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Carlos Carrera, Natalia Beristain On Omnibus Feature ‘Tales of Mexico’

Co-produced by Mexico’s Machete Producciones and Poland’s No Sugar Films, “La habitacion” (“Tales of Mexico”) is the sixth feature from Machete. Headed by Edher Campos and Luis Salinas, it burst onto the scene producing Michael Rowe’s “Leap Year” and then made Diego Quemada-Díez’s multi-laurelled “La jaula de oro.” A young outfit, its movies are deeply rooted in Mexico – its social issues, culture and talent – but – or hence – international in appeal and frequently made in co-production. Premiering at the Warsaw Festival and screening more recently at Mexico’s Los Cabos Festival, “Tales of Mexico” is an omnibus feature directed by eight directors: Carlos Carrera, Daniel Gimenez Cacho, Carlos Bolado, Ernesto Contreras, Alfonso Pineda Ulloa, Alejandro Valle, Iván Ávila Dueñas, and Natalia Beristain. It builds to a portrait of the patterns in Mexican history down the decades via its depiction of events in the same room from before
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Carlos Carrera, Leonardo Zimbron Pitch 1930s Period TV Series, ‘Mics and Celluloid’ at Cabos

Carlos Carrera, Leonardo Zimbron Pitch 1930s Period TV Series, ‘Mics and Celluloid’ at Cabos
Los Cabos, Mexico – Carlos Carrera, best known for his controversial 2002 priest-scandal drama “El Crimen del Padre Amaro,” is at the 5th Los Cabos Int’l Film Fest to pitch “Mics & Celluloid” with producer Leonardo Zimbron of Traziende Films.

This is not Carrera’s first foray into television. He recently co-helmed and co-penned investigative thriller series “Dogma” for Televisa’s fledgling Svop platform Blim, which aims to air the 13-episode series in February or March. “Dogma” tracks a couple of detectives who delve into cases of exorcism, miracles, and other mysterious events; “Mics & Celluloid” is set in 1930s Hollywood as it follows the travails of a Mexican actress on her path to fame and fortune. Carrera plans to direct all 10 episodes.

The series explores how Latinos were stereotyped within the studio system, as well as chronicles the power struggles and romantic entanglements of the heroine, said Carrera.

“We see this as
See full article at Variety - Film News »

HBO Latin America Ramps up Original Content

Faced with a young demographic audience with short attention spans and a growing penchant for TV everywhere, anytime, HBO Latin America is ramping up and revamping its original production in terms of content and length.

The 25-year old premium channel service was the first to introduce original limited series with higher-than-average budgets in the region, starting with “Epitafios” 15 years ago. Since then it has produced more than 500 hours of content, of which more than 300 hours are original productions, and more than 200 are co-productions. It has become a creative hub for some of the best producers in the biz, with powerhouse shingles such as Chile’s Fabula, which produced the action-packed fugitive drama “Profugos,” Mexico’s Argos which made female prison drama “Capadocia”, and Lemon Films of Mexico for the channel’s top-rated “Sr. Avila” where Tony Dalton plays an insurance salesman who moonlights as a hitman.

Top filmmakers have helmed
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Academy Award Submission for Nomination Best Foreign Language Film: Cuba: ‘The Companion’ Interview…

Academy Award Submission for Nomination Best Foreign Language Film: Cuba: ‘The Companion’ Interview with Pavel Giroud1988, Cuba, those infected with HIV or suffering from AIDS were given free room, board and medical treatment at a beautiful facility called “Los Cocos”. Except for the criminals who shared prison cells, the patients shared apartments with other patients. These apartments were so comfortable that some healthy people wanted to have AIDS so they could live in such conditions. But the patients were also treated as prisoners, living under military guard. One day a week they were allowed a day of freedom when they could leave the facility, but they had to have a companion assigned to be with them at all times.

“The Companion”/ “El acompañante” is a very Cuban film because the government’s treatment and control over the spread of AIDS was very particular to Cuba. The story is based on
See full article at SydneysBuzz »

Telefonica Peru Taps Javier Beltramino, Eyes Movie, Series Production

Telefonica Peru Taps Javier Beltramino, Eyes Movie, Series Production
Madrid — Making another move in Latin America, Spanish telco Telefonica has plans to enter movie production in Peru, with Media Networks, its Peruvian B2B content production-distribution company, tapping Javier Beltramino, a former production manager at Telefonica Studios in Argentina, to launch and run a Fiction Development Division.

Beltramino will report to Luis Delamer, CEO Media Networks and Telefonica Group Director Video LatAm.

Also heading up the Area de Realización, charged with directing currently non-fiction TV content for Telefonica TV channels in Peru, Beltramino’s goal is to produce a first Peruvian feature in the next 12 months.

Media Networks’ first movie would be a majority Media Networks production made in co-production with the independent production sector in Peru. Directed by a Peruvian, and with Peruvian cast, the creature would be a comedy or horror titles, the two film types which work best in Peru, Beltramino said. The objective, however, would
See full article at Variety - Film News »

‘Nosotros Los Nobles’ Colombian Remake

‘Nosotros Los Nobles’ Colombian Remake
Cannes — Mexico’s second biggest all-time box office hit, “Nosotros Los Nobles” (“The Noble Family”) will be remade for Colombia by leading local production company Dynamo Prods. with helmer/scribe Felipe Martinez Amador set to direct.

Martinez Amador’s credits include “Bluff” and a number of TV shows including “Tiempo Final,” Kdabra” and “Cumbia Ninja” for Fox International Pictures (Fip).

The original “Nosotros Los Nobles” comedy, helmed by Gary Alazraki, revolves around a wealthy man who decides to teach his entitled kids a lesson by pretending to have lost all his fortune. Pic broke the all-time record of 2002 priest scandal drama “El Crimen del Padre Amaro” soon after its release in 2013. It held the top spot until Eugenio Derbez’s comedy “No Se Aceptan Devoluciones” (“No Instructions Included”) was released the same year and more than doubled “Nobles’” admissions record of 7.1 million.

Repped by Larry Robinson of L.A.-based Avatar Entertainment,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

Why the Fenix Awards Matter and Los Cabos International Film Festival

Closely followed by Los Cabos International Film Festival in early November, and soon to be followed by the Academy Awards, the Fénix Iberoamerican Film Awards, highlighting and celebrating cinema made in Latin America, Spain, and Portugal as well as applauding the professionals involved was inaugurated by Cinema 23 this October 30th. This event's importance goes beyond bringing together hundreds of figures from the Iberoamerican film community to celebrate the well-deserved recognition to their work and strengthening relationships among the diverse industries as it forges the region's identity.

