Maravilla, the New York-based organization dedicated to raising awareness of Latin America through films and the arts, has announced the second edition of the Ecuadorian Film Festival in New York, EFFNY: One Ecuador! co-presented with Syndicated Bar Theatre Kitchen. This year’s festival will present ten feature-length and 17 short films, one of them in its world premiere, and the rest in their U.S. or New York premiere, with the presence of the filmmakers.
The competitive film festival, the first of its kind in the world dedicated to showcasing and celebrating the burgeoning cinema of Ecuador, will take place June 2-5 at the Village East Cinema, Syndicated Bar Theatre Kitchen and Queens Museum. The festival will open with the feature film UIO: Take Me for a Ride by Micaela Rueda, which had its world premiere at the SXSW Film Festival in Austin, and recently played at the Buenos Aires Independent Film Festival (BAFICI).
As a way to honor the victims of the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Ecuador on April 16th, and as a way to help in the ongoing recovery efforts, EFFNY will donate half of the money raised through ticket sales to the Ecuadorian Shelter Initiative in their shelter and housing reconstruction programs assisting victims of the recent natural disaster.
"On Saturday, April 16th, hundreds of Ecuadorians lost their lives and thousands lost their homes. But Ecuador did not lose hope, and today an entire country is working tirelessly to overcome adversity. I look forward to a festival full of great films and a warm, positive, and enthusiastic crowd," says Christian Ponce, director of the film festival.
Other highlights of the festival’s second edition include the world premiere of the documentary film DreamTown (pictured left) by New York-based director Betty Bastidas on the inspiring story of three young Afro-Ecuadorian soccer players chasing after success in the face of extraordinary challenges; as well as the documentary features Moments of Campaign (pictured above right) by Tomás Astudillo, which closely follows Rafael Correa on his presidential campaign for his third term, and Bernhard Hetzenauer's And There Was Fire in the Center of the Earth, a fascinating piece on memory and self-discovery telling the compelling story of a Jewish woman who fled Europe during war and settled in Ecuador.
EFFNY will present two awards. A jury composed of renowned film professionals composed by Variety’s Anna Marie de la Fuente, film producer Isabel Dávalos and filmmaker Ashish Avikunthak, will present the award for Best Film, and the public attending the screenings will vote for the Audience Award.
Check out the complete lineup at: www.ecuadorianfilmfest.com.