Tribeca Announces 2014 Latin American Media Arts Fund Winners

The Tribeca Film Institute announced the winners of the 2014 TFI Latin America Media Arts Fund, which provides grants, professional guidance and an entrance into the U.S. industry to documentary, animation, or hybrid feature-length films from innovative film and video artists living and working in the Caribbean, Mexico, Central and South America.

The Heineken Voces Grant supports Latino American filmmakers who reside and work in the United States. The TFI/Bloomberg Fellowship, grants awards to Brazilian, Chilean and Mexican documentary filmmakers (living in their respective countries) in order to aid in the development of their projects at any stage.

This year's TFI Latin America Media Arts Fund grants include:

El Charro de Toluquilla (Mexico, pictured above), directed and Produced by José Villalobos Romero. El Charro de Toluquilla tells the story of Jaime García—a mariachi singer and braggart who lives his life like a chauvinistic vintage Mexican movie character, but with one difference: he is HIV-positive.

Feral (Mexico), directed by Andrés Eichelmann Kaiser; produced by Nicole Maynard Pinto, Juan Hernández and Osvaldo Montaño. A series of videotapes serve as the only witness to the tragic death of priest Juan Felipe, who had been trying to re-educate three wild children. The truth will be revealed through the reconstruction of different events.

Pizarro (Colombia), directed by Simón Hernández; produced by Christian Bitar Giraldo. This film follows the personal quest of María José Pizarro to reconstruct her life and the life and death of her guerilla leader father, in order to reconcile with him.

The Belly of the Whale (Cuba, pictured right), written and directed by Horizoe García; produced by Ivonne Cotorruelo. Three Cuban families strive to rise above their socioeconomic limitations and start a new chapter in their lives—hoping to break the inertia and apathy plaguing the country.

Four Bloomberg Fellows, one from each region, will be awarded a $12,000 grant and an invitation to participate in the workshop in their home country. They include:

Beaverland (Chile), directed by Antonio Luco & Nicolás Molina; produced by Francisco Hervé. Derek and Giorgia, a young couple of biologists, enter the hostile land of Tierra del Fuego to investigate a devastating plague of beavers sweeping the area.

Jonas and the Circus Without a Tent (Brazil), written and Directed by Paula Gomes; Co-Written by Haroldo Borges; produced by Marcos Bautista and Ernesto Molinero. Jonas is 13 years old and his life's dream is to maintain the circus he created in his backyard. While he faces this challenge, he will live the adventure of growing up.

Patient (Colombia), written, produced and directed by Jorge Caballero. In Patient a young woman struggles to beat her recent cancer diagnosis, all while her mother persistently fights the bureaucratic health care system in Colombia.

The Mermaid and the Myth of the Eternal Return (Mexico, pictured left), directed by Luis Rincón; produced by Cristina Velasco. In a Nicaraguan fishing community, divers are getting sick. They descend to the sea looking for lobster and return to the surface with their bodies paralyzed. With no other explanation, the old men in the village believe the divers have raised the anger of a mythical “Mermaid.”

The Heineken VOCES Award is part of the Latin America Media Arts Fund and is granted to one documentary and one narrative project annually. This year's winners include:

Sanson and Me (Mexico), 2014, directed by Rodrigo Reyes; produced by Inti Cordera & Su Kim. A coming-of-age of two Mexican immigrants with parallel lives: one is a country boy serving a life sentence for a murder conviction, and the other is the filmmaker himself—a middle-class intellectual from Mexico City. Sanson and Me is an essay film that reflects on how issues of class, poverty, immigration and gang violence intersect with the American Dream.

La Raya (Mexico, pictured right), 2014, written and directed by Yolanda Cruz. The mysterious appearance of a refrigerator in the outskirts of La Raya, a remote village in the mountains of Oaxaca, Mexico, promises business, money and success for 11 year-old Papio, a precocious boy who dreams of his father’s return from the United States.

Jurors for this year’s Latin Fund, who included Paula Heredia, Matías Ehrenberg and Julian Schnabel, selected the recipients from a group of finalists narrowed from 170 submissions.