Alfredo De Villa
Among other awards, Washington Heights won the Audience Award for Best Fiction Narrative Film from the IFP/Los Angeles Film Festival; the Grand Prize from the New York Latino Film Festival; Grand Prize at the 2002 Austin Film Festival; Grand Prize at the Cine Festival (the nation's oldest Latino film festival) in San Antonio; Best First Film in the Muestra Internacional de Cine en Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic; Best Regional Feature Film from the Rhode Island International Film Festival; and Best Actor and Best Score at the Milan International Film Festival.
The film also played in over 50 international film festivals, including the San Sebastian International Film Festival, the Hamptons International Film Festival, the Hawaii International Film Festival, The Mar de la Plata International Film Festival and Festival of Three Continents in Nantes, France. De Villa himself was nominated for an Open Palm Award for Best Director at the 2003 IFP/Gotham Awards.
A native of central Mexico, De Villa earned a B.A. from the University of Miami, then followed with his M.F.A. from the Film Division of Columbia University, with special emphasis on directing.
The director followed the triumph of his debut feature with the romantic drama Yellow, starring Roselyn Sanchez, Bill Duke, D.B. Sweeney, Manny Perez, Sammi Rotibi and Jaime Tirelli. He most recently helmed Adrift in Manhattan, which premiered at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival in Dramatic Competition and boasts a cast that includes Heather Graham, William Baldwin, Dominic Chianese, Victor Rasuk and Elizabeth Peña.
Before directing his first feature film, De Villa took part in the Sundance Filmmakers Lab in 2000 with a script he co-wrote with Nat Moss called Angel. He also directed four short films, winning the Directors Guild of America Best Latino Director Award in 1995 and 1999 (the only filmmaker to have ever won the award twice) for two of these achievements, Neto's Run and Joe's Egg. His documentary short Interiors: The Doorman was purchased by HBO Signature.
In addition to his work on the big screen, De Villa is also a renowned commercial director in association with La Banda Films, a production company based in Los Angeles.
Alfredo De Villa Facts