Jayro Bustamante to Direct World War II Drama “Down Wind”

Jayro Bustamante is heading down wind

The 45-year-old Guatemalan film director and screenwriter, whose most recent film La Llorona made the Oscar international film shortlist, is partnering with Panama’s award-winning Hypatia Films and Jonathan Keasey of Mind Riot Entertainment to make the World War II drama Down Wind.

Jayro BustamanteThe film marks a rare collaboration between two major Central American filmmakers and an American writer-producer.

Bustamante will direct based on a screenplay by Keasey, who has also boarded as a producer.

The drama’s lead production company, Hypatia Films, run by Pituka Ortega Heilbron and Marcela Heilbron, is an associate producer on Claire DenisCannes Film Festival competition contender The Stars at Noon, which was filmed in Panama and on which Hypatia provided production services.

Inspired by true events, Down Wind (a working title) is sourced from an article concerning incidents that transpired in the U.S. Southwest towards the end of World War II.

Ortega Heilbron who hopes to shoot the film on location in New Mexico and tap its robust incentives.

For Bustamante, for what would be his first film in English, albeit with some Spanish dialogue, the idea of making Down Wind immediately appealed to him.

“My career has always been tied to themes of discrimination against indigenous people,” said Bustamante, who’s in post on his fourth film and prepping his fifth.

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.

Jayro Bustamante’s “La Llorona” Wins Peabody Award

Jayro Bustamante is celebrating a special award…

The 44-year-old Guatemalan film director and screenwriter has won a Peabody Award for his critically acclaimed horror film La Llorona.

Jayro Bustamante

The Peabody Awards recognize the year’s most compelling and empowering stories in broadcasting and streaming media, with topics that in the year 2020 included COVID-19, racial equality, immigration and social justice.

Bustamante’s La Llorona is a reworking of the well-known Latin American folk tale about a weeping woman. The film relies on the lyrical potential of the ghost story genre. The power of this gripping project is its inventive approach to visualizing the pains of a nation’s collective memory.

“It’s a quietly powerful indictment of justice delayed and a visceral embodiment of accountability politics that rightly centers Guatemala’s indigenous population,” said the jurors of Bustamante’s film.

A total of 30 awards were handed out this year for the Peabodys, presented by the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia.

There were 60 nominees this year, with winners selected by 19 jurors who considered 1,300 entries across TV, podcasts/radio and the web in entertainment, news, documentary, arts, children’s/youth, public service and multimedia programming.

Here’s the full 2020 winners list with Peabody jurors’ comments:

ENTERTAINMENT

Small Axe (Amazon Studios)
BBC Studios Americas Inc. and Amazon Studios

This anthology series by Steve McQueen focuses on Black West Indian immigrant stories in post-war Britain. It honors the sacrifices made, hardships endured, culture asserted, and battles fought—the small and large acts of courage and confidence—all for the dreams of possibility and becoming. Portrayed through the poetics and intimacies of everyday life, the richness of culture and music, and the collective power of social movement and political action, Small Axe is a stunning emotional testament, offered as both political prism and intellectual history.

I May Destroy You
 (HBO)
HBO in association with BBC, Various Artists Limited, and FALKNA

One of the year’s most critically-acclaimed series is the provocative brainchild of British screenwriter, director, producer, and actor, Michaela Coel. The story centers on her character Arabella, who awakens from a night on the town with fragmented memories of having been sexually assaulted. With a compelling narrative that mirrors the structural rhythms of psychological trauma, the show defines the emergent subgenre of consent drama and takes center stage in a developing cultural conversation around complex issues of sexuality and consent, freedom and abuse, friendship and trust.

La Llorona (Shudder)
La Casa de Producción

Jayro Bustamante’s reworking of that well-known Latin American folk tale about a weeping woman relies on the lyrical potential of the ghost story genre. The power of this gripping film is its inventive approach to visualizing the pains of a nation’s collective memory. It is a quietly powerful indictment of justice delayed and a visceral embodiment of accountability politics that rightly centers Guatemala’s indigenous population.

The Good Lord Bird (Showtime)
Showtime Presents Blumhouse Television, Mark 924 Entertainment, Under the Influence Productions

Part fiction, part history, and part dramatic satire, this Showtime limited series boldly yet humorously examines the enigmatic abolitionist John Brown. With Ethan Hawke’s rich and complex portrayal of a madman who would become a martyr, Brown’s competing legacies are given ample room to coexist. The miniseries can’t help but follow in his wake and give us an irreverent history lesson that feels fresh and pressing for our times.

Unorthodox (Netflix)
Studio Airlift and RealFilm for Netflix

A riveting thriller, the series takes a hard look at how a religious community enforces strict gender roles to maintain its identity no matter the human cost. With the raw and authentic Shira Haas as Esty, Unorthodox merges a stark portrayal of religious oppression with a coming-of-age story that resonates with gritty, desperate innocence.

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (CBS)
CBS Studios

With filming restrictions in place, Stephen Colbert decided to move production of his CBS Late Show to his home outside of Charleston, a remarkably successful transformation of the late-night television model by a host inviting us into his home, rather than his typical comforting presence in our living rooms and bedrooms. Amidst suffering in a global pandemic, a public fed up with police violence against African Americans, and a morally contemptuous president fighting for his political life, Colbert’s kindness, gentle spirit, and deeply felt ethical nature provided a nightly salve the nation desperately needed.

Ted Lasso (Apple TV+)
Apple/Doozer Productions in association with Warner Bros Television and Universal Television

What this presumably Ugly American, fish-out-of-water tale offers us is a charming dose of radical optimism, with an equally endearing Jason Sudeikis as Ted Lasso. It turns out that more than simply a sports coach, Ted is remarkably good at honest communication with others, affecting change by being a deeply good human, one with his own quiet anxieties and pain. The Apple TV+ series is the perfect counter to the enduring prevalence of toxic masculinity, both on-screen and off, in a moment when the nation truly needs inspiring models of kindness.

DOCUMENTARY

The Cave (National Geographic)
A Danish Documentary Production, in Co-Production with Ma.Ja.De Hecat Studio Paris Madam Films for National Geographic Documentary Films

Director Feras Fayyad’s astonishing documentary tells the story of a subterranean network of tunnels that function as a hospital in Syria, where the besieged residents of war-torn Al-Ghouta come for relatively safe medical care. Most are greeted by Dr. Amani Ballour, a female doctor in her late 20s, who serves as the hospital’s managing physician. The hospital endures everything from the constant fear of daily bombing raids to the heartbreak of children suffocating in war-crime chemical attacks. These haunting and harrowing images are necessary cries for help for these seemingly forgotten victims.