It offers proof of the region's vitality to the rest of the world based on the films' impact upon the rest of the world. This award ceremony shows the final product of coproductions. The world film industry agrees that coproductions are the engine driving production today. Regarding Latin America, Ibermedia of Spain first initiated coproductions with Latin America in 1998, but in the sixteen years of its activity, coproductions with Latin America have proliferated beyond Spain and beyond Europe to include Asia, Arab Middle East, Israel, Canada and the U.S.

Asia

So. Korea's Finecut was involved in Pedro Trapero's 2008 film "Lion's Den" and in his 2010 film,"Carancho," a coproduction between Argentinian producers Matanza Cine, Patagonik Film Group and South Korea's Finecut as well as French distributor Ad Vitam as investor and local distributor. Finecut handled world rights sales outside Latin America and France.) Independent coproductions are now embracing North America as well and the place to discover this is the Los Cabos International Film Festival. CAA has literally established a beachhead in this Mexican town so recently battered by hurricane Odile.

Arab Middle East

The supernatural thriller "Out of the Dark" ("Aguas Rojas") is a coproduction with Colombian production house Dynamo ("Undertow" aka "Contracorriente") and Imagenation of Abu Dhabi, cofinanced with Participant Panamerica who also cofinanced Canana’s "Chávez" and Fabula’s "No", the Academy Award nominee for Best Foreign Language film which Canana distributed in México.

Canada

Strategic Film Partners is devoting two years to Latin American coproductions. This year we presented a case study of "The Games Maker" ("El inventor de juegos"), a Canadian-Argentinian-Italian coproduction in English whose producers Tina Pehme and Kim Roberts were in Cabo looking or their next project at the Coproduction Forum.

For those who were at the Cabo International Film Festival this November 12 - 16, and who attended the Financing Panel to hear Variety's John Hopewell moderate the stellar participants which included Jonathan King from Participant, Mark Musselman from 10x2yinc, CAA's Micah Green, UTA's Rena Ronson and Raul Del Alto of Mexico's Ag Studios or heard Reese Witherspoon, whose film "Wild" opened the festival and whose agent, coincidentally is CAA, know that Mexico and by extension, Latin America, are registering high on the scale for U.S. and Canada investment. The unique positioning of the festival as the uniting force between U.S., Canada and Mexico ensures that the fourth edition's growth will be huge next year. Some are also calling it the Cannes of Latin America.

Recognition of the Exhibition Sector, awarded by the leading exhibitors in the region went to Mexican actor and producer, Eugenio Derbez, for "No se aceptan devoluciones" ("Instructions Not Included"). The resurgence of Mexican films which began in 2001 with the all-time hit "Amores Perros" by Alejandro González Iñárritu and which also introduced Gael Garcia Bernal to the public (U.S. box office $5,408,467, worldwide $20,908,467) and "El Crimen del Padre Amaro" in 2002 (U.S. box office $5,717,044, worldwide: $26,996,738) up until the hits, "Nosotros los Nobles" (The Nobel Family") and "No se aceptan devoluciones" had the highest number admissions than any other Mexican film. Twelve years later, in six weeks "No se aceptan devolucions" outgrossed both "Amores" and "El crimen" combined. México Televisa’s Videocine Mexican box office was Us $44,882,061 and U.S. box office was $44,143,000. This is truly an exhibitor's dream movie.

No sooner had "Los Nobles" swept the Mexican box-office off its feet than another Mexican movie, independently produced by Monica Lozano’s México City-based Alebrije Cine y Video, "Instructions Not Included" was released -- first in the U.S. by Pantelion on August 30, 2013, almost three weeks before its Mexican release on September 20, 2013. The two countries grossed an equal amount. Moreover, Videocine released the film on 1,500 prints similar to a major release of a film such as "Batman". Through the Cinepolis chain’s use of satellite, these 1,500 prints were able to show on 2,500 screens. This represents both a new release pattern and a new type of Mexican film.

Previously Mexican films which were meant for the Mexican and Mexican-American audience (as opposed to those targeted to the art house audiences) were perceived as too Mexican by their U.S. target and they were released in the U.S. only after the Mexican release, and by that time, piracy had done its work in the U.S. and the film lacked the prestige of an "American" film. This film and the previous film, "The Noble Family", are not typically Mexican. Their storyline could be transposed anywhere, and in fact "The Noble Family" remake rights have been sold to U.S. In addition, releasing the film first in the U.S. changes the perception of the film in México. Being such a success in U.S. paves the way for its success in México as if it were validated as a "good" film. Added to these two elements is the third key to success, Eugenio Derbez, the director and star of "Instructions", is a major TV comedy star in México and is known by all Mexicans wherever they reside. Mexican TV is quite powerful, it has a duopoly made by Televisa and TV Azteca. Derbez comes from Televisa. The film was also shot in English and Spanish and takes place in the U.S. Finally, Derbez himself and former head of production at Pantelion, Ben Odell, have now established a production company, 3 Spas, pronounced "Tres Paz" which funnily enough sounds like "tripas" or "guts".

When Reese Witherspoon, whose film "Wild" opened the festival, said that she had asked Eugenio Derbez to be in a picture, the audience at the press conference was visibly moved. What a great worldwide success a comedy starring these two would be.

While all films cannot reach the heights of "Instruction Not Included", the benefits such a successful film bestows upon the industry is encouraging to other producers and distributors looking for fertile ground to till and harvest. Los Cabos and the Fenix Awards are witness to this phenomena which has been gaining ground for the past decade and is no longer below the radar.
See full article at SydneysBuzz »

Latino Buzz: Fénix Iberoamerican Film Awards

The first Fénix Iberoamerican Film Awards, (Phoenix Awards) highlighting and celebrating cinema made in Latin America, Spain, and Portugal as well as applauding the professionals involved was inaugurated by Cinema 23 this October 30th, a couple days before Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, one of the most important holidays in México. The event brought together hundreds of figures from the Iberoamerican film community who celebrated the well-deserved recognition to their work and to their dedication. At the same time, the event served to strengthen relationships among the diverse industries and will continuously help forge the region's identity.

Aside from enumerating the awards here, we wish to show how the films' dissemination throughout the world is, in fact succeeding by showing sales agents and commercial distributors, some of many festivals the films played, and some of the awards won.

Nominees in twelve categories were chosen from a shortlist of 58 feature films and 16 documentaries in the region and awarded by a jury made up of - among others - Luis Tosar, Wagner Moura, Daniel Hendler, Selton Mello, José María Yazpik, Maria de Medeiros, Paulina García, Amat Escalante, Fernando Meirelles, Rodrigo García, Sebastián Lelio, Rodrigo Pla.

