Oscar 2022: «Being on the list of finalists suggests how strong and vibrant Mexican cinema is: Tatiana Huezo

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On October 19, 2021, it was announced that the filmFire nightby Tatiana Huezo, was shortlisted to represent Mexico at the 94th edition of the Oscars, seeking a nomination in the category of best international film. Close to celebrating a new edition of the Academy Awards, the Salvadoran director Tatiana Huezo spoke exclusively with Variety to tell about their experiences and the journey that the campaign for the Oscar 2022 has meant.

Fire night It is based on the novelLadydi (Prayers for the Stolen), by the American-Mexican writer Jennifer Clement, whose theme explores what it means to grow up in the midst of violence and the war against drug trafficking in Mexico. With such a relevant and impressive plot, Tatiana Huezo is proud of the impact that the film has generated on the audience and on the members of the Academy, which she attributes to the power of cinema and her stories:

“Feeling that my film can touch another person is the highest value I can aspire to. I believe that cinema can touch the soul, make us look at each other, get closer. It means a lot that the film has connected with the members of the Academy. Being on the shortlist suggests how strong and vibrant Mexican cinema is“, said Huezo, who is also the first woman in the history of Ariel to win the award for Best Director.

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The journey to the Oscars 2022

Tatiana Huezo’s new film is her directorial debut, but in the fiction genre. The awards and nominations trip for Fire night began during the 74th edition of the Cannes Film Festival 2021 where it obtained the Special Mention for Unacertain look(Un Certain Regard). Then, it was consecrated with the award for Best Film in the sectionLatin Horizonsof the 69th San Sebastian Film Festival.

Recently, the filmmaker received a nomination in the category of Best First Feature Direction at the 2022 DGA Awards for Fire night.

However, with all those flashes of light, the filmmaker has had to face great challenges to be able to distribute and exhibit Fire night in international territories such as the United States. This is how he expresses it:

«[Lo más difícil ha sido] Position the film in the US and other parts of the world for a campaign in a year in which the cinema operates at reduced capacitywith festivals and online events that limit a broader and more direct exchange with the public and members of the Academy. In addition, the financial resources.

The graduate of the Cinematographic Training Center (CCC) believes that although it is a great achievement to be able to be in the short list of the 2022 Oscars, radical changes still need to be made so that cinema outside the United States becomes more relevant, generates greater interest in the audience and that language is not an obstacle to enjoying the seventh art. However, Tatiana Huezo considers that films like Rome (2018) and parasites (2019) have managed to break the paradigms. Do you remember the phrase “Once you get past the subtitle barrier, you’ll discover a world of wonderful cinema.«, of Bong Joon-ho?

“It is still difficult for films in languages ​​other than English to access in the best possible way mechanisms that raise their visibility. But something important changed with Rome and what he achieved parasites one year later. Little by little the language barrier is breaking down. With platforms, it is possible to reach a larger audience. But it’s hard to stand out in such a competitive environment without a strong distributor,” he told Variety.

The support of Guillermo del Toro

For Tatiana Huezo, one of the most memorable experiences of this trip called the 2022 Oscar Awards has been the opportunity to interact with the Oscar winner Guillermo del Toro.

«My meeting with Guillermo del Toro and listening to him talk about the film; feeling that he was moved by my work and found it valuable as a work of cinematic art. Also, being close to an audience and other members of the Academy who connected with the story. It excites me to think that this story is a window for others to look at us and that it brings us closer and generates empathy“, he concluded.

Director of the alley of lost souls has not skimped on showing its support, through Twitter, to the resident filmmaker from Mexico. In fact, the filmmaker from Guadalajara once told Variety who considers Tatiana Huezo as “the future of cinema”.

The other possible contenders

Fire night shares the illusion of competing in the category of Best International Film with other important films such as Compartment No. 6 (Finland), Drive My Car (Japan), flee (Denmark), The Good Boss (Spain), Great Freedom (Austria), The Hand Of God (Italy) To Hero (Iran), Hive (Kosovo), I’m Your Man (Germany), Lamb (Iceland), Lunana: A Yak In The Classroom (Bhutan), playground (Belgium), Cathedral Squarehe (Panama) and The Worst Person In The World (Norway) (via ScreenDaily).

The preliminaries of the 94th edition of the Oscar 2022 will begin with the announcement of the nominees nextFebruary 8, 2022. And the ceremony will take place next SundayMarch 27, 2022at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles, California.

The Oscar 2022 entry: “Being on the shortlist suggests how strong and vibrant Mexican cinema is: Tatiana Huezo was published first in Cine PREMIERE.

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