Mexico Enters Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s “Bardo” Into Academy Awards’ Best International Feature Film Race

Alejandro G. Iñárritu is back in the Oscar race…

Mexico has selected the 59-year-old Mexican five-time Academy Award winner’s Bardo as its official entry for the Best International Feature Film Oscar race.

Alejandro G. Iñárritu, BardoThe immersive work stars Daniel Giménez Cacho as a renowned Los Angeles-based Mexican journalist and documentary filmmaker who, after being named the recipient of a prestigious international award, is compelled to return to his native country, unaware that this simple trip will push him to an existential limit.

The film had its world premiere in its three-hour original version in competition at the Venice Film Festival in early September.

Netflix recently dropped a trailer for the film, which opens theatrically in Mexico on October 27, followed by a limited theatrical release in the U.S., Spain and Argentina on November 4 before rolling out in a global expansion on November 18.

The film will debut December 1 on Netflix.

The work reunites Iñárritu with a number of his longtime collaborators including co-writer Nicolás Giacobone, who also took credits on Birdman and Biutiful.

Bardo — whose full title is Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths — marks Iñárritu’s first film to be shot in Mexico since Amores Perroswhich also represented Mexico at the Academy Awards and was nominated in 2000.

The film also features production design by the designer Eugenio Caballero, who previously won an Academy Award for his work on Guillermo del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth and Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma, and costume design by Anna Terrazas (The DeuceRoma).

Outside of the best international film category and its foreign language predecessor, Iñárritu previously won Oscars for Carne y Arena (2018), The Revenant (2016) and Birdman (2015) and was nominated for Babel (2007).

Mexico has garnered eight nominations to date with Roberto Gavaldón’s Macario (1960), Ismael Rodriguez’s The Important Man (1961), Luis Alcoriza’s The Pearl Of Tiayucan (1963), Miguel Litten’s Letters Of Marusia (1975), Iñárritu’s Amores Perros (2000), Carlos Carrera’s El Crimen del Padre Amaro (2002), Guillermo Del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth (2006) and Iñárritu’s Biutiful (2010).

Cuaron won the country its only Oscar in the category with Roma in 2018.

Yalitza Aparicio to Star in the Horror-Suspense Film “Presencias”

Yalitza Aparicio embracing the suspense…

The 28-year-old Mexican actress, who earned an Academy Award nomination for her performance in Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma, will star in the horror-suspense film Presencias.

Yalitza AparicioThe Videocine project, also starring Alberto Ammann, will stream via TelevisaUnivsion’s Vix+ Streaming Service.

Aparicio described the project during the streamer’s launch announcement this week.

“This is a story about a man who, after his wife’s murder, launches his own investigation to find her killer,” she said. “His investigation takes place at the scene of the crime: a cabin in the woods where he spent a large part of his childhood. Before long, he notices many strange occurrences taking place and is forced with facing a terrifying reality.”

She continued, “Part of the film was shot in Tlalpujahua, known as the magical village where it’s always Christmas, located in Central Mexico in Michoacan. Where the architecture and the local traditions are a point of pride for my country.”

The Dream Assignment production is directed and produced by Luis Mandoki.

Alfonso Cuarón to Adapt Renee Knight’s Novel “Disclaimer” as an Apple TV+ Series 

Alfonso Cuarón is releasing a disclaimer

The 60-year-old Mexican Oscar-winning filmmaker will adapt Renee Knight’s novel Disclaimer as a series for Apple TV+ with Cate Blanchett and Kevin Kline starring.

Alfonso CuarónThe project marks the first series from the Roma filmmaker since he signed an overall deal with the streamer in 2019. It also marks a series debut for Sophie’s Choice and A Fish Called Wanda star Kline.

Cuarón will write, direct and executive produce all episodes of the series, marking the first time that he has written and directed all episodes of an original series. Blanchett will also executive produce.

Blanchett plays Catherine Ravenscroft, a successful and respected television documentary journalist whose work has been built on revealing the concealed transgressions of long-respected institutions. When an intriguing novel written by a widower, played by Kline, appears on her bedside table, she is horrified to realize she is a key character in a story that she had hoped was long buried in the past. A story that reveals her darkest secret. A secret she thought was hers alone.

Disclaimer is produced by Cuarón’s Esperanto Filmoj and Anonymous Content. Academy Award-winner Emmanuel Lubezki (Gravity) and Academy Award nominee Bruno Delbonnel (The Tragedy of Macbeth) will serve as directors of photography on the project. Cuarón serves as executive producer alongside Esperanto Filmoj’s Gabriela Rodriguez and Anonymous Content’s David Levine, Dawn Olmstead and the late Steve Golin. Renee Knight serves as co-executive producer.

