MEXICO CITY — Los Cabos Film Festival’s Mexico Primero section is intended to encourage and promote both up-and-coming and against-the-grain Mexican filmmakers.
Five films make up this year’s edition of Mexico Primero, spanning from intimate indie dramas to thrillers to fantasy and horror. Each film offers something unique to the slate, while sharing an almost mystical and auteur commonality. It’s safe to say that Mexico Primero is a singular competition in the world of Mexican cinema.
“Faust” is produced by Andrea Bussmann and famed Mexican director Nicolás Pereda, and directed by Bussmann herself, one of the only two female directors of Mexican films in main competitions at Los Cabos. The film already won her a special jury prize at Locarno’s Filmmakers of the Present. A modern, very Mexican, take on the traditional tale of good and evil, the story is told in a ‘70s style mocumentary format that is heavy on fantasy and storytelling.
“History Lessons,” produced by Un Beso, DELBA Producciones, Películas Santa Clara, Fosforescente and Labo Digital is directed by Marcelino Islas Hernández, a participant at 2010’s Venice International Critic’s Week with his film “Martha.” His latest turns on a middle-aged teacher battling a terminal illness who is struggling finding things in life to hold onto, until she becomes invested in a new, misunderstood student. Mexican stalwart Verónica Langer stars in the dramatic feature.
Andrés Kaiser’s “Feral,” produced by Cine Feral, skews darker than the rest of this year’s competition. Another mocumentary, this time featuring the now horror-standard found footage, “Feral” follows a defrocked priest who lives almost completely isolated in the Oaxaca wilderness with three “wild” children he claims to have found chained up in a local cave, who have lived their entire life without socialization or affection.
“No soy guapo,” shines a spotlight on Mexico’s Sonidero movement, a cultural phenomenon revolving around tropical rhythms, neon lights and dance moves. Two of the movement’s strongest defenders are forced to fight to protect their movement in the face of government legislation intended to stifle it. Feature is produced by La Furia Cine and directed by Joyce García.
“Storks,” directed by Heriberto Acosta and produced by Auki Kino and Cobrafilms, is an intimate story of two young friends who embark on a road trip when one of them receives positive results on a pregnancy test. An exploration of what it’s like to be young and able to ignore the seriousness of situation, “Storks” is built on heartwarming moments of young carefreeness, contrasted by moments of realization, responsibility and conflict.
The five participating films compete for one of four possible awards – two Art Kingdom Awards, the Fipresci Award and the Cinemex Audience Award, which will each be announced during the festival’s closing ceremony, on Saturday Nov. 10 in the costal Mexican resort.
The Los Cabos best film and audience awards come with purses of Pesos 300,000 ($15,000), and the Art Kingdom Award is made up of services valued at $14,000 to be used in the development of a trailer for the winning film.
2018 Los Cabos México Primero
“Storks,” (Heriberto Acosta)
“History Lessons,” (Marcelino Islas)
“Faust,” (Andrea Bussmann)
“Feral,” (Andrés Káiser)
“Yo no soy guapo,” (Joyce García)