Feature Film category

Winner: "The Golden Cage" ("La Juala de oro") by Diego Quemada-díez, a coproduction of Guatemala, Spain and Mexico, since its debut at the Cannes Film Festival's Un Certain Regard in 2013 where Quemada-díez won A Certain Talent Award for his directing work and the ensemble cast has received a total of 67 awards, including 9 Ariel awards by the Mexican Film Academy: Best Picture, Best Original Screenplay, Best First Feature, Best Actor, Best Upcoming Actor, Best Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Sound, Best Music. It also won Best Picture, Best Editing and Best Sound at the Fenix Awards. Producers sold to Benelux - Wild Bunch Benelux, France - Pretty Pictures , Mexico - Canibal Networks,, Portugal - Legendmain Filmes, Spain - Golem Distribución, Taiwan - Maison Motion, U.K. - Peccadillo Pictures.

Other contenders:

"Club Sandwich" by Fernando Eimbcke, a Mexican production, screened in Toronto International Film Festival 2013, San Sebastian 2013 among many others. International sales agent (Isa) Funny Balloons sold the film to Benelux - ABC - Cinemien, Brazil--Esfera Filmes, Mexico--Cine Pantera, Poland--Art House, Turkey--Filma Ltd.

"Heli" by Amat Escalante, a Mexican production premiered at the Cannes Film Festival 2013. Isa Ndm sold to U.S.--Outsider Pictures, Belgium--Film Fest Gent, Brazil--Zeta Filmes, Canada--K Films Amerique and A-z Films, Denmark--Ost For Paradis, France--Le Pacte, Greece--Ama Films, Hungary--Cirko Film Kft., Netherlands--Amstelfilm, Norway--Filmhuset Gruppen As & Europafilm As, Poland--Spectator, Puerto Ric--Wiesner Distribution, Serbia--Mcf Megacom Film, Spain--Savor Ediciones, S.A., Sweden--Njutafilms and Maywin Films Ab, Taiwan--Pomi International, Turkey--Filmarti Film, U.K.--Network

"Jauja" by Lisandro Alonso, a coproduction of Argentina, Denmark, France and Mexico and winner of the Fipresci Award in Cannes' Un Certain Regard 2014 where it debuted. It also played in Toronto and Busan among many other festivals. Isa Ndm, sold to U.S. -- The Cinema Guild; Argentina--Distribution Company Sudamericana S.A.; Spain--Noucinemart- Festival Internacional De Cinema D'autor De Barcelona; U.K.--Soda Pictures

"Bad Hair" ("Pelo Malo") by Mariana Rondon, a coproduction of Venezuela, Peru, Germany and Argentina premiered in Toronto 2013. FiGa sold it to U.S. – Pragda, Argentina--Obra Cine, Brazil--Esfera Filmes, Bulgaria--Sofia International Film Festival - Art Fest Ltd., France--Pyramide Distribution, Hungary -- Cirko, Italy--Cineclub Internazionale, Latin America--Palmera International, Portugal -- Nitrato Filmes, Serbia--European Film Festival Palic, Switzerland --Look Now! Filmdistribution, U.K.--Axiom Films International, Venezuela--Centro Nacional Autonomo De Cinematografia

Documentary Feature category

Winner: "Sobre la Marxa: the Creator of the Jungle" by Jordi Morató from Spain debuted at the International Film Festival Rotterdam.

Other Contenders:

"Letter to a Father" of Edgardo Cozarinsky, a coproduction from France and Argentina screened at Mar del Plata, Cinema du reel 2014 (Competition), Vienna and Jerusalem among other festivals. Doc and FIlms has the international rights.

"Echo Mountain" ("Eco de la montaña") by Nicolás Echevarría, a coproduction of U.S. and Mexico, premiered at Guadalajara Film Festival and Cinema du Reel in 2014.

"And Now? Remember Me" ("E agora? Lembra-me") by Joaquim Pinto from Portugal premiered at Locarno Film Festival 2013, has won 16 awards and 3 nominations and is distributed in France by Epicentre and by Midas in Portugal.

"Watch & Listen" by José Luis Torres Leiva

Best Female Role:

Winner:

Leandra Leal ("A Wolf At the Door" from Brazil premiered at Toronto Ff 2013. Isa: Im Global/Mundial sold to U.S.--Film Movement and Outsider Pictures, Benelux—Cdc United Network, Canada--A-z Films, Israel--United King Video Ltd., Latin America--Palmera International, So. Korea --Korean Film Art Center Baekdu-Daegan Films Co., Ltd, Portugal--Vendetta Filmes, Spain--Betta Pictures, Turkey--Moviebox)

Other Contenders:

Marian Álvarez ("The Wound" aka "La Herida" - Isa: Imagina, premiered San Sebastian Ff where the Special jury prize / Silver Shell for best actress went to Marian Álvarez), Samantha Castillo ("Bad Hair")

Paulina García ("Illiterate" - Isa: Habanero, screened at Guadalajara Ficg 2014, Sanfic - Santiago International Film Festival - Best Picture Audience award , Venice Film Festival - Settimana della Critica - Closing Film, Chicago International Film Festival - New Directors Competition, Sao Paulo International Film Festival - New Directors Competition )

Karen Martinez ("The Golden Cage")

Best Male Role:

Winner:

Viggo Mortensen ("Cockaigne" aka "Jauja")

Other Contenders:

Fernando Bacilio ("Mute" aka "El Mudo" by Daniel Vega premiered at Toronto in 2013. Udi sold it to Encore for airlines)

Alex Brendemühl ("Stella cadente" aka "Falling Star" by Luis Miñarro from Spain screened in Bafici (Buenos Aires) 2014 Panorama, San Sebastian 2014 Made in Spain, Gent Iff 2014 Feature Films, Rotterdam Iffr 2014 (Tiger Competition). Isa: Ndm sold it to Germany--Salzgeber & Co. Medien Gmbh Puerto Rico--Wiesner Distribution, Spain--Vercine)

Brandon Lopez ("The Golden Cage")

Antonio de la Torre ("Cannibal" by Manuel Martin Cuenca, a coproduction of Spain, Romania, Russia, France premiered at Toronto and San Sebastian 2013. Isa Film Factory sold it to U.S. - Film Movement, Belgium--Film Fest Gent, Hong Kong--Encore Inflight Limited-, Japan--Broadmedia Studios Corporation, Latin America--Palmera International, Spain--Mod Producciones, Taiwan--Creative Century Entertainment Co., Ltd.)

Eight other awards (listed below) were granted in the photography category, costumes, art direction, sound, music, editing and screenplay.

