×

‘Beyond the Mountain,’ ‘Fireflies,’ ‘The Chambermaid’ Top Lleida Latin American Film Fest

BARCELONA  — David R. Romay’s feature debut “Beyond the Mountain” snagged Best Feature at Lleida’s 25th Latin America Film Festival of Catalonia, hosted in the world’s culinary capital for grilled snails, 84 miles west of Barcelona.

A dramatic thriller starring Benny Emmanuel (Gael García Bernal’s “Chicuarotes”), it follows Miguel, a young, solitary man whose routine existence working for a public typing service office is turned upside down when he finds his mother lying dead on the floor with a letter to his deadbeat dad in her hand. Tragic events force him to face a forgotten past and to seek out his father with murderous intent.

The award follows Guadalajara best actor and press awards this year.

“I wanted to involve the viewer in the plot without any kind of narrative tricks, without having to tell them what to feel,” Romay explained to Variety.

He added: “The music is discreet, the story can only be seen through the eyes of the protagonist and the acting tone is quite contained. It was a long job in the editing room to peel away the layers until we reached that essence,”

Directed by Palme d’Or winning producer Luis Miñarro (“Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives”), the Reel Suspects-sold “Love Me Not” was shot in both Mexico’s Chihuahua and Spain’s Catalonia, and was co-written by Miñarro and prominent playwright Sergio Belbel. It re-tells  the biblical myth of Salome transferred to 2006 and an imaginary Iraqi military camp where one of the prisoners is seen as a terrorist by some and a prophet by others.

Mexico was the most awarded country at the event, with five features produced or co-produced there taking awards: “Beyond the Mountain,” Beni Khoshonoudi’s Miami best feature “Luciérnagas,” Luis Miñarro’s “Love Me Not,” Lila Aviles’ best feature winner at Morelia, “The Chambermaid” and Julio Berthely’s “Yo Fausto.”

CREDIT: Reel Suspects

 

Best new director went to Óscar Sánchez Saldaña for “Mataindios,” a production from Peru’s La Tropilla de Obrajeros Eirl, sold by Argentina’s Meikincine Entertainment. In the film, four villagers organize a religious festival  in honor of the town’s saint. An unexpected occurrence, however, makes them question their faith, and the power of the saint to help them.

Lila Avilés’ “The Chambermaid,” an award-winner at the Morelia, Palm Springs, Havana and Marrakech festivals among others, scored two awards: Original Screenplay and the Radio Exterior de España Prize. “The Chambermaid” follows one of so many humble, anonymous Latin American domestic workers who clean rooms in glamorous Mexican hotels. It’s is sold by France’s Alpha Violet.

A total of 81 productions from 20 countries screened in Lleida, organized by the City Council of Lleida and the Llatinoamericà Center of Lleida, and directed by Juan Ferrer.

25TH LATIN AMERICA FILM FESTIVAL OF CATALONIA 

WINNERS

PICTURE

“Beyond the Mountain,” (David R. Romay, Mexico)

ACTRESS

Pilar Gamboa, (“Las Vegas,” Argentina)

ACTOR

Arash Marandi, (“Luciérnagas,” Mexico, Greece, Dominican Republic)

DIRECTOR

Luis Miñarro, (“Love Me Not,” Spain, Mexico)

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY/CASA AMERICA PRIZE

Lila Avilés, Juan Carlos Márquez, (“The Chambermaid,” Mexico)

NEW DIRECTOR

Óscar Sánchez Saldaña, Robert Julca Motta (“Mataindios,” Peru)

RADIO EXTERIOR DE ESPAÑA PRIZE

“The Chambermaid,” (Lila Avilés, Mexico)

SPECIAL MENTION

“Luciérnagas,” (Beni Khoshonoudi)

DOCUMENTARY

“Yese’s” (Miguel Forneiro, Spain)

SHORT

“Nana,” (Roger Villaroya, Spain)

SHORT SPECIAL MENTION

“Bodas de oro,” (Lorenzo Tocco, Uruguay, Chile)

AUDIENCE AWARDS:

FEATURE

“Yo Fausto,” (Julio Berthely, Mexico).

DOCUMENTARY

“Your Turn,” Eliza Capai (Brazil)

HONORARY AWARDS

Lola Dueñas

José Luís Alcaine

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Gavel Court Placeholder

    Netflix Movie Scammer Admits to Defrauding Investors Out of $14 Million

    A California man has admitted to defrauding investment groups — nabbing $14 million — by falsely claiming the money would be used to produce a feature film for Netflix. On Oct. 18, Adam Joiner, 41, of Manhattan Beach, Calif., pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in U.S. District Court, according to federal authorities. [...]

  • Tio-Yim

    Morelia Film Festival Highlights Mexican Indigenous Women Filmmakers

    This year’s Morelia Intl. Film Festival (FICM), with support from a FilmWatch scholarship awarded by the U.S. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, will host a Mexican Indigenous Filmmakers: Identity and New Narratives forum for women directors. Issues such as diversity, identity, gender equity, inclusion and broader topics such as the challenges of film [...]

  • lighthouse

    Festival Winners, Oscar Hopefuls Vie for BIFA International Award (EXCLUSIVE)

    The long list for the coveted best international picture prize at the British Independent Film Awards includes Cannes Palme d’Or and London Film Festival winners, as well as pictures from Pedro Almodovar, Robert Eggers and Noah Baumbach. Multiple titles that have been submitted to compete for the Oscar for best international feature film are also [...]

  • Parasite

    Mexico’s Cinepolis Launching New Arthouse Distributor with ‘Parasite’ (EXCLUSIVE)

    MORELIA, Mexico – There’s a new arthouse player in town. Cinepolis, one of the top exhibitors in the world, is launching a new arthouse film distribution unit in Mexico called Sala de Arte Distribucion. Focusing on auteur films that have premiered at leading film festivals worldwide, Sala de Arte launches in December with “Parasite,” Bong [...]

  • Francis Ford CoppolaFrancis Ford Coppola Masterclass,

    Francis Ford Coppola's Slam on Marvel Films Fuels Debate Sparked by Martin Scorsese

    Disparaging remarks by Francis Ford Coppola have further inflamed the debate sparked by Martin Scorsese and his criticism of Marvel and other comic book films. At a press conference in Lyon, France, where he was being honored at the Lumiere festival, the “Godfather” director said he fully agreed with Scorsese’s assessment and went even further [...]

  • Angelina Jolie is Maleficent and Elle

    China Box Office: Hollywood Sweeps Up With ‘Maleficent’ and ‘Gemini Man’

    The first Hollywood blockbusters to hit China after the country’s big National Day holiday have, as expected, swept away holdover patriotic titles that had previously ruled the box office. “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil” edged out another new release, “Gemini Man,” to lead the pack with a $22.5 million opening weekend. While Disney’s “Maleficent” arrived in [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content