The New York International Latino Film Festival ended its festivities by honoring various films at an Awards Ceremony last week. Prizes were handed out for Best Domestic Feature, Best International Feature, Best Director, Best Documentary, and Best Short. Venezuelan Alejandro Bellame Palacios won big, taking the prize for Best Director as well as Best International Feature for his film, El Rumor de Las Piedras (The Rumble of the Stones). A Swedish-Cuban co-production, El Médico: The Cubatón Story, took home the prize for Best Documentary.
Charged with picking the winners, the jury was made up of distinguished filmmakers, journalists and industry professionals. The Domestic and International Features jury was comprised of Sheila Walcott, Director of Development at HBO Films; Tamir Muhammad, Director of Feature Programming at the Tribeca Film Institute; and Mario Diaz, an award-winning filmmaker and editor. The Documentary jury included Cristina Ibarra, documentary filmmaker; Raphaela Neihausen, Executive Director of DOC NYC (New York’s Documentary Film Festival); and Araceli Cruz, Senior Associate Editor at the Village Voice. And the Short Films jury was Renata Florio, Chief Creative Officer at Wing; Ernesto Quiñonez, novelist and Associate Professor at Cornell University’s MFA program; and Alberto Ferreras, Creative Director at Latino Media Works.
And the winners are…
BEST DOMESTIC FEATURE
Presented by HBO. Winner receives $5,000 cash award.
UNDER MY NAILS
Director: Arí Maniel Cruz
Writer: Kisha Tikina Burgos
Cast: Marilú Acosta, Maite Bonilla, Kisha Tikina Burgos, Iván Camilo, Dolores Pedro
Puerto Rico, USA | 100 Min
Solimar, a Puerto Rican woman who works in a nail salon, becomes intrigued by the violent sexual practices of her new neighbors, Roberto and Perpetuel. When Perpetuel returns home to the DR, Solimar goes from voyeur to participant in Roberto’s games of sex and power.
BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE
Presented by El Diario-La Prensa. Winner receives $1,000 cash award.
EL RUMOR DE LAS PIEDRAS (The Rumble of the Stones)
Director/Producer: Alejandro Bellame Palacios
Writers: Alejandro Bellame Palacios & Valentina Saa
Cast: Alberto Alifa, Veronica Arellano, Aminta de Lara, Rossana Fernandez, Ariette Torres
Venezuela | 100 Min
Single mother Delia struggles to raise her sons, William and Santiago, in a shanty town of Caracas, but it seems that everyday they slip farther away from her and closer to a life of crime and delinquency.
Presented by Tribeca Film Institute and Heineken Voces. Winner receives $1,000 cash award.
ALEJANDRO BELLAME PALACIOS for EL RUMOR DE LAS PIEDRAS
Presented by HBO. Winner receives $1,000 cash award.
EL MÉDICO: THE CUBATÓN STORY
Director: Daniel Fridell
Cuba, Sweden | 85 Min
High up in the Sierra Maestra mountains, where Castro’s revolution began, “El Médico,” a doctor and musician, serves the cause. When a Swedish music producer sees “El Médico” as the next big thing, Communist ideals collide with capitalist dreams, with the magic and beauty of Cuba and her music as backdrop.
Presented by Avid. Winner receives a Media Composer 6.
Directors: Daniel Enrique García and Ahna Terpstra
Peru, USA | 20 Min
Dora has always dreamed of becoming a fisherman like her father. However, everyone in her Peruvian fishing village wants her to marry instead.
Written by Juan Caceres and Vanessa Erazo, LatinoBuzz is a weekly feature on SydneysBuzz that highlights emerging and established Latino indie talent and upcoming trends in Latino film with the specific objective of presenting a broad range of Latino voices. Follow @LatinoBuzz on twitter.