Four special awards were also presented:

The Latin American Festival Award, decided by the Advisory Council Cinema23 went to the Havana Film Festival (Festival de Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano). On December 3, 1979, over five hundred film professionals, mainly from Latin America, met in Havana, Cuba, for the inaugural Festival of New Latin American Cinema, which in its own words, "sought to build a space to identify and disseminate films whose significance and artistic values enrich and reaffirm American and Caribbean cultural identity where rich dialogue between film professionals, students and the informed public and critics gather". For decades and through its multiple realities Havana has played a role in community building around film as an art form and as an incentive for social reflection.

The work of more than three decades by a team led today by Ivan Giroud and which survives the noble and generous spirit of its founder, Alfredo Guevara, and those like Santiago Alvarez and Gabriel García Márquez, who have accompanied him from his beginnings, deserves to be recognized by those who think that culture is a way that allows us to approach, meet, recognize and move away from violence towards a better world. "With this award go our admiration and our gratitude to the Festival of New Latin American Cinema of Havana."

The Critics' Award, selected by Fipresci (Federation International Film Critics) went to the Brazilian writer José Carlos Avellar for his critical work. An admired and appreciated writer, critic, teacher and programmer, Avellar worked for over twenty years for the newspaper Jornal do Brasil, and has published six books on Brazilian and Latin American cinema. The former vice-president of Fipresci is also Berlinale's delegate in Brazil. More information and examples of his work can be found in his website www.escrevercinema.com.

Recognition of the Exhibition Sector, awarded by the leading exhibitors in the region went to Mexican actor and producer, Eugenio Derbez, for "No se aceptan devoluciones" ("Instructions Not Included").

The resurgence of Mexican films which began in 2001 with the all-time hit "Amores Perros" by Alejandro González Iñárritu and which also introduced Gael Garcia Bernal to the public (U.S. box office $5,408,467, worldwide $20,908,467) and "El crimen del Padre Amaro" in 2002 (U.S. box office $5,717,044, worldwide: $26,996,738) up until the hits, "Nosotros los Nobles" and "No se aceptan devoluciones" had the highest number admissions than any other Mexican film. Twelve years later, in six weeks "No se aceptan devolucions" outgrossed both "Amores" and "El crimen" combined. México Televisa’s Videocine Mexican box office was Us $44,882,061 and U.S. box office was $44,143,000. This is truly an exhibitor's dream movie.

No sooner had "Los Nobles" swept the Mexican box-office off its feet than another Mexican movie, independently produced by Monica Lozano’s México City-based Alebrije Cine y Video, "Instructions Not Included" was released -- first in the U.S. by Pantelion on August 30, 2013, almost three weeks before its Mexican release on September 20, 2013. The two countries grossed an equal amount. Moreover, Videocine released the film on 1,500 prints similar to a major release of a film such as "Batman". Through the Cinepolis chain’s use of satellite, these 1,500 prints were able to show on 2,500 screens. This represents both a new release pattern and a new type of Mexican film.

Previously Mexican films which were meant for the Mexican and Mexican-American audience (as opposed to those targeted to the art house audiences) were perceived as too Mexican by their U.S. target and they were released in the U.S. only after the Mexican release, and by that time, piracy had done its work in the U.S. and the film lacked the prestige of an "American" film. This film and the previous film, "The Noble Family", are not typically Mexican. Their storyline could be transposed anywhere, and in fact "The Noble Family" remake rights have been sold to U.S. In addition, releasing the film first in the U.S. changes the perception of the film in México. Being such a success in U.S. paves the way for its success in México as if it were validated as a "good" film.

Added to these two elements is the third key to success, Eugenio Derbez, the director and star of "Instructions", is a major TV comedy star in México and is known by all Mexicans wherever they reside. Mexican TV is quite powerful, it has a duopoly made by Televisa and TV Azteca. Derbez comes from Televisa. The film was also shot in English and Spanish and takes place in the U.S. Finally, Derbez himself and former head of production at Pantelion, Ben Odell, have now established a production company, 3 Spas, pronounced "Tres Paz" which funnily enough sounds like "tripas" or "guts". Reese Witherspoon whose film "Wild" opened the festival said that she had approached Derbez for a film she was producing already, but he was busy. However, she hopes they will soon find a project to do together. How great that will be for the exhibitors, the distributors and the audiences around the world!

The Phoenix Lifetime Achievement Award, which is awarded by the different academies and film associations in all the differenct countries of the region and announced by the Mexican Academy of Arts and Cinematographic Sciences, went to Arturo Ripstein. Recognized as one of the great masters in the history of Mexican cinema, Ripstein said, "I'm glad to say that a lifetime achievement award is usually given when one is finished with everything. But I am pleased to say that I still need a bit of experience, because next week I start my new film. I've been practicing this craft half a century, and this (the Phoenix Award ) symbolizes what it has really cost me over the past 50 years."

List of all winners include:

Narrative Film: Diego Quemada-Diez ("La Jaula de Oro")

Documentary Film: Jordi Morato ("Sobre la Marxa")

Screenplay: Amat Escalante y Gabriel Reyes ("Heli")

Director: Amat Escalante ("Heli")

Photography: Julián Apezteguia ("El ardor")

Art Design: José Luis Arrizabalaga y Arturo García ("Las Brujas de Zugarramurdi")

Editing: Paloma López Carrillo y Felipe Gómez ("La Jaula de Oro")

Costume Design: Chris Garrido ("Tatuagem")

Sound Design: Matías Barberis, Raúl Locatelli y Jaime Baksht ("La Jaula de oro")

Music: Joan Valent ("Las brujas de Zugarramurdi")

Lead Actor: Viggo Mortensen ("Jauja")

Lead Actress: Leandra Leal ("A Wolf at the Door")

Diego Quemada-Diez Receives the Award for Best Narrative Film for "La Jaula de Oro"

Amat Escalante Receives the Award for Best Director for "Heli"

Viggo Mortensen Receives the Award for Best Lead Actor for "Jauja"

Leandra Leal Receives the Award for Best Lead Actress for "A Wolf at the Door"
See full article at SydneysBuzz »

Kwon, Solot Present ‘Latin American Cinema Today’

Kwon, Solot Present ‘Latin American Cinema Today’
Rio De Janeiro — The Americas Film Conservancy (Afc), a Los Angeles-based foundation, has teamed with Rio de Janeiro’s Latin American Training Center (Latc) to publish “Latin American Cinema Today: The Director’s Perspective,” a pioneering study of diverse Latin American helmers’ takes on the state of their art and, very often, the state of their national business.

The Afc’s president Oliver Kwon launched the bilingual English and Spanish edition a month or so back at the 40th Telluride Festival in Colorado. In Rio, Kwon sat down Monday with fellow editor Steve Solot, the Latc founder, to present the Portuguese/English version.