Welcome to Chechnya (HBO)
Public Square Films, Ninety Thousand Words, Maylo Films, BBC Storyville and HBO Documentary Films

Filmed in secret with the use of hidden cameras and cell phones, David France’s documentary details the brutal ongoing purge of LGBTQ Chechens in the closed Russian republic by a government-directed system of abduction, torture, and execution. The film follows undercover activists who risk their own safety to deliver rescued victims to safe houses and provide visa assistance for their refuge. The film employs innovative techniques of artificial intelligence and facial replacement visual effects to protect the identities of the subjects while delivering a harrowing story of ruthless persecution, audacious courage and human survival.

Collective
 (HBO Europe)
Alexander Nanau Production, Samsa Film

In the aftermath of a nightclub fire in Bucharest, the survivors suffering from non-life threatening burn injuries mysteriously begin dying. Journalists from the Gazeta Sporturilor newspaper probe into why, and their enterprising investigation, supported by key whistleblowers, is captured by director Alexander Nanau’s intimate and breathtaking cinema vérité film. What unfolds is a staggering exposure of official corruption that reaches from the highest levels of government and infects the entire health care system.

Immigration Nation (Netflix)
A Reel Peak Films Production for Netflix

Christina Clusiau and Shaul Schwarz’s six-part documentary on the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency shows how bureaucrats and officers working across different, seemingly unconnected domains make up a complex and terrorizing system. With rare access to detention facilities, ICE agents on duty, immigrant families, and lawyers and activists, the filmmakers reveal how individual and collective justifications of “we are just doing our job” rationalize a punishing system.

Crip Camp (Netflix)
A Higher Ground and Rusted Spoke Production in association with Little Punk/JustFilms/Ford Foundation

Nicole Newnham and James LeBrecht’s film features a group of summer campers who first met at Camp Jened in upstate New York in the early 1970s and went on to become key players and activists in the Disability Rights Movement in the U.S. With an unapologetic spirit and a welcome cheekiness found in its archival footage, the documentary gives us a glimpse into the warmth of the teenagers’ discovery of independence, romance, and themselves, while also offering an inspiring history of a space where people found the strength and the sense of community to take on a fight to change the very world around us.

76 Days
76 Days LLC/MTV Documentary Films

This is a hopeful film that does more than just document the beginning of the global pandemic in the lockdown period of Wuhan, China—the city in which cases of the coronavirus were first reported. It is a film about resilience, compassion, empathy, improvisation, the power of human touch and caring hearts as much as it is about panic, suffering, and indiscriminate victims. Using a direct cinema technique across four hospitals, the film captures frontline workers and the sick and dying while eschewing the story of politics and government action and statistics.

Asian Americans (PBS)
CAAM, WETA, Flash Cuts LLC, Tajima-Peña Productions, ITVS

Renee Tajima-Peña’s five-part documentary series places Asian communities at the center of debates about belonging and citizenship in America. The series asks us to consider who gets to be at the center of these American stories, offering the requisite national, ethnic, religious, political, linguistic, and cultural diversity that make up Asian American communities across the country today. In turn, we move beyond a singular representative testimony and bear witness to varying, complex, and touching portraits of individuals, identities, enclaves, and movements, collectively born in the face of tragedy and in spite of the burdens of trauma.

Time (Amazon Studios)
Concordia Studio, GB Feature LLC and Amazon Studios

This remarkable story of love and the impact of incarceration on a family is detailed through the multiple, often elusive registers of time—slow time, long time, happy time, missed time, hopeful time, and arrested time. In this brilliantly conceived, beautifully realized, and brutally honest chronicle, we travel with Fox Rich and her family toward her husband’s release and their collective freedom. Carefully building and then mining the archive of family memories, home movies, prison visits, high school and college graduations, filmmaker Garrett Bradley proffers viewers the power of dreams and the struggle to shape and sustain love and life across the divides of incarceration.

PODCAST/RADIO

The Promise: Season 2 (Nashville Public Radio)
Nashville Public Radio

Host Meribah Knight examines Warner Elementary, one of the most racially and economically lopsided schools in Nashville, especially when compared with the high-performing, almost all-white school just one mile away. Taking aim at nice, well-meaning white parents in an increasingly gentrified neighborhood, season 2 of The Promise chronicles the decades-long fight against desegregation as well as Warner’s uphill battle to turn itself around. The podcast carefully lays out how the current school system is inherently dependent on the resources white households provide, both creating and perpetuating systemic inequality in the process that most affects Black students.

Post Reports: The Life of George Floyd (The Washington Post)

George Floyd’s death ignited a global movement to end the plague of state violence against African Americans. Rather than focus on his death, The Washington Post sought to answer a simple but enlightening question: “What about his life?” Rather than a straightforward biography, their special podcast episode offers a more expansive view of Floyd’s life, keenly laying out how systemic racism operates across many institutions, creating sharply disparate outcomes in housing, education, the economy, law enforcement, and health care. The Post Reports team sketches a moving portrait of a man and of a nation, one that feels all the more archetypal for its familiar trappings.

Floodlines (The Atlantic)

This captivating podcast is a comprehensive story of Hurricane Katrina and its social, cultural, psychological, political, economic, and environmental aftermath and impact. From the national media’s ready-made criminalization of Black residents and their worthiness to be rescued, to the insensitive early response of national government officials, Floodlines also asks us to consider what happens to place, home, relationships, and community when politics, incompetence, and indifference are at the core of how we regard each other.

NEWS

ABC News 20/20 in collaboration with The Courier Journal: Say Her Name: Breonna Taylor (ABC)
ABC News 20/20 + Courier Journal

ABC News 20/20 and The Courier Journal’s two-hour documentary special presents a holistic picture of the events that led to the police killing of Breonna Taylor on March 13, 2020. Tracing the botched police investigations and operation that resulted in officers arriving at Taylor’s apartment building, this report is a lucid investigation that goes for the granular without losing sight of the systemic and structural fissures that led to her death. Exhaustive forensic reporting paints Taylor as more than the symbol she’s become, yet also reminds us why this case symbolizes how the demands for justice and police reform are so necessary.

