The Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) announced the award winners for the TFI Latin America Media Arts Fund and first-ever Heineken VOCES grant at a celebration over the weekend for Latin American filmmakers during the Tribeca Film Festival. The funds, totaling $60,000, support innovative Latin American film and video artists to help them explore stories reflecting diverse cultures and gain exposure in the film industry.
The TFI Latin America Media Arts Fund awards $10,000 grants to animation, documentary, or hybrid feature-length films in advanced development, production or post-production from filmmakers living and working in the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America. Grantees also receive exclusive guidance from TFI to ensure that each film reaches completion and enters the U.S. marketplace from the best possible vantage point. The Fund is sponsored by Moviecity and CANACINE.
"We are proud to support this year's Latin America Fund and Heineken VOCES winners, and look forward to helping these six filmmakers further develop their films," said Ryan Harrington, Director of Documentary Programming for TFI. "The VOCES grant extends our Latin Fund's reach by allowing us to work with filmmakers in the United States as well as talent based in Latin America. With the help of our partners, we can continue to provide a platform where these compelling stories can be experienced by a larger audience."
The winning films were selected by a jury of industry professionals including Fernando Rovzar, Executive Producer of La Casa de Mi Padre and Producer of Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark; Cynthia Lopez, Vice-President of American Documentary / POV; and actor/filmmaker Ricardo Darin (The Secret in Their Eyes, The Aura, Nine Queens).
The following four films are winners of this year's TFI Latin America Media Arts Fund:
• City of the Caesars (Chile), Directed & Produced by Francisco Herve, Edited by Andrea Chignoli -- Two conspiracy theories. Two ordinary men. Wisdom, immortality and natural resources are at stake in a mythical place somewhere in Patagonia.
• Cuando los Muertos Estan Mas Secos/When the Dead Are Drier (Bolivia), Directed & Produced by Claudio Araya Silva and Produced by Yara Morales Rivera -- In the eighties, more than 50 women committed suicide in a small peasant community. Hermenegildo and Pedro return to their community, attempting to retrace the paths of memory regarding the deaths of their wives. The trip aims to unravel the mystery surrounding the life and death of these women.
• Elena (Brazil), Directed & Produced by Ana Petra Costa - The film recounts the journey of Petra, a young Brazilian woman who dreams of becoming an actress but is warned not to do so by her mother. Against these admonitions, Petra moves to New York City where the reasons why she was advised against this path begin to unfold.
• The Shark's Eye (Argentina), Directed by Alejo Hoijman and Produced by Gema Juarez Allen -- Summer is coming to Nicaragua and Maycol and Bryan will start to learn their families' trade, shark hunting. In a place where traditional trades disappear in favor of drug trafficking, these two boys choose their future. A coming of age film set in the forgotten Caribbean coast of Nicaragua.
As part of the Latin Fund, the Heineken VOCES grant provides two additional grants to narrative and documentary projects helmed by Latino filmmakers (over the age of 21) who live and work in the United States. The mission of the grant is to encourage American Latino filmmakers to redefine, invent, explore and create visions and stories that reflect their diverse cultures.
"We are excited to recognize and honor the first-ever Heineken VOCES grantees and to help empower these filmmakers on their creative journey," said Carolyn Concepcion, Brand Manager of Heineken. "At Heineken, we celebrate and open your world through unique and unexpected experiences, making them unforgettable and extraordinary. The VOCES grant encompasses an invaluable mentorship by the prestigious Tribeca Film Institute that exemplifies the Heineken brand promise."
The winners of the first-ever Heineken VOCES grants include:
• Heineken VOCES Award for Documentary
A documentary about an extraordinary rite of passage in Laredo, Texas where Mexican-American debutantes are presented at a grand Colonial ball dressed as American revolutionaries – a border tradition that's 114 years old.
Directed & Produced by Cristina Ibarra and Produced by Erin Ploss-Campoamor
• Heineken VOCES Award for Narrative
The sheltered life of Juan Pablo is turned upside down when he must spend the carnival holiday with his wealthy family at their hacienda in the Ecuadorian Andes and meets Juano, a self-assured black metal fan from the nearby pueblo.
Written & Directed by Diego Araujo
Produced by Hanne-Lovise Skartveit, Juan Sebastian Jacome & Andres Longares
Executive Produced by Frida Torresblanco
Cinematography by Bradford Young