On Friday night I was lucky enough to participate in a little piece of history for Latin American films in New York. Cinema Tropical held a fantastic awards ceremony in the Times Center: The 10 Best Latin American Films of the Decade. Filmmakers Lucrecia Martel, Carlos Reygadas, and Felipe Lacerda were among the stars of the night that wouldn't be possible without the tireless work of Carlos Gutierrez and Monika Wagenberg, founders of Cinema Tropical. Even Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed a proclamation in the name of the City of New York for the "Cinema Tropical Award Day in New York"!
Cinema Tropical is a non-profit organization dedicated to the distribution, programming and promotion of Latin American Cinema in the United States. Since its creation in 2001, Cinema Tropical has become the country's premier purveyor of Latin American films by establishing screening programs in 12 venues in North America, having built a library of over 35 titles, and providing marketing and promotional campaigns for various film releases, programs and festivals in the U.S.
It was an honor for me to have been a writer and interviewer for them in the past. Thanks to Carlos Gutierrez I met amazing filmmakers like Francisco Vargas Quevedo (The Violin), Jorge Gaggero (Live-In Maid), and Camila Guzmán Urzúa (The Sugar Courtain). Of course, I also had the chance to discover those jewels among many other hand-picked independent films. My congratulations to them, and I hope this great event marks a before and after for them, and for Latin American films in New York and the United States.