PBS NewsHour: Desperate Journey (PBS)
PBS NewsHour

The plight of migrants and refugees is often fraught with danger, but the Darien Gap, a treacherous and lawless 66-mile trail through the wilderness on the border of Columbia and Panama, might be the most dangerous path to freedom on the planet. PBS special correspondent Nadja Drost and videographer Bruno Federico put themselves at great risk to join this caravan. What could be more consequential in helping viewers to understand the desperation of these migrants than the image of them stepping over the skeletal remains of those who have gone before them and failed?

PBS NewsHour: Coverage of the COVID-19 Pandemic (PBS)
PBS NewsHour

Relentless and comprehensive reporting from PBS NewsHour gave us the best news coverage of a once-in-a-century global pandemic. Their work on “Global Pandemic” covered the pandemic’s human toll on five continents, in countries already hit hard by war, famine, and death. In the United States, “Making Sense: The Victims of COVID” put a spotlight on the millions who lost their jobs, the devastating impact on restaurants, and the near shutdown of the travel industry, while shedding new light on how the pandemic revealed and exacerbated astonishing racial disparities in American health outcomes.

Whose Vote Counts (PBS/GBH)
Frontline, Columbia Journalism Investigations, USA Today Network

From the legal battles over primary election absentee ballots to how the pandemic would exacerbate unfounded concerns over “rampant voter fraud” in November, Whose Vote Counts presents a clear breakdown of the way racial inequities, COVID-19, and voter suppression became interlinked crises in 2020. In collaboration with Columbia Journalism Investigations, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and USA Today, the team at FRONTLINE and writer Jelani Cobb offer a probing and thorough investigation into the simple question of the piece’s title.

Vice on Showtime: Losing Ground (Showtime)
Vice News

Correspondent Alzo Slade explores how a little-known type of ownership known as “heirs property” leaves African Americans especially vulnerable to losing their property to unscrupulous developers through arcane and ethically questionable legal mechanisms. The abstract maneuvers occur in piecemeal, hard-to-follow fashion, but the cumulative result is that entire families are displaced and inheritances lost. Losing Ground dramatizes how the law so often favors the ruthless and illuminates a dark side of American property rights.

Muslim in Trump’s America (Exposure) (ITV)
Fuuse Films

In this rigorously reported film that chronicles the dangerous climate created around Muslims and other groups targeted during Trump’s presidency, director Deeyah Khan investigates the connection between rising hate crimes and state-sponsored racism with stories of those at the center of the storm: the downward spiral of a Kansas farmer serving 30 years for an anti-Muslim bomb plot; the conspiracy-filled world of right wing, armed militia who believe that Islam is infiltrating the United States; the painful reality of Muslims whose loved ones were hunted and killed by white supremacists; and the complex duties of embattled lawmakers such as Minnesota’s Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.

Full Disclosure (KNXV-TV)
ABC15 Arizona

Digging into Arizona’s “Brady list,” a system designed to track police officers with histories of lying and committing crimes in hopes of keeping police accountable, this hour-long special from ABC15 Arizona offers a stark portrait not only of why the system is broken, but why it has never been fixed. The yearlong investigation, with exhaustive reporting and damning video footage, demonstrates how law enforcement agencies rarely adhere to their own legal standards in keeping and disseminating such misconduct reports.

China Undercover (PBS/GBH)
Frontline

This documentary uncovers the story of China’s arresting an estimated two million Uyghur Muslims and putting them in concentration camps—what experts says is the largest mass incarceration of an ethnic group since the Holocaust. But the report also makes the case that this is a massive experiment in developing the most complete surveillance state in history, as the government employs technologies such as advanced algorithmic facial recognition software and houses marked with digital barcodes to monitor and ultimately detain Muslims whose behavior is “predicted” as threatening.

PUBLIC SERVICE

Cops and Robbers (Netflix)
Chemical Soup, Lawrence Bender Productions, Netflix

Timothy Ware-Hill and Arnon Manor’s animated short film, derived from the Ware-Hill poem, evokes the make-believe childhood game that rings quite differently for young Black kids, whose interactions with police officers do not make for such lighthearted play. Ruminating on his younger years, Ware-Hill paints a portrait of the innocence young Black boys like him are seldom afforded. But if the poem centers on his singular memories, the animated visuals that accompany this piece—produced by 30 individual artists, students and VFX companies from around the world—encompass many distinct animated styles, speaking to the shared, lived experience of many.

Facing Race (KING-TV)
KING 5

This audacious series tackles the deep-rooted subject of racial inequality, racism, racial privilege, and the systematic ways in which race structures and impacts the public and personal life of Seattle residents. From criminal justice to health disparities, environmental racism to land policy ramifications for Native American communities, the reporting team covers the magnitude and depth of the story sensitively yet critically. In particular, the series is attentive as well to the powerful emotional and psychological impact of racism and racial trauma, particularly among parents, trans-racial adoptees, and multiracial youth.

CHILDREN’S & YOUTH

Stillwater (Apple TV+)
Apple/Scholastic Entertainment/Gaumont

Designed to get its young audience to embrace mindfulness, empathy, and kindness, and to rejoice in the chance to rejoice in the quiet wonders of the world around them, Stillwater is a calm and soothing balm in the typically frenetic world of children’s television. Its essence is best captured by the patience of voice actor James Sie, who makes the titular character as much a role model for kids as for those parents watching. Structured around a number of parables told by the affable panda bear to his three young neighbors, every episode feels like an engrossing painting come to life that demands you slow down and take care to relish its every brushstroke.

The Owl House
 (Disney Channel)
Disney Television Animation

Alice in Wonderland. Dorothy in Oz. Coraline in Other World. To that list we should now add: Luz in Boiling Isles. Luz crosses a mysterious threshold and finds herself in a magical, colorful land where she finds both the strength and the support group she needs to become who she’s meant to be. The Dana Terrace-created animated series builds a wildly inventive other world that makes room for everyone and gives queer kids a welcome template alongside which to explore their own budding creative energies.

