The Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF) concluded its 2011 edition with a star studded red carpet, the award ceremony and a special presentation of one of this summer’s most anticipated films, Cowboys & Aliens on Monday, July 25, at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. Directed by blockbuster filmmaker Jon Favreau, the action-thriller was co-written and co-produced by Mexican-born Roberto Orci. The evening served as the closing event of the nine-day festival celebrating its 15th anniversary in 2011. See www.latinofilm.org for more information.
LALIFF announced the award winners at its Closing Night Awards Ceremony sponsored by AT&T with Chile’s POST MORTEM directed by Pablo Larraín taking home the Rita Award as Best Film; NOSTALGIA DE LA LUZ (NOSTALGIA FOR THE LIGHT) the award for Best Documentary; LOS COLORES DE LA MONTAÑA (THE COLORS OF THE MOUNTAIN) by Carlos César Arbeláez from Colombia cited for Best Opera Prima; and Javier Barbera’s SHADOWS named Best Short Film. See the complete list of winners below.
LALIFF Executive Director, Programmer and Co-Founder Marlene Dermer said, “Each year we try to present films that are provocative, express diversity, vision, and explore the human condition. This year was not exception; we presented films that went far beyond stereotypes and boundaries. We hope you enjoyed the films, the ‘Café con…’ panel series and all the events we offered to filmmakers and the community. We dedicate out work and efforts to the Latino filmmakers that bring diversity to the world of film.”
The festival featured 76 films, including 42 feature films (29 narrative and 13 documentaries) and 34 short films from 14 different countries. Festival highlights included an Opening Night Gala where LALIFF presented its 14th Gabi Lifetime Achievement Award to Academy Award® winner Guillermo Navarro in recognition of his visionary excellence in cinematography. Edward James Olmos said of Mr. Navarro: “His language is profound; Guillermo’s images have transformed the world and the world of cinema. It is an honor and a privilege to give the ‘Gabi’ this year to Guillermo Navarro.” He then introduced a mesmerizing tribute clip reel of Navarro’s works.
Guillermo Navarro said: “I thank LALIFF for this distinction. It is an honor to receive the ‘Gabi’ today in the organization’s 15th anniversary and I feel that it is an incredible responsibility to stand here before all of you. This incredible journey started when I was 13 years old taking black and white photographs. It has taken me all over the globe, to the past, to the future, to unknown worlds and other realities. But filmmaking is a collective effort and I need to pay tribute to all the people that have contributed to make my films better films; to all the people that have believed in me. I am the recipient of this award in representation of all the others. Thank you so much. It is a privilege to be part of the Latino community and part of that connective tissue between cultures. We must build bridges; continue to build the connections together. Thank you LALIFF.” A standing ovation ensued, later joined by a Mariachi Band singing “El Rey (The King)”, one on Mexico’s traditional song.
The festival concluded its 2011 edition with the Closing Night Film exhibition of Jon Favreau’s Cowboys & Aliens on Monday, July 25, at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. The film’s co-writer and co-producer Roberto Orci and actress Ana de la Reguera were in hand to introduce the film. The talented Mexican actress Ana de la Reguera said: “It is an honor to present this incredible film at LALIFF and in Hollywood. I was inspired by the legendary actress Katy Jurado who was the first crossover actress to appear in a western film.” Roberto Orci said: “We Latinos are the backbone of Hollywood, we are the ones that see the most movies, the consumer leaders, the driving economic force of this industry. Don’t ever be afraid to be proud of being Latino; and don’t smurf your weekend, go see Cowboys & Aliens.”
Winners or the 15th Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival:
Best Feature Film (RITA AWARD)
POST MORTEM, Director: Pablo Larraín. Country: Chile
NOSTALGIA DE LA LUZ (NOSTALGIA FOR THE LIGHT) Director: Patricio Guzmán. Country: Chile/France/Spain/Germany
Honorable Mention: PRECIOUS KNOWLEDGE, Ari Luis Palos, USA
Honorable Mention: LA MALETA MEXICANA (THE MEXICAN SUITCASE), Trisha Ziff, MEXICO
Honorable Mention: GRANITO: HOW TO NAIL A DICTATOR, Pamela Yates, USA
Best Opera Prima
LOS COLORES DE LA MONTAÑA (THE COLORS OF THE MOUNTAIN) Director: Carlos César Arbeláez. Country: Colombia
Honorable Mention: EL PREMIO (THE PRIZE), Paula Markovitch, Mexico/France/Germany/Poland
Best Short Film
SHADOWS, Director: Javier Barbera. Country: USA
Honorable Mention: 70m2, Miguel Angel Carmona Estevez, Spain
Honorable Mention: EL POZO (THE WELL), Guillermo Arriaga, Mexico
Honorable Mention: SIN PALABRAS (NO WORDS), Bel Armenteros, Spain
Honorable Mention: TIJERETO (FLYCATCHER), Camila Jiménez Villa, Colombia
Honorable Mention: A MULA TEIMOSA E O CONTROLE REMOTO (THE STUBBORN MULE AND THE REMOTE CONTROL), Hélio Villela Nunes, Brazil
Audience Choice Award: Feature Film
LA HORA CERO (THE ZERO HOUR). Director: Diego Velasco. Country: Venezuela
2nd Place ENTRELOBOS (AMONG WOLVES), Gerardo Olivares, Spain
3rd Place CHICO & RITA, Fernando Trueba, Javier Mariscal, Tono Errando, Spain/UK
Audience Choice Award: Short Film
ESPÉRAME, Director: Daniel Galo. Country: USA/Mexico
Matías Bize director of LA VIDA DE LOS PECES (THE LIFE OF FISH). Country: Chile
Carlos Cesar Arbeláez, LOS COLORES DE LA MONTAÑA (THE COLORS OF THE MOUNTAIN). Country: Colombia
Best High School Film
KIDNAPPED, Director: Kevin Lozano. Country: USA