Our most recent edition of the Guanajuato International Film Festival , the edition in which it has come of age, has reached its end and just like every year, winners have to be announced among the films in competition.
For the categories for International Feature Film, the jury that selected the winners was made up of Melissa Sozen, Turkish actress who starred in Palm d’Or winner Winter Sleep, Alonso Ruizpalacios, winner of the Ariel for Best Director in the most recent edition for his debut feature Güeros and Meredith Brody, film critic who has written for The New York Times and Cahiers du Cinema. This jury selected the Argentina/U.S.A. co-production H., besides giving a mention to its star Robin Bartlett. They also gave Mentions to South African film Necktie Youth and Turkish film Mustang.
For the Mexico Feature categories, the jury included filmmaker Luis Mandoki (Voces Inocentes, La Vida Precoz y Breve de Sabina Rivas), actress Arcelia Ramírez (Perfume de Violetas, Cilantro y Perejil) and prodeucer/director Beatriz Sanchís. This jury gave it’s Best Feature prize to Lucifer, by Belgian director Gust Van Den Berghe, and a Mention for Plástico by Ricardo Soto.
Judging these results, the jury was attracted to very experimental cinema and in a way, very cynical cinema. H. and Lucifer are film about (the possibility of) paranormal elements and in both cases these elements are considered malignant. In one case, it’s the very angel that fell from Heaven and became Satan and in the other, the possibility of a meteor that could end the world. Both films achieve this uneasy paranormality through intimate stories.
Those films that were given Mentions also touch upon very cynical subject matters. Plástico is about the dark paths that two characters who share a childhood tragedy face and Necktie Youth explores a generation that seems lost and the narrative is launched by a shared tragedy among a group of Friends in the suburbs of Johannesburg. Mustang is probably the only one of these films that feels hopeful, but it still touches on a world women only have the option of learning how to be wives to honor their families.
Every one of these films explores a singular auteur voice. To read what The Richter Scale has to say about each one of these, here are the links to his thought.