×

Colombian Ciro Guerra’s ‘Embrace of the Serpent’ Sweeps the 3rd Platino Awards

Madrid to host 2017 Platino Awards 

PUNTA DEL ESTE, Uruguay — Making good on its Academy Award nomination, Ciro Guerra’s “Embrace of the Serpent” swept the 3rd Platino Ibero-American Film Awards on Sunday night in Uruguay, winning in seven of the eight categories for which it was up for a prize.

Opening Uruguay’s new Punta del Este Convention Center, the 2016 Platinos will go down as serving further and perhaps final kudos recognition for a title which also won the top prize at Cannes’ 2015 Directors’ Fortnight and the Sloan Award at this year’s Sundance Fest, consolidating Guerra’s reputation as one of the most exciting and original talents working out of Latin America today, after two features which garnered acclaim at Cannes (“Wandering Shadows,” “The Wind Journeys”), but hardly the international resonance of “Embrace of the Serpent.”

Though the awards had no clear favourite, “Embrace of the Serpent,” with “Ixcanul,” had scored the most nominations and its plaudit sweep did not seem to surprise many journalists in the Platino Awards press room on Sunday night.

Shot in widescreen in 35 mm and in black and white “Serpent’s” awards took in best picture, director, editing (Etienne Boussac, Cristina Gallego), art direction (Angélica Perea), original music (Nascuy Linares), cinematography (the film was shot in David Gallego) and sound (Carlos García, Marco Salavarría).

The story of Karamakate, a shaman who is the last survivor of his tribe and asked, 30 years apart, by two explorers – based on the figures of Theodor Koch-Gruenberg and Richard Evans Schultes – to help them discover the yakuna plant, “Embrace of the Serpent” charts the devastation of the Amazon by colonial powers, whether Colombian rubber companies or a crazed Spanish priest, but more particularly the loss of indigenous knowledge as whole peoples disappeared under the influx of invasion.

“The ravages of colonialism cast a dark pall over the stunning South American landscape in ‘Embrace of the Serpent,’ the latest visual astonishment from the gifted Colombian writer-director Ciro Guerra,” Variety wrote in its Cannes review.

“Embrace of a Serpent” is co-produced between Colombia (Ciudad Lunar Producciones, Caracol Televisión, Dago García Producciones), Argentina (Buffalo Films, MC Producciones) and Venezuela (Norte Sur Producciones), near all of whom have signed on for Guerra next feature, “Birds of a Passage,” also sold by Berlin-based sales company Films Boutique.

Ciro Guerre’s third movie has won a string of significant festival, Academy and pan Latin American awards, including a Mexican Silver Ariel, Fénix Film Awards, and plaudits at the Mar del Plata and Palm Springs fests, among others.

Platino acting awards went to two Argentine talents who most certainly deserve wider recognition, Dolores Fonzi, star of Santiago Mitre’s Cannes Critics’ Week winner “Paulina,”) who plays a young lawyer who refuses to compromise her principles when raped while working as a rural teacher, and Guillermo Francella, who portrays a real-life family patriarch and psychopath in Pablo Trapero’s “The Clan,” who continues for personal profit Argentina’s Dirty War practice of kidnapping and murder after the fall of Argentina’s military junta.

A third Argentine actor, Ricardo Darin, took the Platino Lifetime Achievement Award. “We have the talent. We just need to have confidence in ourselves,” Darin said on stage, receiving the plaudit. ”That’s why we and Ibero-America need these awards,” he added.

A searing but crafted indictment of the tribulations of a young pregnant and unmarried girl in rural Guatemala, Berlin Silver Bear winner “Ixcanul,” the feature debut of Jayro Bustamante, once more confirmed its audience appeal, at least with the who have seen it, taking the Platinos’ Audience Award, plus best first feature. Film Factory sold the social issue drama-thriller around the world off its Berlin Fest win.

The 3rd Platino Awards Gala was M.C.ed by Natalia Oreiro (“The German Doctor,” “Gilda”) and Spanish director-actor Santiago Segura, creator of the “Torrente” movie series, Spain’s most significant film franchise, with help from Adal Ramones

Madrid will be host 2017’s 4th Platino Awards, their organisers announced at this year’s event.

Broadcast by TNT, the ceremony will reach more than 100 million homes, according to Enrique Cerezo, president of  Spain’s EGEDA producers rights collection society, which organizes the event, alongside FIPCA, the Ibero-American Federation of Film and Audiovisual Producers, with the support of the region’s film academies.

Peace Nobel Prize winner Rigoberta Menchú adjudicated the new Platino Award Cine y Educación en Valores to Anna Muylaert’s “The Second Mother,” Brazil’s 2015 Oscar entry.

Inspired by the Oscars and Grammys, the Platino Awards aim to boost cooperation between Latin American countries, extend the international reach  of their movies and create pan-regional star-system.

“Penélope Cruz is known worldwide. But the Audience Award went to Guatemala’s ‘Ixcanul,’ which will be important for the movie to be known in many places,” Cerezo told Variety.

“A non-profit organisation, Egeda aims to integrate the region’s sector beyond the training programs that we offered. We set up the Platino Awards. And from there, why not to build a big platform for all Latin-American cinema –most of it digitized? TVs know the Awards, but not the movies,” ventured Egeda CEO Miguel Ángel Benzal.

