Director Who Won the ‘Premio Netflix’ Didn’t Even Know He Was Competing

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At last the public has spoken and winners have been declared for Netflix’s first ever Premio Netflix for Mexican cinema. With over 30,000 votes cast through social media, the Guatemalan film 12 Segundos (12 Seconds) by director Kenneth Müller came out on top (wait, wasn’t this supposed to be for Mexican cinema?), beating out the runner up Sobre Ella by nearly 2000 votes. And in a resounding demonstration that the average filmgoing public couldn’t give a flying foca about the tastemakers over at Cannes, Carlos Reygadas’ multi-award winning festival phenom Post Tenebras Lux came in second-to-last place with a paltry 804 votes.

Then, of course, there was the jury award dished out by a handful of industry professionals along the lines of Ana de la Reguera and Irene Azuela, who bestowed their honor upon Raúl Fuentes’ Todo el mundo tiene a alguien menos yo, a film school thesis project that came in third place in overall voting. On hand to receive the prize at Netflix’s award ceremony, 12 Segundos’ director Müller declared that he was, “super-stressed throughout the voting process” and that it was, “super-important for them that their film be available on a platform like Netflix.” For their part, Fuentes and his team were not around to make any statements because nobody told them their film was in competition.

Wait, what? Yes, according to legal protocol, Netflix had been dealing directly with the distributor of Todo el mundo, Cinestesia, who sent a representative to the ceremony to accept the award in Fuentes’ name even though they never even bothered to tell him that his film was in the running, let alone that it had won. The confusion was revealed days after the winners were announced in an article published in Mexico’s daily Reforma, in which Fuentes accused the film’s distributor of being “abusive” while expressing his enthusiasm for the accolade.

Whether or not the filmmakers are aware, the two winning titles will receive one year of distribution across Netflix’s 50-country global empire, totalling over 59 million subscribers, while the rest of the nominees will receive distribution exclusively on Netflix’s Mexican platform. When you really think about it, there are worse things to be pissed off about.

Ed. Note: 12 Segundos is a Mexican-Guatemalan co-production, making it eligible for the Premio Netflix Mexico.