Maribel Verdú Starring in Apple Studios’ “Raymond and Ray” 

Maribel Verdú is providing care…

The 51-year-old Spanish actress has been cast in Apple Studios’ Raymond and Ray alongside Oscar nominee Sophie Okonedo.

Maribel Verdú,

Verdu and Okonedo join a cast that includes Ewan McGregor and Ethan Hawke.

The Rodrigo García-directed and written feature, which is currently filming in Virginia, follows half-brothers Raymond (McGregor) and Ray (Hawke) who have lived in the shadow of a terrible father. Somehow, they still each have a sense of humor, and his funeral is a chance for them to reinvent themselves. There’s anger, there’s pain, there’s folly, there might be love, and there’s definitely grave-digging.

Verdú will star as Lucia, a partner and caretaker to Raymond and Ray’s father. Her character is described as one having the innate strength and alluring personality that will mend the broken family in the wake of the father’s death.

Verdú , an 11-time Goya Award nominee and two-time winner, starred in Y tu mamá también and Pan’s Labyrinth

Raymond and Ray is produced by Oscar winner Alfonso Cuarón, Bonnie Curtis and Julie Lynn, who’ll produce through their Mockingbird Pictures.

Diego Luna to Receive 2021 Platino Award of Honor

Diego Luna is being celebrated for his platinum career.

This year’s seventh edition of the Ibero-American Platino Awards (Premios Platinos) will honor the 41-year-old Mexican actor, director, producer and festival organizer with the Platino Award of Honor.

Diego Luna

An itinerant award show by design, this year’s Platinos will be held on October 3 in Madrid.

Luna will be the youngest recipient of the career achievement honor, joining previous winners Miguel Rafael Martos Sánchez, often simply referred to as Raphael, one of Spain’s most iconic entertainers of the 20th century; Adriana Barraza, the Oscar nominated Spanish-English-language crossover star of Alejandro Iñárritu’s Babel and Amores Perros; Oscar and three time Primetime Emmy nominee Edward James Olmos (Stand and Deliver); Oscar nominee Antonio Banderas (Pain and Glory); and Primetime Emmy (The Burning Season) and BAFTA (“Dona Flor e Seus Dois Maridos) nominee Sonia Braga.

A child actor who excelled from an early age, Luna’s first film appearance was in Javier Bourges’ 1991 Mexican Academy Award-nominated short The Last New Year.” He appeared in several telenovelas throughout the ‘90s, joined on screen for the first time by his longtime collaborator and close friend Gael García Bernal in El abuelo y yo in 1992. Alternating between film and television over the next decade, his international breakout came with García Bernal and Spain’s Marbel Verdú in Alfonso Cuarón’s seminal coming-of-age road trip film “Y Tu Mamá También.”

Shortly after, Luna began his Hollywood career appearing alongside Bon Jovi in John Carpenter’s Vampires: Los Muertos and in Salma Hayek’s Oscar-winning biopic Frida.

In the decades since, Luna has continued to work on both Latin American and U.S. productions while also taking turns as a producer, writer and director. He also, again with García Bernal, launched the nomadic documentary film festival Ambulante, as well as their own production label, first Canana in 2005 and now La Corriente del Golfo.

Most recently, he created and hosts the Amazon Original conversation series Pan y Circo and is starring in the Disney+’s Andor, a spinoff series following his Rogue One: A Star Wars Story character Cassian Andor.

He was also recently confirmed as a voice actor for Netflix’s upcoming animated series Maya and the Three, where he will team with frequent collaborator Jorge Gutierrez (The Book of Life).

Last year’s ceremony was, like so many, forced online by the COVID-19 pandemic. But this time around, the Platinos are planning an in-person event to celebrate the best offerings from the Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American screen industries.

At 11 nominations each, the two standout titles are Fernando Trueba’s Colombian drama Memories of My Father and Jayro Bustamante’s Guatemalan thriller La Llorona.

The Platino Awards are promoted by EGEDA (Spain’s Entity for the Rights Management of Audiovisual Producers) and FIPCA (the Ibero-American Federation of Film and Audiovisual Producers) and have the support of the Ibero-American film academies and institutes as well as numerous sponsors in Europe and Latin America.

Apple TV+ Orders Ramón Campos’ Bilingual Drama Series “Now and Then”

It’s a case of now and then for Ramón Campos

Apple TV+ has given a series order for Now and Then, a drama created by the Spanish television writer and producer, one the country’s busiest and most important television producer, Teresa Fernández-Valdés and Gema R. Neira.

