New 2017 Golden Eagle Award Unveiled

Golden Eagle Award awarded at the Film Festival

As the 2017 San Diego International Film Festival (SDIFF) looms on the horizon, the time has come for the exclusive unveiling of the coveted Golden Eagle Award. FINE Magazine is honored to present the first images of the detailed sculptural piece, which will be awarded at the Film Festival early this month. This award, designed by artist Ruben Chato, is a work of art—hours of Chato’s time are devoted to each individual piece. Preparing the intricate awards for the film festival is an extensive four to six week process. “Up to 10 hours of dedication [is needed] to accomplish the golden patina finishes of each individual sculpture award,” Chato says. “[The awards] come to life by my own hands.”

Chato has designed the Golden Eagle Award since 2014. Well-known for sculpting wildlife, nature and eagles, Chato chose to incorporate a golden eagle into the award because it exemplifies the strength and adversities in filmmaking. With its prominent feather, the 2017 Golden Eagle Award represents the struggles and time commitment in completing a film project. Says Chato, “Everyone knows the eagle is powerful, so what a harmonious combination of sculptural art.”

In addition to sculptures, Chato creates original paintings with sponges, carving tools, and other nontraditional techniques. With inspiration based on the cultures, wildlife, ocean-life and landscapes of our modern era, Ruben Chato’s artistic style is best characterized by modern mixed media expressionism, occasionally using a heavy texture with acrylics on wood panels. Chato is a highly-respected Lipan Apache tribal member, but he is also a veteran of the U.S. Navy as a Special Warfare Combatant-Craft Crewman for the Navy SEALs, Divers, and EOD. Chato is well-known for his “Nalwodi” eagle paintings and sculptures, which means strength in his Apache language.

Chato is the current Official Awards sculpture artist for the San Diego International Film Festival 2014-17. One of the leading stops on the independent festival circuit, SDIFF takes place October 4th-8th. Screenings will take place Downtown San Diego, Balboa Park and in La Jolla. For more information about the San Diego International Film Festival, visit