The 7th Annual Cinema Tropical Award Nominees: ‘Embrace of the Serpent,’ ‘Neon Bull’ and More
The awards honor the best Latin American film productions of the year.
The Cinema Tropical Awards, which honor the best in Latin American film production, have announced the nominees for their seventh annual ceremony. They feature 23 films from eight countries nominated in six different categories: Best Feature Film; Best Documentary Film; Best Director, Feature Film; Best Director, Documentary Film; Best First Film and Best U.S. Latino Film.
Best U.S. Latino Film
“H.O.M.E.” (Daniel Maldonado, USA)
“Jacqueline (Argentine)” (Bernardo Britto, USA)
“Los Sures” (Diego Echevarria, USA)
“Lucha Mexico” (Alex Hammond and Ian Markiewicz, USA)
“When Two Worlds Collide” (Heidi Brandenburg and Mathew Orzel, USA/Peru)
‘H.O.M.E.’: Real New Yorkers struggle to get by in gritty but poetic movie
By: JAY LUSTIG | June 16, 2016
“Do you like the subway?” Danny asks Carly in the film, “H.O.M.E.”
“Do I like the subway?,” Carly responds. “Yeah, I guess I do.”
“What do you like about it?
“It’s like the inside of New York, I guess.”
“H.O.M.E.,” which will be shown June 18 in New Brunswick as part of the Summer 2016 edition of the New Jersey International Film Festival, is an unassuming but skillfully executed film about the inside of New York, in a sense. There are no larger-than-life success stories here, just a handful of characters, pretty much invisible to other New Yorkers, struggling to get by.
Danny (played by Jeremy Ray Valdez) is a young man with Asperger syndrome who runs away from home to live in the city’s subway stations. Carly (Lauren Augarten) is a street musician he befriends. In a parallel story that never connects with this one, Gabriel (Jesús Ochoa) is an immigrant cab driver who yearns to return to his home country of Ecuador, and Sze Wun (Angela Lin) is a young woman he agrees to drive from Queens to Chinatown, even though she has no money, so she can bring medicine to her sick son.
“H.O.M.E.” is a rare example of a film that is short on plot but high on drama. Gabriel, who listens intently to a soccer match on his car radio, has a high-stakes bet on it that will sink him if he loses, but allow him to return to Ecuador if he wins. Sze Wun is extremely worried about her son, but with Gabriel distracted by the game and dealing with traffic and car problem, will she get there in time to give him the medicine she needs?
And what about Danny? Will he be able to survive on his own?
Valdez is very good at evoking the laser-like focus that someone with Asperger syndrome applies to certain topics that interest him: Danny is clearly fascinated by the labyrinthine subway routes that, in an inspired bit of animation, crawl through the city like a network of veins and arteries. And Ochoa helps bring out the complexities of the mercurial Gabriel, a man of many moods beneath his gruff exterior.
The best thing about the film, though, very well may be the cinematography by Boryana Alexandrova, who finds the beauty in the subways’ grimy architecture, and the late-night allure of the dark city streets that Gabriel and Sze Wun find themselves on.
“H.O.M.E” will screen, along with four short films, at 7 p.m. June 18 at Voorhees Hall at Rutgers University in New Brunswick. Daniel Maldonado, who co-wrote and co-produced the film in addition to directing it, will be on hand to introduce it and participate in a question-and-answer session.
BRIC FLIX Spotlights Independent Latino Filmmakers in New York | BK Live
Next week the topic of our live BRIC Flix film screening series in partnership with Cinema Tropical is"TropiChat: Latin-o-American." Brooklyn-based Latino filmmakers will discuss what it's like for them to be making independent films in New York right now. Filmmaker, Daniel Maldonado, and the head of Cinema Tropical, Carlos Gutierrez, talk about the upcoming event.
NJ International Film Festival Filmmaker Interview H.O.M.E.
