7:19 by Jorge Michel Grau
This harrowing film, whose ominous slow-build trailer uses real life news footage from the day, depicts the devastating aftermath of Mexico City’s most destructive earthquake that occurred on September 19th, 1985. Directed by Jorge Michel Grau, this film will officially debut in September 2016 and will also be screened at Oaxaca Film Festival; sources have also reported a special showing will take place in Tlatelolco.
Release date: September 2016/ Screenings on October 9th and 13th 2016 during Oaxaca Film Festival
Aurelia y Pedro by José Permar y Omar Robles
A documentary short starring Aurelia and Pedro, a Huichol mother and son duo who live in the isolated Wixarica mountains, Aurelia y Pedro is a fine example of the combining of Mexican culture and film. A mini coming-of-age story about Pedro, this evocative documentary demonstrates in just 16 short minutes their daily lives, as well as the realizations that Pedro begins to have about the world beyond their own.
Release date: Unconfirmed/ Screenings on October 12th and 13th 2016 at Oaxaca Film Festival and also during Morelia International Film Festival
El Remolino by Laura Herrero Garvín
Another film that will make an appearance at both Morelia and Oaxaca’s respective film festivals is El Remolino, for which teaser trailers were released over two years ago. This small Chiapan community lives constantly on the edge between devastating floods and bountiful harvests due to their literal location on the banks of the Usumacinta River. In following the story of Esther, we gain insight not just into their daily struggles, but also into those of Pedro, Esther’s transvestite brother.
Release date: Screenings on October 12th and 13th 2016 at Oaxaca Film Festival and also during Morelia International Film Festival
Dania by Dariela Ludlow
Shot by up-and-coming Mexican director Dariela Ludlow, whose rise to fame is noted in a recent Vice article, Dania weighs in at just over an hour long and follows the eponymous Dania, a troubled teenage mother, as she attempts to raise her child and find herself. What’s intriguing is Ludlow’s mashup of fiction and reality in her cinematic efforts — Dania is actually her niece in real life — and the non-linear way in which the story unfurls.
Release date: As yet unknown
La Esquina del Mundo by Mariano Rentería Garnica
La Esquina del Mundo is a short film about one of Mexico’s most popular peninsular destinations, Punta Cometa, in Mazunte, Oaxaca. Focusing on the relationship between man and the ocean in a place where interacting with and understanding your environment is key for survival, La Esquina del Mundo positions the sea as just another world in which we must learn to live.
Release date: Screenings on October 9th and 13th 2016 at Oaxaca Film Festival
La Vida Inmoral de la Pareja Ideal by Manolo Caro
A nostalgic love story that’s sure to be a crowd pleaser, La Vida Inmoral de la Pareja Ideal centers on the relationship between Martina and Lucio. A tale of first love, with all of the tumultuous explosiveness that goes along with it, Manolo Caro’s latest cinematic offering also features a special appearance by Spanish actress Paz Vega. The real drama arises when the pair meet 25 years later and realize that their lives are drastically different than how they’d imagined.
Release date: October 28th 2016
Lupe Bajo El Sol by Rodrigo Reyes
Tackling one of the most pertinent issues of this generation, undocumented migration, Lupe Bajo El Sol is a fantastic offering from Rodrigo Reyes, who has previously explored such themes in his documentaries. The titular character Lupe is followed through his meticulous and backbreaking daily routine that he undertakes to send money back across the border to his wife, Gloria. Beautifully shot and thoughtfully undertaken, Lupe Bajo El Sol is one to watch.
Release date: Premiered in June at the LA Film Festival, expected to be released soon
Todo Lo Demás by Natalia Almada
This joint Mexico/USA production stars Oscar-nominated actress Adriana Barraza as Doña Flor. Having worked for most of her life as an office clerk, Doña remains invisible to those around her and returns home only to her cat — until she wakes up to find it has died during the night. This ultimately sets in motion a chain of events that lead to her revitalization, a second coming of sorts, ruminating on solitude along the way.
Release date: Screenings on October 13th and 14th 2016 at New York Film Festival and on October 23rd 2016 at Morelia International Film Festival
Moronga by John Dickie
Named for the black pudding styled pig’s blood sausage that is popular in Latin America, Moronga is best described as a dark comedy with a healthy dose of surrealism for good measure. Set in a southern Mexican town, the tag line ‘One Gringo. One Pueblo. Mucho Problemo’ gives you a decent idea of the basic premise. Moronga is set to be darkly comic thriller with some culture clash elements thrown in for greater amusement.
Release date: November 1st 2016
Treintona, Soltera y Fantástica by Chava Cartas
Starring Mexican actress Bárbara Mori, Treintona, Soltera y Fantástica (Thirty-something, Single and Fantastic) is your classic post-breakup crisis comedy. Inés is a successful thirty-something writer who dumps her bland boyfriend to discover who she really is, all the while facing family judgment, the ticking of her biological clock and the difficulty of being alone again. It may not be an underrated indie flick, but it will still make for an entertaining watch.
Release date: October 7th 2016
By Lauren Cocking