Wednesday night’s Los Angeles Latino Film Festival closing ceremony saw Venezuelan/Cuban pic “Habana Eva,” directed by Fina Torres, walk away with the Rita Award for best film.
The fest, in its 14th year, screened 91 films in seven days. Jose Sanchez-Montes Gonzalez’s “Tiempo de Leyenda” and “El ambulante,” co-directed by Eduardo de la Serna, Adriana Yurcovich and Lucas Marcheggiano, shared the documentary kudo.
“Harvest of Loneliness,” co-directed by Vivian Price and Gilbert Gonzalez, and Marcel Rasquin’s opening night film “Hermano,” another Venezuelan pic, took home the audience choice awards and $1,000 each from Cinelatino.
Brazil’s Anna Muylaert was named best director for “E proibido fumar” (Smoking Prohibited). Best new pic award went to Uruguayan entry “Mal dia para pescar” by Alvaro Bechner.
Torres and Rasquin exemplify the new generation of Venezuelan helmers who are leading the charge in more audience-friendly pics. “Hermano” has lured a noteworthy 250,000 admissions back home, said Rasquin.
Thesp and fest co-founder Edward James Olmos said the event, “encourages a rich connection between audience and art, between the blend of cultures taking place…and everyone reaps the rewards.”
Fest closed with Carlos Carrera’s “Backyard” from Mexico, which Maya Entertainment is releasing.