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LatinoBuzz: The Winners of the 3rd Annual Cinema Tropical Awards Are...

The winners of the 3rd Annual Cinema Tropical Awards were announced at a special event at the New York Times headquarters in New York City,celebrating the best of the Latin American film production of the year in five different categories:

- Best Feature Film

- Best Documentary Film

- Best Director, Feature Film

- Best Director, Documentary Film

- Best First Film

The Cinema Tropical Awards are presented in partnership with Voces, Latino Heritage Network of The New York Times and 92YTribeca, with the support of the Mexican Cultural Institute. Special thanks to Lucila Moctezuma and Mario Díaz.

Best Feature Film

- O Som Ao Redor / Neighboring Sounds (Kleber Mendonça Filho, Brazil, 2012)

Best Director, Feature Film

- MatÍAs Meyer, Los ÚLtimos Cristeros / The Last Christeros (Mexico, 2011)

Best Documentary Film

- El Salvavidas / The Lifeguard (Maite Alberdi, Chile, 2011)

Best Director, Documentary Film

- JosÉ ÁLvarez, CanÍCula (Mexico, 2011)

Best First Film

- El Estudiante / The Student (Santiago Mitre, Argentina, 2011)

The films were selected from a list of Latin American feature films with a minimum of 60 minutes in length that were premiered between April 1, 2011 and March 31, 2012. The winners and final nominees were selected by a six-member jury panel from a list of fiction and documentary films compiled from the selections of a nominating committee composed of 14 film professionals from Latin America, the U.S. and Europe (see list below).

Fiction Jury

Dennis Lim writes about film and popular culture for various publications including The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. He is the founding editor of Moving Image Source, the online publication and research resource of the Museum of the Moving Image and was formerly the film editor of The Village Voice. His work has also appeared in The Believer, The Oxford American, Blender, Spin, Espous, Indiewire, New York Daily News, The Independent on Sunday, The Guardian, and the film quarterly Cinema Scope, where he is a contributing editor. A member of the National Society of Film Critics and the editor of The Village Voice Film Guide (2006), he has served as a member of the New York Film Festival selection committee and he teaches in the Cultural Reporting and Criticism graduate program a New York University.

Matías Piñeiro is a filmmaker and professor at the Universidad del Cine in Buenos Aires. His first feature-length work, El hombre robado / The Stolen Man (2007), won awards at the Jeonju International Film Festival and at Las Palmas de Gran Canaria International Film Festival. In 2009, his second feature, Todos mienten / They All Lie, premiered at Bafici (Buenos Aires Festival International de Cine Independiente), where it won two awards. It also won a prize at the Santiago Festival Internacional de Cine. In 2010, he was selected—along with James Benning and Denis Côté—to screen his third film, Rosalinda at the 11th Jeonju Digital Project. Piñeiro recently premiered his most recent film, Viola, at the Toronto Film Festival, and it's slated for a Us release in 2013. He earned a filmmaking degree from Universidad del Cine. His award-winning films have been screened around the world, including at Anthology Film Archives, Festival des 3 Continents, the Festival del film Locarno, the London Film Festival, Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires, the Museum of Modern Art, Rencontré Cinémas d’Amerique Latine de Toulouse, and the Viennale.

Frida Torresblanco served as a producer in Spain working on film including The Dancer Upstairs, directed by John Malkovich and starring Javier Bardem, as well as Susan Seidelman’s Gaudi Afternoon. She moved to New York City in 2002 to launch and lead Alfonso Cuaron’s film production company, Esperanto, where she served as Executive Producer and Creative On-Set Producer for The Assassination of Richard Nixon (directed by Niels Mueller, starring Sean Penn), among others. In 2006, Frida joined Alfonso Cuarón and Guillermo del Toro to produce El laberinto del Fauno / Pan’s Labyrinth (Three Oscars & another three Oscar nominations; three wins & five BAFTA nominations; a nomination for the Palm d’Or and a Golden Globe). The Hollywood Reporter named Frida one of the 50 most powerful Latinos in Hollywood. She also produced Rudo y Cursi (directed by Carlos Cuarón, starring Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna). In 2010, Frida launched her new film production company, Braven Films, with partners Eric Laufer and Giovanna Randall. Her next project, Magic Magic, produced through Braven Films, will star Michael Cera, Juno Temple and Emily Browning.