INSTITUTIONAL WINNER

Array

Founded in 2011 by filmmaker Ava DuVernay, ARRAY is as much a center for disruptive institutional and narrative change as it is a production house. Indeed, its creative campus in Filipinotown, Los Angeles is itself a rejection of antiquated Hollywood thinking, not just in foregrounding absent voices and missing representations in front of and behind the camera by people of color and women, but in reimagining how projects are greenlit, created, produced, and distributed, and by whom. In ten short years, ARRAY has built the institutional infrastructure to produce award-winning content. Yet ARRAY is also deeply invested in the social impact of its work, creating educational and learning materials for much of its content. It’s easy to see that DuVernay and her women-led team at ARRAY have not waited for permission to build, create, grow, and envision a different and more equitable future for neglected filmmakers, artists, and social activists. Through brilliant visioning and old-fashioned sweat equity, ARRAY has crafted a new way forward in an industry heavily resistant to change.

CAREER ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Sam Pollard 

A renowned editor, director and producer across film and television, Sam Pollard’s remarkable work critically conveys the historical reach of anti-Blackness, racial injustice and the enduring power of black freedom struggles. With tremendous insight and sensitivity, he mines the rich archives of African American life and culture portraying indomitable stories of struggle and determination. In the process he elevates the ordinary, stresses the pleasures, care, and compassion of Black people and ultimately serves as our guide to the power of Black freedom dreams. A Professor at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Pollard’s mentorship and teaching of a new generation of documentary storytellers continues his impact in the field and in the world. With his indomitable energy and insatiable curiosity, his generosity as a colleague, mentor, collaborator, his acute sensitivity to the complex modalities of black life and his undying commitment to social justice, Pollard is a virtuoso who continues to identify, document, curate and shape some of the most important and enduring stories that matter.

PEABODY AWARD FOR JOURNALISTIC INTEGRITY

Judy Woodruff

With an award-winning career that spans more than five decades, Judy Woodruff, the anchor and managing editor of the PBS NewsHour, represents the best of television news and is one of the most trusted broadcast journalists in America. In a world where “opinion” programs and personalities often dominate the media landscape, Woodruff has earned her reputation for delivering unbiased, fact-based news stories without the hype. From the beginning of her career, Woodruff rose quickly through the ranks of TV newsrooms, from local Atlanta television news to NBC to CNN to PBS. In 2016, Woodruff became the sole anchor and managing editor of the PBS NewsHour. Throughout her career, Woodruff has been an outspoken advocate of the First Amendment, upholding the importance of a free and unfettered press as critical to the survival of our democracy. Never has that been more critical—never has journalistic integrity been more critical—than where we find ourselves today. For her extraordinary contributions to American television, for her groundbreaking work, and for her commitment to telling us the truth, the Board of Jurors is proud to salute Judy Woodruff with the first-ever Peabody Award for Journalistic Integrity.

Jayro Bustamante’s “La Llorona” Makes Oscars Short List in International Feature Film Category

Jayro Bustamante is one step closer to having a date with Oscar…

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has revealed its shortlist of International Feature Film potential nominees, with the Guatemalan film director and screenwriter’s supernatural horror drama La Llorona making the grade.

Jayro Bustamante

Bustamante’s third feature film, representing his native Guatemala in the race, is rooted in the more recent history of Guatemala’s ruthless military leaders and their efforts in erasing indigenous tribes.

La Llorona recently made history as the first Central American film to earn a Golden Globe nomination.

But Bustamante isn’t the only Latinx director to have a project make the shortlist…

Maite Alberdi’s The Mole Agent, representing Chile, is among the 15 shortlisted films…

The 37-year-old Chilean writer/director’s documentary centers on a private investigator in Chile hires someone to work as a mole at a retirement home where a client of his suspects the caretakers of elder abuse.

Fernando Frías de la Parra’s I’m No Longer Here, representing Mexico, still has an Oscar shot as well…

Written and directed by the 42-year-old Mexican filmmaker, the film has been called “a thoughtful portrait of cultural identity.” It centers on a teen from Monterrey, Mexico who forges a new life in Queens, New York.

The full Oscar nominations will be announced on March 15, and ABC will air the 93rd annual Academy Awards live on April 25.

Here are the shortlisted films:

INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM
Bosnia and Herzegovina, Quo Vadis, Aida?
Chile, The Mole Agent
Czech Republic, Charlatan
Denmark, Another Round
France, Two of Us
Guatemala, La Llorona
Hong Kong, Better Days
Iran, Sun Children
Ivory Coast, Night of the Kings
Mexico, I’m No Longer Here
Norway, Hope
Romania, Collective
Russia, Dear Comrades!
Taiwan, A Sun
Tunisia, The Man Who Sold His Skin

La Llorona

The Mole Agent

I’m No Longer Here


 

Lin-Manuel Miranda Earns Two Golden Globe Nominations for “Hamilton” Movie

It’s a golden age for Lin-Manuel Miranda

Nominations for the 78th annual Golden Globe Awards have been revealed by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for the best in film and television, with the 41-year-old Puerto Rican actor, singer, composer, lyricist and playwright earning two nods.

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Miranda is nominated in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy category for his work in the filmed version of his Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Hamilton.

Miranda also earned a nod as the film’s producer when Hamilton was nominated in the Best Picture – Musical or Comedy category.

With this year’s nominations, Miranda has received five nominations in his career, including a previous nod in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy category for his work in Mary Poppins Returns.

Jared Leto is celebrating a Little acknowledgement…

The 49-year-old part-Spanish American actor picked up a nod in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture for his work in The Little Things.

Leto previously won a Golden Globe for his performance in Dallas Buyers Club.

Jayro Bustamante has earned his first-ever Golden Globe nominated…

The 46-year-old Guatemalan film director and screenwriter earned a nod in the Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language category for his helming La Llorona.

Helena Bonham Carter is back in the running again…

The 54-year-old part-Spanish actress has earned her second consecutive nod in the Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or TV Movie category for her performance as Princess Margaret on Netflix’s The Crown.

Like the rest of the award-show staples this year, the pandemic has forced shifts to both timelines and eligibility rules.

The 78th annual Golden Globes ceremony on NBC is usually in January, but with the Oscars’ movie to April 25, this year’s awards show is set for February 28.

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler return to host and will do so separately in a ceremony hosted live in New York (by Fey) and in Los Angeles (by Poehler).