A collection of essays by 1o Latin American directors, all from different countries, “Latin American Cinema Today” attempts to pinpoint trends in current filmmaking, and provide a sounding board to its director-authors.

The book mixed established and not-so-well-known director-writers, the latter including Venezuela’s Hernan JaNes and Cuba’s Juan Carlos Cremata,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

LatinoBuzz: Mexican Cinema Today

The current biggest hit in México, We Are The Nobles ( Nosotros los Nobles), has grossed $32 million in its first months of release this spring. The film’s director, Gary "Gaz" Alazraki, was a young Mexican student at USC's film school more than 12 years ago when the idea came to him to make a movie satirizing his country's nouveau riche and newly powerful. The comedy is hitting the Mexican public’s social nerve in the way that Eric Toledano’s Untouchable hit the French audience last year. Both deal with the common social issues which are dividing the country – issues of the haves and the have-nots. L.A. Times discusses this break through as a social phenomenon. For Director Alazraki it is great; for México, perhaps it is a mixed blessing.

Nosotros los Nobles is actually a Warner "local-language" production, part of the intensifying pattern of U.S. studio involvement in overseas markets. This on one hand might be considered good for the Mexican film industry in that it demonstrates to the Mexican filmmakers the commercial imperative they need – adopting forms (like Nosotros' high-concept comedy) and marketing that can hold their own and fire up the mainstream. Warner actually had previously adapted this formula with their 2010 romantic comedy No Eres Tú, Soy Yo (It's Not You, It's Me) which holds the Number 5 spot in the domestic all-time list. However both films failed to gain footholds in the U.S. or international markets, whereas Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Amores Perros, starring Gael García Bernal, captured the international market as a bonafide, original Mexican feature, funded by private Mexican capital.

Warner, true to the majors’ treatment for this sort of local production, will predictably do little more internationally than to allow its release (after the pirates have already gotten to it) stateside -- through Gussi, a very strong Mexican distributor, and Cine Latino, a company owned by the ubiquitous Jim McNamara who is also a partner with Lionsgate, the second of U.S.’s only three Latino distribution companies, Pantelion. The third company is Cinema Tropical.

What Has Happened to Mexican Films in Mexico

In the mid 1990s, after México joined the North American Free Trade Area, Mexican cinemas were flooded by U.S. imports which obliterated the Mexican national industry overnight. Imcine was the last dam preventing Mexico being not merely flooded but drowned by Hollywood blockbusters.

And then a resurgence of Mexican films seems to have started again with the all-time hit Amores Perros in 2001 and El Crimen del Padre Amaro in 2002.

The exciting event of a local film out-grossing an American film in 2001 was the beginning of a worldwide trend in which local hits began to challenge U.S. or North American hegemony, not only in México but throughout the world.

To counteract this, the U.S. major studios began to implement another tactic. They began to invest in local production, as described above. This development and more about the U.S. hegemony is further elaborated on recently by Nancy Tartaglioni, readers who want to know more can read her article here.

An additional factor affecting the Mexican film industry today is the gravitational pull of Los Angeles. It is a strong force, not just for name auteurs like Alejandro González Iñárritu and Alfonso Cuarón, and Guillermo del Toro but also for the below-the-line crew in the thousands who can and do enrich the Mexican industry if they are not drawn to L.A., which ironically is itself struggling with runaway production and increasing unemployment for the L.A. local film trade.

Support For Film Production

Mexican filmmakers have been very open in their complaints since 2003 when the government plan to sell off its government-owned systems of support of filmmaking was thwarted by the country’s filmmakers. The government was forced to recognize officially that “the production, and in recent years, the coproduction of motion pictures, television series and international commercials have been important factors in the development of the film industry.”

The filmmakers’ demand for specific up-to-date information and support services for the film, television and video industries led to the creation of the National Film Commission, a nonprofit and specialized organization founded by the Mexican Film Institute (Imcine) and the Churubusco Azteca Film Studios. A good step-by-step guide to government support for filmmaking can be found here on Imcine’s official website.

Mexican Film Schools

Even with the increasing production of art house cinema in Mexico in which the two public film schools Ccc and Unam participate very actively, in effect, today México still has no real self-sustaining film industry.

One person interviewed in Guadalajara during the festival this past March says, “In México the government does everything, but it is not enough. Creativity is fettered by government laws.” If everything is subsidized, creativity falters. Creativity does not come out of a bureaucratic mindset.

The problem the subsidy system creates is that if you do not have money at risk, then you do not care about the return on the investment. Given production numbers are holding steady, the big problem for these finished films is theatrical distribution. Some suggest that a solution might be to allocate more money to the theaters to show the Mexican movies that do get made in order to give them a chance to earn back money and to force the films to be more commercial. Only one state out of the 31 states which comprise the United Mexican States offers exhibition support.

The sustainability of the Mexican film industry may be changing however. Law 226 permits money that would otherwise go to taxes to be invested instead into film production. This tax credit for private individuals and for privately owned business seems to be making a difference by encouraging private businesses to partake in production. This, along with improving access and marketing to theatrical exhibition, could create an actual industry.

Exhibition

Out of the approximately 100 films produced each year in México , 80% have government financing and only 30 or 40 of them get any theatrical release. Out of that only about 2 Mexican movies out of the 30 or 40 movies have any significant box office returns.

Of the 5,500 screens in México which the major U.S. studios fill with product, Sony/ Disney and Universal/ Warner Bros. dominate the market in México to the tune of 50% of the box office. Along with Fox and Paramount, they hold 91% of the box office receipts.

There were 252 non-Mexican films receiving theatrical distribution in 2012. 128 were from the U.S. (and grabbed 90% of the box office), 31 were from France, 13 from Spain, 11 from Latin America and 11 from other countries, including So. Korea.

While all the theaters are now digitized, online exhibition of films has not taken hold because the internet does not reach everyone and most Mexicans do not have credit cards to pay for downloading or streaming even if they did have internet access.

Changing the Model

Iñárritu, Cuarón and del Toro all appropriated a kind of American dynamism or genre literacy, as well as private financing, that broke from the European-influenced art-film model that Imcine, the Mexican public film-development organization had practiced since the 1980s, and they created such classics as Amores Perros, El crimen del Padre Amaro and Y Tu Mamá También.

Today, the newest development in México is that of Canana, the production and distribution company of Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna, Pablo Cruz and Julian Levin. After its international successes, Canana signed a co-production agreement with Jeff Skoll’s Participant Media. The Academy Award nominated No was their first film together. They are now coproducing The Ardor. Canana also set up Mundial , a 50-50 joint venture with Stuart Ford’s U.S. based international sales company, Im Global, to sell Iberoamerican films internationally.

