LIFFY Film Festival Draws Record Online Attendance and Honors Latino and Iberian Filmmakers in Closing Ceremony

November 30, 2021

The Latino and Iberian Film Festival at Yale held its closing ceremonies via Zoom last night. Attendees streamed in from across Europe and North and South America to see the jury award prizes to the top filmmakers.

The ceremonies capped off a week-long series of online screenings, in-person events, and stimulating discussions between the filmmakers via Zoom.

As of the morning of Monday, November 15th, over 3200 unique streams had been clocked at the LIFFY streaming site. That equals nearly seventeen years of film footage consumed by attendees from Hong Kong to Buenos Aires to New Haven.

The feature film which captured the top prize was Iván Herrera’s Bantú Mama. Filmed in the Dominican Republic, the film depicts an Afro-descended woman who escapes arrest and becomes mother to three children in a dangerous district of Santo Domingo.

The jury commended the film “for its depiction of the enduring transnational bond of Afro-descendants to their Bantu origins and its healing process in the midst of persisting discrimination and social exclusion through excellent acting, structure and visual intertexts.”

Best first film was awarded to Los Fuertes by Chilean filmmaker Omar Zúñiga. Set on the edge of the world in a rural seaside town in Chile, Los Fuertes is a film about two men falling in love in a difficult but beautiful setting.

The winner of best documentary was Los Índalos, made by an Argentinian and Nicaraguan filmmaking team. The jury recommended the film for “its portrayal of multiple-generation political idealism and martyrdom in a family whose members engage in political struggle in Spain, France, Argentina and Nicaragua through oral history from surviving family members and excellent cinematography and archival research.”

All the winners of LIFFY 2021 are listed below.

Feature Length Films

Narrative: Bantú Mama, Iván Herrera (Dominican Republic)

First Film: Los Fuertes, Omar Zúñiga (Chile)

Documentary: Los Índalos, Roberto Persano, Juan Andrés Martínez Canto, and Santiago Nacif (Argentina/Nicaragua)

Best Director: Ata tu arado a una estrella, Carmen Guarini (Argentina)

Best Actor: Ex Aequo, Andrea Henry ; Pólvora en el corazón, Camila Urrutia (Guatemala); El cuento, Zahir Perrín, (Argentina)

Short Films

Narrative: Los Coleccionistas, Diana Moreno (Cuba)

Documentary: Santi 17, Álvaro E. Olaiz & Segismundo Monsó Agorreta (Spain)

Animated: ): War of the Worlds, Manoel Brito (Portugal) and Nuevo Rico, Kristian Mercado (Puerto Rico/USA)