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The 7th The Americas Film Festival New York to Open Virtual Cinema

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The 7th The Americas Film Festival New York to Open Virtual Cinema

Under the current situation where healthy social distancing is required, The Americas Film Festival NY ( team offers its audience the opportunity to enjoy and celebrate the rich diversity of the stories, languages, and cultures of the Americas from the comfort of their home. The 7th edition of TAFFNY opens its Virtual Cinema from June 25-29, 2020, to present seven feature films and more than 25 short films of exceptional quality online and free of charge.

TAFFNY Virtual Cinema, in partnership with Instituto Cervantes New York, opens on Thursday, June 25 at 6:15pm, with the New York premiere of festival-standout A Thief's Daughter (La hija de un ladrón), the debut feature of Catalan director/co-writer Belén Funes, who took home the Goya Award for Best New Director while lead actress Greta Fernandez's Goya-nominated, star-making performance won at the international film festivals of San Sebastian and Malaga. A Thief's Daughter tells the story of feisty, single mother Sara who at 22 years old just wants to lead a normal life with her younger brother. After years of absence and a long period in jail, their father, Manuel, decides to suddenly reappear in their lives. Just as things start to get better for her, Sara will have to make the toughest decision of her life. Following the screening will be a pre-recorded Q&A with director Funés, who will answer questions submitted by the public in advance via TAFFNY's Facebook and Instagram pages.

Dr. Juan Carlos Mercado, Dean of the Division of Interdisciplinary Studies at the Center for Worker Education of CUNY (CWE) says of this year's festival: "Our goal is to create a dynamic online event in which we offer extra value, beyond the mere streaming of the films, with the presentation of directors in discussion forums and The Americas Short Films competition. As in past years, we would also like to honor City College's MFA Program in Film, one of the oldest film schools in the U.S. and the only public institution in New York City to offer a BFA in film with the presentation of Cinema and Sanctuary by Dave Davidson."

TAFFNY, in partnership with the National Museum of the American Indian, closes on Sunday, June 28, starting at 4:00 pm, with The Americas Award Ceremony and the NY premiere of Sisters Rising, a powerful documentary that tells the story of six Native American women fighting to restore personal and tribal sovereignty in the face of ongoing sexual violence against Indigenous women in the United States. Directors Willow O'Feral and Brad Heck will join TAFFNY Virtual Cinema following the screening for an interactive Q&A that will be live-streamed on TAFFNY's Facebook page.

"This TAFFNY 2020 is different for all of us because our decision to "go on with the show" and adapt to the new requirements for holding events has led us to create and be a part of a virtual cinema. It's also an exciting one because taking TAFFNY online allows us to further open the discussion of three prominent themes in this year's program: firstly, rethinking the aesthetics of women's cinema and feminist theory, and of women as a product and producer of images; secondly, the legacy of those who have fought to make the world a better, more just place; and, thirdly, the cinema of the Americas in the face of universal discontent," says Artistic Director Diana Vargas.

Films act as a path to remember those who, despite the adversities and political and social abuses, have used their art and creative work as a tool to ensure history is not forgotten and make the world a better place to live. Documentary Cinema and Sanctuary by Dave Davidson brings to life the tumultuous and exuberant history of The Institute of Film Techniques at the City College of New York - the first documentary film school in America. Under the leadership of pioneering experimental filmmaker Hans Richter, generations of working-class kids from New York discovered a new world of compelling and meaningful cinema far beyond the Hollywood movies they grew up on, and went on to forge prestigious film careers in NYC. President Vincent Boudreau in Conversation with Benjamin B. Ferencz, delves into the inspirational life, as told in his own words, of a former prosecutor at the Nuremberg war crimes trials, an advocate for human rights and the rule of law and the recipient of The City College President's Medal from his alma mater. In Pacifico Sur, Ines Paz Lemetre and Marta Gonzalez Mira follow a peasant, a former guerrilla member, and an exile from the department of Nariño, the area of Colombia with the highest coca production in the country and a historic bastion of the guerrilla movement. This documentary was made a year and a half after the signing of the Peace Agreement between the Colombian Government and the FARC.

This is Cristina (Ella es Cristina) is the directorial debut of Gonzalo Maza, one of the great screenwriters of contemporary Latin American cinema, who co-wrote four Sebastian Lelio films, including the Oscar-winning A Fantastic Woman. The black and white dramedy paints a unique portrait of a generation of urban young Chilean women struggling for recognition and respect, but in a fresh and satirical way.

TAFFNY has been a free festival for New Yorkers since its inception, and the Virtual Cinema will also be free of charge. Only viewers (in the North-East region: NY, NJ, CT) who have previously registered can access the screening.

TAFFNY is an initiative of the Division of Interdisciplinary Studies at the Center for Worker Education of the City College of New York (CUNY) and the collaboration of prestigious institutions such as the Cervantes Institute, the National Museum of the American Indian and its media partner Telemundo 47, with the purpose of creating a cinematographic appreciation space focused on multiculturalism, diversity and new societies around Las Americas, as well as to encourage the work of new film directors. TAFFNY's Executive Director is CWE's Dean Juan Carlos Mercado and its Artistic Director is film programmer and producer Diana Vargas.

Below is the entire program. To register, please visit:

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