This year's 2019 Festival Film Awards were awarded on October 19, 2019 and are as follows:
Lifetime Achievement in Social Justice - Ana Maria Vasquez presented by Sheila Crowley
Lifetime Achievement in Visual Arts - Carlos Arturo Camargo Vilardy - presented by Robin Odell
El Pulpo - Best of the Festival - “Not Quite Adults,” Presented by Claudia Covarubbias, producer of last year’s winner, “El Idolo.”
Best Short Film - “After the Conversation” - Presented by Juror Julie Garisto
Best Social Justice Short - “American Nightmare “- Presented by Juror Mary Childs.
Best Narrative Feature - “Not Quite Adults” - Presented by Juror Christopher Eaton
Best Documentary Film - “Last American Colony” - Presented by Juror Franco Silva with Jose Ramon Garcia Co-producing accepting on behalf of the film.
Ana Maria Vasquez
Born in Colombia, South America, Ana Maria divides her time between Florida and the Arizona/Mexico border/ Darién forest, Panamá. Early in life, she was inspired by the philosophy of the Franciscans, to put love into practice by actions that helped those in need. As a teenager, she asked, “What is life worth if we are not serving each other?” After moving to Florida, she sought out Americans who cared about social justice. With the help of Congregationalist pastor Don Daughtry and other young people, she started a group called “Peace for the Future.” She later obtained her B.A. in Anthropology and then headed for South America to see what role she could play in healing the Earth. Since that time, she has worked with many indigenous communities that have been displaced in Colombia and Panama.
Ana Maria is also a well known artist, who creates intricate paintings and murals that tell complex stories about the environment, nature and the people who inhabit the planet. Her work is based on Pachamama, and deeply rooted in social and environmental justice.
Carlos Arturo Camargo Vilardy
Carlos is the creator of this year's El Pulpo Award.
Carlos obtained a Bachelors of Fine Art with a specialty in sculpture from the Universidad del Atlantico in Barranquilla, Colombia in 1978. He later studied at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia and at the Boston College of Art in Boston, Massachusetts. Camargo Vilardy has exhibited his work in galleries throughout his native country, as well as the United States, including the Scarfone/Hartley Gallery at the University of Tampa. Carlos has taught art at many schools and universities on the Atlantic coast of Colombia, and has created monumental sculpture for private and public spaces in Barranquilla and La Guajira. Colombia.
Camargo is equally interested in abstract sculpture and the more figurative kind, depicting metaphoric circus. He also has a series about the tribute to the life on the ocean. The media he favors are bronze, steel, forged iron and wood. Carlos’s exhibit, “El Circo de Arturo,” is sponsored by the St Pete First Art Collective.
Claudia G Covarrubias is a Mexican filmmaker. In 2017 she produced the comedy film, "El Idolo," which was awarded the El Pulpo, at the inaugural Tampa Bay Latin Film Film Festival.
Claudia is an alumnus of the German filmmaker Doris Dörrie at the Bergman's Masterclass (UNAM.) She was selected to attend the 8th International Documentary Masterclass INTERDOC in Belgrade, Serbia., and twice selected as an intern by National Fund for Culture and the Arts in Mexico.
She is currently developing her first feature film as a Director, 70 Versions of Me, selected in the 9th Oaxaca film Fest Screenplay competition and in the Script and Development Fund of the Mexican Film Institute.
Some of the short films she has directed have been selected for festivals in Mexico and Latin America, including a special mention at the Sao Paulo International Film Festival, Cine Migrante Film Festival in Buenos Aires, and the Jose Rovirosa's Award for student documentary films.
Miguel Coyula Aquino was born March 31, 1977, in Havana, Cuba. At age 17, he made his first short with a VHS camcorder, which led to his admittance to the International Film School of San Antonio de los Baños, Cuba (EICTV). In 2000, he was offered a scholarship to the Lee Strasberg Theater Institute in New York, where Mr. Coyula made his first feature, Red Cockroaches (2003), for less than $2,000 over a two-year period. The film was described by Variety as “a triumph of technology in the hands of a visionary with know-how...” and went on to gather several awards in the international film festival circuit. His film Memorias del Desarrollo, a follow-up to the Cuban classic Memorias del Subdesarrollo (1968), based on the novel by Cuban writer Edmundo Desnoes, won Coyula a Guggenheim Fellowship to complete it. After its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival 2010, the film gathered 20 awards.
