Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
35 Films That Could Become Foreign Language Oscar Submissions 35 Films That Could Become Foreign Language Oscar Submissions EXCLUSIVE TRAILER: In Brazilian Drama 'The Moving Creatures' Daily Life Unfolds in Unique Ways EXCLUSIVE TRAILER: In Brazilian Drama 'The Moving Creatures' Daily Life Unfolds in Unique Ways 15 Films That Could Become Mexico's Oscar Entry 15 Films That Could Become Mexico's Oscar Entry Asian World Film Festival Adds East West Artists’ Jaeson Ma as Director of International Relations Asian World Film Festival Adds East West Artists’ Jaeson Ma as Director of International Relations Legendary Actress Rita Moreno Will Be Part of the 6th Annual Loft Film Fest Legendary Actress Rita Moreno Will Be Part of the 6th Annual Loft Film Fest China’s First English-Speaking Sci-Fi Film 'Lost in the the Pacific' Garners International Pre-Sales China’s First English-Speaking Sci-Fi Film 'Lost in the the Pacific' Garners International Pre-Sales Join Matthew Cooke, Adrian Grenier, & Deepak Chopra For The Film That Will Help to Change the Inhumane US Prison System Join Matthew Cooke, Adrian Grenier, & Deepak Chopra For The Film That Will Help to Change the Inhumane US Prison System 'Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet' is a Cinematic Out-Of-Body Experience Brimming with Animated Wisdom 'Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet' is a Cinematic Out-Of-Body Experience Brimming with Animated Wisdom Meryl Streep's Screenwriting Lab for Women Over 40 Reveals Participants Meryl Streep's Screenwriting Lab for Women Over 40 Reveals Participants Hollyshorts Fest Opens With New Clip From Eli Roth's The Green Inferno Hollyshorts Fest Opens With New Clip From Eli Roth's The Green Inferno Exclusive Interview: Jean-Pierre Jeunet on Harvey Weinstein's Antics, 'T.S. Spivet,' and 'Casanova' Exclusive Interview: Jean-Pierre Jeunet on Harvey Weinstein's Antics, 'T.S. Spivet,' and 'Casanova' Exclusive: Epic Pictures' Award-winning 'Jeruzalem' U.S. Premiere Slated for August 23rd Exclusive: Epic Pictures' Award-winning 'Jeruzalem' U.S. Premiere Slated for August 23rd LatinoBuzz: Duo Ben Odell and Eugenio Derbez of 3Pas Studios LatinoBuzz: Duo Ben Odell and Eugenio Derbez of 3Pas Studios Salma Hayek on 'Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet': 'His Poetry Talks About the Simple Things in Life That Unite Us All" Salma Hayek on 'Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet': 'His Poetry Talks About the Simple Things in Life That Unite Us All" Jeunet's Disarmingly Imaginative 'The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet' Analyzes American Duality with Dark Undertones and Awe-Inspiring 3D Cinematography Jeunet's Disarmingly Imaginative 'The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet' Analyzes American Duality with Dark Undertones and Awe-Inspiring 3D Cinematography Sundance Institute Selects Projects and Panelists for Creative Film Producing Labs and Summit Sundance Institute Selects Projects and Panelists for Creative Film Producing Labs and Summit Cannes'15: Jane Fonda, Olivia de Havilland and Megan Ellison to Receive 'Women in Motion' Honor Awards Cannes'15: Jane Fonda, Olivia de Havilland and Megan Ellison to Receive 'Women in Motion' Honor Awards 30 Essential Iranian Films to Watch in Honor of Nowruz (Persian New Year)! 30 Essential Iranian Films to Watch in Honor of Nowruz (Persian New Year)! Oscars 2015 : Best Foreign Language Film Contenders - The Americas Oscars 2015 : Best Foreign Language Film Contenders - The Americas LatinoBuzz: Interview With Actor Richard Cabral of 'Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones' LatinoBuzz: Interview With Actor Richard Cabral of 'Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones'

LatinoBuzz: Elizabeth Gardner, Co-Director of NYILFF Responds to News of the Festival's Closure

Photo of Vanessa Erazo By Vanessa Erazo | SydneysBuzz September 6, 2013 at 3:30PM

