Entertainment

Netflix’s ‘Ya No Estoy Aquí’ Will Represent Mexico At This Year’s Academy Awards

Mexico has a storied history of successfully competing at the Academy Awards. In fact, it’s this long shadow of worldwide successes – such as last year’s Roma by Alfonso Cuarón – that hang over any Mexican film productions with Oscar ambitions.

And although not everyone agrees with this year’s choice for the country’s selection for the competition, many are rallying around Mexico’s chance at winning another golden statue.

Netflix Mexico is sending another film for Oscars consideration: Ya No Estoy Aquí.

The Mexican Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences (AMACC) announced this week that Ya No Estoy Aquí, by director Fernando Frías and released by Netflix, will represent Mexico in competition for “Best Foreign Film” at the 93rd Annual Academy Awards.

Fernando Frías expressed his excitement in a statement shared by Netflix.

“The news took me by surprise and I am overwhelmed with happiness and emotion… The public shows us that they are ready to connect with our stories here in Mexico: here they found their way, from here they have been writing, and from here they go out into the world and not the other way around,” he stressed.

Although we’ll have to wait until March 15 to find out if Ya No Estoy Aquí actually makes the Academy’s short list of films officially nominated to the Best Foreign Film category. So far, more than 30 countries have submitted films, so there is still a long road ahead.

Other Mexican films considered for the competition included Nuevo Orden by Michel Franco, El ombligo de Guie’dani by Xavi Sala; Esto no es Berlín by Hari Sama; Mano de obra by David Zonana; and Te llevo conmigo by Heidi Ewing.

Ya No Estoy Aquí has earned huge praise for its powerful storyline.

Ya No Estoy Aquí has received praise for his cast of non-professional actors and for being shot on location across parts of Mexico and the United States. As a film, it addresses important issues that are particularly relevant in today’s political climate, such as belonging and immigration.

The film tells the story of Ulises (Juan Daniel Garcia), a young man who is part of the band Los Terkos, who are immersed in the culture of Kolombia music, popular for years in the northern city of Monterrey. But after problems with a local cartel, Ulises must escape to the United States where, not surprisingly, he suffers a thousand and one issues while adapting to his new life.

Since its debut at different festivals such as the Morelia Film Festival, the Cairo Film Festival and the Tribeca Film Festival, Ya No Estoy Aquí has captured the attention of critics, obtaining important recognitions in its wake. A few months ago it was the highest award-winning film at the Ariel Awards with ten awards, including Best Film.

It was just last year that the Mexican film Roma won big at the awards ceremony.

Credit: Roma / Netflix

Just last year Mexico won big at the Oscars, thanks to Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma, which took home many awards including Best Foreign category. Cuarón along with Guillermo del Toro (who won big in 2018) have both endorsed the academy’s selection of Ya No Estoy Aquí.

Prior to Roma and The Shape of Water, Mexico has competed eight times at the Academy Awards. Most recently with Biutiful (2011) by Alejandro González Iñárritu, Pan’s Labyrinth (2007) by Del Toro, The Crime of Padre Amaro (2002) by Carlos Carrera, Amores Perros (2000) by González Iñárritu, Actas de Marusia (1975) by Miguel Littin, Tlayucan (1962) by Luis Alcoriza, Ánimas Trujano, The Important Man (1961) by Ismael Rodríguez and Macario (1960) by Roberto Galvadón.

We will have to wait until April 2021 to know if AMACC’s choice was the right one. In the meantime, because of the pandemic, you can enjoy Ya No Estoy Aquí on Netflix and judge for yourself. 

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All The Things We Learned From Netflix’s New “Pelé” Documentary

Entertainment

All The Things We Learned From Netflix’s New “Pelé” Documentary

Pelé / Netflix

Netflix continues to churn out powerful films in countries around the world and their latest venture, a look into the life of Brazilian footballer Pelé is another hit. Sure, Pelé may be considered the world’s best soccer player ever but his place in Brazilian history is less clear – at least according to the new doc.

Filmmakers David Tryhorn and Ben Nicholas spent hours in Pelé’s company interviewing him on everything from a childhood spent in poverty to his numerous affairs and his controversial relationship with the authoritarian regime that ruled Brazil during his playing career. Here are some of the key takeaways from this must watch documentary.

