You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Los Cabos Hosts Spanish-Speaking World Bow of ‘Words With Gods’

‘Words’ originator Guillermo Arriaga to receive Mexican Tribute award at ‘Words’ centerpiece Gala Screening; Alex Garcia produces

MADRID – In a coup for the fast-growing Mexican Festival, November’s third Los Cabos Festival will host the premiere in the Spanish-speaking world of “Words With Gods.”

The first part of a four-feature project, “Heartbeat of the World” and a one-of-a kind for the Mexican film industry, “Heartbeat” links director-screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga (“The Burning Plain”), who originated the concept for “Heartbeat,” and Alex Garcia, the L.A.-based prexy of AG Studios, who produces with Argentina’s Lucas Akoskin and Arriaga.

Screening Nov. 14, “Words With Gods” will comprise the centerpiece gala screening of the festival, which runs Nov. 12-16. At the gala, Arriaga will receive Los Cabos’ Mexican Tribute award, fest director Alonso Aguilar-Castillo told Variety, confirming Los Cabos has been chasing the film for a year.

While Arriaga and Garcia are driving forces behind “Words With Gods,” an omnibus feature of nine short films, its directors could hardly be more far-ranging and international: Another attraction for Los Cabos.

Warwick Thornton (“Samson and Delilah”), for instance, focuses on Aboriginal spirituality in “True Gods” (pictured), shot in the desert near Palm Springs; Brazil-based Hector Babenco (“Kiss of the Spider Woman”) the Umbanda religion in Sao Paulo and Mira Nair (“Monsoon Wedding”) Hinduism in Mumbai.

Other directors also focus on their own religion or at least one with which they have a close connection. All films are fictions. The short film from Emir Kusturica (“Underground”) considers Orthodox Christianity in the mountains of Serbia, Iran’s Bahman Ghobadi Islamic faith in Turkey, Israel’s Amos Gitai (“Kedma”) Judaism and Mideast multi-cultural integration in Israel.

Of other directors, Hideo Nakata (“Ringu”) looks at Shinto Buddhism in the area of Japan’s devastated by tsunami; in a Madrid-set short, Spain’s Alex de la Iglesia considers Catholicism.

Arriaga’s own short, “God’s Blood,” turns on atheism.

“The film is mind-blowing. The shorts frame personal reflections, an intimate approach to what religion means to these great auteurs and how society reacts to religion,” Aguilar-Castillo said.

The nine directors will be invited to Los Cabos, he added.

However far-strung the settings — Arriaga shot in the jungle in Veracruz state — “Words With Gods” turns on common human stories: Faith, lost and found, plays a central role, along with birth and death and life’s decisive moments.

Peruvian Nobel prize-winning novelist Mario Vargas Llosa curated the order of the shorts, along historical lines. Peter Gabriel scored “Words With Gods.” Garcia and visual artist Maribel Martinez contributed animated inter-sections between shorts.

The three further films of “Heartbeat of the World” will focus on sex (“Encounters”), politics (“Polis”) and drugs (“Into the Bloodstream”).

World preeming out of competition at the Venice Festival, which kicks off Aug. 27, “Words With Gods” is skedded to bow in 2015.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Julia Roberts Harriet Tubman

    Studio Exec Suggested Julia Roberts Play Harriet Tubman, 'Harriet' Screenwriter Says

    Multi-talented multi-hyphenate Cynthia Erivo plays Harriet Tubman in Kasi Lemmons’ biopic “Harriet.” But according to “Harriet’s” screenwriter, Gregory Allen Howard, Julia Roberts — yes, white woman Julia Roberts — was once suggested by a studio executive to play the role. In a Q&A for “Harriet” studio Focus Features as well as a piece for the [...]

  • Atlantics

    Variety Names 10 Directors to Watch for 2020

    Before film critics start summing up the present year at the movies with a deluge of Top 10 lists, Variety gazes into the medium’s future by announcing its annual 10 Directors to Watch — a lineup of filmmaking talents who’ve stood out on the recent festival circuit, or whose movies will soon be hitting screens [...]

  • Napa Valley Film Festival Winners: 'Lucky

    'Lucky Grandma' Wins Napa Valley Film Festival Narrative Feature Prize

    “Lucky Grandma,” “The Remix: Hip Hop in Fashion” and “The Nomads” were among the winners of the Napa Valley Film Festival, which ran Nov. 13-17 in various towns in the valley. The winner of the narrative feature was “Lucky Grandma,” presented by ZD Wines, which won a $10,000 cash prize, courtesy of Meadowood Napa Valley. [...]

  • Brad Pitt stars in “Ad Astra”.

    'Ad Astra' to Blast Off in China in December

    The Brad Pitt-starring sci-fi blockbuster “Ad Astra” will land in Chinese theaters on December 6, more than two months after its U.S. debut. Directed, co-written and produced by James Gray (“The Lost City of Z,” “Two Lovers”), the thriller also stars Tommy Lee Jones, Liv Tyler, Donald Sutherland and Ruth Negga. Pitt plays an astronaut [...]

  • Fred Wolf to Direct 'Love 40'

    Film News Roundup: Fred Wolf to Direct Tennis Rom-Com 'Love 40'

    In today’s film news roundup, Fred Wolf is directing a romantic comedy in New York; Leah Remini, Chinoye Chukwu, Marielle Heller and Lulu Wang receive honors; and the topless bar documentary “Red Dog” finds a home. ‘LOVE 40’ Bluewater Lane Productions has brought on Fred Wolf to co-write and direct the romantic comedy “Love 40,” [...]

  • Doppelgänger Red (Lupita Nyong'o) and Adelaide

    Lupita Nyong'o Follows Hollywood's Tradition of Two Roles in One Film

    Peter Sellers played three roles in Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 “Dr. Strangelove.” In December of that year, Variety reported that Columbia was mounting an Oscar campaign for lead actor, but was also considering three supporting-actor campaigns, for each of his characters. (They settled on one campaign, and Sellers’ nomination as lead actor was one of the [...]

  • 'Legion' TV show premiere

    Noah Hawley to Write and Direct Next 'Star Trek' Movie

    “Fargo” and “Legion” creator Noah Hawley has been tapped to write and direct the next installment of the “Star Trek” franchise, sources tell Variety. Though plot details are being kept under wraps, sources tell Variety the next “Star Trek” is expected to see Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban and Zoe Saldana returning to man [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content