Viggo Mortensen’s ‘Jauja’ Wins a Spondylae, the Lima Film Fest’s Weirdly-Named Award and More Winners

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Festivals are a bit like the cycle of life. First they bloom in an eruption of glorious color then fade away, forgotten, until the festival season begins anew the following year. Yes, the metaphor is terribly corny, but the point is that all festivals must come to an end, and this past weekend it was the Lima Film Festival’s turn to shed its leaves and wait for next year to bring a new crop of films and international stars to grace its red carpets.

But of course, no festival would think of going out without a flashy awards ceremony complete with tuxedos, evening gowns, and a handful of elaborately embossed Spondylae. (If you haven’t kept up with our Lima fest posts, then you are probably wondering what a Spondylae is. Here’s your chance to get informed.) Last Saturday at 8:30pm, the majestic Gran Teatro Nacional in San Borja was the scene of the 18th Lima Film Festival’s closing night gala. Here are some of the evening’s big winners.

Gente de bien
Franco Lolli

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Yes we already wrote about this one, but that’s because we have impeccable taste. In fact, if the folks at Lima want Remezcla to curate next year’s awards, please don’t hesitate to contact us. For those that missed last week’s post, here’s an adorable kid showing his deadbeat dad how to dance reggaetón.

Lisandro Alonso

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Lisandro Alonso is a bit of a big shot on the international festival circuit, but in the 13 years since his first film, La libertad, he hasn’t quite broken into the mainstream. Maybe it has something to do with his 20 minute long silent takes, or perhaps it’s the ambiguous intentions of his characters. But while I’m sure big shot Hollywood producers could appreciate the beauty of a man walking through a field at dusk, they might be right that it’s not exactly commercially viable. Nevertheless, it seems Alonso has made some sort of power-play with his latest film Jauja, which features A-lister Viggo Mortensen playing a European adventurer in colonial South America, in what is actually the Dane’s first Danish speaking role.

Manuel Nieto Zas
El lugar del hijo

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Manuel Nieto Zas has been a regular presence in the internationally-lauded films of the New Uruguayan Cinema movement but more often than not, it has been behind-the-scenes as Assistant Director. Yet even after winning the prestigious Tiger Award at the Rotterdam Film Festival for his first film La perrera in 2005, it seems Nieto Zas has kept kept a low profile. Now, after nine years, he’s back with this story of a university student who must travel to the country’s interior to manage his recently-deceased father’s affairs. There he finds little more than accumulated debts and his father’s ex-lover, who refuses to leave the house.

Eco de la montaña
Nicolás Echevarría

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The Huichol ethnic group of northern Mexico is known throughout the world for their incredibly intricate handcrafts. In Eco de la montaña, critically-acclaimed Mexican director Nicolás Echevarría turns his camera to Santos de la Torre, one of the great Huichol artists of his generation, and a man that has labored all his life in anonymity.