Here’s the full list of nominees:

MOTION PICTURES

BEST MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
The Father (Trademark Films; Sony Pictures Classics)
Mank (Netflix; Netflix)
Nomadland (Highwayman / Hear/Say / Cor Cordium; Searchlight Pictures)
Promising Young Woman (LuckyChap Entertainment / FilmNation Entertainment; Focus Features)
The Trial Of The Chicago 7 (Marc Platt Productions / Dreamworks Pictures; Netflix)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
Viola Davis, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Andra Day, The United States Vs. Billie Holiday
Vanessa Kirby, Pieces of a Woman
Frances McDormand, Nomadland
Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – DRAMA
Riz Ahmed, Sound of Metal
Chadwick Boseman, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Anthony Hopkins, The Father
Gary Oldman, Mank
Tahar Rahim, The Mauritanian

BEST MOTION PICTURE – MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (Four By Two Films; Amazon Studios)
Hamilton (Walt Disney Pictures / Radicalmedia / 5000 Broadway Productions / Nevis Productions / Old 320 Sycamore Pictures; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Music (Pineapple Lasagne Productions / Landay Entertainment; Vertical Entertainment / Imax)
Palm Springs (Party Over Here / Limelight Productions; Neon / Hulu)
The Prom (Netflix / Dramatic Forces / Storykey Entertainment; Netflix)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A MOTION PICTURE – MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Maria Bakalova, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
Kate Hudson, Music
Michelle Pfeiffer, French Exit
Rosamund Pike, I Care A Lot
Anya Taylor-Joy, Emma

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A MOTION PICTURE – MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Sacha Baron Cohen, Borat Subsequent Moviefilm
James Corden, The Prom
Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton
Dev Patel, The Personal History of David Copperfield
Andy Samberg, Palm Springs

BEST MOTION PICTURE – ANIMATED
The Croods: A New Age (Dreamworks Animation; Universal Pictures)
Onward (Walt Disney Pictures / Pixar Animation Studios; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Over The Moon
(Netflix / Pearl Studio / Glen Keane Productions; Netflix)
Soul (Walt Disney Pictures / Pixar Animation Studios; Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Wolfwalkers (Cartoon Saloon / Melusine; Apple / Gkids)

BEST MOTION PICTURE – FOREIGN LANGUAGE
Another Round (Denmark) (Zentropa Entertainments; Samuel Goldwyn Films)
La Llorona (Guatemala / France) (La Casa De Producción / Les Films Du Volcan; Shudder)
The Life Ahead (Italy) (Palomar; Netflix)
Minari (Usa) (Plan B; A24)
Two Of Us (France / Usa) (Paprika Films; Magnolia Pictures)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN ANY MOTION PICTURE
Glenn Close, Hillbilly Elegy
Olivia Colman, The Father
Jodie Foster, The Mauritanian
Amanda Seyfried, Mank
Helena Zengel, News Of The World

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN ANY MOTION PICTURE
Sacha Baron Cohen, The Trial of The Chicago 7
Daniel Kaluuya, Judas and The Black Messiah
Jared Leto, The Little Things
Bill Murray, On The Rocks
Leslie Odom Jr, One Night In Miami

BEST DIRECTOR – MOTION PICTURE
Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman
David Fincher, Mank
Regina King, One Night In Miami
Aaron Sorkin, The Trial of The Chicago 7
Chloé Zhao, Nomadland

BEST SCREENPLAY – MOTION PICTURE
Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman
Jack Fincher, Mank
Aaron Sorkin, The Trial of The Chicago 7
Florian Zeller, Christopher Hampton, The Father
Chloé Zhao, Nomadland

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE – MOTION PICTURE
Alexandre Desplat, The Midnight Sky
Ludwig Göransson, Tenet
James Newton Howard, News Of The World
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Mank
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross, Jon Batiste, Soul

BEST ORIGINAL SONG – MOTION PICTURE
“Fight For You” — Judas And The Black Messiah
Music By: H.E.R., Dernst Emile Ii
Lyrics By: H.E.R., Tiara Thomas
“Hear My Voice” — The Trial Of The Chicago 7
Music By: Daniel Pemberton
Lyrics By: Daniel Pemberton, Celeste Waite
“Io Sì (Seen)” — The Life Ahead
Music By: Diane Warren
Lyrics By: Diane Warren, Laura Pausini, Niccolò Agliardi
“Speak Now” — One Night In Miami
Music By: Leslie Odom Jr, Sam Ashworth
Lyrics By:Vleslie Odom Jr, Sam Ashworth
“Tigress & Tweed” — The United States Vs. Billie Holiday
Music By: Andra Day, Raphael Saadiq
Lyrics By:Vandra Day, Raphael Saadiq

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
The Crown – Netflix (Left Bank Pictures / Sony Pictures Television)
Lovecraft Country – HBO (HBO / Afemme / Monkeypaw / Bad Robot / Warner Bros. Television)
The Mandalorian – Disney+ (Lucasfilm Ltd.)
Ozark – Netflix (Mrc Television)
Ratched – Netflix (Fox21 Television Studios)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
Olivia Colman, The Crown
Jodie Comer, Killing Eve
Emma Corrin, The Crown
Laura Linney, Ozark
Sarah Paulson, Ratched

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – DRAMA
Jason Bateman, Ozark
Josh O’Connor, The Crown
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
Al Pacino, Hunters
Matthew Rhys, Perry Mason

BEST TELEVISION SERIES – MUSICAL OR COMEDY

Emily In Paris – Netflix (Darren Star Productions / Jax Media / Mtv Studios)
The Flight Attendant – HBO Max (HBO Max / Berlanti Productions / Yes, Norman Productions / Warner Bros. Television)
The Great – Hulu (Hulu / Civic Center Media / Mrc)
Schitt’s Creek – Pop TV
(Not A Real Company Productions / Canadian Broadcast Company / Pop TV)
Ted Lasso – Apple TV+ (Apple / Doozer Productions / Warner Bros. Television / Universal Television)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SERIES – MUSICAL OR COMEDY
Lily Collins, Emily In Paris
Kaley Cuoco, The Flight Attendant
Elle Fanning, The Great
Jane Levy, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist
Catherine O’hara, Schitt’s Creek

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SERIES – MUSICAL OR COMEDY

Don Cheadle, Black Monday
Nicholas Hoult, The Great
Eugene Levy, Schitt’s Creek
Jason Sudeikis, Ted Lasso
Ramy Youssef, Ramy

