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OCTOBER 21-31

The VII Americas Film Festival showcases films from member and observer nations of the Organization of American States. This year, 21 films from 14 nations testify to the stubborn vitality of Latin American moviemaking under grim economic conditions. But in the future, the Americas fest may have trouble topping this year’s main attraction, It’s All True: Based on an Unfinished Film by Orson Welles (Oct. 22 at 10:15 p.m.; Oct. 23 at 7:30 p.m.). Welles’ 1941 unfinished Brazilian film has long been a source of obsessive fascination in that country. Using chunks of Welles’ footage and interviews with his collaborators, the documentary It’s All True tells the story of what festival director Eddie Cockrell calls the “Holy Grail of lost films.” Other highlights include the playful, perverse Dark at Noon (Oct. 30 at 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 31 at 5:15 p.m.), directed by Chilean exile and internationally celebrated film and video artist Raul Ruiz; Snakes and Ladders (Oct. 24 at 8:15 p.m.; Oct. 25 at 8:45 p.m.), an exploration of ’50s womanhood in and out of the Mexican bourgeoisie by talented female Mexican director Busi Cortes; and Secuestro: The Story of a Kidnapping (Oct. 30 at 5:30 p.m.; Oct. 31 at 1 p.m.), a chilling documentary made by Camila Motta, the sister of a kidnapped Colombian woman. Screenings are at the Kennedy Center’s American Film Institute Theater. $6. (202) 785-4600. (Pat Aufderheide)