Diego Rísquez’s EL MALQUERIDO Will Open the 4th Venezuelan Film Fest in NY

El Malquerido

El Malquerido

Maravilla, the New York-based organization dedicated to raising awareness of Latin America through films and the arts has announced the 4th annual edition of the Venezuelan Film Festival in New York (VEFFNY), which will take place September 14-18 at the Village East Cinema and Syndicated Bar Theater Kitchen, with the attendance of many of the featured filmmakers and actors.

Founded by Irene Yibirin and launched in 2013, VEFFNY is a competitive festival committed to showing the very best of the new Venezuelan cinema to American audiences, and it has been successful in attracting international attention for Venezuelan films. This year’s lineup was programmed by Rodrigo Llamozas, a leading independent film distributor and exhibitor, and promoter of Venezuelan cinema.

Venezuelan film talent has continued to bloom throughout the years and the past year particularly marked an exciting period of growing success. Lorenzo Vigas made history becoming the first Latin American filmmaker to ever win the Golden Lion—the top prize for Best Film—at the Venice Film Festival with his debut feature film From Afar / Desde allá; while director Jonathan Jakubowicz is conquering the U.S. box office with his boxing biopic Hands of Stone starring Robert DeNiro and Venezuelan star Edgar Ramírez, in one of the biggest theatrical releases ever for a Latino film in North America. 

The 4th edition of VEFFNY will open with El Malquerido by veteran filmmaker Diego Rísquez. Inspired by real facts, El Malquerido portraits the life and the career of Felipe Pirela, Venezuela’s bolero legend. From his native Maracaibo to the main stages of The Americas, this film is interpreted by the acclaimed international super star Jesús “Chino” Miranda, who brings to life, a romantic story of success and passion.

With an assortment of diverse feature and short films, VEFFNY offers an ample showcase of the current production by Venezuelan filmmakers, many of them in their U.S. premiere. The festival will also host a special screening of From Afar, which has recently been selected as Venezuela’s official entry to the Academy Awards. 

This year, VEFFNY will present a new award for Best Documentary, in addition to the Best Fiction Film and Audience Award of years past. A jury composed by producer Isabel Dávalos, theater maker Lauren Reinhard, and art director Marcelo Pont, will present the awards for Best Fiction and Documentary, while the audience attending the screenings will vote for its favorite production.

This year’s guest include Diego Rísquez, director of El Malquerido, and Antonio Llerandi, producer; Carla Forte, director of Ann, and protagonist Carlos Antonio León; Thomas Piedra, producer of Los 8-6; Alexandra Henao, director of Kuyujani Envenenado; William Padrón, director of Una fábula muy trillada; Mario Pagano, director of Backseat Fighter, and protagonist Iván Sánchez; and Nelson Núñez, director of Amor cuesta arriba.