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The Platinum Awards: The First Major International Iberoamerican Cinema Awards

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by Sydney Levine
April 5, 2014 11:07 PM
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Winners have been announced!  See below.

The First Edition of the Platinum Awards, a gala presentation in Panama April 5th, sponsored by Egeda and FIPCA was an idea born two years ago in Panama at the Festival'sl Forum with Iberoamerican filmmakers and the Iberoamerican Producers Association (FIPCA).  Panama's Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce offered to pay for the first edition which is being held now.  Jose Pacheco, the Deputy Minister and also the President of the Panama Film Commission, along with Arianne Marie Benedetti, then had to convince their government that the investment in the awards, along with the investment in cinema would further the country's extraordinary influx of capital and would help establish the Premios Platinos as the most important global event promoting and supporting the Iberoamerican film industry.  Everyone here for the 4th Annual Panama Film Festival was quite excited and it was an extraordinary affair.  Twenty-two Spanish speaking countries in the Americas as well as Brazil, Portugal and Spain gathered along with world press (John Hopewell of Variety and I myself of SydneysBuzz/ LatinoBuzz and Indiewire were the only gringo press around) and producers, directors, actors, cinematographers and writers to pay homage to the great talent arising out of the Iberoamerican countries whose potential audience exceeds that of the United States.  

This was pointed out with great enthusiasm by Javier Camára, the actor nominated for Best Male Actor for his role in David Trueba's Living is Easy with Eyes Closed (Vivir es fácil con los ojos cerrados).  He plays a high-school English/ Latin teacher in 1966 Spain who drives to Almeria in hopes of meeting his hero, John Lennon. Along the way, he picks up two runaways. The movie title, Living is Easy With Eyes Closed, comes from a line in Lennon's song Strawberry Fields Forever which he wrote while filming How I Won the War in Almeria.  (Camára is also a fan of Real Madrid.)

In this first edition 701 films have participated. Of these, each of the countries made a pre-selection of their candidates through their representatives FIPCA and national film academies. Subsequently, a jury of prominent industry professionals has selected the winners just announced at the gala on April 5 in Panama.  The Directors of the event are Adrian Solar Lozier for FIPCA and one of Chili's most recognized producers and Enrique Cerezo Torres, one of the founders of Egeda twenty-five years ago, its chief executive for the past seventeen years, President of the Madrid Film Commission and President of the Madrid School of Cinema.  (He is also the President of the Athletic Football Club of Madrid.)  

Mexican singer and actress, Alessandra Rosaldo, and Colombian journalist Juan Carlos Arciniegas whose TV show on film is featured on CNN Latino, co-hosted the televised event. Canal Plus of Spain and others representing television across the Americas were present.  

The winners in each of the eight categories were named to a huge audience of the most important Latin American cinema talent who sat on pins and needles waiting to hear the winners.  

Accepting the Platinum Award of Honor, Sonia Braga, known to U.S. audiences from the 1976 breakout Brazilian film, Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands, and again in 1985 and 1988 with Kiss of the Spider Woman and The Milagro Beanfield War respectively, was elegant and eloquent in her acceptance.  

The most nominated films were The German Doctor: Wakolda, Gloria and Living is Easy with Eyes Closed.  The surprise was that Living is Easy did not win a single award. Already the winner of 11 Awards and nominated for 5 other awards, David Trueba definitely can not hide behind the loser category. The Spanish film Living is Easy with Eyes Closed won six Goya Awards  including Best Director.

Paulina Garcia in "Gloria"

And The Winners are:

Best Iberoamerican Fiction Film: Gloria (Chile).  Nominated were The German Doctor: Wakolda (Argentina),  Heli (Mexico), Witching and Bitching (Spain), La jaula de oro (The Golden Cage) (Mexico), Roa (Colombia) and Living is Easy with Eyes Closed Spain) compete for the title of Best Latin American Film of the Year.

Best Female Performance: Paulina  García (Gloria).  Nominated were Karen Martínez (The Golden Cage), Laura De la Uz (Ana's Film), Marian Álvarez (Wounded), Nashla Bogaert (Who's the Boss?), Natalia Oreiro (Wakolda).  You can read Gloria's review and interview with Sebastian Lelio and Paulna Garcia here:  Review by Carlos Aguilar  and Interview with Sebastian Lelio and Paulina Garcia by Sydney Levine.  You can soon read more about upcoming Dominican Republic's Nashla Bogaert whom I met and interviewed in Panama.  She is my choice of the one to keep an eye on.

Best Male Performance: Eugenio Derbez (Instructions Not Included). The equivalent of the Platinos, our own Academy Award usually steers clear of comedy in the best actor category, as if comedy were not as difficult as drama. But this was well deserved in terms of popularity as this film's huge success in both U.S. and Mexico shows.  U.S.$44 million in U.S. and U.S.$ 41 million in Mexico are not to be ignored.  This major hit hit a major nerve in U.S. and Mexico.  Also nominated were Antonio de la Torre (Cannibal), , Javier Cámara (Living is Easy with Eyes Closed), Ricardo Darín (Thesis on a Homicide) and Víctor Prada (The Cleaner).




Platinum Award For Best Director: Amat Escalante (Heli).  Nominated were Sebastian Lelio (Gloria), David Trueba (Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed), Lucia Puenzo (The German Doctor: Wakolda).  You can read Heli'Review by Carlos Aguilar and the Interview with Amat Escalante by Carlos Aguilar.

Platinum Best Screenplay Award: Sebastian Lelio, Gonzalo Maza (Gloria).  Also nominated were Daniel Sánchez Arévalo (Great Spanish Family), David Trueba (Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed), Lucia Puenzo (The German Doctor-Wakolda)

Platinum Award For Best Original Score: Emilio Kauderer for Foosball (Football).  Also nominated were Karin Zielinski for El Limpiador (The Cleaner) -- you can read its Review by Carlos Aguilar , Joan Valent (Zugarramurdi Witches)

Juan Carlos Arciniegas from CNN Latino, presenter of the Platinum Awards in Panama City, Panama, being interviewed by Lucia Sapena, Radio & TV announcer.

Platinum Award For Best Animated Film: Foosball (Football).  Nominated were Anina -- you can read Anina's Review by Carlos Aguilar , The Secret Of Jade Medallion, Justin And The Sword Of Value, Uma History Of Love And Fury

Platinum Award For Best Documentary: Con la Pata Quebrada (With a Broken Leg).  Nominated were: Cuates de Australia (Friends from Australia), Eternal Night Of The Twelve Moons, The Day That Lasted 21 Years from Brazil about the U.S. instigated coup d’etat in 1964, Still Being.

Camilo Vives (recently deceased, head of production for ICAIC) Platinum Award for Best Iberoamerican co-production, in memory of his Presidency of FIPCA for over 10 years and co-chair of the Forum Egeda / FIPCA was The German Doctor Wakolda which beat out Anina, Esclavo de Dios and La jaula de oro.  Read more on The German Doctor Wakolda here: Review by Carlos Aguilar and Case Study by Sydney Levine.

See more on the Platinum Award website: www.premiosplatino.com.

Alessandra Rosaldo stated: "These Awards will be the most valuable Iberoamerican Film Excellence Awards, something this industry needs and demands to reward the creativity and talent of our film industry.

Juan Carlos Arciniegas said: "The Platinum Awards are pioneers, transcend borders and put our countries in a fair competition that will highlight the diversity of the region cinematically. These awards will write the history of the participating films."

Eugenio Derbez, Blanca Guerra, Victoria Abril and Patricia Velasquez were some of the presenters. 



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