Rezeta (pictured), the debut feature film by Mexican director Fernando Frías, was awarded with the Spirit Award for Feature Narrative as well as the Best Actress Award for Rezeta Veliu at the 17th edition of the Brooklyn Film Festival. Additionally, the short film Toñita's co-directed by Mexican filmmaker Sebastián Díaz Aguirre was presented with the Brooklyn Pride Award.
Rezeta tells the story of a 21 year old model born in Albania who arrives in Mexico after making a living out of her beauty all around the globe. She soon meets Alex, a tattooed musician who cleans up the trailer where she waits during a commercial photo shoot. They quickly become friends, and then their relationship becomes something more. This is the story of their complicated romance, set against a backdrop of bands, parties and everyday life in modern Mexico.
The documentary short Toñita's (pictured right) dives into the microcosm of The Caribbean Sports Club in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Known as 'Toñita's' because of its owner, Maria Toñita, the club is a social hub for longtime residents of the neighborhood. Her colorful regulars reveal the gritty history of this once predominantly Caribbean neighborhood, as well as the club's resistance to the area's rapid gentrification.
The 17th edition of the Brooklyn Film Festival took place May 30th - June 8th in New York City.