No demonstrates the power of coproductions today and international sales which increase both budgets and international commercial reach. The four production companies which coproduced No come from different countries, and each one brings special strengths to the production. The film was initiated by Chile’s top production company, Fabula, owned by the brothers Pablo Larraín and Juan de Dios Larraín who started with Fuga in 2006, broke out with Tony Manera in 2008 and most recently produced the sleeper hit of the Berlinale 2013, Gloria.

When Fabula cast the worldwide star Gael Garcia Bernal in No, the deal also included his company Canana as coproducer. This was the first coproduction of Canana and Fabula with U.S. based Participant who put up the Us$ 2,000,000 budget for the picture and then became a partner in a slate of coproductions. The French company, Funny Balloons, was also coproducer and more importantly, as the international sales company for No it was able to sell territories to back up the financing. It pre-sold or licensed the finished film extensively: Austria to Filmladen, Australia to Rialto Distribution), Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia to Babilla, Czech Republic to Film Distribution Artcam, Denmark to Reel Pictures Aps, France toFunny Balloons, Germany to Piffl, Greece to Strada Films, Hong Kong to Golden Scene, Hungary toCinefil Co Ltd., Italy, Mexico to Canana, Netherlands to Npo, Netherlands Public Broadcasting, New Zealand to Rialto, Norway to Art House, Peru, Portugal to Alambique, Russia & Cis to Frontiers, Singapore to Cathay, Spain to Golem, Sweden to Atlantic, Switzerland to Cineworx Gmbh, Turkey to Tiglon, United Kingdom toChannel Four Television. Box Office Mojo calculates international box office from these countries to be Us$ 5,408,080 plus the Sony Pictures Classics No. American box office reported at Us$ 2,343,664.

Even without domestic dominance, Mexican features make an impact on the international film industry. The worldwide trend of coproductions as the engine driving the international film business is very much in sync with what is happening today for young Mexican filmmakers who begin by the help of the state and are able to get their first films financed in their home countries, as well as for the “veterans” like Bernal and Luna, Iñárritu, Cuarón and del Toro who are fully integrated into the international film industry.

And the private equity growth in production looks promising as well. Last year, Mexican feature films financed 100% by private equity numbered 40 compared to 14 in 2011, 10 in 2010 and 9 in 2009. Films with state support last year numbered 70, up from an average of 58 in the previous years 2011, 2010, 2009 and 2008.

Another interesting note is that out of the 67 Mexican films that received theatrical distribution in 2012 (of the 112 total produced), 23 were by women. Bringing a different sort of equity to 50% of the population is also a goal of the international film community, and should be a goal of the Mexican government as well.
See full article at SydneysBuzz »

LatinoBuzz: Spanish-Latin American Co-productions Win-Win or Win-Lose?

Latin Americans have an iffy relationship with Spain. We get it, colonialism leaves scars. But, like it or not, they share language, culture, and DNA. They also share a faltering economy (along with the rest of the world). In times like these, when it’s hard for anyone to put together enough money to make a movie, collaboration is key. Spanish and Latin American co-productions are at an all-time high. This in part has led to a resurgence in the amount of movies produced each year in both Spain and Latin America.

Why a co-production?

There are many benefits to collaborating: pooling of financial resources, more options for government incentives and subsidies, better chances at entering each other’s markets, and risk reduction. Particularly in smaller Latin American countries where a weak film industry provides few funding opportunities and finding crews with professional experience is difficult, a co-production with Spain is a no-brainer. But, this is not without controversy.

Spanish Conquistadors or Equal Partners?

There are critics who warn about reproducing dependency on Spain (some dare to use the word neo-colonialism) and reinforcing economic disparities between the two regions. There is also concern about the effect outside sources of funding can have on content. Many wonder how much editorial control comes with allowing Spain to bankroll a project. Despite the criticism and concern Spanish-Latin American co-productions continue to increase and can offer lots of lessons to U.S. producers looking to team up with their southern neighbors.

How does it work?

As a result of the creation of a film institute (the Icaa or Instituto de la Cinematografía y de las Artes Audiovisuales) and policy changes in the eighties, Spain spearheaded a multinational organization called Caaci (La Conferencia de Autoridades Audiovisuales y Cinematográficas de Iberoamerica, or Conference of Ibero-American Audiovisual and Film Institutes). Its members are Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Honduras, México, Panamá, Perú, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Spain, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Caaci brokered the creation of conventions and co-production treaties amongst its member countries. On top of these multilateral agreements, Spain has several bilateral agreements with individual Latin American countries. Depending on which agreement or convention is applied the conditions are:

(Taken from ‘Industry Report: Produce - Coproduce. How to coproduce with Spain”)

For bilateral agreements; the minor producer’s participation cannot account for less than 20%, while the main producer’s cannot account for more than 80%, only allowing co-productions with real creative participation. For multilateral agreements, where the European or Ibero American Conventions are applied; the minor producer’s participation cannot account for less than 10%, while the main producer’s cannot exceed 70%. In this last case, certain financial co-productions are permitted.

Ibermedia is another source of funding that pools financial contributions from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Chile, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, México, Panamá, Paraguay, Perú, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Spain, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Although the fund receives contributions from each member country, the majority of the money comes from Spain and mostly goes to production costs. Ibermedia also grants financing for a film's development, distribution, exhibition and promotion. The main requirements are:

(Taken from ‘The New International Co-Production Scenario’ and ‘Co-Production and the Cultural Politics of Constructing an Ibero-American Audiovisual Space' by Tamara Falicov.

Co-productions must be among at least three countries. Films must be in Spanish or Portuguese. The director, actors, and technical crew must be from an Ibero-American country. Beneficiaries are limited to independent production companies in countries that are members of the Ibermedia Program. Repayable loans are allocated to each co-producer on the basis of their financial contribution in the co-production. Up to 50 percent of the funding may be awarded by Ibermedia; the rest must come from additional financing sources Films receiving funding are typically very low-budget, and Ibermedia’s contributions range from $30,000 to $200,000 per project

What about us in the U.S.?

It may be hard to believe but the U.S. has no co-production treaties. None! Still, Americans can enter as a third-party in treaty co-productions giving access to the same tax incentives and expanded market access as their partners. With an eye towards fostering collaborations in the absence of treaties, Independent Filmmaker Project (Ifp) offers the No Borders International Co-Production Market, “the oldest and most prominent co-production market in the U.S.” Ifp also operates the International Alliance Program with partners in various regions, the Latin American Training Center (Latc) acts as the official partner for Latin America. And for Latin American immigrants and U.S-born Latinos who are eligible for dual citizenship, opportunities abound.

