It’s official: Netflix reads Remezcla. They may deny it, they may say something like “our plans have been in the works since 2010” and chalk it all up to coincidence, but I am nearly 87% sure that the recently announced “Premio Netflix” for Mexican cinema was inspired by Carlos Gutiérrez’s Op-Ed “Why Does Hollywood Love Mexican Filmmakers But Not Mexican Films?”
What is the “Premio Netflix” for Mexican cinema, you may ask? Well, it’s a new initiative intended to shine a light on lesser-known Mexican films that perhaps haven’t had the same international presence as recent global hits like Eugenio Derbez’s Instructions Not Included, Gaz Alazraki’s Nosotros los Nobles (We the Nobles) or Carlos Reygadas’ Cannes winning Post Tenebras Lux. Actually, looks like Post Tenebras Lux is included among the featured films. Weird.
Anyway, the idea is that Netflix viewers get to vote on any one of ten pre-selected films, and whichever gets the most votes will be featured internationally on Netflix’s platform over the next year. A separate jury consisting of actresses Ana de la Reguera, Irene Azuela and a handful of industry insiders will handpick a second film that will receive the same honor. The eight films that don’t make the final cut will still have the good fortune of being distributed on Netflix’s platform within Mexico.
The competition’s stated goal of uncovering “hidden gems” that may have been overlooked by international distributors or film festivals is exceptionally well-timed given Alejandro González Iñarritu’s recent field day at the 87th Academy Awards. Of the ten pre-selected works, small, unconventional films like Michael Rowe’s Año Bisiesto (2011) or Ignacio Ortiz Cruz’s El Mar Muerto (2010) may finally have a contact with broader audiences that had eluded them in the years since they were released. (Again, why Reygadas’ Post Tenebras Lux — one of the most critically lauded films of the 21st century — has to compete to get on Netflix, especially since it was streaming on the site just a few months ago, is a bit of a mystery, but their heart is certainly in the right place.)
Voting will be open on the Premio Netflix official website through March 19th. Last year, the same initiative spotlighted Brazilian cinema and ultimately brought Netflix audiences Matheus Souza’s 2008 feature Apenas o Fim. Take advantage of this rare opportunity to see these ten films and be sure to take a minute and vote for your favorite. Show the world you do love Mexican films.
Here are the contenders…
Diente por diente
El mar muerto
Rio de oro
Post Tenebras Lux
Todo el mundo tiene a alguien menos yo
Editor’s Note: Although Netflix may be looking for Mexican films in this contest, Remezcla covers all of Latin America as well as Latino directors from the United States. If you have a trailer for your completed film and want us to consider it for editorial coverage, send an email to editorial [at] remezcla [dot] com and put “film submission” in the subject. Please include a synopsis, link to your trailer, and the director’s name.