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Cinema Tropical Awards Select Brazilian Film ARABIA as the Best Latin American Film of the Year

The Brazilian film Arábia by Affonso Uchoa and João Dumans was announced as the winner of the top award for Best Latin American Film of the Year at the 8th Annual Cinema Tropical Awards, which were announced this evening at a special event at The New York Times Company headquarters.

The Argentine director Eduardo Williams was the winner of the Cinema Tropical Award for Best Director for his debut feature The Human Surge / El auge del humano, while Jorge Thielen Armand’s La Soledad from Venezuela was the winner of the award for Best First Film. The jury gave a Special Mention to the Chilean documentary film Adriana’s Pact / El pacto de Adriana by Lissette Orozco for courageous filmmaking.

The Cinema Tropical Award for Best U.S. Latino Film was for Cecilia Aldarondo’s Memories of a Penitent Heart, and the jury decided to give a Special Mention to the documentary film Ovarian Psycos by Kate Trumbull-LaValle and Johanna Sokolowski, also in the U.S. Latino category. The event also served as a platform to announce director Rodrigo Reyes as this year’s recipient of the Roberto Guerra Documentary Fund, a prize given to a emerging Latino documentary filmmaker based in the U.S.

The non-profit media arts organization Cinema Tropical also announced that New York audiences will have the chance to see the award-wining and nominated films as they will be showcased as part of the Cinema Tropical Festival to take place on February 2-4, 2018 at Museum of the Moving Image.

The winners of this year’s Cinema Tropical Awards were selected by a jury panel composed by Florence Almozini, Associate Director of Programming, Film Society of Lincoln Center; Alvaro Enrigue, writer; Leo Goldsmith, scholar and film editor, The Brooklyn Rail; La Frances Hui, Associate Curator, Film Department, MoMA; and Kirsten Johnson, filmmaker. The U.S. Latino cinema jury was composed by Carolina Bilbao, Vice President of Programming and Development for Cinelatino; Vanessa Erazo, film editor at Remezcla; and film critic Claudia Puig, president of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.

All the films under consideration had a minimum of 60 minutes in length and premiered between April 1, 2016, and March 31, 2017. 

The Cinema Tropical Awards are presented in partnership with
The New York Times Company’s Latino Network, and Museum of the
Moving Image. Media Sponsor: Remezcla. Reception Sponsors:
Wines of Chile, Leblon Cachaça, and Penedo Borges. Additional support provided by the Consulate General of Brazil in New York. Special thanks to Pablo Vaca and Clementina Mantellini.  Cinema Tropical’s programs are made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. 

About Cinema Tropical and the Cinema Tropical Awards:
New York-based Cinema Tropical (CT) is the leading presenter of
Latin American cinema in the U.S. Founded by Carlos A. Gutiérrez and
Monika Wagenberg in 2001 with the mission of distributing, programming and promoting what was to become the biggest boom of Latin American cinema in decades, CT brought U.S. audiences some of the first screening of films such as Amores Perros and Y Tu Mamá También. Through a diversity of programs and initiatives, CT is thriving as a dynamic and groundbreaking 501(c)(3) non-profit media arts organization experimenting in the creation of better and more effective strategies for the distribution and exhibition of foreign cinema in this country. The Cinema Tropical AWARDS were created in 2010 to honor excellence in Latin American filmmaking, and it is the only international award entirely dedicated to honoring the artistry of recent Latin American cinema.
In its inaugural year, the Awards were given to the Ten Best Latin American Films of the Aughts.
•    Best Film: Arábia (Affonso Uchoa and João Dumans, Brazil)
•    Special Mention: Adriana’s Pact (El pacto de Adriana, Lissette Orozco, Chile)
•    Best Director: Eduardo Williams, The Human Surge (El auge del humano, Argentina/Brazil/Portugal)
•    Best First Fiction Film: La Soledad (Jorge Thielen Armand, Venezuela)
•    Best U.S. Latino Film: Memories of a Penitent Heart (Cecilia Aldarondo, USA/Puerto Rico)
•    Special Mention, Best U.S. Latino Film: Ovarian Psycos (Kate Trumbull-LaValle and Johanna Sokolowski, USA)
Pictured above: Arábia by Affonso Uchoa and João Dumans. Photo courtesy of Grashopper Films.