Marking another step-up in stature, the 2nd Platino Ibero-American Film Awards are going public with the launch of Audience Awards for picture, actor and actress.
The new plaudits come on top of broadcast contracts with Spanish pubcaster RTVE and TNT for North and South America.
Voted online, just how the public plaudits will play out is anybody’s question 12 days out from the Platino Awards, gala which unspools July 18 in Marbella, on Spain’s south coast.
Already a 51-member jury, including many of the most influential fest/market gatekeepers in Latin America and beyond – Ventana Sur’s Bernardo Bergeret, Toronto programmer Diana Sanchez, Rio Fest’s Ilda Santiago, Guadalajara’s Ivan Trujillo, Los Cabos’ Alejandra Paulin – have wittled down a 54 submission long-list just in the best picture category to five nominations per category. The jury also decides the winner.
Chosen from 2014 commercial bows, the 2015 Platino best picture award will most certainly go to a film that has broken out to sales abroad outside its countries of origin.
Best picture features two of the highest-profile titles of last year from Latin America, Spain and Portugal: Damian Szifron’s Cannes Competition hit “Wild Tales” and Spain’s 2015 Goya winner “Marshland.” Handled by Film Factory, both “Wild Tales” and “Marshland” have sold worldwide. Toppong San Sebastian in 2013, Venezuela’s “Bad Hair” is one of sales agent FiGa Films best-selling titles ever: Uruguay-Spain co-pro “Mr Kaplan” and Cuba’s “Behavior” all have fans, and have run up sales.
Best actor and actress nominations broaden the field healthily, and make it even harder to second-guess final trophies, let alone Audience Awards. Online voting – at
http://premiodelpublico.premiosplatino.com – also brings in new considerations, such as a possible upswing in not only Mexico but Spain and the U.S. Latino market for Spaniard Oscar Jaenada, who plays Cantinflas in the film of the same title, the second-highest foreign language hit in the U.S. last year.
Some titles in actor and actress have had far less distribution than others, which makes their nomination all the more, not less, important: Cuba’s “La pared de las palabras,” a fiction feature shot in a psychiatric ward by Fernando Perez, regarded as many as Cuba’s foremost film director, with Jorge Perugorria, as a mentally and physically incapacitated son, up for best actor; Chile’s “Illiterate,” seen at Venice’s Critics Week, with 2014 Platino best actress winner Paulina Garcia as part of a two-hander, repped by Habanero Film Sales; or couple drama “His Wedding Dress,” again from Cuba, with star Laura de la Uz winning a nomination.
There’s also the question of whether online voters will prize a career – Benicio del Toro is up for best actor for “Escobar: Paradise Lost,” Geraldine Chaplin for actress in the FiGa Films-sold “Sand Dollars,” not just a performance, though both of these are regarded as very high caliber.
Last year, going into the Platino awards one common take was that they would be spread strategically across a wide geographic compass. No way: One Chilean movie, “Gloria,” won picture and actress; two Mexican titles, Amat Escalante’s “Heli” and Eugenio Derbez’s “Instructions Not Included” took the other top two prizes of the night, director (Escalante) and actor (Derbez). The Platino Awards are just too new to establish voting patterns. A 51-member jury rules out strategic voting. Plaudit pundits should abstain.
PLATINO IBERO-AMERICAN FILM AWARDS
NOMINATIONS, PICTURE, ACTOR, ACTRESS
“Behavior,” (Ernesto Daranas, Cuba)
“Marshland,” (Alberto Rodriguez, Spain)
“Mr. Kaplan,” (Alvaro Brechner. Spain, Uruguay, Germany)
“Bad Hair,” (Mariana Rondon, Venezuela, Peru, Argentina, Germany)
“Wild Tales,” (Damian Szifron, Argentina, Spain)
Benicio del Toro, (“Escobar: Paradise Lost,”
Andrea di Stefano, France, Spain, Belgium)
Javier Gutierrez, (“Marshland”)
Jorge Perugorria (“La pared de las palabras,” Fernando Perez, Cuba)
Leonardo Sbaraglia (“Wild Tales”)
Oscar Jaenada (“Cantinflas,” Sebastian del Amo, Mexico)
Samantha Castillo, (“Bad Hair”)
Geraldine Chaplin (“Sand Dollars,” Argentina, Mexico, Dominican Republic)
Laura de la Uz (“His Wedding Dress,” Marilyn Solaya, Cuba)
Paulina Garcia, (“Illiterate,” Moises Sepulveda, Chile)
Erica Rivas (“Wild Tales”)
Leandra Leal (“A Wolf At the Door,” Fernando Coimbra, Brazil)