Written by Juan Caceres and Vanessa Erazo, LatinoBuzz is a weekly feature on SydneysBuzz that highlights emerging and established Latino indie talent and upcoming trends in Latino film with the specific objective of presenting a broad range of Latino voices. Follow@LatinoBuzzon twitter.

Notable Spanish-Latin American Co-productions

El espinazo del diablo (The Devil’s Backbone, dir. Guillermo del Toro, Spain-Mexico, 2001)

La ciénaga (The Swamp, dir. Lucrecia Martel, Argentina-Spain-France, 2001)

El crimen del Padre Amaro (The Crime of Father Amaro, dir. Carlos Carrera, Mexico-Spain-Argentina-France, 2002)

Whisky (dir. Juan Pablo Rebella and Pablo Stoll, Uruguay-Spain, 2004)

Xxy (dir. Lucía Puenzo, Argentina-Spain, 2007)
See full article at SydneysBuzz »

LatinoBuzz: Chile Goes for the Bronze, A Look Back at the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film

A few weeks ago the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released its shortlist for the Foreign Language Film Award. The nominations are being determined in two phases. After a committee of several hundred Academy members screened all 71 eligible films nine were selected to advance to the second round, making it to the shortlist. Of these nine only one Latin American film made the cut, Pablo Larraín’s No, starring Gael García Bernal.

Specially invited committees in New York and Los Angeles will watch the nine shortlisted films and cast their votes in early January. The remaining five films will be announced as the official Oscar nominees for the Best Foreign Language Film on January 10, 2013.

If No gets enough votes it will be the first time a Chilean film is nominated in the Foreign Language Film category. What are Chile’s chances? Well, if we take a look back at the Latin American nominees and winners of the Best Foreign Language Film Award, the odds don’t look so good.

And the Nominees are....

This year nine Latin American countries submitted a film for consideration: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Of these nine, only Chile made the shortlist. If it is nominated it will become part of an elite group of Latin American countries that have received this honor. Mexico leads the pack with eight nominations, followed by Argentina who has six, and Brazil with four. Nicaragua, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and Peru have all been nominated once. That is a total of 22 nominations for all Latin American countries since 1960, when the region received its first nomination for Macario, directed by Roberto Gavaldón. The film, a supernatural drama set in colonial times, lost out to Ingmar Bergman’s The Virgin Spring. It was the first time Mexico had been nominated in the category and despite being the most often nominated country in Latin America, it has failed to ever win a statuette. So, which countries have won the coveted award?

And the Award Goes to....

Despite its 22 nominations Latin America has only won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film twice. Both times the winners were from Argentina. The first win was in 1985 for La historia oficial (The Official Story), set in Buenos Aires. In the film an upper middle class couple adopts a young girl during the dictatorship. As the country transitions to democracy they begin to suspect that she may be the child of one of the victims of the forced disappearances that occurred during the dirty war, known as los desaparecidos.

Argentina’s second Oscar came almost twenty-five years later with El secreto de sus ojos (The Secret in Their Eyes) in 2009. In the crime thriller directed by Juan José Campanella and starring Ricardo Darín, a retired federal agent begins to write a novel on an unsolved murder case that has haunted him for years. With its two wins, Argentina remains the only Latin American country to have brought home the bronze. Taking into account its 22 nominations but only two Oscar statuettes the odds aren’t the best for Latin America as a whole and Chile in particular (zero nominations or wins), but let’s cross our fingers and hope for the best. Chile could very well be selected this time since Nois the kind of the film the Academy usually goes for.

Set in 1988, Norecounts the amazing real life story of a national referendum that everyone thought was destined to fail but ultimately dissolved the Chilean dictatorship and ended General Pinochet’s almost twenty year rule. Leading up to the historic vote each side was allowed 15 minutes of late-night TV airtime every day for a month straight. Gael García Bernal stars as Rene Saavedra, a young, rebellious skateboard-riding advertising executive who went from selling soap and soda to heading up the campaign to vote No on keeping Pinochet in power for eight more years. Shot using U-matic video cameras, Larraín wanted to match the look of the archival television footage woven into the film. As a result of using the same format that T.V. news was shot in during the eighties, the real-life footage seamlessly matches his purposely grainy and overexposed film. Despite its dreary appearance, it is funny, uplifting, and entertaining. It’s not a slow artsy film with little dialogue; it is perfectly paced. And together, Bernal’s charm and the film’s many amusing moments end up creating a movie that will surely captivate the Academy and maybe even a mainstream commercial audience.

Every year the Academy Awards are televised live in more than 200 countries. This year’s winners will be presented with their Oscar statuette on Sunday, February 24, 2013.

Latin American Best Foreign Language Film nominees by country (winners are in bold)

Mexico

1960 -- Macario

1961 -- The Important Man

1962 -- Tlayucan

1975 -- Letters from Marusia

2000 -- Amores Perros

2002 -- El Crimen del Padre Amaro

2006 -- Pan's Labyrinth

2010 -- Biutiful

Argentina

1974 -- The Truce

1984 -- Camila

1985 -- The Official Story[Oscar winner]

1998 -- Tango

2001 -- Son of the Bride

2009 -- The Secret in Their Eyes[Oscar winner]

Brazil

1962 -- Keeper of Promises (The Given Word)

1995 -- O Quatrilho

1997 -- Four Days in September

1998 -- Central Station

Nicaragua

1982 -- Alsino and the Condor

Puerto Rico

1989 -- What Happened to Santiago

Cuba

1994 -- Strawberry and Chocolate

Peru

2009 -- The Milk of Sorrow

Fun Fact: In 1992, amongst the five nominees for Best Foreign Language Film was Uruguay’s A Place in the World. Shortly after the nominations were announced the film was deemed ineligible and Uruguay’s nomination was revoked! A closer look at the film revealed that, “it was wholly produced in Argentina and had insufficient Uruguayan artistic control” according to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Written by Juan Caceres and Vanessa Erazo, LatinoBuzz is a weekly feature on SydneysBuzz that highlights Latino indie talent and upcoming trends in Latino film with the specific objective of presenting a broad range of Latino voices. Follow @LatinoBuzz on twitter.
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Ana de la Reguera To Star In Lupe Velez Biopic From Director Carlos Carrera

Silent film star Lupe Velez was one of the first Mexican actresses to succeed in Hollywood. Beautiful and exotic, she starred in a long string of moving pictures alongside leading men like Douglas Fairbanks and Gary Cooper. Unfortunately, her legacy has become overshadowed by her legendary death, a dramatic suicide that allegedly ended with her drowning in a toilet.

