HELI Is Mexico's Oscar Submission, While LA JAULA DE ORO (THE GOLDEN CAGE) Goes For The Goya
Heli was chosen over such films as Eugenio Derbez's Instructions Not Included, Claudia Sainte-Luce's The Amazing Catfish (winner at TIFF 2013), Rafa Lara's Cinco de Mayo: La Batalla, Hari Sama's The Dream of Lu, and Paula Markovitch's The Prize.
Mexico has never won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, achieving only eight nominations in the history of the award: Macario (1960), The Important Man (1962), Tlayucan (1962), Letters from Marusia (1976), Amores Perros (aka Love's a Bitch, 2000), The Crime of Father Amaro (2002), Pan's Labyrinth (2006) and Biutiful (2010). The 86th Academy Awards will announce its nominations on January 16, 2014. Meanwhile you can read here my Heli review; here's an extract:
"If you have seen Los Bastardos, you know that the Spanish-born Mexican director can create truly shocking moments. Here Escalante manages to create a brutally intense turn of events, placing his characters in the sad situation of many real, innocent persons in the most violent states of Mexico."
On the other hand, Diego Quemada-Diez's La Jaula de Oro (The Golden Cage) is Mexico's submission for the Spanish Goya Awards, to be celebrated on February 9, 2014. Both Heli and The Golden Cage won Cannes 2013 awards: Best Director and A Certain Talent, respectively. Brian Clark wrote the following for the Cannes preview of The Golden Cage:
"Diego Quemada-Diez's film tracks the trials and tribulations of a group of Central-American teens trying to escape the poverty and violence of Guatemala City slums for a better life in California. These apparently include, but are not limited to, raids, assault, robbery, rape, mutilation and kidnapping. John Steinbeck, eat your heart out."
The Golden Cage has yet to be released in Mexico, and I will most likely watch it next month, at the Morelia Film Festival.