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2024 Oscars: Lila Avilés’ Tótem is Mexico’s Nomination for Best International Film

2024 Oscars: Lila Avilés’ Tótem is Mexico’s Nomination for Best International Film

In a flurry of announcements for the Best International Film category, we now learn that Mexico has selected Lila Avilés brilliant sophomore feature, Tótem as its official entry for the category at the upcoming Oscars. The film’s journey began at the Berlinale (it won the FIPRESCI award) and has continued to impress, earning accolades at numerous film festivals, including a surprise showing at Telluride. It’ll likely be selected on that first shortlist. The film will be distributed by the Janus Films / Sideshow folks – who additionally have other hats in the race in France’s The Pot-au-Feu and Turkey’s About Dry Grasses. Worth noting: Avilés’ debut film The Chambermaid was selected as the Mexican entry for the Best International Feature Film in 2018 – so this makes it two for two.

As per our Nicholas Bell in his ★★★★ review, there is a lot of magic here – “DP Diego Tenorio’s camera knows just where to pull focus as we observe various family members’ perspectives over the course of the day, though mostly we’re aligned with the navigation of the dying man’s young daughter, Sol, quietly waiting for her father to make an appearance at the party. As the title suggests, symbolic and spiritual metaphors converge in this contained universe of dualities.”

Here are all the noms so far:

Albania: Alexander – Ardit Sadiku
Armenia: Amerikatsi – Michael A. Goorjian
Australia: Shayda – Noora Niasari
Bangladesh: No Ground Beneath the Feet – Mohammad Rabby Mridha
Belgium: Omen – Baloji
Bhutan: The Monk and the Gun – Pawo Choyning Dorji
Bolivia: The Visitor – Martín Boulocq
Bosnia and Herzegovina: Excursion – Una Gunjak
Brazil: Pictures of Ghosts – Kleber Mendonça Filho
Bulgaria: Blaga’s Lessons – Stephan Komandarev
Canada: Rojek – Zaynê Akyol
Chile: The Settlers – Felipe Gálvez Haberle
Colombia: A Male – Fabián Hernández Alvarado
Croatia: Traces – Dubravka Turic
Czech Republic: Brothers – Tomáš Mašín
Egypt: Voy! Voy! Voy! – Omar Hilal
Estonia: Smoke Sauna Sisterhood – Anna Hints
Finland: Fallen Leaves – Aki Kaurismäki
France: The Taste of Things – Tran Anh Hung
Georgia: Citizen Saint – Tinatin Kajrishvili
Germany: The Teachers’ Lounge – İlker Çatak
Greece: Behind the Haystacks – Asimina Proedrou
Hong Kong: A Light Never Goes Out – Anastasia Tsang
Hungary: Four Souls of Coyote – Áron Gauder
Iceland: Godland – Hlynur Pálmason
Indonesia: Autobiography – Makbul Mubarak
Iran: The Night Guardian – Reza Mirkarimi
Iraq: Hanging Gardens – Ahmed Yassin Al Daradji
Israel: Seven Blessings – Ayelet Menahemi
Italy: Io capitano – Matteo Garrone
Japan: Perfect Days – Wim Wenders
Kyrgyzstan: This Is What I Remember – Aktan Abdykalykov
Latvia: My Freedom – Ilze Kunga-Melgaile
Lithuania: Slow – Marija Kavtaradzė
Luxembourg: The Last Ashes – Loïc Tanson
Mexico: Tótem – Lila Avilés
Montenegro: Sirin – Senad Šahmanović
Morocco: The Mother of All Lies – Asmae El Moudir
Nepal: Halkara – Bikram Sapkota
Netherlands: Sweet Dreams – Ena Sendijarević
North Macedonia: Housekeeping for Beginners – Goran Stolevski
Norway: Songs of Earth – Margreth Olin
Palestine: Bye Bye Tiberias – Lina Soualem
Panama: Tito, Margot & Me – Mercedes Arias & Delfina Vidal
Paraguay: The Last Runway 2, Commando Yaguarete – Armando Aquino & Mauricio Rial
Peru: The Erection of Toribio Bardelli – Adrián Saba
Poland: The Peasants – DK Welchman & Hugh Welchman
Portugal: Bad Living – João Canijo
Romania: Do Not Expect Too Much from the End of the World – Radu Jude
Slovakia: Photophobia – Ivan Ostrochovský & Pavol Pekarčík
Slovenia: Riders – Dominik Mencej
South Korea: Concrete Utopia – Um Tae-hwa
Spain: Society of the Snow – J.A. Bayona
Sweden: Opponent – Milad Alami
Switzerland: Foudre – Carmen Jaquier
Sudan: Goodbye Julia – Mohamed Kordofani
Taiwan: Marry My Dead Body – Cheng Wei-hao
Tajikistan: Melody – Behrouz Sebt Rasoul
Tunisia: Four Daughters – Kaouther Ben Hania
Turkey: About Dry Grasses – Bilge Ceylan
Ukraine: 20 Days in Mariupol – Mstyslav Chernov
United Kingdom: The Zone of Interest – Jonathan Glazer
Uruguay: Family Album – Guillermo Rocamora
Yemen: The Burdened – Amr Gamal

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson's This Teacher (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022 he served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

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