Everything Else / Todo lo demás, the debut fiction feature film by Sundance winner Mexican director Natalia Almada was presented with the Golden Gate Award New Directors Prize, the top prize in the main competition of the San Francisco Film Festival. Starring Academy Award Nominee Adriana Barraza (Amores Perros, Babel) Almada's film is a poignant meditation on solitude.
Ten films were competing this year for the Golden Gate Award New Directors, given to a narrative first feature that exhibits a unique artistic sensibility and deserves to be seen by as wide an audience as possible, and which comes with a cash prize of $10,000.
Everything Else follows Doña Flor, a 63-year-old bureaucrat who has worked in the same government office for over 35 years, attending to several dozen people from all the corners of Mexican society– rich, poor, educated and illiterate alike. One day her life becomes unhinged and she goes to the pool seeking solace in the water, but is paralyzed by fear until a gesture of kindness from another woman resuscitates her.
With a keen directorial eye and impeccable framing—by the hand of acclaimed cinematographer Lorenzo Hagerman (Heli)—Everything Else explores the interior life of Doña Flor as she awakens from her bureaucratic slumber and yearns to become visible again. Inspired by Hannah Arendt’s idea that bureaucratic dehumanization is the worst form of violence, the story ultimately becomes a mesmerizing contemplation on solitude.
The 60th anniversary edition of the San Francisco Film Festival takes place April 5-19 in California.