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9th New York International Latino Film Festival Awards Ceremony

By Maria Esteves - August 19, 2008

The Ninth Annual New York International Latino Film Festival (NYILFF) 2008 Awards Ceremony presented by HBO was held at El Morocco Theater & Nightclub, Sunday, July 27, 2008, 8:00 PM. The award acknowledges the best in filmmaking and emerging directors of Latino descent. The award announcers were NYILFF founder/executive director Calixto Chinchilla and executive director Elizabeth Gardner. A special live performance by Comedy Troupe, ROOM 28 preceded the ceremony.

Since 1998, NYILFF was founded by Calixto Chinchilla to assist emerging Latino filmmaker's contribute to the world of cinema. NYILFF annually presents international films of Latino descent.

This year's film festival included 7 premieres, 22 features (domestic, international, on the edge, showcase, and rewind), 19 documentaries, and over 60 shorts. The festival also included filmmaker's panel discussion, workshops, cinema under the stars, family festival and gala parties.

2008 NYILFF was presented by HBO vice president, Market Development Lucinda Martinez-Desir. The proud sponsors are HBO Latino, Heineken, Sauza Tequila, TNT, TBS, Suzuki Auto, American Airlines, NBC New York, T47 TELEMUNDO, TIME WARNER CABLE, DAILY NEWS, 103.5 WKTU FM New York, The Hollywood Reporter, Impre.Com, De Pelicula Clasico Dish Network, Absolut, Café Bustelo, Kodak Gallery, Latina Magazine, Overture Films, EL ESPECIAL Newspaper, The Rogers Smith Hotel, MiGente.Com, CINEDULCE,, Avid, BMI, Kodak, Latino Public Broadcasting, Showbiz Software, and NYC Latin Media & Entertainment Commission.

2008 NYILFF ceremony included six awards within five categories. A combination of cash awards and honorable mention awards were presented to the following winners:

Heineken Red Star Award, presented by NYILFF executive director Elizabeth Gardner, to filmmaker Cristobal Valderrama for MALTA CON HUEVO (Scrambled Beer). NYILFF accepted the award on behalf of Cristobal Valderrama.

Best Short Film Award, presented by NYILFF founder/executive director Calixto Chinchilla to director Juan Manuel Betancourt for ROJO RED. NYILFF accepted the award on behalf of Juan Manuel Betancourt.

Best Documentary Film Award (winner is a tie), presented by NYILFF founder/executive director Calixto Chinchilla to director Sebastiano d'Ayala Valva for TRANSVESTITES ALSO CRY; and director Nicholas Bruckman for LA AMERICANA. NYILFF accepted the award on behalf of Sebastiano d'Ayala Valva.

HBO Best Short Film Award, presented by HBO manager market development Dennis Williams to director Paco Farias for EL TUX.

HBO Best Picture Award, presented by HBO manager market development Dennis Williams to director Paul Boyd for VICIOUS CIRCLE. Producer Angelyna Martinez-Boyd accepted the award on behalf of Paul Boyd.


Calixto Chinchilla - NYILFF Founder/Executive Director

As the Founder and Executive Director of the New York International Latino Film Festival, Calixto Chinchilla has made powerful and impactful progress for Latinos in the film industry. Founded in 1999, the festival realizes his dream to host an international festival that features domestic and international films by and/or about Latinos. Attracting over 20,000 attendees and garnering the attention of Hollywood and media from across the globe, the festival has quickly grown into the largest urban Latino film festival in the U.S. Calixto has been featured in the Daily News, Urban Latino Magazine, The New York Times, NBC, Good Day NY, Univision and Telemundo.

As part of its 2001 "Keep Walking" campaign, Johnnie Walker Black Label honored and featured Calixto as one of New York's young Latino professional leaders. That year he was also named "A 2001 Latino On The Move" by industry trade magazine Latino Impact, and a "One to Watch" by NBC'S Hispanics Today. Recently, Calixto was chosen as one of 25 most influential Latinos by The New York Post.

Before founding the New York International Latino Film Festival, Calixto began his film career developing special interest marketing for Warner Brothers Pictures. He has consulted in a similar capacity for New Line Cinema, Dreamworks SKG, Nova Releasing and Columbia Pictures. Additionally, Calixto has worked on several film productions, including the Sundance award-winning films, HURRICANE STREETS and In Search of A Dream. Before establishing his own film festival, Calixto served as the Latino Film Curator for the Urban World Film Festival in 1999 and again in 2000. He also directed the South Bronx Film and Video Festival in October 2001. Calixto is a committee member of The National Council of La Raza's American Latino Media Awards (ALMA). He has been a speaker at Columbia University, The City College of New York's Graduate Center, The Center For Communications and New York University's Tisch School of The Arts to name a few. Calixto received a photography scholarship and studied marketing at New York's Fashion Institute of Technology.


