Mexicans Yolanda Cruz and Rodrigo Reyes are the recipients of the 2014 Heineken VOCES Grant, presented by the Dutch brewer in conjunction with New York’s Tribeca Film Institute.
The grant winners were formally presented at an invitation-only event hosted by Heineken coinciding with the Tribeca Film Festival.
Cruz, who has now made seven documentaries, won the grant in the Narrative category to make “La Raya,” which will be her first feature film.
The film, now in the preproduction stage, tells the story of an Indian community in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca made up mostly of women and children because the men had to emigrate to the United States, and whose life changes when a refrigerator arrives for some of the kids.
The indigenous moviemaker, born in Cieneguilla, Oaxaca, emigrated to the United States at 16.
“I’m very happy with the prize because there is little support for making Latin films,” Cruz, a graduate of UCLA Film School who, besides technical counseling from TFI, will receive $10,000 for her project.
Mexico City native Rodrigo Reyes won the VOCES grant in the Documentary category for his project “Sanson and Me,” about two Mexicans with parallel lives: one is serving a life sentence for a crime he committed while the other is a filmmaker.
Reyes, who in 2013 figured on Filmmaker magazine’s list of 25 rising stars of independent film, also said in an interview with Efe how pleased he was with the grant.