovation and sustainability, highlights local partner programs, and explores timely topics across the Americas. Subscribe by clicking the button!

Plaza Catedral film clip

image: Plaza Catedral. Panama, 2021. Directed by Abner Benaim. 


Summertime is a great time in Denver! What are you looking forward to this summer? 

My favorite things to do in summertime are bike rides, picnics at the Botanic Gardens, backyard gatherings, City Park Jazz, Museum strolls when weather is too hot, and of course visiting Pipelines at Plaza of the Americas and attending Cinema Azteca every Tuesday! Denver is a bustling city excited about novelty with curious and kind people and summertime is when we all get to celebrate that diversity across town!

The lineup of films in August are listed below. For more information on the films and to purchase tickets, click here

August 8: Oriana

August 15: Plaza Catedral

August 22: 25 Watts 

August 29: La Yuma