A Constellation of Stars Light up the Screen at the Ninth Annual New York International Latino Film Festival

The Festival Runs from July 22-27 and will showcase over 100 films and more premieres than ever before - Tickets Now on Sale -

NEW YORK, July 7 /PRNewswire/ -- The New York International Latino Film
Festival (NYILFF), presented by HBO, returns for its Ninth Annual Edition from
July 22-27 and is proud to announce its biggest line-up yet with over 100
national and international films, documentaries and shorts. NYILFF also
boasts more premieres than ever before including Opening Night's AMERICAN SON,
directed by Neil Abramson and starring Nick Cannon, Melonie Diaz and Jay
Hernandez, and Closing Night's THE MINISTERS, directed by Franc. Reyes and
starring John Leguizamo and Harvey Keitel. Other talent represented in this
year's NYILFF include Daddy Yankee, Laurence Fishburne, Taye Diggs, Rosie
Perez, Wilmer Valderrama, Snoop Dogg, Method Man, Tyson Beckford,
skateboarding star Paul Rodriguez, Jr., Jesse Garcia, Emily Rios and David
Banner, many of whom are confirmed to attend.

"We are delighted to be back for a ninth year with the most films and
premieres we've ever had," said NYILFF executive director Calixto Chinchilla.
"Also, the large number of celebrities attending this year's festival attests
to the strides made by Latinos in the film industry, both inside and out of
Hollywood; we hope to continue providing a platform for Hispanic film talent
in front of and behind the camera."

The NYILFF is not only showcasing national and international feature
films, documentaries, and shorts. The festival will also hold industry panels
on such topics as film distribution and financing and special events such as
the Hola Mexico Film Festival (, which demonstrate
the festival's dedication to providing a wide milieu of culturally relevant
programming. The six-day schedule of film, music, outdoor screenings and
cultural events highlights the full range of Latino culture, targeting
different segments of the community.

"HBO is proud to call itself the NYILFF's founding sponsor," notes Lucinda
Martinez-Desir, HBO's Vice President of Market Development. "We have watched
it evolve from a seed of an idea into the nation's premier Urban Latino film
event. Its ongoing commitment to the Latino film community and the passionate
support of its audience are just some of the reasons why we come back every

As the leading U.S. Urban Latino Film festival with an estimated audience
of 25,000, the NYILFF's continued growth and success is due, in part, to its
unique position as the only Latino film festival specifically targeting the
second and third generation, English-dominant, acculturated Urban Latino -- an
increasingly powerful demographic that has caught the attention of Madison
Avenue. According to the latest Pew Research Center figures, Latinos will
comprise nearly 30% of the entire U.S. population in the next few decades and
is growing at a rate eight times faster than the general population. By all
accounts, any marketer wishing to add new consumers MUST target the Latino
demographic. "We feel extremely fortunate to be considered leaders in the U.S.
Latino cultural landscape. The corporate community now recognizes the buying
power, sophistication and influence of this progressive, multicultural
community. We're just a reflection of the voices we serve," commented
Executive Director, Elizabeth Gardner.


The 2008 NYILFF opens on Tuesday, July 22 with the premiere of AMERICAN
SON starring Nick Cannon, Melonie Diaz and Jay Hernandez and directed by Neil
Abramson at 7 PM at the Directors Guild of America Theater. On his way home
from Camp Pendleton for a four-day liberty over Thanksgiving weekend, Marine
Corps Private Mike Holland (Nick Cannon) meets Christina (Melonie Diaz), a
smart, beautiful young Latina. By the time they arrive to their hometown of
Bakersfield, a romance has blossomed. Opening Night is presented by Suzuki
Auto and sponsored by Heineken and Tequila Tres Generaciones(TM).


directed by Jose Ivan Santiago and George Rivera. Daddy Yankee, stars as
Edgar Dinero, a misunderstood product of the slums of Puerto Rico who becomes
torn between the street life of his childhood neighborhood and his ambition to
become something more. Wednesday, July 23, 7:00 PM at Directors Guild of
America Theater.

DAYS OF WRATH starring Wilmer Valderrama, Laurence Fishburne, Taye Diggs
and Ana Talancon, directed by Celia Fox. The carjacking of a rap star and
the killing of a mother ignite a war across Los Angeles between Latino and
African American gangs in this compelling, explosive, intertwining story of a
teacher, a TV reporter and a gang member, who struggle to survive in the
crossfire. Wednesday, July 23, 9:30 PM at Directors Guild of America Theater.

BIG PUN: THE LEGACY. Directed by Vlad Yudin and featuring interviews with
Rosie Perez, DMX, Method Man, Xzibit, Snoop Dogg and Juelz Santana, among
others, BIG PUN: THE LEGACY is a film for the fans and gives us a true
portrait of a rapper to remember. Thursday, July 24, 9:30 PM at Directors
Guild of America Theater.

THE MINISTERS, John Leguizamo gives a tour-de-force performance as
fanatical twin brothers, hell-bent on exacting revenge on the murders of their
family. But their plans become undone when one of the brothers becomes
involved with a beautiful police detective (Florencia Lozano) investigating a
series of murders. Saturday, July 26, 7:00 PM at Directors Guild Theater.
Sponsored by: Heineken.


CELIA THE QUEEN. Directors Joe Cardona and Mario de Varona use archival
footage of both Celia and her loving husband, Pedro Knight, to tell the
inspiring story of a little girl from Havana who became an international diva.
CELIA THE QUEEN is presented by Kodak Gallery, and sponsored by Latina Media
Ventures and Tequila Tres Generaciones(TM). Friday, July 25, 7:00 PM at
Directors Guild Theater.

For a full roster of festival films, special activities, or to purchase
tickets, please visit the festival's website at,
or call the NYILFF hotline at (212) 726.2358.

The 2008 NYILFF is presented by HBO, and made possible with the additional
support of Official Sponsors HBO Latino, Heineken, Suzuki Auto, TBS & TNT,
American Airlines, The Hollywood Reporter, Daily News/VNY, Telemundo, Time
Warner Cable's New York City Region, 103.5 WKTU, WNBC and The
NYILFF is also proud to have Absolut, Cafe Bustelo, El Especial/El Especialito
Newspapers, Kodak Gallery, Latina Media Ventures,,, Overture Films & State Street Pictures, Roger Smith Hotel,
Tequila Tres Generaciones(TM), and De Pelicula and De Pelicula Clasico as
Benefactor Sponsors. Special Thanks to Avid Technology Inc., BMI, Latino
Public Broadcasting, Ethos Water, Showbiz Software, Tribeca Film Institute and
the Mayor's Office for Film, Theater and Broadcasting.(R)

About the New York International Latino Film Festival (NYILFF)

Launched in 1999, the New York International Latino Film Festival (NYILFF)
is now the premier Urban Latino film event in the country. The NYILFF's
mission is to showcase the works of the hottest emerging Latino filmmaking
talent in the U.S. and Latin America, offer expansive images of the Latino
experience, and celebrate the diversity and spirit of the Latino community.
Programming includes the flagship film festival in NYC, new music and art
showcases, free community events, scholarships, and a nationally recognized
short film competition in partnership with HBO. The NYILFF has been endorsed
by Mayor Michael Bloomberg's NYC Latin Media and Entertainment Commission
since its inception in 2003.

HBO(R) is a registered service mark of Home Box Office, Inc.

SOURCE New York International Latino Film Festival