Lila Avilés’ latest project has entered the Academy Awards race…
Mexico has selected the Berlin competition title Tótem, hailing from the 41-year-old Mexican film director, screenwriter, actress and producer, as its entry for the Best International Feature Film category at the 2024 Oscars.
The family drama is Avilés’ second film after the award-winning feature debut The Chambermaid, which debuted in Toronto in 2018 and then traveled the international festival circuit before being selected as Mexico’s Oscar submission.
Tótem stars newcomer Naíma Sentíes as a 7-year-old girl navigating the strange atmosphere of a special surprise party being held for her dying artist father, from whom she herself feels temporarily estranged.
The film was produced by Tatiana Graullera, Avilés and Louise Riousse.
After playing Berlin, Tótem made its North American bow at New Directors/New Films and played Telluride earlier this month, where Alfonso Cuarón presented the screening.
The film will next play the Woodstock Film Festival, Hamptons Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival and Mill Valley Film Festival.
Internationally, Tótem is set to play the London Film Festival and San Sebastian.