MEXICO CITY — The Morelia Film Festival crowned “La palomilla salvaje” (The Wild Bunch) best docu while the audience was split for black-and-white gem “El Violin” and the widely acclaimed docu “In the Pit.”
Fest, sponsored by Mexico’s biggest exhib Cinepolis, closed Saturday to packed screenings of Gael Garcia Bernal starrer “The Science of Sleep” and Toronto audience fave “Bella.”
Since its founding, Morelia has become a discovery fest for new talent and the second most important event for the local industry behind the Guadalajara festival.
“The Wild Bunch,” a freshman effort from Uruguayan helmer Gustavo Gamou, depicts two men from the slums outside Mexico City who aspire to break into amateur rodeo. Film won the Latin American docu prize at the Mexico City Contemporary Film Festival early this year.
“Bajo Juarez,” a first effort from Alejandra Sanchez and Jose Cordero, received special mention and was widely praised as one of the standout docus of the fest. Pic portrays the political struggle of a mother whose daughter disappears in the gritty border town of Ciudad Juarez.
“In the Pit,” directed by Juan Carlos Rulfo, has picked up 14 awards since winning the jury prize at Sundance, most recently taking the docu prize at the Los Angeles Latino Film Festival. Film is trying to snag an Oscar nom for documentary.
Un Certain Regard selection “El Violin,” helmed by Francisco Quezada, has been sold across Europe, but it doesn’t have distribution in Mexico.