BEST TELEVISION LIMITED SERIES, ANTHOLOGY SERIES OR MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Normal People – Hulu (Hulu / BBC / Element Pictures)
The Queen’s Gambit – Netflix (Netflix)
Small Axe – Amazon Studios (BBC Studios Americas, Inc / Amazon Studios)

The Undoing – HBO (HBO / Made Up Stories / Blossom Films/David E. Kelley Productions)
Unorthodox – Netflix
(Studio Airlift / Realfilm)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES, ANTHOLOGY SERIES OR A MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Cate Blanchett, Mrs. America
Daisy Edgar-Jones, Normal People
Shira Haas, Unorthodox
Nicole Kidman, The Undoing
Anya Taylor-Joy, The Queen’s Gambit

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A LIMITED SERIES, ANTHOLOGY SERIES OR A MOTION PICTURE MADE FOR TELEVISION
Bryan Cranston, Your Honor
Jeff Daniels, The Comey Rule
Hugh Grant, The Undoing
Ethan Hawke, The Good Lord Bird
Mark Ruffalo, I Know This Much Is True

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS IN A TELEVISION SUPPORTING ROLE
Gillian Anderson, The Crown
Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown
Julia Garner, Ozark
Annie Murphy, Schitt’s Creek
Cynthia Nixon, Ratched

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR IN A TELEVISION SUPPORTING ROLE
John Boyega, Small Axe
Brendan Gleeson, The Comey Rule
Daniel Levy, Schitt’s Creek
Jim Parsons, Hollywood
Donald Sutherland, The Undoing

National Board of Review Names Jayro Bustamante’s “La Llorona” Best Foreign Language Film

Jayro Bustamante is celebrating a big honor…

The National Board of Review has announced its award winners for 2020, with the 46-year-old Guatemalan film director and screenwriter earning a prize.

Jayro Bustamante

Bustamante’s La Llorona took home the award for Best Foreign Language Film.

La Llorona centers on an aging paranoid war criminal, protected by his faithful wife, who faces death while being haunted by the ghosts of his past.

Meanwhile, Maite Alberdi‘s The Mole Agent was named to the NBR‘s Top 5 Foreign Language Films list.

The film centers on an 83-year-old man who poses as a resident in a Chilean nursing home to see if he can find signs of abuse.

Here’s the full list of NBR winners:

Best Film
DA 5 BLOODS

Best Director
Spike Lee, DA 5 BLOODS

Best Actor
Riz Ahmed, SOUND OF METAL

Best Actress
Carey Mulligan, PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN

Best Supporting Actor
Paul Raci, SOUND OF METAL

Best Supporting Actress
Youn Yuh-jung, MINARI

Best Adapted Screenplay
Paul Greengrass & Luke Davies, NEWS OF THE WORLD

Best Original Screenplay
Lee Isaac Chung, MINARI

Breakthrough Performance
Sidney Flanigan, NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS

Best Directorial Debut
Channing Godfrey Peoples, MISS JUNETEENTH

Best Animated Feature
SOUL

Best Foreign Language Film
LA LLORONA

Best Documentary
TIME

NBR Icon Award
Chadwick Boseman

NBR Freedom of Expression Award
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI

NBR Spotlight Award
Radha Blank for writing, directing, producing and starring in THE FORTY-YEAR-OLD VERSION

Best Ensemble
DA 5 BLOODS

Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography
Joshua James Richards, NOMADLAND

Top Films
(in alphabetical order)
First Cow
The Forty-Year-Old Version
Judas and the Black Messiah
The Midnight Sky
Minari
News of the World
Nomadland
Promising Young Woman
Soul
Sound of Metal

Top 5 Foreign Language Films
(in alphabetical order)
Apples
Collective
Dear Comrades
The Mole Agent
Night of the Kings

Top 5 Documentaries
(in alphabetical order)
All In: The Fight for Democracy
Boys State
Dick Johnson is Dead
Miss Americana
The Truffle Hunters

Top 10 Independent Films
(in alphabetical order)
The Climb
Driveways
Farewell Amor
Miss Juneteenth
The Nest
Never Rarely Sometimes Always
The Outpost
Relic
Saint Frances
Wolfwalkers

Guatemala Enters Jayro Bustamante’s “La Llorona” Into International Oscar Race

Jayro Bustamante could be bringing the horror to the Oscars…

The 43-year-old Guatemalan film director and screenwriter’s politically charged horror film La Llorona, which won the Venice Days sidebar at last year’s Venice Film Festival, is Guatemala’s selection to the 2021 International Oscar race.

Jayro Bustamante

It’s the second film by Bustamante to get his country’s Academy Awards submission, after his debut feature Ixcanul in 2015.

His latest film fuses the Latin American Llorona myth and modern reality in an exposé of the genocidal atrocities against the Mayan community in Guatemala.

The plot delves into magical realism as it follows Enrique (Julio Diaz), a retired general who oversaw the Mayan genocide and is haunted by his devastating crimes, and possibly a wrathful supernatural force that is targeting him and his family.

Rigoberta Menchú Tum, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and survivor of the atrocities, also appears in the film.

The film, which had its U.S. bow this year at the Sundance Film Festival ahead of its August 6 premiere on Shudder, currently has a 97% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Guatemala has yet to be nominated for the International Feature Film Oscar.

Jayro Bustamante Wins Venice Days Director Award for “La Llorona”

Jayro Bustamante is celebrating a big win…

The Guatamalan director’s genocide revenge drama La Llorona, set during the 1960s civil war in his country, has won the Venice Days Director Award, the top nod in Venice’s independently run section.

Jayro Bustamante

This is the second feature by Bustamante, who put Guatemalan cinema on the map with his debut, Ixcanul

The film takes its cue from the acquittal of a former Guatemalan general whose initial sentence is overturned on a procedural pretext. This unleashes a vengeful supernatural spirit upon his household.

La Llorona

Brazilian director Karim Aïnouz presided over the jury formed by 28 young European movie buffs. They praised the film for being “an intimate ghost story told through a vivid female character.”

The award comes with a cash prize of $22,000, which is split equally between the director and the film’s international distributor, in this case Film Factory Entertainment.

Jayro Bustamante’s “La Llorona” Among Films In Competion at the BFI London Film Festival

Jayro Bustamante is ready to compete..

Jayro Bustamante

The 63rd BFI London Film Festival has unveiled the 10 films set to enter the Official Competition at the fest, with the 42-year-old Guatemalan film director and screenwriter’s La Llorona making the list.

