Laffer's tally includes Ariels for film, director, screenplay

MEXICO CITY — Helmer-scribe Emilio Portes’ laffer “Pastorela” was the big winner Saturday at the annual Ariels film awards held by the Mexican Academy of Film Arts and Sciences, taking best film, director and screenplay among its seven awards.

Carlos Cobos nabbed best supporting actor for “Pastorela,” which also took honors for costume design, makeup and visual effects. Film turns on a small-town nativity play upended by a casting change.

Also showing well, Everardo Gout’s crime drama “Days of Grace” earned best actor for Tenoch Huerta, supporting actress for Eileen Yanez plus awards for editing, sound, cinematography, original score and art design as well as an award for best first work.

Documentary laurels went to Tatiana Huezo’s “The Tiniest Place” (El lugar mas pequeno), a riveting depiction of a town reborn from the ashes of civil war in El Salvador.

Lemon Films picked up a statue for special effects for “Saving Private Perez” (Salvando al Soldado Perez), but notably absent from the win column was Gerardo Naranjo’s “Miss Bala,” Mexico’s selection for Oscar foreign film contention this year, which was nommed for best film and direction.

Held two months later than usual, this year’s awards ceremony, the first run by new Academy chief Carlos Carrera, was a more austere event due to the organization’s ongoing funding woes. Speaking at the kudosfest, a defiant Carrera called for laws to promote and protect Mexican films in an increasingly competitive international market.

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