Three Latino films were awarded at the 18th Annual Urbanworld Film Festival, the largest competitive multicultural festival in the world, presented by BET Networks with founding sponsor HBO. The award for Best Narrative Feature U.S. Cinema was given to Mike Ott’s Lake Los Angeles (pictured right). It follows Francisco, a Cuban immigrant working at a holding house in California, and Cecilia, a 10 year old Mexican girl who undertook the perilous journey alone. The film is the last installment of a trilogy focusing on California’s Antelope Valley desert region.
The prize for Best Narrative Feature in the World Cinema competition went to Los Ángeles (pictured right) directed by Damian John Harper. The German-Mexico co-production focuses on 17 year-old Mateo, from a small Zapotec community in southern Mexico. As he prepares to make the journey north to Los Angeles, he is forced to juggle the demands imposed on him by the local gang that can provide him safe passage. Earlier this year, Harper also won the Best First Work Award at the 2014 Guadalajara International Film Festival and the LA Muse Award at the Los Angeles Film Festival.
Damian Marcano’s first feature film, God Loves the Fighter (pictured right), received an honorable mention in the same category. The production filmed entirely in Trinidad and Tobago, follows Charlie a young street poet who wants to lead an honest life, but must fight to survive in the dangerous slum of Laventille.
The 18th edition of the Urbanworld Film Festival which screened over 70 films including 12 world premieres took place September 17-21 in New York City.