Güeros (pictured) the directorial debut by Alonso Ruizpalacios, was awarded the prize for Best First Fim at the 64th edition of the Berlin Film Festival. The jury composed by Italian actress/director Valeria Golino, Full Frame Documentary Festival's Nancy Buirski, and Argentine producer Hernán Mussaluppi.
Starring Tenoch Huerta, Sebastián Aguirre, and Leonardo Ortizgris, Güeros is a road movie in which the travelers barely manage to leave town. A coming of age comedy which pays homage to the French new wave, it was filmed in black-and-white and in 4:3 ratio. Being a somewhat unusual film, Güeros begins with a rather different kind of explosion: a water bomb bursts in a baby stroller. It is thrown by teenager Tomás from a block of flats. Since the lad is clearly too much of a handful for his mother, she packs him off to stay with his big brother who is studying in Mexico City.
It’s 1999. Fede, also known to his friends as Sombra, lives with Santos in a concrete pre-fab. They are currently striking against the strike which their fellow-students are organizing at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México. Tomás has brought a cassette along with him; the tape is part of his father’s legacy and contains the music of Epigmenio Cruz. They say his songs moved Bob Dylan to tears, and that he could have saved Mexico’s rock music scene from ruin. When the trio learns that their idol is in hospital fading fast and alone, they set off in their rusty heap of a car to pay their last respects to this one-time rock star.
The film premiered at the Panorama section of the festival, which ran February 6-16 in Germany. The Best First Feature award was first presented at the 2006 festival, only one other Latin American production has been awarded the prize: Uruguayan film Gigante by Adrián Biniez in 2009. The award comes with a cash prize of 50,000 euros provided by Gesellschaft zur Wahrnehmung von Film- und Fernsehrechten (GWFF).
The other Latin American film awarded at the 64th edition of the Berlinale was the Argentinean film Ciencias Naturales / Natural Sciences (pictured left) by Matías Lucchesi which won the Grand Prix for Best Film in the Generation Kplus sidebar for children's films of the festival. The award with a cash prize of 7,500 euros. "This film shows us a pure, distilled and unsentimental journey towards identity. It is a captivating tale with wonderful acting and a clear vision. Strong in its simplicity, the film touched our hearts," said the jury members in a statement.