Los Frikis Receives Shine Global Children’s Resilience in Screenwriting Award at 2024 Nantucket Film Festival

June 26, 2024 New York, NY – Nantucket Film Festival announced that the feature film Los Frikis, has been honored with the Shine Global Children’s Resilience in Screenwriting Award. This new prize is given to a film with outstanding storytelling that effectively portrays the resilience and strength of children and young people. The winner is awarded $2,500 and an invitation to participate in Shine Global’s upcoming 2024 Resilience Awards events on the Paramount Pictures lot in Los Angeles, CA on October 15th.

Inspired by true events, Los Frikis is a powerful coming-of-age story set in early 90s Cuba, centering around teenager Gustavo (Eros de la Puente) who idolizes his older brother Paco (an astonishing Héctor Medina) and his punk, “Frikis” bandmates. When word reaches the Frikis of a potential reprieve from the effects of the economic crisis, they do the now unthinkable: deliberately inject themselves with HIV to live at a government-run treatment home. It’s there that they create their own utopia to live and play music freely. This coming-of-age film is the latest from Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz, the filmmaking duo behind 2019’s breakout hit The Peanut Butter Falcon. Produced by Academy-Award winning producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, The Lego Movie), and starring Adria Arjona, Hector Medina, and Eros de la Puente, Los Frikis is a poignant recollection of “Special Period” Cuba.

“We are honored to present the Shine Global Children’s Resilience in Screenwriting Award to Los Frikis for its compelling portrayal of youthful determination and creativity amidst severe adversity,” said Shine Global Creative Director Alexandra Blaney. “By focusing on Gustavo and his friends, who make extraordinary sacrifices to carve out a space for freedom and self-expression, the film powerfully illustrates the resilience and strength of young people. The nuanced storytelling and richly developed characters highlight the capacity for hope and defiance in the face of unimaginable hardships, making it a poignant and inspiring narrative that aligns perfectly with the values celebrated by Shine Global.”

Los Frikis excited, inspired, and challenged our audiences at NFF with its powerful script and direction,” said Anita Raswant, Lead Programmer of the Nantucket Film Festival. “We are thrilled to honor filmmakers Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz with this inaugural festival award for the profoundly emotional storytelling they employed to capture the spirit of the young people at the forefront of this cultural moment.”

“It’s an honor for Los Frikis to have been recognized by Shine Global at the Nantucket Film Festival,” said writers and directors Michael Schwartz and Tyler Nilson. “Like Shine Global, the team that made Los Frikis aimed to tell an honest and heartfelt story about children and their families overcoming hardship with the beauty of humanity.”

Shine Global’s annual Resilience Awards honor exceptional films that center around the resilience of children and further the organization’s mission of improving children’s lives by harnessing the power of storytelling. Past winners include the feature documentaries Name Me Lawand (2023, Directed by Edward Lovelace and produced by Fleur Nieddu), Lift (2022, Directed by David Petersen and produced by Mary Racine), Ayenda (2023, directed by Marie Margolius) presented in partnership with Heartland Film’s Indy Shorts International Film Festival, the Unstoppable Kids prize presented to the animated children’s film Dounia – The Great White North (2024, directed by Marya Zarif and André Kadi and produced by Judith Beauregard) in partnership with the New York International Children’s Film Festival, a Children’s Resilience in Disability Stories Award to Okthanksbye (2022, directed by Nicole Van Kilsdonk and produced by Rogier Kramer) in partnership with ReelAbilities, and the Shine Global Resilience Award for Young Filmmakers to 3am Thoughts (2024, Gabriella Keil) with Montclair Film.

About Shine Global
Shine Global is a non-profit media company that improves the lives of children by telling powerful stories to raise awareness, promote action, and inspire change. We produce inspiring films and compelling content about underserved children. Through tailored distribution and outreach, we connect with our audiences in communities, classrooms, museums, and on Capitol Hill as part of a powerful engagement campaign to encourage social change.
Since our founding in 2005, Shine Global films have won more than 100 major awards, including an Academy Award® for Best Documentary Short Subject for Inocente and an Academy Award®-nomination and two Emmys® for War/Dance. Recent films include the documentary-animation hybrid Liyana, the hit documentary The Eagle Huntress, Through Our Eyes: Homefront which is available on HBOMax, the Ariel Award winner Home Is Somewhere Else, and Comedy Against the Odds which is currently in film festivals.

This annual event recognizes and celebrates the films and filmmakers that highlight the resilience and strength of children in the face of adversity. The awards are open to films of any genre that showcase children overcoming challenges, such as poverty, violence, illness, and discrimination, and demonstrate their resilience, courage, and determination.

About Nantucket Film Festival
The Nantucket Film Festival® was founded in 1996 by siblings Jill and Jonathan Burkhart. The Burkharts lived on the island year-round and knew it was the perfect place to begin a festival that combined with their love of film and community. In 1997, Mystelle Brabbée joined the team and today serves as the Executive Director. NFF® continues to thrive each year by always remaining true to its mission.

These days, NFF has become one of the premier destination film festivals in the world. Visitors flock from all over to experience our preview screenings, Signature Programs, and stand out hospitality on a magical island rich with history, a friendly atmosphere, and beautiful sandy beaches. For more information about NFF, visit