Mexico Submits Lila Avilés’ “Totem” for 2024 Oscars Best International Feature Film Race

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.

Lila Avilés,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.

Lila Avilés, TotemOther cast members include stars Montserrat Marañon, Marisol Gasê, Saori Gurza, Mateo García Elizondo, Teresita Sánchez, Francisco Maldonado, Iazua Larios and Alberto Amador.

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.

Bleecker Street Acquires North American Rights to Michel Franco’s Family Drama “Sundown”

Things are looking Bleecker for Michel Franco

Bleecker Street has acquired the North American rights to Sundown, the latest film from the 42-year-old Mexican writer-director.

Michel Franco

The film has its world premiere this fall at the Venice Film Festival. A 2022 theatrical release in the U.S. is in the works for the tense family drama.

Tim Roth reunites with Franco (he starred in Franco’s 2015 pic Chronic) to star in Sundown with Charlotte Gainsbourg, Iazua Larios and Henry Goodman.

Roth and Gainsbourg play Neil and Alice, the core of a wealthy British family on vacation in Acapulco with younger members Colin (Samuel Bottomley) and Alexa (Albertine Kotting McMillan) until a distant emergency cuts their trip short. When one relative disrupts the family’s tight-knit order, simmering tensions rise to the fore revealing long-gestating rifts.

“Michel Franco’s film is an incisive look into the human psyche,” Bleecker Street CEO Andrew Karpen said Tuesday. “Tim Roth and Charlotte Gainbourg give such powerful performances you can’t take your eyes off the screen as their stories unfold.”

Michel Franco’s “Sundown” Named to Official Competition Lineup for BFI London Film Festival

Michel Franco is preparing for Sundown in England…

The BFI London Film Festival has confirmed an eight-strong lineup for its Official Competition this year, with the 42-year-old Mexican film director, screenwriter and producer’s latest project making the cut.

Michel Franco

Franco’s Sundown is the only film from a Latinx filmmaker set to compete at the festival.

The drama, written and directed by Franco, stars Tim RothCharlotte Gainsbourg, Iazua LariosHenry Goodman, Albertine Kotting McMillan and Samuel Bottomley.

Sundown, which centers on a wealthy man who attempts to abandon his family on vacation, is schedule to have its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on September 5, 2021.

Here’s the complete list of movies in competition:

Belle (Japan, dir-scr. Mamoru Hosoda)
Il Buco (Italy-Germany-France, dir. Michelangelo Frammartino)
The Hand Of God (Italy, dir-scr. Paolo Sorrentino)
Nitram (Australia, dir. Justin Kurzel)
Hit The Road (Iran, dir. Panah Panahi)
Sundown (Mexico-France-Sweden, dir-scr. Michel Franco)
Lingui, The Sacred Bonds (Chad-France-Germany-Belgium, dir-scr. Mahamat-Saleh Haroun)
True Things (UK, dir. Harry Wootliff)

A jury will select a winning film, to be announced at the LFF Awards Ceremony on October 17.

“With Official Competition our aim is to present a curated programme that showcases the breadth and richness of international cinema for our audiences. Anyone new to the LFF should consider Official Competition a big neon sign that is blinking: “enter here”. This eight film selection is full of individual cinematic diamonds – each one unique and beautiful in its own way. Together they are dazzling and demonstrate the endless potential of cinema in the hands of a great filmmaker. With a selection like this we have made the jury’s job very difficult indeed,” said LFF Director Tricia Tuttle.