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Mexico on the Rise – Marcelo Tobar

The director keeps his domestic run of fest hits going with his latest, “Oso Polar”

Los Cabos, Mexico — By any measure, one of the year’s most ambitious Mexican films must be “Oso Polar,” the country’s first feature to be shot completely by iPhone. By measure of the Morelia Film Festival, it’s also 2017’s Best Mexican Film – full stop.

For many new filmmakers, shooting a feature on a mobile phone might be a case of necessity rather than choice, but for writer-director Marcelo Tobar it was a conscious challenge he issued to himself, and other filmmakers.

“The fact I shot this on an iPhone and won proves that there are no excuses not to film, even if you don’t secure funding from the government or other sources,” said Tobar. “Just get out and film.”

The picture is a look at how childhood traumas persist, as manifested on a road trip shared between three grade-school friends on their way to a reunion. The trio sets out with all the best intentions, but old habits rear their ugly heads.

“Oso Polar,” is Tobar’s third feature. “Asteroid,” his 2014 sophomore effort, received numerous domestic awards, and also earned him a special mention for best new director at the Vancouver Film Festival that year.

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