In a large, chaotic household, preparations are underway for the birthday of a young painter and father, Tona (Mateo García Elizondo), whose terminal illness means that the party may well be his last. In the lead-up to this celebration-cum-farewell, his daughter, seven-year-old Sol (Naíma Sentíes), finds herself caught in an adult world which she struggles to comprehend, among totemic signs she cannot yet read. But as night approaches, she gets a dim but growing sense that her world is about to change irrevocably. Immersing us in a claustrophobic environment literally teeming with life—the presence of animals is a constant throughout—Tótem confirms the talent of rising Mexican director Lila Avilés (The Chambermaid). Filming in the narrow 4:3 aspect ratio, and employing fluid, mobile camerawork, Avilés maintains a tricky balance of perspectives, observing the adult characters with wry, ironic detachment, while giving genuine weight to Sol’s psychological turmoil. Layered with political and emotional resonance, the result is truly one-of-a-kind: a Buñuelian class study keyed to the interior life of a child.
Prize of the Ecumenical Jury, Berlin 2023; Best Director, Beijing 2023
Tatiana Graullera, Lila Avilés, Louise Riousse
Nohemi González Martínez
Lila Avilés is a Mexican independent film director, screenwriter and producer. She founded her production company, Limerencia Films in 2018. Her debut feature film The Chambermaid (2018) represented Mexico at the 2020 Oscars© and Goya Awards. The film was invited to more than 60 festivals around the world achieving a large number of international and national awards, plus a strong reception from critics.
Filmography: The Chambermaid (2018)
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Living a solitary existence in Manhattan, Dog is tired of being alone, and builds his own friend: Robot. Their friendship blooms while exploring 1980s New York. This enchanting 2D animation brims with love, loss, and friendship.
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In this unsettling and enthralling drama from the director of Nadia, Butterfly, Kelly-Anne (Juliette Gariépy) becomes obsessed with the trial of Ludwig Chevalier (Maxwell McCabe-Lokos), a loner accused of the torture and murder of three teenage girls.
The Oceans Are the Real Continents
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Tsugaru Lacquer Girl
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Suellen, an unhappy toll booth attendant, prays everyday at a cliff-side shrine for one thing: that her teenage son will be “cured” of homosexuality. In order to pay for conversion therapy, she helps her boyfriend steal wristwatches from wealthy motorists.
One Day All This Will Be Yours
Lisa is lured to a rare gathering with her parents and two siblings at the family's forest home. The purpose is to decide which child may inherit the vast land and take over the family business. A sensitive and funny portrayal of a dysfunctional family.
In Broad Daylight
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In Cairo, a lonesome property guard tends to a run-down villa long-since vacated by its affluent owners. His peaceful little world is overturned when an ex-convict occupies the property, forcing the old man to confront his sorrows.
Blackbird Blackbird Blackberry
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In this nihilistic Chilean south western, notorious cattle rancher Menéndez dispatches a trio of hired guns (a Brit, an American cowboy and a local mestizo) to scout and scourge Tierra del Fuego. A searing critique of white supremacist foundational myths.
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Days of Happiness
Emma, a gifted young orchestra conductor is at a crossroads. Audiences are enraptured by her work, however, her career is steered by her controlling father, who’s also her agent. She also has a secret relationship. Tensions build, swell, crescendo....
Measures of Men
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