Published on May 31, 2016
Al Nigrin, Executive Director & Curator of the NJ International Film Festival, sits down with Daniel Maldonado, Director of the feature film H.O.M.E., as part of the festival's Summer 2016 filmmaker interview series. More information and a full schedule can be found at www.njfilmfest.com
Cine Las Americas Film Festival boosts attendance, awards top films
May 9, 2016 | Filed in: Latino Film.
The Cine Las Americas International Film Festival wrapped up this weekend after five days and nearly 100 movies, manywhich won’t otherwise get screened in Austin. The festival, which celebrated its 19th edition this year, saw a 33 percent boost in attendance, according to festival board director president Hector Silva.
Film themes included everything from the consequences of deportation to the complexities of young love. At its closing ceremony on May 8, the festival announced its jury and audience awards. Some of the top honors from the jury included:
Best Narrative Feature: Rosa Chumbe, Dir. Jonatan Relayze Chiang, Peru
Best Documentary Feature: Juanicas, Dir. Karina García Casanova, Canada/Mexico
Best Narrative Short: Os Meninos do Rio (Children of the River), Dir. Javier Macipe, Portugal/Spain
Best Documentary Short: Libertad, Dir. Brenda Avila-Hanna, USA
Some audience awards at the festival included:
Best Narrative Feature: H.O.M.E., Dir. Daniel Maldonado, USA
Best Documentary Feature: Juanicas, Dir. Karina García Casanova, Canada/Mexico
A complete list of awards will be online at cinelasamericas.org.
In an effort to diversify its offerings this year, festival director Jean Lauer told Austin 360 that the fest will begin incorporating more types of audio visual art including music videos. A selection of cinematic music videos were featured in two popular showcases at the North Door. Local music video directors included AJ Vallejo and Patricia Vonne. Among my favorites included “Cycles of Existential Rhyme,” which was directed by Giovanni Solis and featured a song by the Los Angeles-based outfit Chicano Batman.
The festival continued its powerful selection of indigenous films with its partner the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. A standout film included Sterlin Harjo’s “Mekko,” which beautifully humanized the story of a homeless American Indian man.
New to the festival this year was the empowering showcase of short films presented by the Houston-based festival Señorita Cinema, which is the state’s first all-Latina film festival. Notable shorts included “Mis quince,” an autobiographical documentary directed by Brenda Cruz-Wolf. Although, many young girls look forward to their quinceañeras, Cruz-Wolf didn’t and shares a different take into her extravagant celebration.
Closing the film festival this year was Costa Rica’s “Viaje,” a sweet tale of young love reminiscent of Richard Linklater’s Before series. Its playful nature, memorable dialogue, and undeniable character chemistry set against the backdrop of a gorgeous Costa Rican national park makes it a must-see dramedy.
Next year, Cine Las Americas celebrates 20 years in Austin.
From DREAMers To Skaters: 10 Must-See Movies At Austin’s Cine Las Americas Film Festival
By Manuel Betancourt May 2, 2016
Astin, Texas has no shortage of film festivals. After all, this is the city that’s host both to South by Southwest in the Spring and to Fantastic Fest in the Fall. But if you want a fest that features projects made “by and/or about Latinos or indigenous peoples of the Americas” you can’t do any better than Cine Las Americas International Film Festival. Now in its 19th year, the Texas program is showing 38 feature films, 60 short films, and 16 music videos, with over 24 countries represented.
Under its “New Releases” section you’ll find features we’ve been championing here at Remezcla, including Gabriel Lichtmann’s How to Win Enemies, Santiago Lozano Álvarez and Ángela Osorio Rojas’ Siembra, as well as Venice Film Festival winner Desde Allá and Los Cabos International Film Festival winner Te prometo anarquía. Consider those 19 films a cross section of the best cinema Latin America has to offer. That’s not to say that Cine Las America’s Competition slate (as well as it Hecho in Tejas lineup) are any less exciting. Tackling immigration, mental illness, rocket ships, and everything in between, the flicks playing in Austin will have something for everyone.
