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Cinelatino Airs U.S. Premiere of 'La India Maria’s' Last Film

Pay-TV network Cinelatino is observing Mexican Independence Day by offering U.S. Hispanics the first-ever stateside airing of the final feature film of comedian Maria Elena Velasco, a.k.a. "La India Maria."

La hija de Montezuma, the final installment in a 42-year series of films in which Velasco portrays an indigenous woman known for her braided hair and ribbons and colorful blouses and skirts, was released in Mexico last year. On May 1, 2015, Velasco died at age 74 in Mexico City.

Until now, the film has not appeared on a U.S.-based television network. Premiere airings were at 9 p.m. ET and 8 p.m. PT on Sept. 16, in tribute to Mexico's independence from Spain. Repeat airings are set for Sept. 20 at 7 p.m. ET and 8 p.m. PT.

“We are honored to pay tribute to the life of the deeply influential actress Maria Elena Velasco and her iconic character, 'La India Maria,' with the exclusive U.S. premiere of her final film,” Jim McNamara, vice chairman of Hemisphere Media Group, Cinelatino’s parent company, said. “ 'La India Maria' has an enormous and loyal following throughout the Mexican and Hispanic communities in the U.S., and we’re confident it will draw huge audiences.”

Accompanying La hija de Montezuma on Sept. 16 were such box-office blockbusters as Suave Patria, a film about two unemployed actors who stage a kidnapping as an act without imagining the disastrous (and hilarious) consequences; Morelos, a historical drama about the final years of Jose Maria Morelos, leader of Mexican Independence; El Infierno, a dark comedy about a Mexican town ravaged by drug trafficking and violence; and Abel, the award-winning story directed by Diego Luna about a nine-year-old boy who must hold his family together after his father passes away.