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Pablo Larrain’s ‘The Club’ Tops 2nd Fenix Awards

Ciro Guerra's 'Embrace of the Serpent' snags four plaudits at the Ibero-American film industry kudocast

Chilean Pablo Larrain’s Catholic Church abuse drama “The Club” swept key prizes at the 2nd edition of the Ibero-American film Fenix Awards, including best picture, director (ex-aequo with Ciro Guerra’s “Embrace of the Serpent”), actor (Alfredo Castro) and screenplay.

The Fenix awards, whose second edition took place Nov. 25 in Mexico City, is an initiative of Mexico-based promotion org Cinema23 to celebrate the films and industry professionals of Latin America, Spain and Portugal.

At the ceremony, Colombian Ciro Guerra’s adventure drama “Embrace of the Serpent” snagged four kudos in all, including cinematography, sound and music. Sold by Germany’s Films Boutique, “Embrace” already scooped the biggest prize at Cannes Directors’ Fortnight and more recently the top Golden Astor at Argentina’s Mar del Plata.

Best actress nod at the Fenix went to Argentina’s Dolores Fonzi for her role in Santiago Mitre’s Cannes Critics’ Week winning social-issue thriller “Paulina.”

A Berlin 2015 Grand Jury Prize winner and Pablo Larrain’s follow-up to his Oscar-nominated pic “No,” “The Club” turns around four priests who live together in a secluded house in a small town. Each of them has been sent to this place to purge sins from the past. Their routine is disrupted by the arrival of a fifth priest.

Sold by Peter Danner’s Funny Balloons, “The Club” was acquired by Music Box in North America and has become one of Latin America’s most celebrated films of the year, adding more international plaudits such as best picture at the Austin Fantastic Festival plus director and screenplay at the Chicago Intl. Film Fest.

Damian Szifron’s Argentine B.O. breakout hit “Wild Tales” won the Fenix Exhibitors Award, while Jose Maria Prado, director of the Spanish Filmotheque, received a Fenix Award for its contribution to the Ibero-American Cinema Culture.

Also, Chilean filmmaker and documentary filmmaker Patricio Guzman was given a Fenix Career Achievement Award; vet Mexican columnist Jorge Ayala Blanco won the Critics’ Work Fenix Award.

The ceremony of the 2nd Fenix Awards was broadcast live to more than 40 countries via E! Entertainment, Studio Universal and Cinelatino channels.

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