Don’t worry, we combed through the entire program and hand-picked 10 can’t-miss films from the fest, from autobiographical docs on Chilean government dynasties to a Babel-like feature set almost entirely in the New York City subway.
Cine Las Americas International Film Festival runs May 4 – 8, 2016 in Austin, TX.
Director Daniel Maldonado
Country United States
Production Year 2015
Inspired by the cross-cutting narratives of Babel and Crash, Daniel Maldonado’s New York City-set drama takes place mostly in train stations and a cramped taxi cab in one night, as a young runaway teenage boy with Asperger’s navigates the subway, an anxious Chinese mother convinces an Ecuadorian taxi driver to help her get back home. Shot with gritty realism, H.O.M.E. forces viewers to further redefine what it means to call someplace “home.”
Director Daniel Maldonado
Country United States
Cast Angela Lin Carlo Alban Lauren Augerten Al Thompson Karen Lynn Gorney Jeremy Ray Valdez Jesús Ochoa
Writer Daniel Maldonado
Producer Daniel Maldonado Darren Dean Ingrid Matias
Production Year 2015
Running Time 73 minutes
Click HERE to see the full article
H.O.M.E. Is Where the Heart Is
APR 12, 2016
Winner of Best Narrative Feature at the Queens World Film Festival last month, H.O.M.E. is a poignant, beautifully shot film about the importance of human connection. Its director and co-writer, Daniel Maldonado, a lifelong New Yorker, shows us aspects of the city we don’t always see via two interconnected stories: One features Jeremy Ray Valdez as Danny, a young runaway with Asperger’s Syndrome who is living in the subways. The other thread concerns a struggling Ecuadorian cab driver, Gabriel (acclaimed Mexican actor Jesús Ochoa), who helps a distraught Chinese mother (Angela Lin) get home to Chinatown.
Maldonado’s first feature, H.O.M.E. has both a dreamlike, impressionistic quality and realistic characters and scenes, a testament to his unique artistic vision and desire to create something human and relatable. The New York subway system is also a major character in the film; through Danny’s eyes, it is a repository of complex beauty and sometimes overwhelming stimuli.
The film will be screened at 10:45 pm on Friday, April 15, at Cinema Village, as part of the Manhattan Film Festival. Last week I spoke with Maldonado about the making and the meaning of H.O.M.E.:
You studied film at the School of Visual Arts?
I kind of went about it in a roundabout way; instead of trying to get into a 4-year program, I went to night school, because I was pretty much supporting myself. After two years of night classes, I completely fell in love, so I switched into the degree program and wound up getting a Bachelor’s in film. As much as I loved making student films, what interested me the most was learning about film history and world cinema. That was the biggest spark, learning about films from all over the world, different generations; learning what art is, basically.
H.O.M.E. was co-written with Hector Carosso; had you ever worked with him before?
The first story about a young man with Asperger’s is something I wrote very loosely. I wanted it to be a loose narrative and incorporate a lot of documentary elements, but the second story was written with Hector and he was a little bit more formal in terms of the narrative. I had just met him through a friend and it was one of those lucky breaks where we hit it off and we had a continuous dialogue of ideas and fed off each other; that’s very rare.
The inspiration for the film was a story in the New York Times about a boy with Asperger’s who lived in the subway for 11 days.
I knew I wanted to do a story based in New York City and use the city as a character; it’s where I grew up. I was fascinated by that story in the Times… It stuck with me, and since then there have been several instances of children who are autistic going into the subways. I did a lot of research and I befriended a family with a boy with Asperger’s; they consulted in the writing and making of the film. It was very important to me to be responsible in portraying this character. I went as far as spending time living in the subways; I would go down for 18 hours at a time for a few weeks just to know what it feels like. I traveled to almost every single station in the four boroughs.
The film shows so much art in the subways, both intentional and accidental. Did you want to show the beauty of it?
