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2010 New York International Latino Film Festival Awards

By Maria Esteves - August 27, 2010

The 11th New York International Latino Film Festival (NYILFF) Awards honored the best in filmmaking and emerging directors of Latino descent in 2010 at the SVA theatre, Sunday, August 1, 7:00 PM. The award announcers were HBO associate manager/marketing development Marvin Scott, NYILFF founder/co-executive director Calixto Chinchilla, and co-executive director Elizabeth Gardner.

Since 1999, 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. NYILFF executive staff is Calixto Chinchilla, Elizabeth Gardner, Tanya Bravo, and Yaritza Mejia.

This year's film festival included 46 premieres, 33 features (domestic, international, cinedulce), 17 documentaries, and 56 shorts. The festival also included filmmaker's panel discussion, special presentations, workshops, free outdoor screenings, VIP receptions, and gala parties.

2010 NYILFF was presented by HBO. The official sponsors are HBO Latino, Direct TV, Daily News, American Airlines, Heineken, Telemundo, NBC New York Network, WKTU FM New York, and GlobalHue Latina.

2010 NYILFF ceremony included six awards within six categories. A combination of cash awards and film software package awards were presented to the following winners:

Best Documentary Award · Stephanie LaMorre for SO FAR

Best International Feature Award · Fina Torres for HABANA EVA

Best Short Film Award · Ivette Garcia Davila for CAREER DAY

Best Director Award · Patxi Amezcua for 25 KILATES (25 CARAT)

Best Short Film Competition Winner · Armando and Roberto Fente for SMELL THE COFFEE

Best Film Award · William Wedig for FORGED


Calixto Chinchilla – NYILFF Founder/Executive Director As the founder and co-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 thousands attendees and garnering the attention of Hollywood and media from across the globe. The festival is 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, The New York Post chose Calixto as one of 25 most influential Latinos.

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-Award™ 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.

Patxi Amezcua – 2010 NYILFF Award Winner Patxi Amezcua is a writer and director. His works as a writer included El viaje de Arián, directed by Eduard R. Bosch, released in 2001, Trastorno, produced by DeAPlaneta, released in 2006. In 2004, Amezcua directorial debut short film Mus, is winner of the Jury Prize, Festival of Villagarcía de Arousa; Audience Prize, OctubreCorto; Arnedo, Audience Prize, Humour Film Festival of Navalcarnero; Best Debuting Director Award, Festival of Soria; Best Actor Award, Festival of Zaragoza; Audience Prize, Festival of Aguilar de Campoo; Audience Prize and Special Mention for Actor, Festival of Irún; Jury Prize, Festival of Tres Cantos; Jury Prize, Best Script and Best Actor Awards, Festival La Fila, Valladolid; Best Actor and Best Script Awards, Festival of Astorga; Audience Prize, Festival of Pamplona; and the Audience Prize, Festival of Basque Cinema. His feature film 25 KILATES (25 CARAT) received the 2010 NYILFF Best Director Award.

Ivette García Dávila – 2010 NYILFF Award Winner Ivette García Dávila, writer/producer/director, born and raised in Puerto Rico, is a graduate from the Florida State University, Film School Conservatory of Fine Arts. Her short film ZEKE, screened at 2003 Cannes Film Festival. She produced the short film 3AM, which received ASC Heritage award, a second Student Emmy, Kodak Enhancement Grant, and First Prize at the Screamfest Film Festival. Davila’s TV and film production includes Weeds, West Wing, The Hoax, Midnight Meat Train, Freedom Writers, Just Friends, Wild Hogs, and Babel.

Since 2008, Davila is staff writer for Bigfoot Entertainment and professor of screenwriting at the International Academy of Film and Television in Cebu, Philippines. Her short film CAREER DAY, received the 2010 NYILFF Best Short Film Award.

William Wedig – 2010 NYILFF Award Winner William Wedig, editor/director, born and raised in Ohio, is a graduate with a degree in film editing from the School of Visual Arts, New York. His love for editing and making films began at the age of ten or eleven with a crude two VHS home setup. In 2006, Wedig’s post-production supervision of Salvage premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. In 2007, Lions Gate Entertainment released his feature film Rise of the Dead. Wedig’s feature film FORGED received the 2010 NYILFF Best Film Award.


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