MATEO from Colombia Tops Austin's Cine Las Americas

The Colombian film Mateo (pictured), the feature debut by María Gamboa was the winner of Best Narrative Feature at the 17th edition of the Cine Las Americas Film Festival, which ended last night. Gamboa's French co-production film was also the winner of the Audience Award in the narrative competition.

Mateo is a 16 year-old kid who collects extortion money on behalf of his uncle and uses his pay to help out his mother, who grudgingly accepts the ill-gotten money out of need. Mateo agrees to infiltrate a local theater group in order to uncover its members’ political activities. As he becomes enthralled with the free-flowing creative lifestyle of the troupe, his uncle escalates demands on him to produce incriminating information on the actors. Under pressure, Mateo must make difficult choices.

The winner of the Best Documentary Award was Roque Dalton, ¡fusilemos la noche! / Roque Dalton, Let's Shoot the Night! by Tina Leisch, and Austrian-Salvadorean-Cuban co-production about the Salvadorean acclaimed poet. The Peruvian-Spanish documentary film Sigo siendo (Kachkaniraqmi) / I’m Still by Javier Corcuera was awarded with the Audience Award in the documentary competition.

In the short film competition the award for Best Narrative Short Film went to the Argentinean film Padre / Father by Santiago 'Bou' Grasso, while the Venezuelan short film Rojo / Red by Carlos Alejandro Molina M. was awarded with an Honorable Mention. Another Venezuelan short Trazos en la cumbre / Drawing on the Heights by Alejandro Victorero, Carlos Alejandro Molina won the Best Documentary Short Film award.

The 17th edition of the Cine Las Americas Film Festival took place April 22-27 in Austin, Texas.