One of things I noticed during that period is that we generally use the subways to go from A to B, so when you’re in that environment and you’re not going anywhere, your senses open up and that’s what allowed me to notice the cracks in the walls, the way the water was dripping from one of the pipes; it became very sensorial with me. It was also important to me to capture any way I could the POV of someone with Asperger’s.
How did you find Jeremy?
He already had a career in television and a couple of independent films, including one with Benjamin Bratt (La mission). I really loved his work and I thought he would be perfect. Luckily we knew somebody who knew him so we met with him. He immediately was interested because he had a family member who was autistic. Mind you, this is someone who’d never really spent time in New York—he’s from New Mexico, now living in LA—he’d never really ridden the subways, so I thought, this is going to be a challenge (laughs)…That scene where Danny has a bit of a freak out, Jeremy really had that moment right before we shot that scene. It was July, very hot, and it was a crowded subway car and he was really having that experience.
Then there’s Jesús Ochoa, who you also wanted specifically for the role of Gabriel.
A lot of it goes back to the casting agency Orpheus Group. These women cast Girlfight, Maria Full of Grace, some big independent films. They’re the ones responsible for getting Jesús. He did a film called Sangre de me sangre, which won (the Grand Jury prize) at Sundance. He’s an amazing presence.
Did you shoot a lot of the subway footage at night, or whenever you could get access?
Well, it’s technically illegal (laughs), so as many other independent filmmakers do in New York, you steal shots. The whole approach was that this would have to be planned out for us to execute it. We started off at night just because we wanted more control. Then we started getting stopped by the police … as long as you don’t have a big crew or a big tripod, you can get away with it a lot easier. They would still stop us but we had two cameras, so when they stopped one, the other kept rolling.
Danny’s character interacts with various people down there.
I wanted to have Jeremy engage with people while in character. We would give him an earphone and I was speaking to him, and as we filmed, he would interact with people. There’s a scene where he goes into a store in Grand Central and has a conversation with a lady at the counter; she wasn’t aware that we were filming. So we did a lot of experimentation where I wanted to blend fiction and reality, just to see what would come of it. A few people came up to us after they found out we were filming and said that they see a lot of autistic young people in the subway, it was almost common for them.
Those scenes in Gabriel’s cab: he’s really driving around the city, isn’t he?
Yeah, he’d never driven in New York before.
So you had a guy who’d never ridden the subway and a guy who’d never driven here!
Jesús is so amazing, what he was able to give us, all the sacrifices. I said, we don’t really have a whole lot of money to get all the equipment needed for a proper way to film this, so are you OK with driving and performing? He said, yeah, no problem. So we put the cameras in the car and we were all cramped in there; we had another car in front. I think the most challenging part was trying to stop traffic on the Manhattan Bridge (laughs). That was a really tough moment.
The immigrant experience, which we don’t always see portrayed on film, is obviously important to you.
I’ve been on that trail for a little bit now; I did a short film in 2009 about a Mexican delivery worker (Lalo), slapstick comedy. In New York City there are a million stories to tell and a million stories have been told, but I’ve always been interested in the immigrant experience because they are the fabric of the city. And the way I see my career going in terms of my interests and inspirations, I’ll continue to make films with immigrant characters.
What do you most want viewers to take away from H.O.M.E.?
When I started to write the story I was very bothered—and still am very bothered–by acts that we hear about, where people are oblivious to situations. It was reported a couple of years ago that a man bled to death on a sidewalk; there was surveillance footage of people throughout the night, passing by, looking at him and not helping. Stuff like that really gets to me and pushed me forward to make this film, write the stories, and ultimately not get on a soapbox and preach about paying attention and being aware, but just tell a simple, quiet little story and hope that people can draw from it the importance of connecting with others.
What are you working on next?
It’s bigger in scope; I’ll just say that it’s a film that I want to do in Puerto Rico and it involves a community that is affected by a tragedy. It’s loosely based on actual events and it goes into mysticism, myth, folklore; there’s lots going on.
