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Latino movie lovers will get a rare treat this month when two of the city's premier Hispanic-themed film festivals, both marking their 12th year, overlap.

Latinbeat at the Film Society of Lincoln Center begins first, running from Aug. 10-24, while the New York International Latino Film Festival - which normally takes place in late July - runs Aug. 15-21.

The contiguous fests cap a fruitful 2011 in Latin cinema.

It's a year that has seen four festival debuts: the Dominican Film Festival in Washington Heights, Colombian Zoom In at NYU's King Juan Carlos Center, the East Harlem International Film Festival and the Bronx International Film Festival and though the last two are not Latino-specific, many of the films presented were.

They join a busy calendar that includes the veteran Spanish Cinema Now at Lincoln Center late in the year, the Havana Film Festival in the spring, and not one but two focused on the film output of Mexico (Hola México in early summer and GenMex, coming up on Sept. 16) and Brazil (Cine Fest Petrobras Brasil and Premiere Brazil! at MoMA.)

Add to that year-round screenings of Latin flicks at Instituto Cervantes, El Museo del Barrio and 92Y Tribeca and the ever-present Cinema Tropical, a 10-year-old distribution and promotion group that is a partner in many of the aforementioned showcases, and you start getting a picture of the abundance.

LATINBEAT: Aug. 10-24

Director's been through 'Hell'

Being a Central American filmmaker isn't easy - just ask Julio Hernández Cordón.

His film "Marimbas From Hell," a wacky but sobering tale of a homeless marimba player, a street kid and a heavy-metal drummer who form a Guatemalan rock band, has played theatrically in several Latin American countries, but the only way its director could finance it was from prizes he won at film festivals.

"In Central America, we don't have any industry to make movies and also the private companies and the government don't support us to produce art," says Hernández, whose film will be screened at the 12th Latinbeat film festival, featuring 23 movies from 15 countries and running Aug. 10-24 at Lincoln Center. (more)

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Article by LEWIS BEALE, The NY Daily News | Read full article here

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