La Llorona

Bustamante’s La Llorona, his third feature film, is hailed as a tale of horror and fantasy, ripe with suspense, and an urgent metaphor of recent Guatemalan history and the country’s unhealed political wounds.

The film stars María Mercedes CoroySabrina De La Hoz and Margarita Kenéfic.

In addition to La Llorona, the films in competition are Thomas Clay’s Fanny Lye Deliver’d, Alma Har’el’s Honey Boy, Isabel Sandoval’s Lingua FrancaOliver Hermanus’ Moffie, Alejandro Landes’ MonosMałgorzata Szumowska’s The Other LambHaifaa Al Mansour’s The Perfect CandidateChristine Molloy and Joe Lawlor’s Rose Plays Julie and Rose Glass’ Saint Maud.

The Best Film winner will be chosen by the Official Competition Jury, the members of which will be announced in the coming weeks. 

Tricia Tuttle, BFI London Film Festival Director said, “Our Official Competition showcases the best in global filmmaking. These filmmakers each have unique and distinctive voices and their films by turns reveal truths about human existence; explore stories we haven’t seen before or examine familiar ones in new ways; address pressing social and political issues, and make audiences feel and think. It’s striking that so many of the filmmakers here are telling strongly political stories, but never dogmatically so. We have selected 11 directors in these ten films who invite viewers to probe and ponder, to be changed – either subconsciously or wildly and irrevocably – by their work.”

The 63rd BFI London Film Festival takes place from Wednesday October 2 to Sunday October 13 2019. The full Festival programme will be announced on Thursday August 29.

Full List:

FANNY LYE DELIVER’D (United Kingdom-Germany, dir-scr. Thomas Clay)
Maxine Peake delivers a powerhouse performance as the titular character in Thomas Clay’s intoxicating period drama Fanny Lye Deliver’d, a woman living a humble existence with her puritanical husband John (Charles Dance) and young son Arthur on an isolated Shropshire farm in the 17th Century. The daily routines of this God-fearing family are abruptly interrupted when they discover two strangers hiding in their barn, pleading for help. When the family agrees to take them in, it is not long before their progressive ways begin to cause tensions.

HONEY BOY (USA, dir. Alma Har’el)
Alma Har’el collaborates with gifted writer and performer Shia LaBeouf to impressive effect for her first dramatic feature Honey Boy, an artful and soul-baring examination of the lingering effects of emotional abuse. Lucas Hedges plays Otis, an alcoholic with a penchant for fiercely self-destructive behaviour who makes a living starring in action films. When an accident forces him into rehab, he begins to examine his troubled past with his unstable and often emotionally abusive father (LaBeouf, playing a version of his own real-life father).

LA LLORONA (Guatemala-France, dir. Jayro Bustamante)
Guatemalan director Jayro Bustamante’s taut genre-bending thriller, La Llorona, sees elderly general Enrique Monteverde tried for a genocide he oversaw three decades earlier, who finds himself haunted by a spectre of his past; La Llorona, the spirit of a woman who has returned to seek justice for the dead. Guatemala’s lengthy Civil War and the mass murder of Mayan civilians provide a powerful historical framework for Bustamante’s third feature. This is a film about secrets and lies, rendered through a breathtaking visual language that melds horror, fantasy and courtroom drama to disarming effect.

LINGUA FRANCA (USA, dir-scr. Isabel Sandoval)
In Lingua Franca, Olivia is a Filipino transwoman and undocumented immigrant in Brooklyn, surreptitiously working as a caregiver for Olga, an elderly Russian woman in the early stages of dementia. She spends her time documenting a staged relationship with the man who has agreed to marry her so she can obtain legal status in the US. One day Olivia meets Olga’s grandson Alex, a despondent slaughterhouse worker battling his own inner demons and the pair develop a strong connection. A beautifully performed character study and an incisive critique on race and immigration in modern America, writer/director Isabel Sandoval (who also takes on the role of Olivia) has crafted a deeply moving work of great intimacy and insight.

MOFFIE (South Africa-United Kingdom, dir. Oliver Hermanus)
Oliver Hermanus follows The Endless River (LFF 2015) with Moffi, a haunting examination of the violent persecution of gay men under Apartheid.  Nicholas (Kai Luke Brummer) has long known he is different, that there is something in him that must stay hidden, denied even. But in South Africa in 1981, all white young men over 16 must serve two years of compulsory military service to defend the Apartheid regime and its culture of toxic racist machismo. When fear pushes Nicholas to accept unspeakable horrors in the hopes of staying invisible, a tender relationship with another recruit becomes as dangerous for them both as any enemy fire.

MONOS (Colombia-Argentina-Netherlands-Germany-Sweden-Uruguay-USA, dir. Alejandro Landes)
Alejandro Landes delivers one of the most talked-about films of the year in Monos: a hallucinogenic, intoxicating thriller about child soldiers that has inspired feverish buzz and earned comparisons to Apocalypse Now and Lord of the Flies. High in the mountains of South America, above the billowing clouds but with gunshots heard in the distance, a motley group of child and teenage soldiers train and wait for instruction while in the presence of their American hostage, the Doctora. Despite wearing its influences on its sleeve, the film is a wildly original vision from Landes and screenwriter Alexis dos Santos; the camera prowling over mud and organic decay, cutting swathes through the jungle, all to the strains of Mica Levi’s visceral score.

THE OTHER LAMB (Ireland-Belgium-USA, dir. Małgorzata Szumowska)
Małgorzata Szumowska’s (Berlin Jury Prize-winner Mug and LFF 2015’s Body) English-language debut The Other Lamb is a beguiling, genre-tinged examination of life in an otherworldly cult. Selah was born into The Flock, a community of women and girls ruled over by Shepherd, the only male, and a seemingly benevolent but undisputed leader of the strictly regimented and isolated woodland settlement. Selah appears the most perfect of the faithful flock, until unsettling revelations see her devotion shaken. Szumowska offers an eerie ethereal vision that compellingly recalls a range of references, from David Koresh’s Waco, Texas cult to Margaret Atwood’s dystopian science fiction.