Cine latino en Nueva York: ‘H.O.M.E’ echa una mirada al Queens que pocos ven
12 DE ABRIL 2016
El director Daniel Maldonado habla de su exitosa película H.O.M.E. En primer plano aparece el Queens nocturno y urbano de las mil y una historia
Por Marcela Álvarez
Fue, sin duda, una de las películas más exitosas -y aplaudidas por el público- en el reciente Queens World Film Festival (QWFF). De hecho, ganó el premio a Best Narrative Film.
El esfuerzo y trabajo imparable de cinco años finalmente recibía su merecida recompensa y enla misma fuente de su inspiración.
El director Daniel Maldonado contó con un reducido- pero muy destacado- grupo de actores: Jeremy Ray Valdéz es Danny Pérez, un joven con síndrome de Asperger que deambula y conoce al dedillo el laberinto del subway, que es una especie de refugio para él; Jesús Ochoa es Gabriel Carrera, el taxista ecuatoriano -fanático fútbolero- que al frente de su volante recorre Queens y sueña con regresar a su país para saldar viejas cuentas familiares; Angela Lin es “la chinita” Sze Wun. Con ellos actúan también Carlo Albán, Lauren Augarten y Karen Lynn Gorney.
Escrita por Maldonado y Héctor Carosso, y producida por Gashouse Films, “H.O.M.E.” presenta dos historias urbanas que -sin saberlo- se comunican y conectan entre sí en una ciudad a menudo desconectada. Sin duda, es un esfuerzo notable de la producción (que también incluye a dos jóvenes hispanas, Ingrid Matías y Vanessa Verduga) para llevar al público una película que por su temática -y excelente cinematografía-, está dando que hablar en el circuito cinéfolo.
El director Daniel Maldonado la noche del estreno en Queens World Film Festival. Foto Marcela Álvarez
¿Cuánto tiempo trabajaste en “H.O.M.E”?
La película me tomó exactamente en cinco años, comenzando en el invierno de 2011.
La noche de apertura del QWFF llevabas un cartel que decía “Pregúntenme sobre mi película”. Nos pareció muy efectivo ese mensaje….
Sí, fue coincidencia que el director del festival me pidió que levantara en el escenario ese letrero.
La directora Nora Ephron solía decir que “todo es copia”. “H.O.M.E.” tiene guiños a “Taxi Driver” de Martín Scorsese, entre otras
Estoy de acuerdo con esa noción de copia pero también estoy de acuerdo con la idea de influencias, de modo que la película viene de muchas influencias sobre experiencias de la vida real. “Taxi Driver” es una referencia, como lo es “Night on Earth” y muchas más. Y también películas indies como “Man Push Cart”.
Después de recorrer el subway durante la filmación ¿Cómo lo ves ahora?
Es un laberinto que muchos de nosotros usamos para llegar de un punto A al B. Pasé muchas semanas explorando y viviendo en el subway solo para tener una experiencia sensorial y abordar todos sus detalles.
¿El síndrome de Asperger te toca de manera personal?
Tengo un amigo, Dan Compton, quien está en el espectro de autismo. Él y su familia apoyaron mucho la película y sirvieron como referencias para el desarrollo del guión.
Como director quieres llegar con tu película a todo el público pero especialmente haces un llamado a los ecuatorianos….
Sí, me gustaría llegar a la comunidad ecuatoriana de Nueva York. Nuestro personaje Gabriel es un taxista originalmente de Quito, Ecuador, que vive y trabaja en Queens. Habiendo conocido muchos taxistas, personalmente quise darles la oportunidad a esa comunidad con quien a menudo nos encontramos en la ciudad.
Luego del éxito en QWFF, ¿qué es lo próximo para “H.O.M.E.”?
Estaremos presentando la película en el 10th Annual Manhattan Film Festival. A principios de mayo estaremos en Austin, Texas, para el 19th Annual Cine Las Américas Film Festival.
¿Cinco películas preferidas?
