They’re Here! Filmmakers, Activist and Oil Company Executives Arrive in the U.S. from Venezuela for 2014 Venezuelan Film Festival in New York

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Beginning with an Opening Night Reception at Tribeca Cinemas, September 19th, the New York film community and members of the press will have the rare opportunity to meet with Venezuela’s most talented new filmmakers, transgender activists, and executives from CITGO® (the oil company’s first foray into sponsoring a major film festival whose theme is largely focused on sex, gender, and LGBT issues in Venezuela).

In what promises to be an enlightening and entertaining glimpse into a culture struggling with sex, gender, and identity in a fast-changing world, the 2014 Venezuelan Film Festival in NY (“VEFFNY” #VenFilmFest), running September 19-26, will present 14 feature-length films, across various genres and formats, from an eclectic mix of award-winning filmmakers and rising stars in Venezuela (with most filmmakers attending for post-panel Q&As and press interviews).

In what has traditionally been a very homo-trans-phobic society, the decision by state-run oil company CITGO® to sponsor VEFFNY (whose overarching theme this year is sex and gender) may come as a surprise to many, but executives at the company see their participation as a natural fit and crucial to fostering dialogue with other nations. CITGO® and their shareholder, Petróleos de Venezuela, S.A. (PDVSA), firmly believe in the power of the arts to strengthen communities and bring nations and people together.

From the highly acclaimed winner of this year’s Goya Award, “My Straight Son”, to an unflinching transgender documentary featuring internationally-renowned activist Dr. Tamara Adrian – “I, Undocumented”, and “Cecilia Bergman Chaves: Una Buena Vida,” which offers an uncomfortable look at women’s struggles for gender equality in an oppressive dictatorship, VEFFNY offers groundbreaking cultural cinematic experiences about Venezuelan society untouched in the media until now.

Festival-goers and film enthusiasts will appreciate the rich storytelling, arresting cinematography, and thought-provoking discourse in films and panels across a broad topical spectrum. In the horror film, “The House at the End of Time,” director Alejandro Hidalgo frighten audiences and move them to tears at the same time. While, in the documentary “La Casa del Ritmo: A Film About Los Amigos Invisibles,” filmmaker Javier Andrade offers a raw and surprising glimpse at the rise Grammy-winning Venezuelan funk band Los Amigos Invisibles, from their early days playing in Caracas, Venezuela, to being discovered by David Byrne of Talking Heads.

To further the discussion with the broader community, festival organizers will present “Sex and Gender in Venezuela” on Monday, September 22nd — a live panel discussion featuring filmmakers Miguel Ferrari and Maury Marcano, and international transgender rights activist/attorney Dr. Tamara – moderated by MSNBC reporter Emma Margolin.

Filmmakers, entrepreneurs, investors and free-spirits are encouraged to attend a panel discussion on the emerging social benevolence movement – “Crowdfunding Indie Film in Latin America” (Sunday, September 21st) -- featuring Pia Giudice, CEO of Idea.Me, Latin America’s #1 crowdfunding platform. INFO:

Other key events surrounding this year’s festival include an Opening Night Ceremony and Cocktail Party taking place at Tribeca Cinemas Friday, September 19th (sponsored by Santa Teresa® Rum), and a Closing Award Night Ceremony (sponsored by B&H Photo Video, Bolivar Films and Santa Teresa® Rum).

For press attendance and to schedule interviews with filmmakers, organizers and special panel guests, visit:



The Venezuelan Film Festival in New York (founded by Irene Yibirin), is dedicated to delivering the best, most diverse and honest representation of current Venezuelan Cinema to American audiences. The film festival first appeared in 2013 as FesNuCiVe, Festival del Nuevo Cine Venezolano. In 2013, the inaugural Venezuelan Film Festival in New York had an audience of approximately 1,200 people, screening 8 films in a total of 12 screenings and garnered media attention for its bold film program. Now, in its second year, Festival organizers have doubled the size of the program from last year and are expecting to double attendance this year.

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