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Abner Benaim Plaza Catedral

Annual Top Films Lists

Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2021: #100. Abner Benaim’s Plaza Catedral

Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2021: #100. Abner Benaim’s Plaza Catedral

Plaza Catedral

Panama’s Abner Benaim’s sophomore narrative feature Plaza Catedral is a dramatic thriller featuring actress Ilse Salas (Gueros; Cantinflas) and Manolo Cardona (“Narcos”). Newcomer Fernando de Casta is also amongst the principal cast, with DP Lorenza Hagerman (Escalante’s Heli, 2013) and editor Soledad Selfate (of Sebastian Lelio’s A Fantastic Woman and Gloria). Benaim’s first narrative feature was the 2009 comedy Chance, but has since become a notable documentarian, with 2018’s Ruben Blades Is Not My Name won the Audience Award at the SXSW Film Festival in the 24 Beats Per Second category.

Gist: Salas stars as Alicia, a 42-year-old-woman whose grief has caused her estrangement from society. Her world is turned upside down when 14-year-old Chief (de Casta), a young boy who looks after people’s cars, stumbles into her house bleeding.

Release Date/Prediction: Benaim completed production on Plaza Catedral in 2019 with an initial planned release in 2020. Considering the project won the VFF Talent Highlight Pitch Award back in the 2015 Berlinale when it was known as Biencuidado, we assume Benaim will be appearing somewhere in the 2021 program at the Berlinale.

Los Angeles based Nicholas Bell is's Chief Film Critic and covers film festivals such as Sundance, Berlin, Cannes and TIFF. He is part of the critic groups on Rotten Tomatoes, The Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA), FIPRESCI, the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and GALECA. His top 3 for 2023: The Beast (Bonello) Poor Things (Lanthimos), Master Gardener (Schrader). He was a jury member at the 2019 Cleveland International Film Festival.

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