By Zayda Rivera / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
In it’s third year, the festival will showcase 46 films including shorts, documentaries, animation and sci-fi.
The International Puerto Rican Heritage Film Festival, now in its third year, pays homage to the culture during the island’s heritage month in November.
But it’s not strictly a cinematic celebration for Boricuas.
“The key to this festival is that we require at least one person either in front or behind the camera be Puerto Rican,” says festival founder Veronica Caicedo.
With 46 films ranging from shorts to documentaries to animation and sci-fi, the IPRHFF will run from Nov. 13 to 17 in several East Harlem venues, including the Mist Harlem theater on W. 116th St.
Actress Lauren Velez, best-known for TV’s “Dexter,” serves as this year’s spokesperson.
With a handful of red carpet events and special presentations, this year’s version will be bigger than in previous years, Caicedo says.
Among the highlights are “Tio Papi,” written, directed and starring Puerto Rican New Yorker Joey Dedio as a bachelor who inherits his sister’s six children.
The drama “Babygirl,” directed by Irish filmmaker Macdara Vallely and featuring a mostly Puerto Rican cast, deals with a teen caught up in a love triangle with her mother’s boyfriend.
Making its première is “El Boxeo,” a documentary about Latino boxers produced by Edwin Santiago and directed by Allen Schwier.
With the New York International Latino Film Festival’s coming to an abrupt end after 13 years, Caicedo says it’s a good time for other festivals to step up and fill that void.
“They did a lot for the community and Latino film festivals, but now it’s time for one door to close as another opens,” she says.
“The International Puerto Rican Heritage Film Festival is here to stay.”