Acclaimed Mexican filmmaker Natalia Almada, winner of the 2009 Sundance Documentary Directing Award and MacArthur “genius” fellow, makes her fiction debut with the feature film Everything Else / Todo lo demás, having its North American premiere at the ‘Explorations’ section of the 54th New York Film Festival, and as part of the official competition of the Morelia Film Festival in Mexico.
Everything Else stars the Academy Award nominated actress Adriana Barraza (Amores Perros, Babel) as Doña Flor, a 63-year-old bureaucrat living in Mexico City. With an outstanding acting career and having worked with renowned international filmmakers such as Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Sally Potter, Robert Duvall, and Sam Raimi, Barraza delivers a bravura performance in her first starring role, in a nuanced and non-stereotypical character for a Latina actress.
Doña Flor 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.
Boasting a successful career as a documentary filmmaker, having participated at the most prestigious film festivals including Sundance, Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes, and New Directors/New Films, Almada broadens her storytelling mastery with Everything Else to encompass the world of fiction filmmaking.