Claudia Sainte-Luce’s “El reino de Dios” (“The Realm of God”) and “Carajita” by Silvina Schnicer and Ulises Porra took home the bulk of the prizes in their respective categories, the Mayahuel for best Mexican film and best Ibero-American film at the 37th Guadalajara Int’l Film Fest (FICG), which wrapped June 18.

Festival highlights included a conversation, albeit by remote, between festival director Estrella Araiza and Guadalajara native Guillermo del Toro who talked about the making of his upcoming stop-motion animation feature, “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio.” The film, set to bow on Netflix in December, was filmed with 20 animators in more than 60 sets in Canada and Guadalajara, Del Toro revealed.

Sainte-Luce’s coming-of-age drama about a young boy’s struggle with his faith as he’s about to take his first communion, which world premiered at the Berlinale’s Generation Kplus sidebar, also won FICG’s Mezcal awards for best cinematography, actor and director as well as the Mezcal Youth Jury award for best film.

In her acceptance speech, Sainte-Luce dedicated her multiple recognitions to her grandmother who had recently died.

Dominican Republic drama “Carajita,” by Silvina Schnicer and Ulises Porra, adds another clutch of prizes which includes the HBO Ibero-American Feature Film Award it won at the 39th Miami film fest in March.

Co-produced by Wooden Boat Productions (Dominican Republic) and Pucará Cine (Argentina), the drama turns on the relationship between a young girl and her nanny that transcends race and class. It made a near complete sweep of the FICG Iberoamerican awards, including best film, cinematography, actress and director.

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Carajita Credit: Bendita Film Sales

“This is a film from the Dominican Republic, which is producing a lot of films nowadays, a lot of them auteur and of great quality,” noted a visibly moved Porra.

Sundance winner “Utama” from Bolivia picked up three awards: Best screenplay, first feature and the Jorge Cámara Hollywood Foreign Press Association Award.

Crossover band Los Tigres del Norte were recognized with the FICG Icon award for “putting Mexico on the international map” and their contribution to Mexican culture. Documentary “Los Tigres del Norte: Historias que contar,” by Carlos Pérez Osorio closed the festival, marked by a return to in-person festivities and multiple press conferences, panels, master classes and industry activities that are the hallmarks of the festival.

What is normally indicative of a film’s box office appeal is the coveted audience award. This honor went to Pablo Orta’s “Goya”, which relates the story of two brothers who set out to save the dog that lives on the patio of their inscrutable neighbor.

The Guadalajara Film Festival ran over June 10-18.



Best Mexican Film

“El reino de Dios,” Claudia Sainte-Luce

Best Director

Claudia Sainte-Luce, “El reino de Dios”

Best Cinematographer

Carlos Correa, “El reino de Dios”

Best Actor

Diego Armando Lara Lagunas, “El reino de Dios”.

Best Actress

Marta Aura, “Coraje”

Mezcal Youth Jury, Best Film

“El reino de Dios,” Claudia Sainte-Luce


Best Film

“Carajita,” Silvina Schnicer and Ulises Porra (Dominican Republic, Argentina)

Best Director

Silvina Schnicer and Ulises Porras, “Carajita”

Best Cinematography

Iván Gierasinchuk and Sergio Armstrong, “Carajita”

Best Actress

Magnolia Núñez, “Carajita”.

Best Actor

Nahuel Pérez Biscayart, “One Year, One Night” (Spain, France)

Best Screenplay

Alejandro Loayza Grisi, “Utama” (Bolivia, Uruguay)

Best First Feature

“Utama,” Alejandro Loayza Grisi


Best Documentary

“Alis,” Care Weiskopf and Nicolás Van Hemelryck

Special Mention

“La playa de los enchaquirados,” Iván Mora Manzamo

Best Director

Sempere Moya and Leire Apellaniz López, “Canto cósmico. Niño de Elche”

Best Cinematography

Víctor Mares, “Para su tranquilidad haga su propio museo”


Best Animation Film

“Nayola,” José Miguel Ribeiro.

Special Mention

“My Love Affair with Marriage,” Signe Baumane


Best Short

“Ice Merchants,” Joâo Gonzalez.

Special Mention

“Zoon,” Jonatan Schwenk


Best Film

“Mi Vacío y yo,” Adrián Silvestre

Jury Prize

“Camila saldrá esta noche,” Inés Barrionuevo

Best Performance

Ensemble cast of “Beautiful Beings,” Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson


“Holgut,” Liesbeth de Ceulaer.


“Goya,” Pablo Orta.