Carlos Caridad Montero’s debut feature 3 Beauties / 3 Bellezas and Mario Crespo’s Dauna, lo que lleva el río / Gone With the River were the top winners of the third edition of the Venezuelan Film Festival in New York, it was announced this evening. The jury composed by music film editor Suzana Peric, Tribeca Film Festival’s Loren Hammonds, and Cinema Tropical’s Carlos A. Gutiérrez decided to award two films as Best Fiction Film.

3 Beauties follows Perla, a mother with three children: Carolina, Estefania and Salvador. She is obsessed with turning one of her daughters a beauty queen and fulfill her own childhood dream. But her desire and obsession encourage the competition among her daughters since childhood. While Salvador, the only son, is always looking for a place in the affections of his mother, who is always focused on her “two princesses”. Years later the unlimited efforts to achieve Perla’s dream will be transformed into a nightmare for both of her daughters.

Mario Crespo’s film, which is this year’s Venezuelan submission to the Oscars, is the story of Dauna -a young indigenous woman living by the Orinoco Delta- who has a husband that loves her, but who refuses to understand her passions. Dauna, who was raised free, must decide between living a frustrated life beside her husband or devoting herself fully to her vocation, even at the risk of facing serious consequences.

The feature film Margaritas para los pobres / Daisies for the Poor by Rafael Lacau was awarded for Best Documentary, while the Audience Award was presented to the documentary film Francisco Massiani by Manuel Guzmán Kizer.

The third edition of the Venezuelan Film Festival in New York screened 17 feature films and took place September 23-27 at the Village East Cinema in downtown Manhattan.