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Latino Intl. Film Fest Closes with Sell-Out US Premiere.

LOS ANGELES--(ENTERTAINMENT WIRE)--October 12, 1998--The 2nd Annual Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival closed with a US Premiere of David Riker's critically-acclaimed "La Ciudad" (The City), on Sunday, October 11th, with the 528-seat Paramount Theatre bursting at the seams. Fire marshals escorted would-be standing room patrons to the lobby as over two hundred people clamored for tickets outside. Festival Artistic Director/Producer Edward James Olmos, apologized to the crowd and promised, "to make more seats available next year." Security quickly dispersed the crowd before tempers flared.

"We thought this larger theatre could accommodate the audience interest in our Festival", a pensive Olmos stated. "Some of the people asked to leave were our sponsors and press who arrived late," he sighed.

A film from the USA, "La Ciudad" chronicles the harsh life of immigrants in New York City. One of the producers remarked, "We knew the Latino audience would relate to the movie's theme but we never expected them to show up en masse. Until tonight, we were second-guessing our decision to pass up a chance to be in competition at Sundance. The size of this audience is our accolade and we are honored and humbled."

The 10-day Festival screened over 70 movies, documentaries and shorts, from the USA, Latin-America, the Caribbean and Spain. "For 9 consecutive days, I apologized to over a thousand people unable to get seats. I expected attendance to be around eleven thousand, but we went way over," General Manager Alan Noel Vega said. "Our website received over 52,000 hits in less than 6 weeks. There is a real need for us (the Festival) to grow and accommodate this demand."

"Next year will be a competitive Festival with a cash prize for the best film," Olmos announced. "The award for best film will be named the "Rita", in honor of Rita Moreno. Give us a few days to rest and regroup, and we'll soon be back better, stronger and larger!"

An estimated 17,000 people attended the sophomore film festival screenings, children's programs and panel discussions.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Oct 13, 1998
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