THE LOS ANGELES LATINO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (LALIFF) ANNOUNCES WINNERS
‘Precious Knowledge’ and ‘Granito: How to Nail a Dictator’ receive Honorable Mentions
It was another successful year for the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival (LALIFF) as it concluded it 2011 edition on Monday, July 25th with the screening of Cowboys & Aliens at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. Following the screening LALIFF announced the award winners at its Closing Night Awards Ceremony which included Honorable Mentions for the LPB funded filmsPRECIOUS KNOWLEDGE and GRANITO: HOW TO NAIL A DICTATOR in the Best Documentary category. Congratulations filmmakers! For the complete list of winners, please visit here.
This year’s LPB’s featured presentations included Café con Sandie, where LALIFF invited the community to join us in welcoming the newest LPB Executive Director Sandie Pedlow. In addition, LALIFF showcased the LPB funded films PARAISO FOR SALE, PRECIOUS KNOWLEDGE andGRANITO: HOW TO NAIL A DICTATOR and EL VELADOR. The sold-out screening of PRECIOUS KNOWLEDGE was introduced by LPB Chairman and LALIFF co-founder Edward James Olmos. Following the screening Producer Eren Isabel McGinnis, Editor Jacob Bricca, the former teacher and students featured in this moving documentary, Mr. José Gonzales, Crystal Terriquez and Pricilia Rodriguez were received on stage with a standing ovation. Moderated by Olmos, they engaged in a discussion with the audience. Congratulations LALIFF for yet another prosperous year!
Check out this year’s LPB films showcased at LALIFF…
GRANITO: HOW TO NAIL A DICTATOR –
Honorable Mention in Best Documentary category
Producer: Paco de Onis
Director: Pamela Yates
GRANITO: HOW TO NAIL A DICTATOR is a story of destinies joined by Guatemala’s past, and how a documentary film intertwined with a nation’s turbulent history emerges as an active player in the present. In GRANITO: HOW TO NAIL A DICTATOR the characters sift for clues buried in archives of mind and place and historical memory, seeking to uncover a narrative that could unlock the past and settle matters of life and death in the present. Each of the five main characters whose destinies collide in GRANITO: HOW TO NAIL A DICTATOR are connected by the Guatemala of 1982, then engulfed in a war where a genocidal “scorched earth” campaign by the military exterminated nearly 200,000 Maya people. Now, as if a watchful Maya god were weaving back together threads of a story unraveled by the passage of time, forgotten by most, our characters become integral to the overarching narrative of wrongs done and justice sought that they have pieced together, each adding their granito, their tiny grain of sand, to the epic tale.
GRANITO: HOW TO NAIL A DICTATOR is a co-production of Skylight Pictures, Inc. and ITVS, produced in association with LPB, with funding provided by CPB. For more information about the film, please visit the filmmaker’s website at: www.skylightpictures.com.
Honorable Mention in Best Documentary category
Director: Ari Luis Palos
Producer: Eren Isabel McGinnis
PRECIOUS KNOWLEDGE interweaves the transformative stories of students in the Mexican American Studies Program at Tucson High School. The program has become a model of educational success with 100% of their students graduating from high school and 82% attending college. We filmed their social justice throughout an entire school year to document disenfranchised youth becoming engaged, informed and active Chicanos. However, Arizona lawmakers believe the students are being indoctrinated with dangerous ideology and that the classes teach anti-American, anti-capitalist destructive ethnic chauvinism.
PARAISO FOR SALE
Director: Anayansi Prado
What price would you pay for paradise? And who would you be willing to take it from? Panama is one of the most sought after real estate destinations in the world. The archipelago of Bocas del Toro, a gem hidden away in the Caribbean side of Panama, attracts retirees and developers from the US with its crystal clear waters and luscious trees.
Filmmaker, Anayansi Prado, returns to her homeland to document the effects the fast-growing migration of American retirees and developers to Bocas del Toro is having on the local community. PARAISO FOR SALE explores issues of modern day colonialism, residential tourism and global gentrification and reveals that migration between Latin America and the US is not just a one-way street.
Director: Natalia Almada
Director Natalia Almada follows Martin, the night watchman of one of the most ornate cemeteries in northern Mexico, where drug lords and corrupt cops are laid to rest. A documentary spawned from violence, EL VELADOR shows the end result of a chronic societal crisis. But Almada’s approach is poetic, not sociological, filled with striking surreal images of elaborate mausoleums that disrupt the pastoral landscape. As the cemetery, filled with widows tending to their husband’s shrines, constantly expands, the dreamlike quality of Almada’s filmmaking creates a disembodied atmosphere where the poor and living labor day and night for the rich deceased.
EL VELADOR is a co-production of Altamura Films and American Documentary | POV in association with Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB), with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB).