New York – Venezuela's "El Rumor de las Piedras" (The Murmur of the Rocks) by Alejandro Bellame won the award for Best International Feature at the New York International Latino Film Festival, which also gave Bellame the Best Director prize.
The festival, which ended on Sunday, screened more than 30 films, documentaries and short subjects in English and Spanish this year, reflecting the cultural diversity of the United States.
"This year's festival lineup was outstanding in its quality and range of diversity. We hope to continue to bring the highest quality films and stories to the New York community," festival founder and co-executive director Calixto Chinchilla said.
The winning feature film tells the story of Delia, a single mom who struggles to bring up her boys in a shantytown in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas, though day by day they drift farther away from her and nearer to a life of delinquency and crime.
In the category of Best Domestic Feature, the winner was "Under My Nails" by director Ari Maniel Cruz, which tells the story of a Puerto Rican woman who works in a nail salon and who is increasingly intrigued by the violent sexual practices of her neighbors.
The award for Best Short went to "Pescadora" (Fisherwoman), a U.S.-Peruvian co-production directed by Daniel Enrique García and Ahna Terpstra, which follows the experiences of Dora, who always dreamed of being a fisherwoman but people in her seaside village keep pushing her to get married instead.
Meanwhile the jury judged "El Medico: the Cubaton Story" by director Daniel Fridell to be the Best Documentary while "The Acting Lesson" by Carmen Pelaez won the HBO/NYILFF Short Film Competition.
"In 13 years, the festival has gained a reputation as the most prestigious urban film event in the United States," festival co-executive director Elizabeth Gardner said.