Hhhmm siempre es difícil elegir, pero aquí van: “Man Push Cart”, “Prince of Broadway”, “Stations of the Elevated”, “Killer of Sheep” y “Takeout”.
Estás en una cena imaginaria en tu casa, ¿Quienes serían los directores invitados?
Abbas Kiarostami, David Lynch, Carlos Reygadas, Hou Hao Hsien y Apichatpong Weerasethakul
¿Y mujeres directoras?
A la mente me vienen Kelly Reichhardt, Lynne Ramsay, Lucy Molloy, Aurora Guerrero, Chantel Ackerman y Lucrecia Martel.
¿Tu próximo proyecto?
Estoy escribiendo un guión sobre una pequeña comunidad puertorriqueña afectada por un evento trágico. También estaré trabajando en el próximo episodio de una serie de cortos experimentales de horror que se han hecho y presentado a nivel internacional.
Cuéntanos un poquito sobre tu reciente mudanza a Jackson Heights
Sí, me mudé a este barrio porque siempre me ha interesado la comunidad, mucho más después de haber filmado aquí. Nací en Hackensack, NJ , crecí entre Bergen County y Nueva York. Me gradué en la escuela de cine de School Of Visual Arts. Tengo raíces ecuatorianas, con lazos boricuas y filipinos.
PRÓXIMA FUNCIÓN DE “H.O.M.E.”
Se presentará el próximo 15 de abril como parte del Manhattan Film Festival.
El director Maldonado estará presente para charlar con el público.
Dónde: Cinema Village, 22 E. 12th St., Manhattan
Cuándo: viernes 15 de abril
Informes: homeacronymfilm.com / manhattanff.com
Daniel Maldonado Based His Film On Real Events And Turned NYC’s Subway Into A Movie Set
By Manuel Betancourt March 16, 2016
Films about how society is becoming increasingly disconnected are now a genre onto their own. Think of Paul Haggis’s Crash,Roger Mitchell’s Changing Lanes, or perhaps most appropriately, Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Babel. That film’s tagline, “If You Want to be Understood… Listen” speaks to the themes that director Daniel Maldonado (alongside co-writer Hector Carosso) are exploring in H.O.M.E.Focused on two interconnected stories about immigrants in New York City, the film takes on issues of language barriers and miscommunication that are surprisingly timely.
Maldonado grew up in the city and that’s immediately apparent in the film which feels made for those people who make New York their home. Taking place mostly in subway stations and a cramped taxi cab in one night,H.O.M.E. is a film that immerses you in the multicultural world of the city. As a young runaway teenage boy with Asperger’s navigates the subway, an anxious Chinese mother convinces an Ecuadorian taxi driver to help her get back home. These are journeys that, as Maldonado puts it, help us redefine what we think about when we think about “home.”
Ahead of the film’s screening at the Museum of the Moving Image as part of the Queens World Film Festival, we sat down to talk to Maldonado about the ways he and his crew were able to outmaneuver the MTA to get the shots they needed, and how instrumental his casting directors were in getting Televisa fave Jesús Ochoa on board his project. Check some of the highlights from our chat below.
H.O.M.E. screens as part of the Queens World Film Festival which runs March 15-20, 2016
On Drawing From Real-Life Events
My inspiration was coming from a few different places. There was an article that came out several years ago in The New York Times “Runaway Spent 11 Days in the Subways,” about a young Mexican boy who had Asperger’s that basically talked about how he had ran away from home and he was living in the subways for several weeks. A combination of thinking what that environment must have been like in his condition, brought about some ideas to what is like to be on a journey within a city. I was also inspired by several other articles that talked about how we were communicating — or notcommunicating nowadays. And then I came upon a story of language barriers and I thought about a lot of drivers in Queens, all over the city. It all came together in an organic way. The original idea was that there were going to be three stories that spoke about immigrants living in the city.
