Mexican debut feature filmmaker David Zonana has won the Best Director Award at the 15th edition of the Zurich Film Festival for his film Workforce / Mano de obra. The five-member jury of the International Feature Film Competition was presided by American filmmaker Oliver Stone and included Colombian director Ciro Guerra (Embrace of the Serpent).
Workforce, which had its world premiere last month at the Toronto International Film Festival, follows Francisco and his workmates who are building a noble villa in Mexico City–they, of course, live in dilapidated shacks at the other end of town. Although the young and ever-modest bricklayer works hard, he is forced to worry about what little pay he is due at the end of every week what he will receive depends entirely on his employer’s whim.
Francisco seems to have suffered nothing but misfortune since his brother fell to his death on the construction site. This time his accommodation has flooded after a heavy downpour and, without further ado, he decides to relocate his bivouac to the site of the almost finished feudal estate. But he cannot stay there long – or can he? The emergency brings with it a life-changing and revolutionary idea. Zonana's highly original debut plunges skillfully into the confusion of an expressive parable about solidarity, opportunism, and the inequalities of society.