Ramón-Campos

The series, from Bambú Producciones, will be shot in Spanish and English.

Set in Miami with an all-Hispanic cast, Now and Then explores the differences between youthful aspirations and the reality of adulthood, when the lives of a group of college best friends are forever changed after a celebratory weekend ends up with one of them dead. Now, 20 years later, the remaining five are reluctantly reunited by a threat that puts their seemingly perfect worlds at risk.

Gideon Raff will executive produce and direct the first two episodes.

The series will be written by Neira and Campos with their team. Campos and Fernández-Valdés will serve as showrunners. Bambú Producciones will produce for Apple TV+.

Campos and Neira created Spanish series Gran Hotel, which was adapted by ABC as Grand Hotel; Cable Girls, which is distributed by Netflix; and Velvet.

Fernández-Valdés worked with the duo on all three series, produced by Bambú. Campos and Fernández-Valdés executive produced the three Spanish shows, as well as ABC’s Grand Hotel.

This is the second bilingual English/English series Apple TV+ has ordered, joining Acapulco, a half-hour comedy series starring Eugenio Derbez inspired by the film How To Be a Latin Lover. The streamer also has upcoming English-language action-thriller series Echo 3, which is set in South America, and projects under an overall TV deal with Alfonso Cuarón.

Marina de Tavira to Star in Spanish-Language Crime Drama Series “Kolonie”

Marina de Tavira is heading to the scene of the crime…

The 46-year-old Mexican actress, who earned an Academy Award nomination for her work in Alfonso Cuaron’s Netflix Spanish-language film Roma, will star in the Spanish-language crime drama series Kolonie.

Marina de Tavira

The project is in development between Narcos producer Gaumont and Redrum, which has worked on series including Narcos: Mexico and Amazon’s international drug thriller Zerozerozero.

Written by Carlos Rincones, who wrote on Netflix’s Mexican drama Tijuana, the series centers around an emotionally complex seasoned special agent, Adriana, played by de Tavira, who is tasked with investigating the brutal murder of a Mennonite boy in rural Chihuaua, Mexico. Once there, she partners with a rookie local policeman who recently abandoned the Mennonite community to join the police force. As they inch closer to solving the crime, they slowly uncover the justice they pursue is mired in a dark web of corruption and mysticism that extends beyond anything they could have ever imagined.

The series will be shot in Mexico with Redrum’s Stacy Perskie executive producing and Christian Gabela serving as head creative executive.

“Led by Gaumont’s Christian Gabela and his team, we are proud to develop Kolonie with our valued partner, Redrum, and are honored to have Marina de Tavira, one of the most talented actresses of today, star in the series,” said Nicolas Atlan, President, Gaumont U.S. “At Gaumont we take pride in producing important, local stories that resonate on a global scale, and we can’t wait to bring this riveting story to life.”

Perskie added, “We feel the Mennonite communities in Northern Mexico are a fascinating and unexplored part of our culture and telling a great story with a powerful female lead in that world is something that we are very excited about. We feel very lucky about having Marina de Tavira, one of the most emblematic Mexican actresses of our time, play that role and spearhead this project, which will shed light upon one of Mexico’s hidden corners.”

de Tavira earned a Best Supporting Actress Oscar nod for playing Sofia in Roma and is also set to star in Lisa Joy’s Reminiscence alongside Hugh Jackman, Rebecca Ferguson and Thandie Newton.

 

Mexico Enters Fernando Frías de la Parra’s “I’m No Longer Here” into International Feature Film Oscar Race

Fernando Frías de la Parra is representing…

The Mexican Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences has chosen the Mexican filmmaker’s I’m No Longer Here as Mexico’s official entry for the International Feature Film Oscar race.

Fernando Frías de la Parra

The film centers on the young leader (Juan Daniel Garcia Trevino) of a small Monterrey street gang from the Cholombiano subculture who longs for home after being forced to move to Jackson Heights, Queens, after an altercation with a local cartel. It premiered at the 2019 Morelia Film Festival, where it won Best Feature and was a selection of this year’s truncated Tribeca Film Festival.

The film received 10 Ariel Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, and is Mexico’s official submission for Spain’s Goya Awards.

I'm No Longer Here

Netflix acquired worldwide rights back in 2018, and it bowed on the streamer on May 27.

“The news took me by surprise, and I am overwhelmed with happiness and excitement,” said Frias. “I am enormously grateful to the Academy and its members and the entire industry that has supported us, such as Netflix and IMCINE, but also to the people. The public has shown us that they are ready to connect with our stories here in Mexico. That fills me with pride.”

