MATEO directed by María GamboaMATEO directed by María Gamboa

Cine Las Americas announced  the award winners for the 17th Cine Las Americas International Film Festival, which took place April 22 to 27 in Austin, Texas. The festival grants jury awards in the categories of Narrative Feature Film, Documentary Feature Film, Narrative Short Film, and Documentary Short Film. The Hecho en Tejas Jury Award is presented in partnership with the Texas Archive for the Moving Image (TAMI). In addition, four audience awards are recognized: Audience Award for Narrative Feature, Audience Award for Documentary Feature, Audience Award for Best Hecho en Tejas Film and the Emergencia Audience Award, granted to the most popular youth film.  MATEO directed by María Gamboa swept the major awards winning both the Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature and the Audience Award for Narrative Feature.

17th Cine Las Americas International Film Festival Award Winners

Narrative Feature Competition

Jury Award for Best Narrative Feature
Dir. María Gamboa, Colombia/France

Mateo, 16, collects extortion money on behalf of his uncle and uses his pay to help out his mother, who grudgingly accepts the ill-gotten money out of need. They live by themselves in the poor, violent neighborhoods alongside the Magdalena River valley in Colombia. To prove his worth, Mateo agrees to infiltrate a local theater group in order to uncover its members’ political activities. As he becomes enthralled with the free-flowing creative lifestyle of the troupe, his uncle escalates demands on him to produce incriminating information on the actors. Under pressure, Mateo must make difficult choices. At the Miami International Film Festival, where MATEO had its world premiere, the film won Best First Feature and Best Screenplay.


Special Jury Award for Best Comedy
LA DESPEDIDA (The Goodbye)
Dir. Alvaro Diaz Lorenzo, Spain/USA

Documentary Feature Competition

Jury Award for Best Documentary Feature
ROQUE DALTON, ¡FUSILEMOS LA NOCHE! (Roque Dalton, Let’s Shoot the Night!)
Dir. Tina Leish, Austria/El Salvador/Cuba

ROQUE DALTON, ¡FUSILEMOS LA NOCHE! is a poetic documentary, a manifesto both for reading poetry and for living a life that takes responsibility for the state of the world. Roque Dalton (1935-1975) is El Salvador’s most important poet. His life is an adventure, his poetry an exciting shower of sparks between political utopia and sensuality, revolutionary beliefs and lust for heresy. As playful as Roque Dalton’s poetry, this film interweaves interviews with his family, friends, lovers and contemporaries with touching readings of his works by students, actors, prostitutes, prisoners, famous friends and the children of the underprivileged protagonists of his works. The film has screened to great success on the festival circuit, including important stops at the Havana Film Festival and MiradasDOC.

Statement from the Jury: “We appreciated seeing a complex political figure like Roque Dalton integrated into a poetic narrative. It also included the complexity found in any human story, because everything is not black and white.”

Narrative Short Competition

Jury Award for Best Narrative Short
PADRE (Father)
Dir. Santiago ‘Bou’ Grasso, Argentina/France

Honorable Mention for Narrative Short
ROJO (Red)
Dir. Carlos Alejandro Molina M., Venezuela

Documentary Short Competition

Jury Award for Best Documentary Short
TRAZOS EN LA CUMBRE (Drawing on the Heights)
Dir. Alejandro Victorero, Carlos Alejandro Molina, Venezuela

Honorable Mention for Cinematography
NADIE ESPECIAL (Nobody Special)
Dir. Juan Alejandro Ramírez, Peru

Hecho en Tejas Competition

Texas Archive of the Moving Image Hecho en Tejas Jury Award
Dir. Julianna Brannum, USA

Audience Awards

Audience Award for Narrative Feature
Dir. María Gamboa, Colombia/France

Audience Award for Documentary Feature
Dir. Javier Corcuera, Peru/Spain

Although the film is about music and musicians, it is not strictly a musical film. Rather, it is a reflection of seemingly disparate stories searching to find one another in a Perú struggling to find its own identity. SIGO SIENDO was nominated for the Platino Prizes, and chosen to screen at Iberodocs in Edinburgh, where director Javier Corcuera was honored for his career achievements as a documentary filmmaker.

Hecho en Tejas Audience Award
Dir. Eugene Martin, USA

Audience Award for Emergencia Youth Film Competition
Dir. Russell Ratt Brascoupe, Canada

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