New Area Studies points to the need to understand increasing complexity across the globe. One route into this enquiry is through the creative arts; cinema specifically has provided a platform since the late twentieth century for the sharing of locally based stories on a global scale. This has coincided with a turn to transnational perspectives in cinema studies, with many different regional filmmaking practices, products and their places of production becoming better known as a result. This essay highlights the connections between cinema, storytelling and place-making in Latin America where there has been an increase in commercial, indigenous, experimental, art and independent films that have travelled the world through the mainstream, prestige and alternative festival circuits. It draws attention to the fundamental shift in the ways Latin America has been expressed and perceived over the last twenty years, in large part due to the multitude of stories and perspectives that its filmmakers have created and shared with the world.