Mexico has seen nine film nominated for the Academy Awards’ International Feature race (it was formerly known as Outstanding Foreign-Language Feature) with films from the likes of Alejandro González Iñárritu and Guillermo del Toro. It’s only one the top prize once, however, for Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma, also from Netflix, in 2018.

Alfonso Cuarón Signs on to Executive Produce Chaitanya Tamhane’s “The Disciple”

Alfonso Cuarón has signed on for a new project.

The 58-year-old Oscar-winning Mexican filmmaker has signed on as an executive producer on Chaitanya Tamhane’s The Disciple, which became the first Indian movie to land a Venice Film Festival competition slot since 2001’s Golden Lion winner Monsoon Wedding.

Alfonso Cuarón

The plot of The Disciple centers on Sharad Nerulkar, who has devoted his life to becoming an Indian classical music vocalist, diligently following the traditions and discipline of old masters, his guru, and his father. But as years go by, he starts to wonder whether it’s really possible to achieve the excellence he’s striving for.

Tamhane’s debut film Court won Best Film in the Orizzonti section at the 2014 Venice Film Festival, where he was also awarded the Lion of Future.

He and Cuarón met in a mentorship program.

“He was part of most of Roma’s process and I jumped to the opportunity to be part of the process of his second film The Disciple,” Cuarón said. “I believe Chaitanya is one of the most important new voices of contemporary cinema.”

The Venice Film Festival will run from September 2-12 and will be the first major international film event to take place physically since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Cate Blanchett is the president of the main competition jury this year.

Yalitza Aparicio Among the Latino Professionals Invited to Join The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS)

Yalitza Aparicio’s joining The Academy

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has released its annual list of invitations to join the organization, with the 26-year-old Mexican actress and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Indigenous Peoples among the 819 extended an invite.

Yalitza Aparicio

Aparicio, one of Time magazine’s100 most influential people in the world in 2019,earned an Oscar nod in the Best Actress category for her performance in Alfonso Cuarón‘s 2018 Spanish-language drama Roma. With the nomination for her actig debut, she became the first Indigenous American woman and the second Mexican woman to receive a Best Actress Oscar nomination.

But Aparcio isn’t the only Latino/a to make the list…

Other invitees in the Actors branch include Bobby Cannavale, who appeared in The IrishmanOverboard’s Eva LongoriaKnives Out star Ana de Armas and Gringo actor Yul Vazquez.

Invitees in the Music branch include Andrea Guerra (Hotel Rwanda) and Cuban-American jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, who worked on the music for Clint Eastwood’s films Richard Jewell and The Mule.

The Directors branch sent out invitations to Latino filmmakers Icíar Bolláin (Spanish), Felipe Cazals (Mexican), Sebastián Cordero (Ecuadorian), Luis Estrada (Mexican), Alejandro Landes (Colombian-Ecuadorian),Jorge Alí Triana (Colombian) and  Andrés Wood (Chilean).

This year’s new class demonstrates The Academy’s commitment to erasing the stigma of not being inclusive, particularly in terms of women, international members and underrepresented ethnic/racial communities.

The organization reports this year’s class breakdown is 49% international, 45% women, and 36% underrepresented ethnic/racial. 

The overwhelming number of those invited to join the Academy end up accepting. 

The total active membership in 2019 was 8,946, with 8,733 eligible to vote. Total membership including active, voting and retired was 9,794.  Today’s additions will take the membership count past the 10,000 mark.

AMPAS says members can voluntarily  disclose their race/ethnicity, sex or can choose “prefer not to.” So, demo stats may not be 100% accurate. AMPAS also “recognizes and respects” the personal choice in identification, but doesn’t track LGBTQ+ or differently abled, although a source says, while protecting privacy and not forcing answers, they are “working towards it.” In other words this is no longer your father’s Academy.

 “We take great pride in the strides we have made in exceeding our initial inclusion goals set back in 2016, but acknowledge the road ahead is a long one,” said Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. “We are committed to staying the course.”

“The Academy is delighted to welcome these distinguished fellow travelers in the motion picture arts and sciences.  We have always embraced extraordinary talent that reflects the rich variety of our global film community, and never more so than now,” said Academy President David Rubin.

