Sunday, December 9, 2007

Hispanic New York Film Festival, Nov. 27-Dec. 1: See the Videos of Filmmaker Q&As on YouTube

By Gregory Horvath, Hispanic New York Project

The second annual Hispanic New York Film Festival, held between November 27 and December 1, 2007 and co-organized by Columbia University and Instituto Cervantes in collaboration with the Film Society of Lincoln Center, was a great success in terms of both audience and media attention. Nearly every screening had one or more filmmaker present for a question and answer session (we are currently posting videos of these discussions on our Youtube page).

Curated by Claudio Iván Remeseira and Marcela Goglio, the Hispanic New York Film Festival featured a range of films exploring some of the diverse experiences of New York City's Hispanic populations: El Cantante depicts the spectacular and tragic career of the legendary salsa vocalist Hector Lavoe; The Krutch is a surreal narrative about a Puerto Rican psychoanalyst whose long-suppressed identity problem erupts with dire consequences; Two Dollar Dance looks into a Queens bar where immigrants pay their partner two dollars a song to dance with them; La Bruja: A Witch From the Bronx is a documentary about Caridad De La Luz aka La Bruja, a performance artist and hip-hop and reggaeton musician; Soy Andina deals with the search for identity and Peruvian dance in Peru and in New York City; From Mambo to Hip Hop: A South Bronx Tale documents the history of Latin music and the role of Latinos in the development of hip hip in the South Bronx; and Washington Heights tells the story of a talented young illustrator whose plans to leave Upper Manhattan for the downtown commercial comic-book scene take a dramatic detour when his father is shot and he has to run the family bodega.

The film festival received significant coverage from both U.S. and international media, including the Daily News, The Latin Post and Radio Internacional (New York City), El Nuevo Heraldo (Miami), Al Día (Fort Worth, Texas) and KBNT 17 Univision News in San Diego, in addition to El Nuevo Día (Puerto Rico), El Imparcial and La Crónica (Mexico), El Nacional (Venezuela) and La Nueva Radio Ya (Panama). For a list of many of the websites that helped bring attention to the film festival, click here.

Stay tuned: We'll be posting more videos of the discussions with the films' directors, as well as photographs from the event. And as soon as we know the exact dates for next year's film festival, we'll let you know so you can put it on your calendar.

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