Jayro Bustamante is headed to Germany…
The Guatemalan director’s first feature film Ixcanul has been chosen as one of the first seven films for the 65th Berlin Film Festival Competition program.
The film, which Bustamante wrote, centers on a 17 year-old Mayan Kaqchikel girl named Maria, who lives with her parents in a coffee plantation on the side of an active volcano in Guatemala. She’s part of an arranged marriage she doesn’t want but can’t escape her fate.
Bustamante’s short films have earned him acclain at a number of film festivals. The most recent, Cuando sea grande, premiered at the Clermont-Ferrand Festival in 2012, where it landed the CNC (Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée) quality award and was aired on television networks in France, Sweden and the Netherlands.
The film stars María Mercedes Croy, María Telón, Manuel Antún, Justo Lorenzo and Marvin Coroy.
Also in the Berlinale mix is Kenneth Branagh’s live-action Disney film Cinderella, although it’s playing out of competition. Lily James plays the titular role, while Helena Bonham Carter portrays the fairy godmother.
Other films that made the first cut include Peter Greenaway’s Eisenstein In Guanajuato. Shot in Mexico, the film stars Stelio Savante, Lisa Owen and Maya Zapata. It follows Eisenstein as he spends 10 days in 1931 in Guanajuato, Mexico, where he falls in love. His sensual experiences there turn out to have been crucial in his life and his films. From being a formal filmmaker with films about conceptual ideas, his trip to Mexico humanizes Eisenstein as a filmmaker, and his films become more sympathetic to the human condition.
Berlinale runs from February 5-15.
Here’s a look at the selected film featuring Hispanic talent in front of and/or behind the camera:
By Kenneth Branagh with Cate Blanchett, Lily James, Richard Madden, Stellan Skarsgård, Holliday Grainger, Sophie McShera, Derek Jacobi and Helena Bonham Carter International premiere – Out of competition
Eisenstein In Guanajuato
The Netherlands / Mexico / Belgium / Finland
By Peter Greenaway With Elmer Bäck, Luis Alberti
Ixcanul (Ixcanul Volcano)
Guatemala / France
By Jayro Bustamante With María Mercedes Coroy, María Telón, Manuel Antún, Justo Lorenzo, Marvin Coroy
World premiere – Debut feature