Mexican Film “Heli” Wins Havana Film Festival Top Award

HeliHAVANA TIMES — The movie “Heli”, a controversial love story between a young girl and a young policeman set in a background of violence and drug trafficking in Mexico, won first prize for fiction at the this year’s Havana Film Festival, reported dpa news.

The film by young director Amat Escalante received the highest award “for its original, personal and poetic approach to the violence in Mexico,” maintained the jury.

The film, which in May brought Escalante with the best director award at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, chronicles the romance in a small Mexican town of a 12 year old girl and a young policeman who wants to elope with her. Both are linked to drug trafficking, although on opposing sides.

At its premiere in Mexico in July, the film caused controversy for scenes considered by some viewers as “crude and unnecessary.” The film, which also caused a stir in Cannes, was awarded in August at the Lima, Peru Film Festival.

“I try to film what bothers me or catches my attention,” said the director. “It’s the reality around me that I see, I touch ,” he added .

The second prize for best feature film in the 35th Latin American Film Festival went to “El lugar del hijo” from Uruguayan director Manuel Nieto Zas.

“Casting” by Eduardo del Llano won Best Fiction Short.

The Special Jury Prize went to “Wakolda” from Argentina which tells the story of the Nazi Josef Mengele after his escape to South America.

The Cuban film “Havana Bocaccerías” a comedy inspired by “Decameron” of Giovanni Boccaccio, won the audience award. Another Cuban filmmaker, Eduardo del Llano, won the Coral for Best Short Fiction with Casting.

Brazilian Petra Costa took best documentary with Elena. The top Opera Prima award went to Brazilian Fernando Coimbra for his film “El lobo detrás de la puerta”.
The Havana Film Festival of Havana officially closed its current edition on Sunday after 11 days . But to the delight of moviegoers the winning films will be shown in theaters in Havana today Tuesday and Wednesday.

The well attended 2013 edition of the festival was the first after the death in April of its founder, Alfredo Guevara.

2 thoughts on “Mexican Film “Heli” Wins Havana Film Festival Top Award

  • I’ve been hearing a lot of buzz about “Heli.” While it will be shown in venues in N.Y.C. and the Left Coast, here in the People’s Republic of Vermont I’ll have to wait and get it on DVD, as the one and only remaining film venue in town–a former picture palace–only shows Hollywood blockbusters in the main theatre, or boozhie-approved “art” films (not too graphic, like “Heli”) in its two smaller venues (in what was once the picture palace’s balcony, plus a second theatre in the old ballroom of the adjoining hotel). The former multi-plex theatres, out on the “strip” at the edge of town, has been torn down, to be replaced by a new Aldi’s Supermarket.
    What is needed is a supermarket for the soul!

  • I had heard from friends that this year’s festival was NOT well-attended. Can anyone confirm attendance numbers for this year compared to last year?

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