Just a few days ago a story ran on Cinema Tropical's blog, TropicalFRONT, regarding the New York International Latino Film Festival. The story, "NY Latino Film Fest Closes Shop After 13 Years" was a surprise for Elizabeth Gardner co-executive director of the NYILFF. LatinoBuzz has given her the space to tell her side of the story.
11
Calixto Chinchilla, Michelle Rodriguez, and Elizabeth Gardner
Calixto Chinchilla, Michelle Rodriguez, and Elizabeth Gardner

Just a few days ago a story ran on Cinema Tropical's blog, TropicalFRONT regarding the murky status of the New York International Latino Film Festival (NYILFF). Speculations and rumors had been swirling for months. There was never an official announcement that the festival was not happening this year but August came and went and there was no news. Then Cinema Tropical ran its story, "NY Latino Film Fest Closes Shop After 13 Years."

The story cites several reasons for its closure. Calixto Chinchilla, co-executive director of the festival, was interviewed for the piece. He says the organization was in the midst of a "crippling financial crisis" and that, "the festival was simply no longer economically viable."

I have been on staff of the New York International Latino Film Festival in various capacities for the last seven years. To say the announcement was a surprise is an understatement. I knew the festival was not going to happen this year but I had no idea it would possibly never happen again. But, even worse, the story was an even bigger surprise for Elizabeth Gardner co-executive director of the NYILFF. She was not contacted nor advised of the fact that the article was being written nor that this information would be made public.

LatinoBuzz has given her the space to respond directly and tell her side of the story.

Personal Statement Regarding the New York International Latino Film Festival

By Elizabeth Gardner

I am enormously disappointed in Cinema Tropical's, specifically Andrew Vargas', article regarding the NYILFF, particularly because he did not bother to contact me, nor anyone else affiliated with NYILFF. It was especially shocking since we planned to release a joint, public statement.

Yes, it is true, Calixto Chinchilla and I together, as co-owners and co-executive directors, have decided it is time to dissolve the company and embrace exciting, new chapters in our lives. After 11 years of dedication to the organization and community, I chose to leave the NYILFF, and Calixto opted not to continue without me. To be clear, although the economy has been a challenge for all companies including NYILFF, this was not a decision based on economy, nor the company's financial status, which, in fact, is healthy; we end with neither debts, nor liabilities. We consistently worked with our dedicated team to find creative ways to remain efficient in leaner times, enabling us to make this decision. Nor is there a "dearth of Latinos in publicity and marketing". For the past 6 years, we have worked with the team at Reyes Entertainment, who secured festival coverage in The New York Times, The Today Show, The Los Angeles Times, and Time Out NY, among many other mainstream media outlets, and also have had the great fortune of partnering with such major media organizations as NBC, Telemundo, NY Daily News, Clear Channel, El Diario and HuffingtonPost.com. The combined efforts resulted in hundreds of millions of media impressions in both English and Spanish.

The article also fails to thank or mention anyone associated with NYILFF. There are literally hundreds of people who worked tirelessly through the years to produce the best possible event. Therefore, I'd like to take the opportunity to thank from my heart all of our cherished corporate partners, particularly our outstanding friends at HBO, gifted filmmakers, staff, volunteers and film fans who learned of our mutual decision in this unfortunate manner. After the many years of your priceless commitment and support, you deserve better.

Moreover, I'd like to thank my many, dear festival friends, who continue to enrich my life each and every day. You are all brilliantly talented, passionate and compassionate artists, dreamers and doers, and are the true gifts of my experience.

The past 11 years have taught me much, most importantly always to remain honest and open, free of judgment, receptive to disparate viewpoints, generous of spirit and calm under pressure, for even the most challenging of circumstances serves a purpose and offers a lesson. I thank you all for allowing me to learn from, work with and honor you for 11 years. Let's keep inspiring each other to be the best versions of ourselves we can be.

Written by Vanessa Erazo. LatinoBuzz is a weekly feature on SydneysBuzz that highlights Latino indie talent and upcoming trends in Latino film with the specific objective of presenting a broad range of Latino voices. Follow @LatinoBuzz on Twitter and Facebook.

This article is related to: LatinoBuzz, Elizabeth Gardner, New York International Latino Film Festival

E-Mail Updates