Guatemalan Film to Compete at Berlinale For the First Time Ever

Jayro Bustamante's directorial debut Ixcanul (pictured) will become the first Guatemalan film to ever  participate in the official competition of the Berlinale, it was announced today by the German festival as it announced the first titles selected for its main competition.

Starring María Mercedes Coroy, María Telón, Manuel Antún, Justo Lorenzo, and Marvin Coroy, and inspired by true events the film follows a 17-year-old Kaqchiqel girl living in a village in the foothills of a volcano, who faces an arranged marriage with the overseer of the local lands. But she falls under the spell of Pepe, a young plantation worker who enthralls her with talk of emigrating to the U.S. When Pepe leaves alone, he also leaves Maria pregnant. Shamed and ostracized, after her family’s eviction, Maria is driven to ever more desperate measures.

Other title announced for the Berlinale's competition was the film Eisenstein in Guanajuato by the British filmmaker Peter Greenaway, and produced by The Netherlands, Mexico, Belgium, and Finland. The film, having its world premiere, follows Soviet filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein in his trip to Mexico, which appears as to have been pivotal for his life and his career.

Additionally, the Berlin Film Festival also announced today the first 19 titles for its Panorama section which only features one Latin American title, the documentary film El hombre nuevo / The New Man (pictured right) by Aldo Garay. The Uruguayan-Chilean-Nicaraguan co-production follows Roberto, a boy from Nicaragua, finds himself with foster parents in Uruguay. When he decides to change his gender, he is confronted with the limits of tolerance in leftist society.

The 65th edition of the Berlin Film Festival will take place February 5-15 in Germany.