Actress Lynn Cruz was born in Havana in 1977. She was licensed in Pedagogy from the University of Matanzas (2000), and then Studied at the Escuela Nacional Teatro Cuba (2004-2006). She worked for five years in Cuban, Colombian and German theater. Her feature film debut was in the role of “Barbara” in the Cuban film Larga Distancia (2010), a role for which she received critical acclaim in the Cuban press and for which she was nominated for the Caricato Award. She then was cast as the lead in the science fiction film Corazón Azul, an experimental project that has been filmed beginning in 2013.. She also performed in the films La Pared (2006), Próceres (2011), and Nadie (2017). She won an award for her lead role in the Venezuelan film El Niño (2015) at the Cayenne Film Festival in New York. Also, her role in Eres Tu Papá (2018) has been described by the New Herald as "a magisterial performance.” Lynn is also a stage director responsible for writing and directing The Return (2011), The Enemies of the People (2017) and Patriotismo 36-77 (2018).
Mauricio is best known for his starring roles in the highly rated TV series El Chema and El Senor de Los Cielos. Ochmann's smash hit series El Chema (2017) was the highest-rated TV show in the history of NBC Universal's Spanish language subsidiary Telemundo, often receiving the highest rating among 18-34-year-olds in the United States regardless of language. Ochmann appeared in another hit Telemundo series including Victoria, Victorinox, and was the star of El Clon. Mauricio also starred in Hazlo Como Hombre, which was the top-grossing Mexican movie in 2017 and A la Mala, a romantic comedy which was Mexico’s highest-grossing film for 2015 and released by Pantelion/Lionsgate in the US.
Most recently, Ochmann directed his first short film entitled Diaz, which appears at this Festival. The film portrays the tragic but true story of baseball player Joey Diaz whose life was cut short within days of being called up to the Chicago Cubs.
The Tampa Bay Latin Film Festival located in St. Petersburg, Florida, explores Latin America's extraordinary emerging and established talent in film by bringing feature, documentary and short Latin American films to the Tampa Bay community.
The Festival hopes to answer the questions: What is happening in Latin American film? Who are the emerging filmmakers from that region and what inspires them? Our mission also includes spotlighting the work of Latin American filmmakers in the United States. By providing more outlets for these extraordinary voices in film not typically seen in commercial theaters, we will explore the incredibly diverse perspectives that Latin America has to offer the world. Through this process, national boundaries, boundaries between self and other begin to dissolve as we explore universal themes that unite us all. Hopefully this Festival will further a dialogue that will create greater understanding and empathy for others.
The festival is a project of Linda Friedman Ramirez Latin Art LLC.
Our Festival Hotel the Courtyard by Marriott Downtown St. Petersburg
Central downtown location with easy access to popular attractions like Tropicana Field, the Dali Museum, and Beach Drive.
St Petersburg/Clearwater Film Commission, Downtown St. Petersburg, IBERIABANK, St. Petersburg Arts Alliance, Scatter Brothers Productions LLC, AMC Theaters, Rising Tide Innovation Center and Oak and Stone..
Image Courtesy of the James Museum
The El Pulpo necklace in Sterling silver was created by jewelry artist, Rain Kazymerchyk in celebration of the Tampa Bay Latin Film Festival. As a previous resident of Temple Terrace, FL, Rain appreciates the rich cultural contributions of the Latin community. As a way to give back for many lovely memories of living in Florida, Rain will make a donation to the Festival for each El Pulpo necklace sold. A link to Festival inspired items can be founding by clicking on the follow link. https://www.silvercidaltendencies.com/collections/tampa-bay-latin-film-festival
Our opening night reception will take place at the James Museum. Image courtesy of The James Museum.