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Polgovsky nabs Morelia doc prize

'Tropico', 4 short films win awards

MEXICO CITY — The second Morelia Intl. Film Festival closed Saturday with Luis Mandoki’s war pic “Innocent Voices,” Mexico’s entry for consideration in Oscar’s foreign-lingo category, and handed out prizes for 11 documentaries and shorts.

The 10-day fest’s top prizes went to documentary “Tropico de Cancer” (Tropic of Cancer) by Eugenio Polgovsky, and to four short films: “De Raiz,” (From the Roots) by Carlos Carrera, animated; “Bendita Muerte” (Blessed Death) by Mario Trueba, Alejandro Jimenez and Erika Mercado, docu; “Tlahuelpuchi” by Fabiola del Carmen Ramos, experimental; and “El Pasajero” (The Passenger) by Matias Meyer, fiction.

Each winner receives 50,000 pesos ($4,400), a silver statuette by Mexican sculptor Javier Marin and 4,000 feet of 35mm film.

Fest highlights included retrospectives of Portuguese filmmaker Manoel de Oliveira, Gus Van Sant and Barbet Schroeder. All three helmers attended the fest.

Auds also were shown four films from the Critics Week at Cannes, including Mexican pic “Temporada de Patos” (Duck Season), the surprise hit of last year’s Guadalajara Film Fest.

Attending were thesps Gael Garcia Bernal and Rodrigo de la Serna, co-stars of “Motorcycle Diaries,” which made its Mexican bow here, as well as Alberto Granado, the friend of Ernesto “Che” Guevara portrayed in the film, and the revolutionary’s daughter, Aleida Guevara.

“This year we increased from five to eight screens, and we boosted the number of functions by more than 100%, with more than 215, when last year we had 105. And we sold them out,” said Alejandro Ramirez, of exhib Cinepolis, which co-sponsored the fest.

Here is the full list of winners.

DOCUMENTARY

Winner: “Tropico de Cancer” (Tropic of Cancer), Eugenio Polgovsky

Honorable mention: “Relatos desde el encierro” (Stories From Lockup), Guadalupe Miranda

SHORT FILM

Animation: “De Raiz,” (From the Roots), Carlos Carrera

Documentary: “Bendita Muerte” (Blessed Death), Mario Trueba, Alejandro Jimenez and Erika Mercado

Experimental: “Tlahuelpuchi,” Fabiola del Carmen Ramos

Fiction: “El Pasajero,” (The Passenger), Matias Meyer

Special jury prize: “Los elefantes nunca olvidan” (Elephants Never Forget), Lorenzo Vigas

SCREENPLAY BY MICHOACAN AUTHOR

“Natalia en vilo” (Natalia in Suspense), Antonio Monter Rodriguez

“Pero yo te amo” (But I Love You), Jose Maria Cazarez Rosales

“Recuerdos de un michoacano” (Memories of a Michoacano), Silvia Hernandez Tort

SHORT BY MICHOACAN AUTHOR

“Bio-Bit,” Manuel Cisneros

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