Mexico has chosen filmmaker Fernando Frías de la Parra’s I’m No Longer Here (Ya no estoy aquí) to represent the country as its official Oscar entry for the International Feature Film award.
The Mexican Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences chose the drama over five other finalists: I Carry You with Me by Heidi Ewing, New Order by Michel Franco, Guie’dani’s Navel by Xavi Sala, This Is Not Berlin by Hari Sama and Workforce by David Zonana.
I’m No Longer Here tells the story of 17-year-old Ulises Sampiero (Juan Daniel Garcia Treviño), the leader of a gang/dance crew and Cholombiano from the outskirts of Monterrey, Mexico, who travels to New York to start a new life. Flashbacks throughout the film reveal his struggles in Monterrey and the reason he was forced to leave.
Remezcla described Ulises earlier this year: “His outward appearance, which includes oversized clothing and an anime-like hairstyle, as well as his laconic demeanor may strike one as indicative of a hardened exterior but they compliment his softer side.”
With the submission of I’m No Longer Here for consideration for an Oscar, Mexico has participated in the International Feature Film (formerly known as Foreign Film) nomination process 53 times since 1957 when it submitted Carlos Velo’s bullfighter documentary Torero!, which did not pick up a nomination. Since then, Mexico has earned nine nominations. It’s only win came in 2018 with Alfonso Cuarón’s masterpiece Roma.
“A film is like a journey,” de la Parra told Remezcla. “Films not only tell stories but offer an opportunity to show another perspective, to show other ways of looking at things.”
Here’s to hoping that journey leads I’m No Longer Here to a 10th Oscar nomination for Mexico.