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EDINBURG, RGV – Marking its second anniversary, the South Texas International Film Festival 2016 will star the acclaimed Hollywood actors David Barrera and Maria-Canals Barrera in the RGV’s own City of Edinburg.

The South Texas International Film Festival and Conference will be held at the Edinburg Conference Center at Renaissance on September 9-10, with a special Opening Night Screening to take place at Carmike 20 Cinemas in Edinburg the evening of September 8.

A native of San Juan, Texas, David Barrera is widely-known for his roles in TV shows and films such as Castle, The Big Bang Theory, CSI: Miami, The Closer, N.C.I.S., Medium, The Mentalist, Heroes, The West Wing, NYPD: Blue, 24, Evan Almighty, Southland, The Bridge, Generation Kill, and Crave: The Fast Life.

His wife, Maria-Canals Barrera, obtained the same star status as her husband due to her portrayal as a mother of three wizards in the Disney Channel’s hit TV show “Wizards of Waverly Place,” and the mother of Mitchie Torres in “Camp Rock” and “Camp Rock 2.” She has also starred in the ABC comedy show “Cristela” and the Telemundo series “Mariaelena.”

The award-winning actress has also won various awards such as an Imagen Award for Best Supporting Actress and an Alma Award for her role in “Brothers Garcia.”  The married couple currently live in Los Angeles, California with their two daughters.

Organizers say the 2016 festival promises to be “another colossal triumph” as it expands to a three day event. It is a competitive film festival that includes feature length and short film screenings, film industry workshops, and an awards ceremony. It will showcase local, regional, and international films that have a unique voice and style.

Public relations officer for the festival, Luis Suñer said the goal of the festival is two-fold: showcase the work of visionary filmmakers from all over the world; and bring local filmmakers and artists together to help connect the South Texas Film Industry with the world.

Letty Leija, one of the co-founders of the film festival and Director of  Library and Cultural Arts for the City of Edinburg, said last year’s success earned the festival the support and approval of the Texas Film Commission as well as that of other local film industry organizations. She said the local film industry is growing and that film makers are recognizing the potential of the Rio Grande Valley.

Leija said she is looking forward to the event and hopes it will be a catalyst for a new cultural movement in the region. “Last year, was a very positive experience, the amount of submissions received and the response of the people was amazing. This year we have added an extra day. We encourage the movie loving community to come to the festival and enjoy the screenings of the official selections and for those interested in the film industry, we will have the tech expo as well as various panel discussions, screen writing workshops and question and answer sessions.”

Submissions are now closed and short films have been chosen from the United States, Switzerland, Spain, Iran and the UK. Additionally, five films from the U.S., U.K., and Mexico, as well as, two regional movies, one from the Rio Grande Valley and one from San Antonio were also chosen. The categories are divided into short films that are 40 minutes or less and feature length films that are longer than 40 minutes.

STXFF is once again being brought to Edinburg through a partnership with the City of Edinburg, the Edinburg Economic Development Corporation (EEDC), Edinburg Arts, a division of the Edinburg Library, and the Consulate of Mexico in McAllen.

For more information about the 2016 Festival, visit www.STXFF.us or Facebook at South Texas International Film Festival. Alternatively, call Arts Coordinator Magdiel Alfonso at (956) 383-6246.

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