The New York Latino Film Festival Concluded Its 16th Edition with A Spectacular Success, Showcasing Hit-Premieres over Its Week-Slate in New York City..!
NUEVA YORK,NY(SMI LATIN,08.14-08.18.19)-The New York Latino Film Festival closed-out its 16th edition this evening (Saturday, August 17), showcasing hit-premieres over the weekend, opening the day' slate with " Long Gone By", directed by Andrew Morgan, followed by Ben De Jesus' doc "Raul Julia: The World's A Stage) and closing the festival with "El Projeccionisa), directed by Jose Maria Cabral at the AMC-25 Theater in New York City.
The six-day festival came to an end after featuring films from renowned and rising stars Latin film directors from the US & abroad, who traveled to the Big Apple to premiere their latest film or to make their film's debut with their first professional movie at the Latino Film Festival.
During the six day festival, Latin Starlight Illustrated attended the red carpets of some the featured films at Festival and managed speak with some directors, actors and producers about their films and this is what they said:
" LONG GONE BY " tells the tale of Ana Alvarez, a single mother from Nicaragua living in Warsaw, Indiana with her teenage daughter, Izzy. When a routine check in leads to a deportation order, life as Ana knows it ends. The timing could not be worse as Izzy has just been accepted to Indiana University, a dream that becomes a nightmare when she discovers that because of her immigration status she will not qualify for the needed scholarships or federal aid. Faced with an impossible reality of a lifetime away from her daughter, Ana decides to risk everything in a last chance effort to leave Izzy's tuition paid before her time runs out. An intimately unnerving portrait of a woman willing to sacrifice everything to give her daughter the chance at a life she never had.
Latin Starlight Comments and Ratings:
Compassionate, Great Story & Educational. We rate this film 4 Stars out 5
Andrew Morgan, (Director), Erica Muños (Lead Actress and Producer) & Izzy Hau'Ula (Second Lead Actress) of The Film
" Long Gone By "
Latin Starlight: What motivated you to make this type of film ?
Andrew Morgan:I was working on a documentary series couple years ago and spending some time with family that were in the similar situations to that which the characters are, and we just started a conversation with Erica and I about how can we creatably tell a story that brought people into the lived experiences that so many folks are going through in a new and interesting way. I developed the project for her like it was very much like she was going to play the role and we built it from there.
Latin Starlight : Indiana is featured as the main location of the film story-where everything happened. Any particular reason for that instead of any major city ?
Andrew Morgan:I felt like we already seen like the Norman Rockwell view of an American town in America cinema, and I just thought it will be interesting to see the same settings from a different prospective, from a prospective from someone who is living from outside and not somebody who is super comfortable
at home in that situation.
Latin Starlight: During 3/4 of the film, we noticed that the lead
cast ( "Erica Muños") was encarcerated but we did not see how she got arrested or apprehended by ICE or the law inforcement authorities. Did you leave that part in purpose or you wanted the audience to figure-out for themselves ?
Andrew Morgan: Well, She accomplished what she wanted to accomplish and she turned herself-in, so there wans't any big dramatic or horrifying scene with Izzy.
Latin Starlight: We notice that you wife Emily and Erica Muños are the producers of the film. How much from the women's point of view did they play a key role in making this film?
Andrew Morgan: 100% Her and Erica, both are producers of the film.I think that prospective of a mother really informed that whole thing.And also the just the research, we got to spend a lot time with people and families that had gone through similar things and people that have been working immigration law fighting for some of this stories, they were also able to share a lot light and for me just was listening and making space and point the camera to Erica.
Latin Starlight: Any message you want to send to the audience that will watch this film or people in general with this film ?
Andrew Morgan:I just want people to be reminded of the humanity here, I think we lost that and I think anytime we use the phrase
or category before we were humans, we lessens a person. So I hope the next time someone sees a new story or reads an article, I hope the film gives them a two hours of lived experiences in their shoes on someone they maybe wouldn't meet otherwise.
About Andrew Morgan (Director):
Andrew Morgan is an internationally recognized filmmaker focused on telling stories for a better tomorrow. His experience includes a broad range of work spanning narrative and documentary storytelling for multiple film and new media projects that have been filmed and released all over the world. The New York Times described his unique style as “gentle, humane investigations,” and Vogue Magazine wrote that it is “evidence that each of us can act as a catalyst for change within our own lives and work together towards a greater good.” He lives in LA with his wife Emily, their four children and a dog named Lady.
Izzy Hau'Ula: It's cool for me to Be able to share this story in the spotlight.It was challenging for me personally since I never acted before and It was a cool experience to be part of something like this." Said Izzy Hau'Ula (who made her debut as an actress with the film " Long Gone By " ) to Latin Starlight about acting in the movie at the film's premiere.
"The film original idea was created by Andrew Mogan, and we kind of worked together along with his wife Emily that is also a producer and And then we were looking for a young actress to play my daughter, Izzy was cast in the role despite that she never acted before in her life ". Said Muñoz about the creation of the film's ideas and how Izzy Hau'Ula was cast in the film.
"This is my first ever lead role in a film and It's huge for me, it's a really big opportunity fo me in my career" said Erica Muños, lead actress of "Long Gone By" to Latin Starlight about starring in this movie.
About Erica Muñoz (Lead Actress/ Associate Producer):
Erica Muñoz is an actress and producer known for her roles in the the Pulitzer Prize winning Broadway musical, RENT, Grey’s Anatomy,
Numb3ers, & Jericho. More recently, she was featured in O.A.R.'s "Miss you all the Time" video directed by Rudy Mancuso, & is currently shooting the lead role opposite Renee Victor in the feature, City of Crows. She lives in LA with her husband and two children and continues to work on television, film, theatre and print work.