The Mexican documentary film Guerrero by Ludovic Bonleux and the Argentine fiction film The Last Suit / El último traje by Pablo Solar were awarded at the 33rd edition of the Santa Barbara Film Festival in California.
Bonleux's film, which had its U.S. premiere at the festival, was presented with the award for Best Social Justice Documentary. The film chronicles the social decomposition in the Mexican state of Guerrero. In 2014, 43 students of Ayotzinapa’s teachers school were kidnapped by the police in the city of Iguala. A few weeks later, Juan and his companions from Guerrero Popular Movement (MPG) overtake Tlapa's City Hall to protest.
They oppose having elections held in the state and organize marches and rallies to convince people to form popular councils. The three fight against impunity for the officials and try to resist the apathy of society in a state that, day after day, becomes more chaotic.
The jury remarked that Guerrero is “an essential story about the fallout from a mass kidnapping in a historic Mexican city that takes its time making the viewer feel a region’s collective pain and determination; the people of this city seek not just justice from a corrupt government, but also answers as to what happened to their children. It’s a film everyone should see—and one we won’t soon forget.”
Starring, Miguel Ángel Solá, Ángela Molina, and Martín Piroyansky, The Last Suit was the winner of the winner of the Nueva Vision Award for Best Spainish/Latin America film. The film follows Abraham Bursztein, an 88-year old Jewish tailor, who leaves Buenos Aires for Poland, where he will try to find the man who saved him from a certain death after surviving Auschwitz.
Escaping from his family who wanted to put him in a nursing home, Abraham will attempt to find his old friend, despite the fact that they haven't been in touch in seventy years, and fulfill his promise of returning one day to tell him all about the life he was able to have, thanks to his courage.
Additionally, the Uruguayan film Get the Weed / Misión no oficial by Denny Brechner, Alfonso Guerrero and Marcos Hecht received a Special Jury Mention in the Nueva Vision competition.
The 33rd edition of the Santa Barbara Film Festival took place January 31 - February 10 in California.