International Puerto Rican Heritage Film Festival reaches new milestone with 5th successful year. November 11-15, 2015.
Photos: Jhon Caballero
“Celebrating the Heritage of Puerto Rico with the world!” was the theme for the 5th International Puerto Rican Heritage Film Festival. The Festival opened Wednesday, November 11, 2015 with an acknowledgement of the contributions of two remarkable Puerto Ricans at the historic St. Paul & St. Andrew in New York’s Upper West Side.
The Festival presented its 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award to the legendary Puerto Rican virtuoso, José Feliciano; Mr. Feliciano has been awarded over 45 Gold and Platinum records; has won 16 Grammy nominations, earning him 6 Grammy Awards and is in receipt of countless prestigious awards the world over. His influence on American culture is widely credited with opening the gate to mainstream acceptance for many Latino artists.
In addition, the IPRHFF 2015 Humanitarian Award was presented to Ray Negron. When George Steinbrenner saw a young Ray painting the team logo on a Yankee Stadium wall in the late 70s, instead of punishing the erstwhile graffiti artist, Steinbrenner hired him as the Yankee bat boy and propelled him into a career with the Yankees that resulted in Mr. Negron becoming a sports executive, award winning author, producer, executive producer, humanitarian and philanthropist. His animated film Henry and Me (voiced by Hollywood mainstays and baseball greats) screened during the festival.
25 separate IPRHFF screenings with over 50 films ran from Thursday, November 12 to Sunday, November 15 at various theater spaces within Mount Sinai Hospital and at the Riverside Theater, in East and West Harlem, respectively. Four Puerto Rican feature presentations made each evening a unique IPRHFF experience: the films included Angel by Academy Award nominated Jacobo Morales, La Granja, and Las Vacas con Gafas (Cows with Glasses), presented in collaboration with AfroTaino Productions, and Ms. Homicide, 15 Faros de Puerto Rico (15 Lighthouses of Puerto Rico) in collaboration with Prime Latino Media.
Prime Latino Media Salon (in collaboration with the Hispanic Organization of Latin Actors – HOLA) also produced two panel discussions for the Festival. The first in the West Village featuring interviews with the subjects of two IPRHFF films: Ms. Homicide (featuring Ret. Det. Irma Rivera solving some of NYC’s most notorious homicides) and EKAJ (about homeless gay youth) and a second panel & workshop, LATINOS IN COMEDY, at New York University (Latino Studies) with a distinguished group of thought- leaders: Yamin Segal (FLAMA), Jaime Fernandez (Room28comedy), comedian and author Bill Santiago, Rhina Valentin (La Reina Del Barrio Productions, Inc.) Janio Marrero, Melissa Diaz, plus case studies with reviews of webisodes produced & starring, Elaine Del Valle (Reasons Y I’m Single) and Vanessa Verduga (JusticeWoman.com). Both panels were moderated by Louis E. Perego Moreno, Founder & Executive Producer of Prime Latino Media.
Returning principal sponsors Univision/UniMás (Official Media Sponsor) and Mount Sinai Hospital were joined by Delta Air Lines and WADO 1280 this year to ensure a successful outcome. Chivas Regal also hosted a filmmaker mixer leading into the Festival.
Festival CEO and Founder Veronica Caicedo indicates: “We are grateful for our 5th Annual Festival but are already looking forward to next year and to improving every year for our filmmakers, audience and sponsors alike.”
Caicedo Productions is a privately-owned New York corporation established in 1990. Caicedo Productions is a full-service boutique studio that develops, finances, and produces and markets quality films and theatrical productions. The company’s mission continues to be that of providing creative and technical space for writers and visual artists from inter-related genres (i.e. theater, film, video, and television).
For more information visit IPRHFF.COM