8th Annaul NYILFF Winners

For eight years, the festival has sought out innovative works by emerging filmmakers to showcase Latino talent and culture both on and off screen.

NYILFF announced the 2007 winners at its Awards Night ceremony on Sunday, July 29, at Arena (135 West 41st Street).

Awards were given out in five categories, and the winners were as follows:

The 8th edition of the New York International Latino Film Festival (NYILFF), the premier venue for Latino filmmakers and Latino-based content, concluded with some of the most exciting films in cinema, indelible red carpets events and remarkable attendance records.

Director Ilya Chaiken was the recipient of the Best Picture Award for her narrative feature, Liberty Kid—a heated drama depicting troubled, inner-city, teenage street life as it is impacted by the tragedy of 9/11. Chaiken was presented with a prize of $2,500 provided by HBO and an Avid Media Composer System provided by Avid.

NYILFF also honored Alexandre Fuchs’ debut film Hijos de la Guerra (Children of the War) with Best Documentary.

The film is the first feature-length documentary to tell the story of the world’s largest and most violent street gang, the Mara Salvatrucha, also known as MS-13.

Second-time filmmaker Ciro Altabas received Best Short for DVD, which is a playful examination of the different features and functionalities of DVDs.

Both Ciro Altabas and Alexandre Fuchs were each awarded with an Avid Xpress Pro in addition to receiving $500.00 in Kodak Motion Picture Stock for their films.

Sergio Castilla received the Heineken Red Star Award for his direction of Take the Bridge, in which three suicidal teenagers find a strength and comfort through each other. This film’s controversial subject matter is a testament to the type of thought provoking films the Heineken Red Star award recognizes. The Heineken Red Star Award is presented to a director whose film pushes the boundaries of creativity and provides a unique vision and execution. Heineken has also partnered with Variety Magazine and the Independent Film Channel (IFC) to bring well-deserved publicity and visibility to Heineken Red Star Award recipients and their films. Castilla received a crystal statuette created by Tiffany and Co., a two-page spread in Variety, and a trip to Los Angeles to meet with executives and network with other winners from the Red Star Award Program.

Will Fonseca’s Rewind won Verizon’s NYILFF On the Edge Short Film Award. The first-time audience award, which received more than 26,000 votes, was determined by tallying the total number of votes received both online at Cine Dulce and via Verizon Wireless text messaging. Will received a Verizon Wireless 8830 Blackberry World Phone Edition.


Launched in 1999, the New York International Latino Film Festival (NYILFF) is now the premier Urban Latino film event in the country. The NYILFF's mission is to showcase the works of the hottest emerging Latino filmmaking talent in the U.S. and Latin America, offer expansive images of the Latino experience, and celebrate the diversity and spirit of the Latino community. Programming includes the flagship film festival in NYC, new music and art showcases, family and community events, scholarships for aspiring filmmakers, and a nationally recognized short film competition in partnership with HBO. The NYILFF is the only film event to have had the endorsement of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's NYC Latin Media and Entertainment Commission since its formation in 2003.

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