Mexican filmmaker Edgar Nito has been announced as the winner of the Best New Narrative Director Award at the 2019 edition of the Tribeca Film Festival for his debut feature The Gasoline Thieves / Huachicolero. The New Narrative Director Award is presented to the helmer of any of the debut features participating in the U.S. or the international competition and comes with a cash prize of $10,000 and the art award “Love Trap" by Walter Robinson.
In a written statement jurors Stephen Kay, Bill Keith, Justin Long, Piper Perabo, and Mélita Toscan du Plantier said that “a coming of age story, social commentary, and at some points a revenge tale, this new director juggles each genre with equal sensitivity and truth. The film is impressively shot, with the messy and complicated inner workings of the characters' situations reflected in the emotional camera work that has a blazing intensity. Like the movie's central character, this movie is defined more by its heart than its swagger. We present the Best New Narrative Director award to Edgar Nito for The Gasoline Thieves. We can't wait to see more from Edgar.”
The Gasoline Thieves, which had its world premiere in the New York festival to solid reviews, follows Lalo (Eduardo Banda), a teenager from a small town, who has a crush on a schoolmate and decides the only way to win her heart is buying her an expensive smartphone. At the same time, his mother is in need of financial support to cover medical bills. In order to help and achieve his romantic goals, Lalo gets involved with the local huachicoleros (gasoline thieves), who enlist him to illegally siphon the fuel and resell it on the black market. What first appeared like a solution to his troubles proves to be a deadly bargain. His choices could land Lalo in the hands of the authorities or in a much worse situation.
Nito graduated with honors at Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica in Mexico where he directed, produced, and wrote several short films. His film, And I’ll Come Back…, won Best Short Film Award at the Guanajuato International Film Festival in 2011.