Palace Cinemas has announced the launch of Cine Latino, an annual festival designed to showcase diverse cinematic gems from across Latin America.

The event is the brainchild of Antonio Zeccola, who has spent years watching and admiring Latin American films at international festivals from Cannes to Berlin, as well as the Ventana Sur (the major Latin American film market) in Argentina.

He realised that only a handful of these films were being picked up by the smaller international festivals, and almost none were being released theatrically, leaving a gap in the marketplace for fans of Latin American cinema.

This will be the first national festival dedicated to Latin American cinema in Australia, with scope to include films from Mexico, Brazil, Uruguay, Venezuela, Chile, Guatemala, and everywhere in between.

Former Melbourne Latin American Film Festival director Alex Castro will oversee the running of the festival, which will be programmed by a panel of experienced curators. Born in Chile, Alex has lived in Australia since he was three, but still finds plenty of time to attend Latin American film festivals in Argentina, Colombia and the US.

“Latin America is made up of 20 Spanish and Portugese-speaking countries with over 600 million people,” Alex says.

“Many Latin Americans live all over the world, including Australia. More and more Australians travel there every year, drawn by its rich and vibrant culture. Latin American cinema is a powerful emerging voice in world cinema; and Cine Latino is a wonderful way to share its sights, sounds and stories with Australian audiences.”

The festival will screen exclusively at Palace Cinemas around Australia; in Brisbane, it’ll take up residence at Palace Centro & Barracks from Friday 12 August to Wednesday 24 August.

The program has not yet been released; visit for more info.