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Lila Avilés' Totem

Annual Top Films Lists

Top 200 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2023: #66. Lila Avilés’ Totem

Top 200 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2023: #66. Lila Avilés’ Totem


A project that would have shot sometime around the summer of ’21, auteur Lila Avilés reteamed with actress Teresa Sanchez and Lazua Larios (from Michel Franco’s Sundown) for her sophomore feature. Supported via Rotterdam Film Fest’s Hubert Bals Funds, Limerencia’s Avilés, Tatiana Graullera and Louise Riousse produced Totem – a tale about a girl who navigates an adult’s world and her relationship with her father. We’re huge fans of this Mexican filmmaker whose social realist essay The Chambermaid – which preemed at TIFF, Donostia-San Sebastián and BFI London preemed.

Gist: 7 year-old Sol spends a day in the family house where a strange and chaotic atmosphere reigns. While her family rushes through the preparations for her father’s birthday party, Sol understands, little by little, that her world is about to change dramatically.

Release Date/Prediction: We think this might grab a Berlinale Golden Bear slot.

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury 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 was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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