Grants & Awards
Date Awarded: Summer 2008
Directors(s): Paola Mendoza & Gloria La Morte
Company Credit: Indiepix Films, Lucky Hat Entertainment, Rola Productions, the Film Fund of the Government of Colombia
Film Status: Completed
About the Film:
Mariana (Paola Mendoza) is determined to keep her family together. Her children, Gabriel (Sebastian Villada Lopez), 10, and Andrea (Laura Montana Cortez), 6, have grown up in Colombia without their father. He immigrated to the United States years earlier in order to make a better life for his family. Finally after many years of separation the family is reunited in New York City. After coming home late from work one night Antonio announces he has found work in Miami and will be moving there…alone. He will send for the family when he is settled. Days go by and Mariana does not hear from him. Worried and desperate, she goes to her only friend’s home only to find out Antonio is not coming back. The rent is due, there is no food on the table and Mariana has fifty dollars to her name. With no one to turn to, she must find a way, in a strange city where she barely speaks the language, to provide for her family, financially and emotionally.
About the Filmmakers:
Gloria La Morte has taken an active role in her filmmaking career as a writer, editor and now director. Her film career began in 2000 as the writer & co-producer of Details, her first narrative short film that had its television debut on HBO after a notable festival run, including a Best Short Award at the NY International Latino Film Festival. She went on to co-produce the multiple-award winning feature film, Washington Heights in 2002. Ms. La Morte won Best Documentary Editor for Autumn’s Eyes at the 2006 Woodstock Film Festival, a credit she shares with husband and partner Joseph La Morte. She has since edited another award winning feature documentary, Women Ways and later Connect USA. She is currently writing her second feature, a dark comedy, Father and Sons.
Poverty in America is a common theme in all of Paola Mendoza’s work. From her directorial debut Autumn’s Eyes, to On the Outs, to her short documentary Still Standing and to her latest film Entre Nos, Ms. Mendoza has continually tackled the effects of poverty on family and children. Her films have been embraced at prestigious festivals such as Toronto, Berlin, South by South West, Full Frame, HotDocs and now Tribeca. She was a nominee for the 2008 NALIP Estel Awards, given to Latino filmmakers that show extraordinary promise in the field of directing. As a writer she won the Grand Jury Prize for the Panasonic Digital Filmmakers Award at 2007 IFP Market Award for the script of Entre Nos.
Festival & Award Highlights:
Tribeca 2009 – World Premiere, Honorable Mention
Newport 2009 – Audience Award: Best Narrative Feature
Fort Lauderdale 2009 – Debut Acting Award, Best Female Actor, Best of Fest
Traverse City 2009 – Jury Prize for Best Film
Heartland 2009 – Crystal Heart Award Winner, Dramatic Feature