THE PERFECT CANDIDATE (Germany-Saudi Arabia, dir. Haifaa Al Mansour)
Celebrated Saudi director Haifaa Al Mansour’s The Perfect Candidate is an inspiring drama about Maryam, a highly competent young doctor whose road is paved with compromises and complications – quite literally in the case of a flooded path leading to her clinic, the dangers of which are not taken seriously by local officials. When her attempt to drive to a medical conference is stymied by not having the right papers, she finds her only solution is to sign up to be an electoral candidate, allowing her easy access through road blocks. However, when the responsibility of local politics dawns on her, she ropes in her sisters to challenge Saudi Arabia’s strict social codes and what is expected of a young woman in the country.

ROSE PLAYS JULIE (Ireland-United Kingdom, dir-scr. Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor)
Rose Plays Julie is a frank, immersive and gripping feminist drama from Irish directing duo Christine Molloy and Joe Lawlor, also known as Desperate Optimists. During a term studying animal euthanasia, veterinary student Rose (Ann Skelly) decides to contact Julie (Orla Brady), the birth mother who gave her up for adoption. But Julie, who is now a successful London-based actress, doesn’t want to know. Undeterred, Rose will not be ignored and curiosity leads her to discoveries that shake the fragile identity she has built for herself. Molloy and Lawlor build a sense of dread inside an exquisite world of immaculate architecture, rendered through an icy performance style and enveloped by a claustrophobic soundtrack.

SAINT MAUD (United Kingdom, dir-scr. Rose Glass)
A mysterious nurse becomes dangerously obsessed with saving the soul of her dying patient in director Rose Glass’ divine debut feature, Saint Maud. Having recently found God, self-effacing young nurse Maud, arrives at a plush home to care for Amanda, a hedonistic dancer left frail from a chronic illness. When a chance encounter with a former colleague throws up hints of a dark past, it becomes clear there is more to sweet Maud than meets the eye. Glass’s gothic-tinged psychological drama is by turns insidiously creepy, darkly humorous and heartbreakingly sad; with Jennifer Ehle’s beautifully nuanced performance proving the perfect complement to Morfydd Clark’s star-making turn as the unsaintly Maud.

Guerra’s “Embrace of the Serpent” Sweeps Platino Ibero-American Film Awards

Ciro Guerra continues to slither his way to the awards stage…

The 35-year-old film director and screenwriter’s critically acclaimed Embrace of the Serpent, which earned an Academy Award nomination, swept the 3rd Platino Ibero-American Film Awards on Sunday night in Uruguay, taking home seven of the eight categories for which it was nominated.

Ciro Guerra's Embrace of the Serpent

Although the awards had no clear favorite, Embrace of the Serpent, with Ixcanul, had scored the most nominations and its plaudit sweep did not seem to surprise many.

Shot in widescreen in 35 mm and in black and white Serpent claimed best picture, director, editing (Etienne Boussac, Cristina Gallego), art direction (Angélica Perea), original music (Nascuy Linares), cinematography (the film was shot by David Gallego) and sound (Carlos García, Marco Salavarría).

The story of Karamakate, a shaman who is the last survivor of his tribe and asked, 30 years apart, by two explorers – based on the figures of Theodor Koch-Gruenberg and Richard Evans Schultes – to help them discover the yakuna plant, Embrace of the Serpent charts the devastation of the Amazon by colonial powers, whether Colombian rubber companies or a crazed Spanish priest, but more particularly the loss of indigenous knowledge as whole peoples disappeared under the influx of invasion.

“The ravages of colonialism cast a dark pall over the stunning South American landscape in Embrace of the Serpent, he latest visual astonishment from the gifted Colombian writer-director Ciro Guerra,” Variety wrote in its Cannes Film Festival review.

Ciro Guerre’s third movie has won a string of significant festival, Academy and pan Latin American awards, including a Mexican Silver Ariel, Fénix Film Awards, and plaudits at the Mar del Plata and Palm Springs fests, among others.

Platino acting awards went to two Argentine talents who most certainly deserve wider recognition, Dolores Fonzi, star of Santiago Mitre’s Cannes Critics’ Week winner Paulina, who plays a young lawyer who refuses to compromise her principles when raped while working as a rural teacher, and Guillermo Francella, who portrays a real-life family patriarch and psychopath in Pablo Trapero’s The Clan, who continues for personal profit Argentina’s Dirty War practice of kidnapping and murder after the fall of Argentina’s military junta.

A third Argentine actor, Ricardo Darin, took the Platino Lifetime Achievement Award.

“We have the talent. We just need to have confidence in ourselves,” Darin said on stage, receiving the plaudit. ”That’s why we and Ibero-America need these awards,” he added.

A searing but crafted indictment of the tribulations of a young pregnant and unmarried girl in rural Guatemala, Berlin Silver Bear winner Ixcanul, the feature debut of Jayro Bustamante, once more confirmed its audience appeal, at least with the who have seen it, taking the Platinos’ Audience Award, plus best first feature.

BEST PICTURE
“Embrace of the Serpent,” (Colombia, Argentina, Venezuela)

BEST DIRECTOR
Ciro Guerra (“Embrace of the Serpent”)

BEST ACTOR
Guillermo Francella (“The Clan,” Argentina, Spain)

BEST ACTRESS
Dolores Fonzi (“Paulina,” Argentina)

ORIGINAL MUSIC
Nascuy Linares (“Embrace of the Serpent”)

BEST ANIMATION MOVIE
“Capture the Flag,” (Enrique Gato, Spain)

BEST DOCU FEATURE
“The Pearl Button,” (Patricio Guzmán, Chile, Spain)

BEST SCREENPLAY
Pablo Larraín, Guillermo Calderón, Daniel Villalobos (“The Club”)

FIRST FEATURE
“Ixcanul” (Jayro Bustamante, Guatemala, France)

EDITING
Etienne Boussac, Cristina Gallego (“Embrace of the Serpent”)

ART DIRECTION
Angélica Perea (“Embrace of the Serpent”)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
David Gallego (“Embrace of the Serpent”)

SOUND
Carlos García, Marco Salavarría (“Embrace of the Serpent”)

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Ricardo Darín

PLATINO AWARD FOR FILM AND EDUCATION IN VALUES
“The Second Mother,” (Anna Muylaert, Brazil)

AUDIENCE AWARDS

FEATURE
“Ixcanul,” (Guatemala, France)

ACTRESS
Penélope Cruz (“Ma ma,” Spain)

ACTOR
Ricardo Darín (“Truman,” Spain, Argentina)