Three Latin American films were awarded at the Rome Film Festival which ran November 9-17 at the Italian capital. Spanish DP Arnau Valls Colomer received the Award for Best Cinematography in the official competition his work on the Mexican film Mai Morire (pictured) by Enrique Rivero.
The sophomore production by Rivero (Parque Vía) narrates the story of Chayo who returns to Xochimilco, her hometown, to care for her elderly mother who is on the verge of death. Surrounded by love and the sublime beauty of the natural environment, Chayo must give up something that to a woman and mother is inalienable. The experience of struggle and confrontation, submission and finally liberation from the ties of this world. That will be the price of her freedom.
Brazilian production Avanti Popolo (pictured right) by Israeli-Uruguayan director Michael Wahrmann received the prize for Best Feature Film in the CinemaXXI competition. The film tells the story of Andrè, who returns to his childhood home in São Paulo, where his father, an old man living alone with no other company but his faithful dog, is waiting for the son who left thirty years earlier for the distant Soviet Union and never returned. Andrè thereby undertakes a touching and ironic journey into the memory of a country where the spectre of dictatorship, the lure of communism, the passion for good cinema and music, and the regret for the decline of ideologies, still linger.
The Argentinean-Spanish documentary film El ojo del tiburón / The Shark's Eye by Alejo Hoijman was the winner of the Social Cinema Award. The film is a sensorial journey through two teenagers’ searching eyes. Maicol and Bryan live in Greytown, in the middle of the Nicaraguan jungle. Here live shark fishermen, drug traffickers and military patrols. There is electricity only a few hours a day, yet Bryan and Maicol keep up to date like young people all over the world with mobile phones, the Internet and TV. Nevertheless, their days of hunting and playing together will soon be over: the summer will mark the end of their childhood and their abrupt journey into adulthood. Bryan is anxious as he embarks on his first fishing trip to the sea. Maicol feels tempted to follow the path into drug trafficking, which seems to be risk-free in a town visibly scarred by the civil war.