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Established 1995 serves and documents relentless the festivals community, offering 92.000 articles of news, free blog profiles and functions to enable festival matchmaking with filmmakers.


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LA Latino Festival glam opening and closing

The ninth annual Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival will open its doors on October 21 at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood with the premier of Benito Zambrano’s Spanish film HABANA BLUES and will close the festival on October 30 with Bruno Barreto’s film, O CASAMENTO DE ROMEU E JULIETA, a delightful Brasilian comedy that recounts Romeo and Juliet’s love story through the rivalry between two soccer teams.

Each year the Festival recognizes an artist for his or her track record and significant contribution to world cinema with the “Gabi” Award, the Gabriel Figuora lifetime achievement award. The Gabi Award is the heart and soul of the festival, which past recipients include Raúl Julia, Carlos Saura, María Félix, Anthony Quinn, Nelson Pereira do Santos, Federico Luppi, Rita Moreno and, of course, Gabriel Figueroa. This year, the ninth annual, LOS ANGELES LATINO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (LALIFF) has decided to grant the award to actor, RICARDO MONTALBAN.

Born on November 25, 1920 in Mexico City, Ricardo Montalbán moved to Los Angeles, California. Having no knowledge of the English language, Mr. Montalban studied intensively until he was admitted into Fairfax High school, his school of choice. It was here while playing the lead role for the school play, Tovarich, that MGM executives approached Mr. Montalban for the first time.

In 1941, he returned to his native Mexico and made thirteen films in four years. Ricardo was nominated for the Mexican Academy Award for the film Santa, in which he played a bullfighter. Already a star in his native land, Mr. Montalbán was rediscovered by MGM and offered the lead with Esther Williams in the movie Fiesta.

He became a popular contract actor for MGM from 1945 to 1955, and he starred with Hollywood's most glamorous leading ladies. In the late 1970's, Mr. Montalbán emerged as a television icon, playing the distinguished "Mr. Roark" of Fantasy Island fame. In 1982, he reconfirmed his Hollywood clout with his critically acclaimed role in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.

As a Latino, Mr. Montalbán has become a role model for his people. Mr. Montalbán began his career in Hollywood at a time when it was even more difficult for Latino actors, but his love for the theater and performing kept him going. It is this kind of love, dedication and tenacity that keeps him active and successful to this day.

In 1969, Ricardo helped found Nosotros, an organization that made in-roads in helping to remove negative stereotypes of Latinos in the film and television industries. Mr. Montalbán continues sharing his dedication through various projects including the American Lung and Heart Association, the American Cancer Society and various social, educational and charitable institutions.

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