In the run-up to the Platino Awards, Uruguay’s Egeda –in cooperation with the Uruguayan Film and Audiovisial Institute (Icau) and Uruguay’s producers org Asoprod– celebrated a panel to analyze potential new public sector incentive for Uruguay’s film industry. Those in Colombia and the Dominican Republic, incorporating the most significant rebates in Latin America for local and international productions, were presented by their film authority representatives.

“We’re now at a time of reflection, in order to adopt new measures and improve our system,” Martin Papich, director of Uruguay’s National Film Institute told Variety.

John Hopewell contributed to this report

2016 PLATINO IBERO-AMERICAN FILM AWARDS

And the winners are:

BEST PICTURE

“Embrace of the Serpent,” (Colombia, Argentina, Venezuela)

BEST DIRECTOR

Ciro Guerra (“Embrace of the Serpent”)

BEST ACTOR

Guillermo Francella (“The Clan,” Argentina, Spain)

BEST ACTRESS

Dolores Fonzi (“Paulina,” Argentina)

ORIGINAL MUSIC

Nascuy Linares (“Embrace of the Serpent”)

BEST ANIMATION MOVIE

“Capture the Flag,” (Enrique Gato, Spain)

BEST DOCU FEATURE

“The Pearl Button,” (Patricio Guzmán, Chile, Spain)

BEST SCREENPLAY

Pablo Larraín, Guillermo Calderón, Daniel Villalobos (“The Club”)

FIRST FEATURE

“Ixcanul” (Jayro Bustamante, Guatemala, France)

EDITING

Etienne Boussac, Cristina Gallego (“Embrace of the Serpent”)

ART DIRECTION

Angélica Perea (“Embrace of the Serpent”)

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

David Gallego (“Embrace of the Serpent”)

SOUND

Carlos García, Marco Salavarría (“Embrace of the Serpent”)

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Ricardo Darín

PLATINO AWARD FOR FILM AND EDUCATION IN VALUES

“The Second Mother,” (Anna Muylaert, Brazil)

AUDIENCE AWARDS

FEATURE

“Ixcanul,” (Guatemala, France)

ACTRESS

Penélope Cruz (“Ma ma,” Spain)

ACTOR

Ricardo Darín (“Truman,” Spain, Argentina)

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Zombieland Double Tap

    'Zombieland: Double Tap' Hopes to Recapture Raunchy Zombie Magic, 10 Years Later

    Audiences may have a few questions about the sequel to 2009’s hit “Zombieland,” which opens Friday. Why did it take 10 years to make a second one, after the first grossed $102.4 million worldwide on a $23 million budget, making it the third-biggest zombie movie of all time (second-biggest if you don’t count “Hotel Transylvania,” [...]

  • AMC TheatresShop signs, Los Angeles, America

    AMC Theatres Accused of Firing VP Who Complained of Gender Pay Gap

    A former vice president at AMC Theatres filed a federal lawsuit on Wednesday, accusing the company of firing her after she complained that she was paid far less than her male peers. Tonya Mangels, who was vice president of product marketing, said that in March 2018 her supervisor inadvertently sent her a spreadsheet that included [...]

  • Sir Elton John poses for photographers

    Elton John Calls 'Lion King' Remake a 'Huge Disappointment'

    Elton John isn’t feeling the love for Disney’s latest live-action remake. In an interview with GQ U.K., the legendary musician criticized Disney’s remake of “The Lion King,” citing the film’s music as a “huge disappointment.” “The new version of The Lion King was a huge disappointment to me, because I believe they messed the music [...]

  • Fiddlin'

    Film Review: 'Fiddlin''

    Not many forms of music have “old-” actually built into their name as a prefix. So it’s a given that the practitioners of the 200-year-old genre known as “old-time music” will wear their antiquity proudly in “Fiddlin’,” a documentary set in and around the 80th annual Old Fiddler’s Convention in Galax, Va. What may not [...]

  • Jonah Hill attends the press conference

    Jonah Hill Passes on Role in 'The Batman'

    After being offered a role in “The Batman,” Jonah Hill has moved on from the project. Why exactly Hill is passing is currently unknown, and insiders tell Variety that when the news was initially reported, it was very early in the negotiations and that a deal was far from closing. The news comes after Zoe [...]

  • Daniel Kaluuya Elizabeth Moss

    SCAD Savannah Film Festival Honorees Include Daniel Kaluuya, Elisabeth Moss

    Daniel Kaluuya, Elisabeth Moss, Danielle Macdonald, Aldis Hodge, Valerie Pachner, Samantha Morton, Sienna Miller, Alan Silvestri and Olivia Wilde are set to be honored at the 22nd Annual SCAD Savannah Film Festival. Breakout Award honorees include Beanie Feldstein, Kaitlyn Dever, Jharrel Jerome, Mena Massoud and Camila Morrone. Macdonald, who appears on Netflix in “Unbelievable” and [...]

  • Alexander Skarsgard, Nicole Kidman. Alexander Skarsgard,

    Nicole Kidman, Alexander Skarsgard to Reunite for Robert Eggers' 'The Northman'

    With his latest film “The Lighthouse” set to bow this weekend, Robert Eggers’ next film has cast two leads, “Big Little Lies” alums Nicole Kidman and Alexander Skarsgård. The pic, titled “The Northman,” is described as a Viking revenge saga set in Iceland at the turn of the 10th century. In talks to join Kidman [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content