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Edgar Nito’s The Gasoline Thieves (Huachicolero) won the DishLATINO and Cinelatino Audience Choice award at the 2019 Hola Mexico Film Festival (HMFF). The Gasoline Thieves (Huachicolero) tells the story of Lalo (Eduardo Banda), a teenager from a small town, who has a crush on girl at school and decides the only way to win her heart is buying her an expensive smartphone. At the same time, his mother is in need of financial support to cover medical bills. In order to help and achieve his romantic goals, Lalo gets involved with the local huachicoleros (gasoline thieves), who enlist him to illegally siphon the fuel and resell it on the black market. What first appeared like a solution to his troubles proves to be a deadly bargain. His choices could land Lalo in the hands of the authorities or in a much worse situation.

Gael García Bernal in Museum (Museo) directed by Alonso Ruizpalacios
Gael García Bernal in Museum (Museo) directed by Alonso Ruizpalacios

The award for Cinelatino Best Director went to Alonso Ruizpalacios for Museum (Museo) which tells the story of Juan, a directionless man still living with his parents in Mexico City’s Satelite suburb and who has been planning an improbable heist to loot Mexico’s sacred National Museum of Anthropology. The Cinelatino Best Director award was selected by representatives from Tomorrow’s Filmmakers Today, a program created in collaboration with HMFF and the National Autonomous University of Mexico to support emerging Latino filmmakers living in the Los Angeles area.

For the second year in a row, one of 19 film shorts were played before every full-length film at the festival. After receiving the most audience votes, Nicole Vanden Broeck’s took home the Cinelatino Tomorrow’s Filmmakers Today Short award for her short film, Within Time (Con El Tiempo). Within Time tells the story of Don Mateo and Doña Francisca, an elderly couple who have always made a living working their land. Their cows, hens, sheep, and crops are their only possessions and sources of income. This documentary is a message about the utilization of resources in a responsible manner and sustainable food production, by giving a voice to local farmers. 

“Cinelatino is proud to continue our support of the incredibly talented Mexican filmmakers who are pushing boundaries and reimagining Latin cinema. Together with our partners at DishLATINO, we are excited to continue our relationship with the Hola Mexico Film Festival, and to be part of the movement that is helping to propel Mexican and Latin cinema onto the international stage,” said James M. McNamara, Vice Chairman of Hemisphere Media Group, Inc., Cinelatino’s parent company. “We congratulate all of the talented filmmakers who exhibited their films at HMFF, and would also like to recognize Samuel Douek, Director and Founder of the festival, for his tireless efforts in supporting the film community, providing recognition to these filmmakers, and for putting together yet another incredible event.”

“We are delighted that our audiences connected with this year’s program, which was our most successful festival yet,” said Samuel Douek, Director of Hola Mexico Film Festival.  “We congratulate all of our winners and are excited to see their future films.  We thank Cinelatino and DishLATINO for their ongoing support of the festival and look forward to seeing everyone in 2020.”

2019 marks the 11th edition of HMFF in Los Angeles, where each year since its inception, the festival has showcased a collection of the best recent narrative and documentary feature films by renowned Mexican filmmakers. Twenty feature films and 19 shorts made up the festival, which was divided into four film sections: “MX Ahora,” “Nocturno,” “Documental,” and “El Otro Mexico.”

Cinelatino & DishLATINO Audience Choice
Edgar Nito

Cinelatino Best Director
Alonso Ruizpalacios MUSEO

Cinelatino Tomorrow’s Filmmakers Today Best Short
WITHIN TIME (CON EL TIEMPO) Nicole Vanden Broeck

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