Docs

Dispatches: Telesur’s new Latin prize

Venezuelan-based broadcaster Telesur has created a new prize for documentaries screened at the International Film Festival of New Latin American Cinema in Havana. The us$5,000 prize (a $1,000 prize, plus $4,000 for licensing) for the best documentary 'about the south' is the first Telesur has awarded at any film festival. According to Telesur president Andrés Izarra (pictured above), it reflects the new network's interest in promoting the production and broadcasting of films focused on Latin American and Caribbean realities.
January 1, 2007

Venezuelan-based broadcaster Telesur has created a new prize for documentaries screened at the International Film Festival of New Latin American Cinema in Havana. The US$5,000 prize (a $1,000 prize, plus $4,000 for licensing) for the best documentary ‘about the south’ is the first Telesur has awarded at any film festival. According to Telesur president Andrés Izarra (pictured above), it reflects the new network’s interest in promoting the production and broadcasting of films focused on Latin American and Caribbean realities.

‘The prize is to help stimulate the production of cultural and informative content for a large audience, with the idea of presenting a counter-weight to media that are presently largely in the hands of the most conservative sectors throughout Latin America,’ Izarra said at the Dec. 13 ceremony.

For the moment, Telesur largely broadcasts news, debates, and interviews. The channel was launched in 2005 with support from a handful of Latin American governments with the goal of providing an antidote to us broadcasters such as cnn in Spanish, Miami-based Univision, as well as national media conglomerates in the region.

Two films tied for the prize: the Argentine film Colegiales, by Gustavo Laskier, and San Ernesto Nace en La Higuera, (Saint Ernesto was born in La Higuera), by Cubans Isabel Santos and Rafael Solís. They beat out 36 other documentaries.

Izarra said details on qualifying for the prize, including what qualifies as a ‘documentary about the south’ will be on Telesur’s website in early 2007.

About The Author
Andrew Tracy joined Realscreen as associate editor in 2021, following 17 years as managing editor of the award-winning international film magazine Cinema Scope. From 2010 to 2020 he also held the position of senior editor at the Toronto International Film Festival, where he oversaw the flagship publication for the organization’s year-round Cinematheque programming and edited its first original monograph in a decade, Steve Gravestock’s A History of Icelandic Film. He was a scriptwriter and consultant on the first season of the Vice TV series The Vice Guide to Film, and his writing and reporting have been featured in such outlets as Cinema Scope, Reverse Shot, Sight & Sound, Cineaste, Film Comment, MUBI Notebook, POV, and Montage.

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