“The Best Thing You Can Do with Your Life,” Zita Erffa
They go up against Alonso Ruizpalacios’ “Museo,” which scored a 2018 Berlinale Silver Bear for best screenplay and critical acclaim across the festival circuit. YouTube Premium recently picked it up to lead its budding selection of Spanish-language titles.
For the first time, the festival will be presenting a medal for artistic excellence to Alfonso Cuaron, whose recent Venice Golden Lion-winner “Roma,” Mexico’s submission to the Oscars and Spain’s Goyas, will screen at the festival.
“Valentón,” Luis Armando Sosa Gil
Mexican premieres at Morelia include Manolo Caro’s “Perfectos Desconocidos”; “Sonora” by Alejandro Springall; “Rencor Tatuado” by Julián Hernández; “Chivas” by Iván López; and “Mi pequeño gran hombre” by Jorge Ramírez Suárez.
MEXICAN DOCUMENTARY FILM SECTION
International premieres include “Colette” by Wash Westmoreland; “En Guerre” by Stéphane Brizé; “Climax” by Gaspar Noé; “The Happy Prince” by Rupert Everett; “The Old Man & the Gun” by David Lowery; “Todos Los Saben” by Asghar Farhadi; “Beautiful Boy” by Felix Van Groeningen; “The Eyes of Orson Welles” by Mark Cousins; "The Front Runner” by Jason Reitman; and “The Wild Pear Tree” by Nuri Bilge Ceylan.
The nearby lakeside town of Patzcuaro, where the festival screens some films at the restored “Teatro Emperador Caltzontzin,” is often described as one of the leading venues to witness Mexico’s most significant annual holiday. The Morelia International Film Festival wraps on Oct. 28, just a few days before the Day of the Dead is observed across the country.
Lloyd Bacon), starring Dolores del Río. “In Caliente” (1935, dir.
“La camarista,” Lila Avilés
“Leona,” Isaac Cherem
“Mexican Spitfire” (1940, dir. Leslie Goodwins), starring Lupe Vélez.
20 with his latest film, “First Man.” Academy Award-winner Damien Chazelle is coming to Morelia to kick off Mexico’s 16th Morelia International Film Festival (FICM) on Oct.
Edward Dmytryk), starring Katy Jurado. “Broken Lance” (1954, dir.
“Lejos del sentido,” Olivia Luengas Magaña
In line with more than 100 festivals that have pledged a 50/50 gender parity in their lineup, films by women take up around half of Morelia’s official competition in fiction and non-fiction.
“Notas para no olvidar,” Hatuey Viveros
Marta Hernaiz’s drama, “La Chaotic Life of Nada Kadic,” which won the 2016 Impulso Morelia prize at Morelia’s Works in Progress program, is also competing for the big prize. The Mexican-Bosnian co-production, which premiered at the 68th Berlin International Film Fest in February, tracks a young, single mom and her autistic toddler in Sarajevo.
Pawel Pawlikowski returns to Morelia to present his latest work, “Cold War.” Other notable guests presenting their films include Paul Weitz, who presents “Bel Canto"; Fran Healy with her documentary “Almost Fashionable: A Film About Travis”; Dan Millar, who brings his documentary “Botero"; and Almudena Carracedo, who presents her acclaimed documentary “The Silence of Others.”
“A morir a los desiertos,” Marta Ferrer Carné
Among the six women directors in the Mexican feature film competition are Lila Aviles and Alejandra Marquez, whose films “The Chambermaid” (“La Camarista”) and “The Good Girls” (“Las Niñas Bien),” respectively, screened at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.
“Una corriente salvaje,” Nuria Ibáñez Castañeda
“Luciérnagas,” Bani Khoshnoudi
“Asfixia,” Kenya Márquez
“Las niñas bien,” Alejandra Márquez
“Despertar volando” ("Kárapani Tsínharhini"), Magda Cacari
MEXICAN FEATURE FILM SECTION
“Tierra mía,” Pedro González-Rubio
“Antes del olvido,” Iria Gómez Concheiro
“Donde reside la esperanza,” Adrián González Camargo
Starring Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy, “First Man” is Chazelle’s follow-up to his 2018 multi-Oscar-winning “La La Land,” which also starred Gosling and snagged his co-star Emma Stone a best actress Academy Award. astronaut Neil Armstrong, the first man to step on the moon. Hailed by Variety critic Owen Gleiberman as a film "so revelatory in its realism, so gritty in its physicality, that it becomes a drama of thrillingly hellbent danger and obsession," “First Man” focuses on the personal and physical struggles faced by U.S.
“La caótica vida de Nada Kadic,” Marta Hernaiz
Among the documentaries by female directors, subject matters range from Melissa Elizondo’s portrait of a rural teacher in “The Sower” (“El Sembrador”) to Zita Erffa’s attempt to understand a brother’s reasons for entering a Legion of Christ monastery in “The Best Thing You Can Do With Your Life” to Kenya Márquez's exploration of discrimination in “Asfixia,” where she follows an albino woman who seeks to reintegrate into society after leaving prison.
“We’re All Here,” Lucy Luna” />
“El sembrador,” Melissa Elizondo
“M,” Eva Villaseñor
“Ana,” Dante Cerano
“Xquipi’ Guie’dani,” Xavi Sala
“Noticias de Plutón,” Diego Flores Contreras
“K’uaníndikua,” Mariano Rentería Garnica
The drama explores the lives of upper-class Mexican wives during the 1982 economic crisis and what happens to one of these women when her wealth and social position are jeopardized. A follow-up to her well-received “Semana Santa,” “The Good Girls,” is Marquez’s sophomore feature, a Luxbox pickup.
“Vatreni,” Edson Ramírez
“Somos patriotas,” Bernardo Rugama y Fernando Llanos
“Ya me voy,” Armando Croda, Lindsey Cordero
“Bayoneta,” Kyzza Terrazas
“Tiempo en el bosque,” Juan Paulín
The films are comprised of the following:
In collaboration with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of the U.S., Morelia’s 16th edition will also present a special program honoring three Mexican actresses who left their mark on Hollywood: Dolores del Río (1904-1982), Lupe Vélez (1909-1944), and Katy Jurado (1924-2002). John Bailey, president of the Academy, will present the program at the festival.
“Museo,” Alonso Ruizpalacios
Alpha Violet handles international sales. It also made the cut for San Sebastian’s New Directors competition. “The Chambermaid” is Aviles’ debut fiction feature about a hard-working chambermaid and her struggle to get ahead in a luxury hotel.
“Freaktown,” Diana Cruz González
“Érase una vez,” Juan Carlos Rulfo
“El amor dura tres meses,” Rafael Martínez García
“Bombay,” Luis Arceo
Cannes Golden Palm-winner “Shoplifters” by Hirokazu Kore-eda will also screen.
Nearly 60 short films in three categories — animation, documentary, and fiction — will be in competition at the festival, which has long served as a prestigious showcase for Mexican cinema and its burgeoning talent.