Once again, the time has come for some of cinema’s brightest talents to come together in a much-anticipated evening of glitz, glamour, red carpets and anthropomorphic statuettes. For the 68th straight year the Academy will celebrate another crop of Best Pictures and Best Directors while A-list presenters dole out crushed dreams and fête dark-horse sensations. Yes folks, it’s Ariel season.
What, did you think I was talking about the Oscars or something?
I mean, sure, the Oscars is a big deal and all, but it turns out there are other film industries in the world making equally important contributions to the cinematic arts, many of which happen have their own academies along with their own annual awards ceremonies. And given that Mexico is currently one of the shining stars of global film production (presumably, you’ve all heard the bit about the two Cannes Best Director awards), any self respecting cinephile should be marking their calendar in eager anticipation.
For those that missed it, last year’s edition featured another bout in the epic year-long face-off between Diego Quemada Diez’s Cannes-winning La Jaula de Oro (The Golden Cage) and Amat Escalante’s Cannes-winning Heli, both of which went into the ceremony with 14 nominations each. The TKO went to La Jaula de Oro, which picked up 9 total awards including Best Picture, leaving Heli with a solitary, but still respectable, Best Director award.
With 12 nominations, this year’s top contender is first-time filmmaker Alonso Ruizpalacios’ lighthearted road-movie, Güeros, which was produced by Gael Garcia Bernal and picked up important awards at Berlin and Tribeca last year; while Rigoberto Perezcano’s Carmín Tropical, Luis Estrada’s La dictadura perfecta (The Perfect Dictatorship), and Ernesto Contrera’s Las oscuras primaveras hold down second place with 10 nominations each.
Showing a healthy mix between high-minded festival fare and more box-office oriented works, Jorge Ramirez Suarez’s Guten Tag, Ramón will be competing for six total awards, including Best Picture, while Sebastián del Amo’s Cantinflas biopic will be competing for five–including Best Actor for Spaniard Óscar Jaenada.
Other titles no doubt familiar to dedicated Remezcla film-section readers include La Tirisia (Perpetual Sadness, 6 noms), Somos Mari Pepa (We Are Mari Pepa, 3 noms), and Eco de la montaña (Echo of the Mountain, 2 noms). In fact, with so many buzz-worthy Mexican films tearing up the festival circuit over the last year, there are really very few surprises in this year’s lineup. Accordingly, the Best Iberoamerican Film category includes the Goyas‘ big winner La isla mínima (Marshland), as well as the Oscar-nominated Argentine black comedy Relatos Salavajes (Wild Tales).
Sure, NBC may not be livecasting the ceremony from Mexico City’s Palacio de Bellas Artes, but as usual you all can count on Remezcla to keep you up-to-date and in-the-know as things develop. In the meantime, sit tight, cause the Ariels won’t be going down until May 27th. More to come.