Here’s a look at some of this year’s Latino invitees:

Actors
Yalitza Aparicio – “Roma”
Bobby Cannavale – “The Irishman,” “The Station Agent”
Ana de Armas – “Knives Out,” “Blade Runner 2049”
Eva Longoria – “Overboard,” “Harsh Times”
Yul Vazquez – “Gringo,” “Last Flag Flying”

Casting Directors
Libia Batista – “Eres Tú Papá?,” “Viva”
Javier Braier – “The Two Popes,” “Wild Tales”
Eva Leira – “Pain and Glory,” “Biutiful”
Yesi Ramirez – “The Hate U Give,” “Moonlight”
Yolanda Serrano – “Pain and Glory,” “Biutiful”

Cinematographers
Óscar Faura – “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” “The Imitation Game”

Directors
Icíar Bolláin – “Even the Rain,” “Take My Eyes”
Felipe Cazals – “El Año de la Peste,” “Canoa: A Shameful Memory”
Sebastián Cordero – “Europa Report,” “Crónicas”
Luis Estrada – “The Perfect Dictatorship,” “Herod’s Law”
Alejandro Landes – “Monos,” “Porfirio”
Jorge Alí Triana – “Bolívar Soy Yo,” “A Time to Die”
Andrés Wood – “Araña,” “Violeta Went to Heaven”

Documentary
Cristina Amaral – “Um Filme de Verão (A Summer Film),” “Person”
Violeta Ayala – “Cocaine Prison,” “The Bolivian Case”
Julia Bacha – “Naila and the Uprising,” “Budrus”
Almudena Carracedo – “The Silence of Others,” “Made in L.A.”
Paola Castillo – “Beyond My Grandfather Allende,” “Genoveva”
Paz Encina – “Memory Exercises,” “Paraguayan Hammock”
Mariana Oliva – “The Edge of Democracy,” “Piripkura”
Iván Osnovikoff – “Los Reyes,” “La Muerte de Pinochet (The Death of Pinochet)”
Tiago Pavan – “The Edge of Democracy,” “Olmo and the Seagull”
Bettina Perut – “Los Reyes,” “La Muerte de Pinochet (The Death of Pinochet)”
Marta Rodriguez – “Our Voice of Earth, Memory and Future,” “Campesinos (Peasants)”

Executives
Ozzie Areu
Barbara Peiro
Frank Rodriguez
Mimi Valdes

Film Editors
Alejandro Carrillo Penovi – “Heroic Losers,” “The Clan”
Alex Marquez – “Snowden,” “Savages”

Makeup Artists and Hairstylists
Mari Paz Robles – “I Dream in Another Language,” “Cantinflas”
David Ruiz Gameros – “Tear This Heart Out,” “Amores Perros”
Susana Sánchez – “The Liberator,” “Goya’s Ghosts”

Marketing and Public Relations
Inma Carbajal-Fogel
Emmanuelle Castro
Fernando Garcia
Dustin M. Sandoval

Music
Andrea Guerra – “The Pursuit of Happyness,” “Hotel Rwanda”
Arturo Sandoval – “Richard Jewell,” “The Mule”

Producers
Edher Campos – “Sonora, the Devil’s Highway,” “The Golden Dream”
Nicolas Celis – “Roma,” “Tempestad”
Alex Garcia – “Kong: Skull Island,” “Desierto”
Enrique López Lavigne – “The Impossible,” “Sex and Lucia”
Álvaro Longoria – “Everybody Knows,” “Finding Altamira”
Mónica Lozano – “I Dream in Another Language,” “Instructions Not Included”
Gabriela Maire – “Las Niñas Bien (The Good Girls),” “La Caridad (Charity)”
Luis Manso – “Champions,” “Binta and the Great 
Gabriela Rodríguez – “Roma,” “Gravity”
Mar Targarona – “Secuestro (Boy Missing),” “The Orphanage”
Luis Urbano – “Letters from War,” “Tabu”

Production Design
Sandra Cabriada – “Instructions Not Included,” “The Mexican”
Estefanía Larraín – “A Fantastic Woman,” “Neruda”

Short Films and Feature Animation
José David Figueroa García – “Perfidia,” “Ratitas”
Oscar Grillo – “Monsters, Inc.,” “Monsieur Pett”
Otto Guerra – “City of Pirates,” “Wood & Stock: Sexo, Orégano e Rock’n’Roll”
Isabel Herguera – “Winter Love,” “Under the Pillow”
Summer Joy Main-Muñoz – “Don’t Say No,” “La Cerca”
Juan Pablo Zaramella – “Luminaris,” “The Glove”

Sound
David Esparza – “The Magnificent Seven,” “The Equalizer”

Visual Effects
Leandro Estebecorena – “The Irishman,” “Kong: Skull Island”

Members-at-Large
Daniel Molina
Carlos Morales
Jesse Torres