Luis Estrada’s black comedy “El infierno” (Hell) burned down the house at Saturday’s Ariels awards, Mexico’s top film honors, winning nine of the 14 categories in which it was nominated, including film, director and actor for Damien Alcazar.
The evening began with a plea from helmer Carlos Carrera, the new head of the Mexican Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences, urging the community to unite to save the Acad that was created in 1946 during the golden age of Mexican cinema.
“Welcome to the party. Let’s hope it isn’t the last. That all depends on you,” the “Crime of Father Amaro” helmer said.
In recent years, the Acad has fallen prey to political infighting as well as funding controversies.
“El infierno” was a box office hit despite it’s adults-only rating. In it, antihero Alcazar is a recent deportee from the U.S. back in his impoverished home town who is lured into the drug trade by the money and power. Besides the major wins, the film also picked up prizes for editing, sound, art design, makeup, special effects and supporting actor (for Joaquin Cosio as sidekick “el Cochiloco”).
Diego Luna’s directorial debut “Abel” won for original screenplay (penned by Luna and Augusto Mendoza) and emerging acting talent for child thesp Christopher Ruiz-Esparza.
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s “Biutiful,” Mexico’s pick for Oscar consideration, nabbed best cinematography for the work of lenser Rodrigo Prieto.
Camera d’Or winner “Ano bisesto” (Leap Year), by Australian-Mexican helmer Michael Rowe, took home best first work while pic’s Monica del Carmen drew the actress nod.