Friday, September 6, 2013

END OF AN ERA: NYILFF Fades to Black

It has been announced that the New York International Latino Film Festival (NYILFF) has closed up shop. The announcement was made by Calixto Chinchilla, founder and Co-Executive Director of the festival, in an interview for Cinema Tropical. However, the reason(s) for the closing of the festival vary, and Co-Executive Director Elizabeth Gardner gave her side of the story in an interview in IndieWire. At any rate, the NYILFF is no more.

Launched in 1999, the New York International Latino Film Festival (NYILFF) was considered the premier urban Latino film event in the country.

The NYILFF's mission was 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 included 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 was 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.

The NYILFF and HOLA have an intertwining history over the past couple of years. HOLA (along with the Screen Actors Guild) had an HOLApanels event titled, "The Changing Face of Latinos in Media", moderated by Dr. Clara E. Rodríguez with panelists Tony Plana, Emilio Delgado, Adrián Martínez and Rogelio Douglas as part of the 2009 Festival. To read about the event, click here. To see photos of the event, click here.

In addition, HOLA Associate Director A.B. Lugo served as the Festival's incumbent intern coordinator in 1999, the same as the first annual HOLA Awards. The NYILFF received a Special Recognition Award at the 2011 HOLA Awards.

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