Elizabeth Gardner - NYILFF Executive Director

Starting in 2002 as the NYILFF's sponsorship Marketing and Sponsorship Consultant of Record, Elizabeth Gardner is now the NYILFF Executive Director and partner to festival founder, Calixto Chinchilla. In her role as ED, Elizabeth is responsible for overseeing the festival's core operations and execution, including fundraising, corporate and media partner management, event production, collateral and advertising development and planning, and on-premise activation. In addition, Elizabeth is also responsible for driving the growth of the overall business, including developing new revenue and partnership opportunities.

Elizabeth's introduction to the NYILFF was a traditional agency/client relationship under the umbrella of her entertainment promotions and sponsorship consultancy, Garnish, LLC, which she founded in 2001. Other Garnish clients included Miramax Films, Loews Cineplex Entertainment, ESPN, Cotton Incorporated, The Lake Placid Film Festival, Available Art, Women's Expressive Theater (WET) and The Big Apple Circus. Prior to founding Garnish, Elizabeth served as Vice President of Marketing and Creative Strategy for the New York-based independent film studio, Shooting Gallery (Academy-AwardTM winners Sling Blade and You Can Count on Me). During her five-year tenure at Shooting Gallery, Elizabeth oversaw the team that devised the theatrical release marketing strategies for Shooting Gallery's slate of films, and successfully produced three seasons of The Shooting Gallery Film Series at Loews Cineplex Entertainment, a 17-market, 3-month film series with sponsors such as Heineken, Entertainment Weekly, Polo Jeans Co. and Blockbuster. Prior to Shooting Gallery, Ms. Gardner served as marketing coordinator for Semaphore Entertainment Group, a television production company that specialized in cable and pay-per-view special events, including the successful Ultimate Fighting Championship pay-per-view series, currently broadcast on Viacom's Spike TV. Elizabeth is an Honor's graduate from the University of Michigan with a BA in Art History.


Paul Boyd - 2008 NYILFF Award Winner

Paul Boyd, writer/director, born in Scotland and lives in Los Angeles. He is a graduate in filmmaking from the prestigious St. Martins School of Fine Arts, London. As a child, Boyd was a storyteller, he was given his first 8mm camera, and started making short films. While attending St. Martins School of Fine Arts, in London, Boyd directed his first music video, leading to commissions from record labels throughout Europe and was soon after recruited to Los Angeles by Propaganda Films.

Boyd has worked with legendary music icons Sting, Shania Twain, Celine Dion, Seal, Jewel, Tina Turner, INXS, The Cult, Bryan Adams and The Backstreet Boys to name a few.  Boyd has also directed Advertising campaigns for L'oreal, Revlon, Jaguar and Dodge. Boyd's debut feature film VICIOUS CIRCLE received the 2008 NYILFF HBO Best Picture Award.


Nicholas Bruckman - 2008 NYILFF Award Winner

Nicholas Bruckman, director, is a graduate from SUNY Purchase where he managed PurchaseTV, the college cable television station.  His thesis film, KASHMIR: VOICES OF OCCUPATION, received the statewide chancellor's award. Bruckman has worked on independent, corporate, and nonprofit documentary projects in South & Central America, Asia, and the Middle East.  His independent directing work has been supported by grants from the New York State Council of the Arts and the Cinereach Foundation.  Bruckman's debut feature film LA AMERICANA (The American) received the 2008 NYILFF Best Documentary Film Award.


Sebastiano d'Ayala Valva  - 2008 NYILFF Award Winner

Sebastiano d'Ayala Valva, producer/director, born in London, lives in Paris, is a graduate from the Institut d'Etudes Politiques. d'Ayala Valva produced short and feature documentary films,  ONCE UPON A TIME...LAST TANGO IN PARIS. His current documentary projects are ANGEL, and THE HOUSE OF THE FATHER (selection of Berlinale Talent Campus 2008 & final Premio Solinas). d'Ayala Valva debut documentary as director, TRANSVESTITES ALSO CRY received the 2008 NYILFF Best Documentary Film Award.


Cristóbal Valderrama - 2008 NYILFF Award Winner

Cristóbal Valderrama, director, born in Valparaíso, Chile, studied filmmaking in Chile's Film School, where he directed several short films. Valderrama worked as assistant director in feature length films and commercials, as a writer for TV shows, and comic strip artist for a daily newspaper. Valderrama debut feature film MALTA CON HUEVO (Scrambled Beer) received the 2008 NYILFF Heineken Red Star Award.




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