On Casting His Leads
In terms of the casting. I was at a point, especially with the young man with Asperger’s where I was going to go either way in casting someone who had that condition. But I found this middle-ground in that we cast Jeremy Ray Valdez who I’d seen in a few films. He’s a great young actor who has done a lot of work, mostly in LA. Not much in New York. He also confided that he had a sister who’s autistic, and I think that’s what one of the things that brought him to the script. We brought him on, flew him out to New York for a couple of weeks.
The other actors: Jesús Ochoa who’s a pretty big Mexican actor. I saw him in a Sundance film a couple of years ago and he caught my eye and we brought on casting directors who were able to get in contact with him and bring him over. They [Ellyn Long Marshall and Maria E. Nelson] had done the casting for Girlfight and Maria Full of Grace. They were very instrumental in getting him. And then Angela they brought to us and she was someone who stood out from the beginning. She nailed it from the get-go and I think working with the two of them in that second story was a little bit of magic. They hit it off and had a good dynamic.
On the Secrets to Filming on the Subway
I was also one of the producers on the film and I knew that we had to be clever on how we approached this. One of the things that we approached it with was shooting with small cameras and no tripods. So that was step one. We also had two cameras and kind of played it off like, if we get stopped by the MTA or the police — which we did, several times — we had the other camera rolling. So we pushed it. I had to go ahead and do it. And we kind of strategized to film during certain times of the day. That kind of helped. The one thing that we did is, a kind of experiment, actually, was we gave Jeremy, who played Danny, an earpiece and we had him go out into the public with our cameras far back and filmed him interacting as his character throughout lot of the subways, in Grand Central Station, in the Port Authority area. The people that are interacting with him are unaware of the cameras so we had these sort of hyper-real scenes. I think he really thrived on it.
On Screening the Film in Queens
We’re going to be screening at the Museum [of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens] for the Festival and it’s going to be a great setting for the film. Not only because it speaks to New York City, but because it speaks to the immigrants of New York — what I consider to be the fabric of the city. I think the issue of communication and connecting, it’s something we have sort of seen a lot in recent years — put down your phone, pay attention, that kind of thing. But I’m trying to extend this conversation to those that are immigrants, bringing them into the picture, so to speak. I’m portraying characters that we don’t see everyday, especially outside of the city. It’s about giving them a voice.
6TH ANNUAL QUEENS WORLD FILM FESTIVAL
Mar 11, 2016
Katha Cato, executive director of the Queens World Film Festival, and Daniel Maldonado, director of the film “H.O.M.E.,” sit down with John Chandler to discuss the upcoming Queens World Film Festival.
QUEENS WORLD FESTIVAL PUTS SPOTLIGHT ON DIVERSE MOVIES
By Clodagh McGowan
Friday, March 11, 2016 at 01:47 AM EST
Films from across the globe are hitting the big screen at the sixth annual Queens World Film Festival. NY1's Clodagh McGowan filed the following report.
Filmmaker Daniel Maldonado uses the subway system and neighborhoods along Roosevelt Avenue to weave together stories in his film "H.O.M.E."
"What it means to connect and communicate in a big city, that a lot of us deal with urban alienation as well. So, it's about communication and interpersonal connections we can make despite all the technology around us," Maldonado said.
“H.O.M.E.” is just one of more than 140 films screening at the Queens World Film Festival next week. The movies are just as diverse as the borough, featuring everything from documentaries to short films.
"A celebration of the moving image is something that ties us together. And from the beginning of time we have been gathering around the flickering lights and talking about who we are to each other and who we are to this great universe, and it's no different now," said Katha Cato, the Queens World Film Festival’s executive director.
Katha and Don Cato are the driving force behind the growing film festival, now in its sixth year.
They received about 600 submissions from all over the world for the 2016 festival.
"It's an emotional process. I'm a filmmaker myself. I know how important it is. And we do our very best to get a representation of the very best of what we do have," said Don Cato.
The films will be screened at four venues throughout western Queens.
For local filmmakers, the opportunity to share their work on their home turf is priceless.