DocuMentary Jury

Ryan Harrington is the Director of Documentary Programs at the Tribeca Film Institute where he oversees the Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund, the Tfi Documentary Fund, Tribeca All Access documentary program and the Latin America Media Arts Fund while developing other initiatives and programs that support non-fiction filmmaking. Recent Tfi successes include Give Up Tomorrow, If a Tree Falls, The Redemption of General Butt Naked, The Oath, Enemies of the People, Marathon Boy and Donor Unknown. Independently he is currently working on the feature doc Hungry in America, with filmmakers Kristi Jacobson & Lori Silverbush and Participant Media, that explores why so many people in the USA go without food, and what can be done about it. Harrington managed production for A&E IndieFilms, the theatrical documentary arm of the A&E Network, for four years. Throughout his time there he championed the Oscar-nominated films Murderball and Jesus Camp, and the Sundance hits My Kid Could Paint That and American Teen.

Paula Heredia is a director and editor based in New York. She was awarded an Emmy for the HBO documentary In Memoriam, NYC 9/11/01, and an Ace Eddie Award for the acclaimed documentary Unzipped. Her directorial work includes the documentaries George Plimpton and the Paris Review, Ralph Gibson, and The Couple in the Cage. Her dramatic work includes Having a Baby, Tras La Ventana, Slings and Arrows, and La Cena de Matrimonio. Her short film La Pájara Pinta premiered at the Lincoln Center Film Society LatinBeat Film Festival. Heredia’s editorial work can be seen in the HBO feature-length documentary Addiction, which received the 2007 Emmy Governors Award, and Alive Day Memories—Home from Iraq, executive produced by James Gandolfini for HBO. Her new edit, The Art of Failure: Chuck Connelly Not for Sale and Jacques D'Ambois in China, will air on HBO this summer. Other editorial credits include: Modulations Cinema for the Ear, The Vagina Monologues, Finding Christa and Free Tibet. Paula’s work and creative process is featured in the book: The Art of the Documentary by Megan Cunningham. With partner Larry Garvin, she co-founded Heredia Pictures, heads the international committee of New York Women in Film and Television and serves on the board of advisors of Tribeca All Access and Clementina, Inc.

Chi-hui Yang is a film programmer, lecturer and writer based in New York. As a guest curator, Yang has presented film and video series at film festivals and events internationally, including MoMA's Documentary Fortnight, Robert Flaherty Film Seminar (“The Age of Migration”), Seattle International Film Festival, Washington D.C. International Film Festival and Barcelona Asian Film Festival. From 2000-2010 he was the Director and Programmer of the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival, the largest showcase of its kind in the Us. Yang is also the programmer of “Cinema Asian America,” a new On-Demand service offered by Comcast and currently a Visiting Scholar at New York University’s Asian/Pacific/American Institute.

Nominating Committee

- Isabel Arrate Fernandez, Idfa, The Netherlands

- Hugo Chaparro, film critic, Colombia

- Lucile De Calan, programmer, Biarritz Latin American Film Festival, France

- Denis de la Roca, programmer, Abu Dhabi Film Festival

- Mara Fortes, programmer, Morelia Film Festival

- Erick Gonzalez, programmer, Valdivia Film Festival, Chile

- Elías Jiménez, director, Festival Ícaro, Guatemala

- Roger Alan Koza, film critic and programmer, Filmfest Hamburg, Ficunam, Mexico

- Janneke Langelaan, Hubert Bals Fund, The Netherlands

- Diego Lerer, film critic, Argentina

- Rosa Martinez Rivero, film producer, Argentina

- Christian Sida-Valenzuela, director, Vancouver Latin American Film Festival

- Hebe Tabachnik, programmer, Los Angeles and Palm Springs Film Festivals

- Sergio Wolf, film programmer, Argentina
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