Darío Aguirre’s El grill de César / Cesar’s Grill (pictured left) and Tito Molina’s Silencio en la tierra de los sueños / Silence in Dreamland (pictured below right) were the winners of the top prize at the first edition of the Ecuadorian Film Festival in New York, EFFNY: All You Need Is Ecuador, which took place June 17-20 at the Tribeca Cinemas.
The jury composed by film graphic designer James Verdesoto, film programmer Diana Vargas, and Cinema Tropical’s Carlos A. Gutiérrez decided to give the top prize ex aequo to both film productions from the South American country. Additionally, Cesar’s Grill was also presented with the Audience Award as the most popular film of the festival. Director Darío Aguirre was in attendance to receive both awards.
In the personal family drama Cesar’s Grill, director Dario Aguirre gets called home to Ecuador to help save his father’s grill from bankruptcy. As the vegetarian son and meat-loving father circle each other warily amidst talk of spread sheets and the advantages of wholesale, a humorous and deeply touching family odyssey emerges. The film has played in numerous film festivals including Visions du Réel, Cartagena, Toulouse, and Vancouver.
In Silence in Dreamland, which was Ecuador’s submission to this year’s Academy Awards, silence and loneliness reign in an old lady's house after the death of her husband. She has made routine her best friend and faith her shelter. Only in her dreams she runs away from those four walls to a timeless magic land where the sea speaks without using words. Her days go by this way, between real life and her dreams... until a street dog comes to her door.
The first edition the Ecuadorian Film Festival in New York showcased 13 feature films with many filmmakers in attendance, and it closed with Feriado / Holiday by Diego Araujo.