Variety highlights numerous Mexican standouts with international potential. Many use gov-ern-ment coin for the Mexico Bicentennial of Independence/Centennial of Revolution (Bi100). All Bi100 pics open in Mexico around Independence Day (Sept. 16) and Revolution Day (Nov. 20).
Dark Bi100 dramedy from Luis Estrada. Man gives up on American Dream, joins the narcs. September release.
Thesp Diego Luna’s fiction directorial debut is family drama. Delusional boy takes on father role, until dad’s sudden return. Preemed at Sundance.
Jorge Fons’ Bi100 entry eyes failed 1897 attempt on Mexican quasi-dictator Porfirio Diaz. Priciest Mexican pic ever at 78 million pesos ($6.1 million). November delivery.
Seattle woman disappears in Mexico. Ex-husbands seek answers from eccentric Mexican man. Alfonso Suarez Romero’s debut. Unspooled in Cairo, Mumbai and Ventana Sur.
La Casa Casasola
Newcomer Carlos Rodriguez Montes de Oca makes docu on Revolution-era photog. Bi100.
Ruben Imaz directs. Painter seeks solace after girlfriend’s death. Guadalajara world preem.
Pancho Villa follower risks life to save revolutionaries. In Western style from vet helmer Felipe Cazals (Canoa). Bi100. May-June release. Might be surprise preem at Guadalajara.
Intimate tale by Rodrigo Pla recording day-to-day events as a daughter struggles to tend to her aged father. Shoots in Montevideo. August.
La familia Del Barrio
Satiric toon makeover of Sergio Lebrija’s “Simpsons”-ish YouTube hit about a foul-mouthed, on-the-breadline Mexi-can family. Lebrija directs. Delivery mid-2010.
A $6 million S3D pic about a feline TV star. First of three-pic alliance between Mexico’s Anima and Argentina’s Illusion. Delivery in mid-2010.
The Good Herbs
First film from top Mexican femme helmer Maria Novaro since 2000. Digitally shot in her home, about an Alzheimer victim. Guadalajara world preem.
Third pic from Cannes’ Un Certain Regard regular Amat Escalante. A study of drug cartel-related violence. Sundance
HK screenplay award winner. Lenses September.
I Miss You
Argentine Fabian Hofman’s Berlinale Generation player follows a Jewish teen who leaves Buenos Aires for Mexico City at the beginning of Argentina’s junta dictatorship.
At the November mart Ventana Sur, this was the most buzzed about title, snapped up by France’s Pyramide for international distribution. A drama driven by Monica del Carmen’s lead perf and helmed by Michael Rowe. Pyramide.
Antonio Serrano’s Bi100 entry sees Independence hero Miguel Hidalgo recount his dramaturge days from a jail cell. Fox handling Sept. 16 release.
The Last Death
Sci-fi pic by first timer David (Leche) Ruiz features Kuno Becker as a twice-dead man running for his last life. Looking at October Mexican release.
Argentina’s Hector Olivera returns to helm four years after “Ay Juancito” with Argentina-Mexico co-prod about Mexican muralist/activist David Alfaro Siquieros’ experience in Buenos Aires. May 20 Argentina release.
Nora’s gone, but her spirit lives on in Mexican frosh helmer Mariana Chenillo’s comedy. Mexico’s fest/sales hit of 2009 including a Menemsha U.S. pickup. Latinofusion.
Young delinquent’s ghost returns to try to change child’s destiny in book adaptation by Carlos Carrera. Guadalajara world preem.
From lauded minimalist Nicolas Perez, about a Mexico City truck driver still living with his family. Plays Guadalajara; won San Sebastian/Toulouse Films in Progress. Ondamax.
Post Tenebras Lux
Next from Mexican auteur Carlos Reygadas. A poetic, expressionist semiautobiographical drama. Shoots during 2010.
Mexican event pic. Ten contempo shorts build a critical commemoration of the Mexican Revolution. Directing: Mariana Chenillo, Fernando Eimbcke, Amat Escalante, Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna, Gerardo Naranjo, Rodrigo Garcia, Rodrigo Pla, Patricia Riggen, Carlos Reygadas. Celluloid Dreams.
River of Gold
Pablo Aldrete’s oater, set in 1852 Mexico against a clash of American settlers, Apaches and Spanish-descended Creoles. Bows September in Mexico.
Saving Private Perez
A gang of narcs goes to Iraq to rescue a brother in the U.S. Army in Beto Gomez’s latest. Summer release in Mexico.
Saint John’s Dance
(Arroba/Huit et Plus/Iroko/Die Versilberte Eitelkeit)
Francisco Athie’s court intrigue drama in closing years of vice-regal New Spain. Bi100. Likely fall release.
To The Sea
Pedro Gonzalez Rubio’s Morelia/Rotterdam Tiger winner. Father and son fish as they bond on Mexico’s emerald-watered Banco Chinchorro reef. Multiple sales at Berlin. MK2.