Devil's Freedom, an eerie reflection on Mexico's drug war victims, scored wins for best Mexican picture, Ibero-American documentary and cinematography at the 32nd Guadalajara Film Festival, which concluded Friday.
Produced by Animal de Luz Films and directed by acclaimed doc filmmaker Everardo Gonzalez, Devil's Freedom (La Libertad del Diablo) had its world premiere at Cannes earlier this year. The doc features a series of chilling interviews with masked victims and perpetrators of Mexico's ongoing drug war, which has claimed more than 100,000 lives since 2006.
Carlos Lechuga's political drama Santa & Andres, which explores the profound effects of life under former Cuban President Fidel Castro, also nabbed multiple awards. Lechuga's sophomore feature film, which bowed at the Toronto International Film Festival, earned prizes for best Ibero-American picture, screenplay and actress (for Lola Amores), as well as the Jury Prize.
Best actor honors were shared between Jose Manuel Poncelis and Eligio Menendez for their stirring performances in the Sundance audience award winner I Dream in Another Language (Sueno en otro idioma). FilmRise acquired North American distribution rights to the film in February, shortly after the festival.
Guadalajara's audience award went to first-timer Jose Ramon Chavez's Help Me Get Through the Night (Ayudame a pasar la noche), a dramedy about a Mexican family that finds itself at an emotional crossroads.
Special guests at this year's Guadalajara fest, one of Mexico's top film event, included Willem Dafoe and Oscar-nominated director Jim Sheridan (In the Name of the Father).
A list of winners is below.
Read more: 'Santa and Andres': Film Review | TIFF 2016
Best Ibero-American Picture
Santa & Andres
Best Ibero-American Director
Joel Calero for One Last Afternoon
Best Actress, Ibero-American Fiction Feature
Lola Amores for Santa & Andres
Best Actor, Ibero-American Fiction Feature
Jean Jean for Woodpeckers
Best Mexican Picture
Best Mexican Director
Sofia Gomez for The Blue Years
Special Jury Prizes
Santa & Andres, Woodpeckers
Help Me Get Through the Night
Best First Work
Fabio Meira for Two Irenes
Santa & Andres
Devil's Freedom (Maria Secco)
The Blue Years