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IMMIGRATION TANGO wins best film & actor at Boston International Film Festival


Immigration Tango, a new romantic comedy starring Madonna's ex Carlos Leon (Oz, Law & Order) and Boston resident Elika Portnoy, won the Boston International Film Festival's award for both best picture and best actor Carlos Leon at the closing ceremony on Sunday, April 25. The film simultaneously screened April 25 and 26 at the Palm Beach International Film Festival to standing room only audiences.

Directed by David Burton Morris, the story revolves around two couples-Americans McCaleb Burnett and Ashley Wolfe and Carlos Leon and Elika Portnoy, playing a Columbian and Russian immigrant, respectively-who are their best friends. In order to obtain green cards for the immigrant couple, they exchange partners and agree to marry for two years. What happens next is at times predictable and unpredictable, as the friends do a four-way dance around the immigration laws. The film's Miami setting lent itself to a considerable amount of Latin music by Grammy-nominated Afro-Cuban/Afrobeat/hiphop band Yerba Buena, Badfinger's Joey Molland, and a score created and performed by Dan Wool.


Portnoy, of Boston-based Mutressa Movies, previously acted with Carlos Leon on her first project, Tricks of a Woman, which also featured Vincent Pastore (The Sopranos), and Natasha Lyonne (American Pie) and had its US premiere at last year's Boston International Film Festival.  She chose David Burton Morris to direct this film because of his depth of experience, including many award-winning feature films for both the big screen and television, such as Purple Haze (winner of the Grand Prize at the Sundance Film Festival), Any Mother's Son (based on the true story about a Navy officer Allen Schindler, who is murdered by two of his fellow seamen while on shore leave because he was gay), and Jackie - A Life about Jackie Kennedy Onassis. Morris and Todd Norwood, who directed Tricks of a Woman, based the script on an idea developed by Martin L. Kelley.


"Audiences seem to love this film because it's a romantic comedy with a twist," said producer and star Elika Portnoy. "I think a lot of people relate to the characters' immigration predicament. Since I am a Bulgarian immigrant and Carlos is the son of Cuban immigrants, we were both able to bring that part of ourselves to the characters."


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