"It's like bringing the film home. We shot the film in a studio in Long Island City in Queens and having the opportunity to show it at the Museum of the Moving Image is a huge honor," said TaraFawn Maen, the producer of "Pop Meets the Void."
For tickets and a complete list of screenings, head to queensworldfilmfestival.com.
Jackson Heights Filmmakers to be Featured in 6th Annual Queens World Festival
Jackson Heights Filmmakers to be Featured in 6th Annual Queens World Film Festival
One film that will be screened in the festival is the Daniel Maldonado and Ingrid Matias film “H.O.M.E.” The film is broken up into two parts, the first of which tells the story of a man with Asperger’s syndrome who runs away from home after having a fight with his family, and disappears into an underground labyrinth in the NYC subway system.
The second is about an Ecuadorian driver from Corona, Queens, who offers a young Chinese mother a ride home because she is stranded in Flushing during a transit strike. It focuses on how the two communicate despite both language and cultural barriers between them. While it is mainly filmed in a town car, the drive begins in Corona, and goes through Elmhurst.
“H.O.M.E.” will be screening at the Museum of Moving Image on Friday, March 18th, at 6:00 pm. Tickets are available at the link.
Queens World Film Festival from March 15 to 20 Honoring IndieCollect Films
22 DE FEBRERO 2016
Queens World Film Festival Artistic Director Don Cato announced the final selections, schedule, special events, venues and honorees for the 6th Annual Queens World Film Festival (QWFF) at the Museum of the Moving Image (MoMI), in Astoria, Queens. The festival will take place in different venues from March 15-20, 2016.
Each year, the QWFF pays tribute to an outstanding filmmaker for his or her body of work. This year’s “Spirit of Queens” Award will go to the legendary American Actor, Director, Screenwriter, Playwright, Novelist, Painter and Composer Melvin Van Peebles, who will be honored on opening night, March 15. His groundbreaking Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song will screen at MoMI on March 16.
To highlight the IndieCollect film preservation campaign, prominent director, producer and writer Susan Seidelman’s 1982 movie, Smithereens, will be showcased at MoMI on closing night, March 19. Smithereens was the first American independent feature to be screened in competition at the Cannes Film Festival.
The QWFF engages audiences with targeted outreach to the diverse communities that comprise the borough of Queens. “This year’s 138 films come from 25 countrieswhose diasporas are represented in Queens,” says Cato.. “They promise to move and entertain our audiences.”
QWFF sponsors include Investors Bank, Investors Foundation, Kaufman Astoria Studio, Council Member Daniel Dromm and Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, The Queens Post and the Queens Council on the Arts.
In addition to producing the annual Queens World Film Festival, the organization programs films year-round at a variety of borough venues through its “Encore” and “Old Spice” screening series, and its “Young Filmmakers” training program.
The Queens World Film Festival is a program of the Queens World Film Initiative, Inc., a non-profit 501(c) 3 organization.
10 EXCITING INDIE FILMS AMERICA LATINOS
February 22, 2016
First Features Alert
To round up the list here are three special mentions of directorial debuts to watch coming soon; Bruising for Besos written and directed by Adelina Anthony, the queer chicana poet who wrote the story for one of my favorite short films, You’re Dead To Me. A critically acclaimed and beloved solo artist performer, she stars herself in Brusing as Yoli, a smooth talker whose game is put to the test in pursuit of romance. Varsity Punks written and directed by Anthony Solorzano is a high school comedy following a tight knit rambunctious cross country team shot in El Monte starring Efren Ramirez as the coach. H.O.M.E by Daniel Maldonado which is premiering a the Queens World Film Festival stars Jeremy Ray Valdez as a young man with Aspergers. See trailer for H.O.M.E. below.
- by Christine Davila, Chicana From Chicago
PRIME LATINO MEDIA SALON INTERVIEW
10 minute interview by Tio Louie (Louis Perego Moreno) of Prime Latino Media Salon with writer/director of the feature film H.O.M.E., Daniel Maldonado while the film was a work in progress.