Maravilla, the New York-based organization dedicated to raising awareness of Latin America through films and the arts, has announced the fourth annual edition of the Ecuadorian Film Festival in New York, in partnership with the New York based community and media outlet Ecuayorker, and with the support of Telemundo, the Queens Museum, Syndicated Bar Theater Kitchen, the Consulate of Ecuador in New York and Pro-Ecuador.
The competitive film festival, the first of its kind in the world dedicated to showcasing and celebrating the burgeoning cinema of Ecuador, will take place October 25th to November 4th in three different venues in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens: Teatro SEA in Manhattan; The Queens Museum; and Syndicated Bar Theater Kitchen in Brooklyn.
The Ecuadorian Film Festival in New York, EFFNY, is unique. Nowhere else in the world you will find a competitive film festival which showcases and awards exclusively Ecuadorian movies. As in previous editions, two prizes are awarded each year. This year attendees will reward its favorite movie with the BEST FILM AUDIENCE AWARD, while a Jury will recognize the most compelling work with the BEST FILM JURY AWARD.
When it comes to the audience, EFFNY gathers its audience mostly from the Ecuadorian community in the Tri-State Area, but it also attracts a good number of film aficionados and people with interest in the vast culture of Ecuador. After all, it makes sense for New Yorkers to attend a full scale film festival, and enjoying good quality films from a rather unusual place, while learning more about a fascinating country.
Five films compete for the two prizes: 52 Seconds from award winner film-maker Javier Andrade, a compelling chronicle of the devastation produced by the 2016 earthquake that hit Ecuador; Agujero Negro, directed by Diego Araujo, an audience pleaser in native Ecuador, a dramatic comedy about a writer and his new responsibilities; Torero, a documentary by Nora Salgado about bullfighter Cruz Ordoñez, who has to confront a midlife crisis and the latter years of his career; Cenizas a dramatic narrative by young film-maker Juan Sebastián Jácome about a the conflicts between a daughter and her father, as the Cotopaxi volcano spews ash, issuing an eerie penumbra over Quito, Ecuador’s capital; Contragolpe, an emotional documentary about a small soccer club, Independiente, which reaches the final at South America’s most important tournament.
EFFNY has selected, as well, seven short films, which will provide further emotions to the Festival.
EFFNY is also a good opportunity to meet the people behind the screen. Most screenings take place with a film-maker in attendance. Numerous directors, actors and producers have attended the Festival in the past. This year EFFNY expects to host some well established filmmakers like Javier Andrade, whose film Mejor no hablar de ciertas cosas represented Ecuador to the Oscar’s Foreign Film selection, and Diego Araujo, whose first film Feriado premiered worldwide at the Berlin Film Festival. Yet relatively newcomers will also be in attendance, like Nora Salgado with her documentary Torero, as well as several freshmen short- film directors.
EFFNY has become known for sending powerful messages with each edition though its image. Last year’s poster featured a Statue of Liberty dressed as a typical Ecuadorian street vendor, to remind people about the Ecuadorian worker in America and its contribution to the country. This year’s image includes a “guagua de pan” replacing the heart in the famous “I [heart] New York” phrase. Guaguas the pan are small loafs of bread shaped as people, an Ecuadorian tradition
for el Día de los muertos (The Day of the Death). It’s meant to capture the spirit of people who feel both Ecuadorian as much as New Yorker, and addresses the fact that the Festival moved from late June to late October.
“Movies are a way of escaping the limitations imposed by our own realities, our Festival is also a way for our realities to coincide and celebrate”, says Christian Ponce, EFFNY’s co-founder and current Director.
Tickets go on sale Tuesday, November 9th. The Festival will announce it’s Jury on Thursday, November 11th.
Complete line-up of films, as well as dates and times of screenings are at display at facebook.com/EcuadorianFilmFest and effny.org