But a new biopic could make her more than another Tinseltown tragedy. According to Variety, actress Ana de la Reguera (Cowboys and Aliens, Nacho Libre) will produce and star as Velez in the tentatively titled Lupe. The film will chronicle the starlet’s “tumultuous yet incredible life and career”, from her fiery reputation to her off-screen relationships with men such as Cooper and Johnny Weissmuller.

It was also reported that director Carlos Carrera (The Crime of Father Amaro) will write the treatment and helm the project, which will be a co-production between the U.
See full article at The Film Stage »

Guillermo Arriaga And Carlos Carrera Team For Documentary Santo, El Enmascarado De Plata

Mexico's favorite son is returning to the big screen.Timed to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the creation of Santo - the enormously popular masked wrestler who made as big a mark on the big screen as in the ring - Babel and Amores Perros writer Guillermo Arriaga and The Crime Of Father Amaro director Carlos Carrera are teaming to create documentary feature Santo, El Enmascadoro De Plata.Arriaga has penned the script for the film, which Carrera directs with narration by El Hijo de El Santo - The Son Of Santo. The film promises rare footage, including shots of Javier Solis - the man under the mask - singing and shots of the secret mausoleum where he is buried....
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Gael García Bernal: Zorro Reboot

Gael García Bernal is keeping himself busy. According to Variety, García Bernal is attached to star in the futuristic Zorro reboot Zorro Reborn for 20th Century Fox. He's also to be featured opposite Will Ferrell and Diego Luna in Matt Piedmont's comedy Casa de mi Padre, and in Nicole Kassell's A Little Bit of Heaven, with Kate Hudson and Peter Dinklage. And that's not all: García Bernal is reportedly planning on making a documentary about immigration, and is attached to star as Panamanian boxer Roberto Duran in Jonathan Jakubowicz's Hands of Stone, opposite Al Pacino and Ryan Kwanten. Now, Variety explains that Zorro Reborn will be quite different from the Zorro of Tyrone Power, Frank Langella, Antonio Banderas, or Guy Williams. (Or George Hamilton, for that matter.) For starters, Zorro Reborn will not be set in Old California, then a part of Mexico. Nor will Zorro be a light-hearted sword fighter.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Pedro Armendariz Jr., 'Zorro' actor, dies

Pedro Armendariz Jr., 'Zorro' actor, dies
Mexican character actor Pedro Armendariz Jr. died Monday at the age of 71. There was no immediate confirmation of the cause of death.

Armendariz was best known for playing sly, sometimes cynical characters he endowed with wit and charisma. Armendariz played Gov. Riley in the 2005 movie The Legend of Zorro, and had roles in 1989′s Old Gringo and Once Upon a Time in Mexico in 2003.

President Felipe Calderon’s office issued a statement lamenting Armendariz’ death, calling him “a great actor who reflected well on Mexico at home and abroad.”

The Mexican government news agency Notimex reported he died in New York City of cancer,
See full article at EW.com - Inside Movies »

Pedro Armendáriz, Jr, 1940 - 2011

  • MUBI
"Mexican character actor Pedro Armendáriz Jr died Monday at the age of 71," reports the AP. "President Felipe Calderon's office issued a statement lamenting Armendáriz's death, calling him 'a great actor who reflected well on Mexico at home and abroad.'… He acted in more than 100 films, including the Mexican hit The Crime of Father Amaro."

Both Armendáriz Jr and his father, Pedro Armendáriz, a star during Mexican cinema's "golden age," portrayed Pancho Villa — the father in several films and Armendáriz Jr in Luis Puenzo's Old Gringo (1989). From the Wikipedia entry: "Interestingly, Pedro Armendáriz Jr also portrayed Pancho Villa's enemy Luis Terrazas in the film And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself opposite Antonio Banderas." The entry notes that both father and son also appeared in James Bond movies: "The elder Armendáriz appeared in From Russia with Love in 1963, while Pedro Jr. appeared in 1989's Licence to Kill."

The Hollywood
See full article at MUBI »

Don Gato – aka Top Cat – rides the crest of a Mexican wave

The unlikely success of this American cartoon import continues unabated with the release of a Mexican-made feature film

One pleasure available for the modern culture-flaneur is picking out the curios of globalisation: the unlikely cultural friendships struck up. I never knew Top Cat (or Boss Cat, as British viewers may remember him) was big in Mexico until last week, when I saw that a new feature-length animation version had been squatting on top of their box-office charts like a patronising moggie on a trashcan. How, in the age of the ubiquitous remake, had I not heard about this one?

Because it turns out that Tc is even more of a local hero than first intended. Apparently Don Gato, to give him his Spanish name, has been one of the most beloved cartoon imports in Mexico since it was first broadcast there in the 1970s. One former viewer I spoke to said,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Hola Mexico Film Festival: Meet Carlos Carrera

The Hola Mexico Film Festival invites you to one of the screening/Q&A sessions with Oscar-nominated director Carlos Carrera.

The sceenings will take place this weekend in Melbourne, and next week in Sydney.

These are double passes for one of the following screenings:

Melbourne – Acmi, Federation Square

- The Crime Of Father Amaro – Friday 29 October, 9.00pm

- Benjamin’S Woman – Sunday 31 October, 2.30pm

- On Childhood - Sunday 31 October, 7.00pm *Immediately followed by the ‘Day of the Dead’ party which will feature a traditional Mexican “altar”, hot chocolate and day of the dead cake, as well as drinks by Tequila Cuervo and Cerveza Sol.

Sydney – Dendy Cinemas, Newtown And Opera Quays

- On Childhood – Friday 5 November – 9.00pm

- Benjamin’S Woman – Saturday 6 November, 6.30pm

- The Crime Of Father Amaro - Saturday 6 November, 9.30pm

To win, email miguel@focalattractions.com.au and tell us, what is your favourite Mexican film?
See full article at Encore Magazine »

"Back to the Future" in Blu, Uwe Boll's in "Darfur" and More New DVDs

  • IFC
A look at what's new on DVD today:

"Back to the Future: 25th Anniversary Trilogy"

Directed by Robert Zemeckis

Released by Universal Home Entertainment

Yes, we're finally getting the footage of the original Marty McFly, Eric Stoltz, for the first time, but for many simply having the hi-def version of Robert Zemeckis' time-travel franchise will be good enough. Commentaries, deleted scenes, a full-length documentary and much, much more come on this new set of the trilogy.

"Alien Anthology"

Directed by Ridley Scott, James Cameron, David Fincher, Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Released by Fox Home Entertainment

While not as much of an upgrade over its previous DVD release as "Back to the Future," the Blu-ray update of the four "Alien" films worth owning now boasts isolated scores for each film, all of Ridley Scott's sketches for the first "Alien," the uncut documentary of David Fincher's ill-fated "Alien 3" as
See full article at IFC »
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