The Tribeca Film Institute (TFI) announced yesterday the award winners for the TFI Latin America Media Arts Fund, Heineken VOCES and TFI/WorldView Partnership grants at a celebration for Latin American filmmakers. The funds, totaling $130,000, support innovative Latin American film and video artists to help them explore stories reflecting diverse cultures and gain exposure in the American film industry.
Additionally, Bloomberg, the new presenting sponsor of the TFI Latin America Media Arts Fund, will award grants and mentorship to the inaugural group of three Bloomberg Fellows to aid in the development of their projects. The partnership will launch in the summer of 2013 with a series of multi-day workshops in Sao Paulo, Brazil; Mexico City, Mexico; and Santiago, Chile. Each workshop will be aimed at educating, assisting and aiding five emerging filmmakers in each region with the development of their feature documentary or hybrid works, as well as focusing on pitch training and international funding.
The winners of the 2013 Bloomberg grants are:
- Children / Los niños (Chile), Directed by Maite Alberdi Soto; Produced by Clara Taricco. A group of friends with Down’s Syndrome face a new stage in life. They feel unprepared to grow old. Parents die, they are left alone, and they suffer diseases of the elderly, like Alzheimer’s.
- The City Where I'm Getting Old (Brazil, pictured right), Directed by Marilia Rocha; Produced by Luana Melgaço. At a moment when the Portuguese government publicly recommends that the country’s citizens seek work abroad, a young Portuguese woman, Teresa Pestana heads for the city of Belo Horizonte, one of the major Brazilian state capitals.
- Someone Else's Secret (Mexico), Written and Directed by Hector Barrios; Written and Produced by Denisse Quintero. Through a Private Detective’s life and work, Someone Else’s Secret follows a real case of distrust and portraits the honest communication crisis prevailing in modern societies. On a double espionage, the documentary reveals the Detective’s secrets.
The four winners of this year's TFI Latin America Media Arts Fund:
- The Girl Behind the Camera (Argentina, pictured top left), Directed and Produced by Paula Schargorodsky. A 35 year old woman has chronicled the last10 years of her life on film. Five boyfriends and two wedding proposals later she remains single. The Girl Behind the Camera is a humorous, intimate investigation on a generation of unsettled women that poses a question about the choices we make (or don’t make) in life.
- Los días no vuelven / Missed Days (Mexico, pictured left), Produced and Directed by Raul Cuesta; Written by Fernando del Razo. Disappointed over a premature retirement from professional tennis and never fulfilling his deceased father's dreams, Enrique hopes the birth of his first child will bring him redemption.
- La siesta / The Naptime (Mexico), Written, Produced and Directed by Carolina Platt. A visual elegy through the eyes of the director that follows how families learn to live with the loss of a child.
- Solitude Square / Plaza de la Soledad (Mexico, pictured right), Directed by Maya Goded; Produced by Martha Sosa Elizondo; Co-Produced by Iris Lammertsma. Two aged prostitutes see themselves forced to contemplate their lives and confront their issues so they can live out the remainder of their days with dignity and hope.
The winners of the Heineken VOCES grants are:
Heineken VOCES Award for Documentary: Man of the Monkey, Directed by David Romberg – Intrigued by the tale of a scary man living in isolation with his chimpanzee wife, David Romberg travels to his childhood home on Ilha Grande, Brazil to find him, only to discover that the tale pales in comparison to what he uncovers.
Heineken VOCES Award for Narrative: Nobody is Watching, Written, Directed, Co-Produced by Julia Solomonoff, Written by Martina Broner, Co-Produced by Maria Arida. Guille, an out of work actor who knew success in Argentina, navigates life as an immigrant on the fringes of New York and wrestles to find a place he can call home.
The winners of the TFI/WorldView Partnership grants are:
- Growing in Oil (Venezuela, pictured left), Written and Directed by Anabel Rodríguez Ríos. A story following the children of Congo Mirador as they survive the disappearance of their village, which is located in Lake Maracaibo, the largest oil field of Latin America. As a consequence of the oil industry, soil levels are changing and the village will turn into a swamp.
- Night Inside Me (Bolivia), Directed by Sergio Estrada; Produced by Valeria Ponce. Primo is the leader of one of the most effective and experienced mining crews, yet not one of the luckiest. The crew’s routine changes the day Primo’s son decides to join them. When night falls in the mine… Everyone is left inside.
- Swimming on Dry Land (Jamaica), Produced and Directed by Michelle Serieux. Jamaica is a land of many contradictions. The country that created Bob Marley and gave the world Rastafari, Reggae Music and “One Love,” has also produced a culture that is very intolerant of diversity.
The winners were selected by a jury of industry professionals including producer, Leonardo Zimbron; award-winning filmmaker, Julia Bacha; and co-founding director of Cinema Tropical, Carlos A. Gutiérrez.