August 23, 2019

The New York Latino Film Festival (NYLFF), celebrated its 16th anniversary with star-studded events and films, celebrating the Latino film industry and content creators from August 12 to 18. More than 1500 moviegoers supported more than 83 films from established and emerging filmmakers, with more than 10 countries represented. A variety of genres and formats were presented, including features, shorts, documentaries, web series and experimental films. Winners were announced at the conclusion of the Festival on Sunday, August 18, 2019 in the categories of International Feature, Documentary, U.S. Feature, Short Film, and Honorable Mention. In addition, in its first year, NYLFF in partnership with HBO Latino presented the"Latinos Stand-Up" competition in search of the best Latino stand-up comedians around the country. Over 300 entries were received and six finalists competed in front of a live audience and judging panel on Friday, August 16, 2019.

"I want to thank all of the filmmakers, moviegoers, talent and my incredible Festival team for making this year's Festival truly special. I am honored to once again present a platform where content creators share Latino and Latin American stories and experiences in the United States. This year, we introduced comedy as a part of the Festival, and was delighted to see the hundreds of entries received. It is evident that we need to continue providing a space for talent to flourish." said Calixto Chinchilla, Founder of NYLFF. I would also like to thank our dedicated sponsors, HBO Latino, Hennessy VSOP Privilege,American Airlines, Comcast NBCUniversal Telemundo, the Mayor's Office of Media and Entertainment, among other, all of whom share our passion for diversity in storytelling and inclusion.

NEW YORK LATINO FILM FESTIVAL 2019 WINNERS:

Best Webseries | UNO POR UNO: THE CUBAN MISSILE CRISIS
Directed by: Eddie Mujica

The story of Yuskobe Rodriguez, a Cuban immigrant who joins a pickup basketball game and changes the players' lives forever.
 
Best International Feature | LA MALA NOCHE

Directed by: Gabriela Calvache; Writer: Gabriela Calvache; Produced by: Gabriela Calvache, Geminiano Pineda; and Cast: Nöelle Schönwald, Cristian Mercado, Jaime Tamariz

Gabriela Calvache's insistently serious thriller debut from Ecuador is a fearless and eye-opening look inside the world of human trafficking and the mafia underworld, focusing on one woman's quest for justice.
 
Best Documentary | CLEAN HANDS

Directed and Produced by: Michael Dominic

Shot over the course of seven years, 2011-2018 in Nicaragua, Clean Hands is a feature-length fly-on-the-wall documentary which tells the story of the Lopez family surviving against the backdrop of Central America's largest garbage dump, La Chureca and beyond. It is about family, extreme poverty, the hope and innocence of children, rescue and salvation, and the challenges we all face.

Best U.S. Feature | PAPER BOATS

Directed by: Yago Muñoz; Writer: Carlo Muñoz; Produced by: Alexandra Melkman; and Cast: Pedro Damian, Alexandra Melkman

Hearing the news that his estranged daughter faces deportation, a man who seems to have lost it all recovers the will to live after agreeing to take in her children in this heartwarming story about the meaning of love, family, and the pursuit of happiness. Paper Boats reminds us of the unconditional bond of family, and how the innocence  of children can touch the most hardened of hearts.
 
Best Short Film | EL BALSERO

Directed by: Jose Navas
 
Nearly five years have passed since the Castro administration took office in Cuba, and the country is in a state of darkness and oppression. Freedom has been stripped from its people and daily life has been punctured by harassment and executions at the hands of Castro's National Police.After his childhood friend is violently killed in an altercation with a Castro sympathizer, 21 year old Reinaldo realizes he must find a way out and regain his freedom at any cost.
 
Honorable Mention | SENECA

Directed by: Jason Chaet; Writers: Jason Chaet, Armando Riesco; Produced by: Jason Chaet, Jonathan Grey, Armando Riesco; and Cast: Armando Riesco, Cote de Pablo, Susan Misner, Shirley Rumierk, Tony Plana, Alex Morf, Michael Cyril Creighton, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Francesca Curran, Stephen Adly Guirgis

David Seneca is a Puerto Rican actor in New York City, who has been struggling for years to make his acting career a success. As David's hair grays his millennial protégé takes the acting world by storm and David teaches foreign business execs how to reduce their accents. David's home life is not faring much better- his relationship with his wife is on the rocks, his parenting skills are not exactly up to par, his homeland of Puerto Rico is recovering from its worst natural disaster in recent history, and his childhood mentor is losing his fight to cancer. Cracking under the pressure, David finds himself in a less-than-impressive street fight that goes viral. Now an infamous internet sensation, he is kicked out of his home, and must slowly start picking up the pieces of his life to make himself whole again.
 
Latinos Stand-Up" competition Winners | ALEX CARABANO and MARK VIERA

A busy Brooklyn native, Alex CarabanoNYC stand up comedian who's been on BET's "Apollo Live," has performed overseas with Comedy Central's Tony Woods and in the Caribbean with HBO's Wil Sylvince. He regularly performs all across the New York scene at various venues plus featured in the Boston Comedy Festival. In addition, he co-owns/runs two Latin vegan restaurants with his brother & Team VSPOT.
 
Born and raised in The Bronx, New York, Mark Vierabecame fascinated with comedy very early on. While Mark's mom spent countless hours as a social worker to provide for her family, Mark and his older brother would pass the time watching the popular TV shows of the 70's and 80's. He became so engaged in the performances of his favorite comic personalities, it didn't take long before he began to emulate the characters he came to love. On any given night, he would entertain his family with remarkably accurate portrayals from shows like "Carol Burnett", "Sanford and Son", and "Three's Company".
 

 

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