Pelé was criticized for not taking a political stance during Brazil’s authoritarian regime.

In 1964, the Brazilian military staged a coup, which led to a dictatorship being established in the country that lasted until 1985. The military government relied on torture and repression to maintain power.

In the film, Pelé is asked whether he knew about these practices at the time.

“If I were to say now that I had never been aware of it, that would be a lie,” he says. “There was a lot we never got to find out, but there were many stories too.”

However, the film paints him as taking a neutral stance throughout, never criticising the regime. Former team-mate Paulo Cezar Lima – aka Caju – doesn’t forgive him.

“I love Pele but that won’t stop me criticizing him. I thought his behavior was that of a black man who says ‘yes sir’,” said Caju. “A submissive black man. It’s a criticism I hold against him until this day, because just one statement from Pelé would have gone a long way.”

The government may have interfered with the Brazilian team.

A dejected Pele leaves the field at Goodison Park after being beaten 3-1 by Portugal, 1966.

The film paints a picture of how national team’s exploits were used to launder the reputation of the military regime during the 1960s. Before the 1970 World Cup, a journalist and friend of Pelé’s describes how it became very important for the regime’s international image that Brazil win the World Cup again. And that meant Pele had to play.

“Winning the World Cup became a governmental matter,” Kfouri says. “The team staff were almost entirely made up of military personnel.”

Manager Joao Saldanha appears to have been fired in the lead-up to the 1970 World Cup for criticizing the Brazilian president, telling a reporter: “I don’t pick his ministers and he doesn’t pick my team. That way we understand each other well.”

Pelé wanted to quit after the 1966 World Cup.

Credit: Pelé / Netflix

In the 1966 World Cup, Brazil was considered a favorite to win, having won the competition four years earlier in Chile. However, there was a massive shock when they were knocked out in the group stages.

“Getting knocked out of the World Cup in England was the saddest moment of my life,” Pelé says. In the film, he tells a reporter: “I don’t intend to play in any more World Cups, because I’m not lucky in them. This is the second World Cup where I have been injured after only two games.”

He played one more World Cup – the 1970 tournament in Mexico, which Brazil won. He’s still the only player to have won three World Cup trophies.

And he admits it was hard for him to stay faithful.

Stores of Pelé’s alleged infidelities and wild romances were common in the tabloids. By 1958, he was a global icon and football’s first millionaire while still only a teenager. And his fans followed him everywhere so it’s hardly a secret that Pelé did not show the same faithfulness to everyone in his life as he did to his club Santos.

At one point in the film, a journalist asks Pelé whether he found it difficult to remain faithful with the amount of women flirting with him.

“In all honesty, it was,” he says, “I’ve had a few affairs, some of which resulted in children, but I only learned about them later. My first wife knew all about it, I never lied to anyone.”

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Netflix Is Turning “I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter” Into A Movie With America Ferrera As Director

Entertainment

Netflix Is Turning “I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter” Into A Movie With America Ferrera As Director

JC Olivera/WireImage

Netflix has been churning out tons of content over the past year, giving us many of our favorite binge worthy shows of the pandemic. From Tiger King and Selena: The Series to The Queen’s Gambit and Bridgerton, we’ve all been spending a lot more time with the TV screen thanks to Netflix.

Well, now, we’ll all have yet another reason to spend just a little more time in front of the screen thanks to an upcoming project Netflix is working on alongside Ugly Betty’s America Ferrera. The team are turning the iconic novel I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter into a movie with Ferrera in the director’s chair. And she’ll be bringing some of her crew from Gentefied. This is a mashup we can’t wait to see!

America Ferrera will step into the director’s chair for a Netflix project.

Emmy and Golden Globe winner America Ferrera is set to make her feature directorial debut with an adaptation of the New York Times bestselling novel, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter by author Erika Sánchez, who will serve as a co-producer on the film.

“Years ago, I fell in love with Erika L. Sánchez’ stunning novel, I Am Not Your Perfect Mexican Daughter,” said Ferrera. “The depth, wit and searing intelligence of her writing, and her young Latina heroine, struck me to my core and left me wanting so much more. I am truly honored and humbled to direct Linda Yvette Chávez’s beautifully adapted screenplay. The opportunity to direct the work of these two incredibly talented Latina writers is a dream come true. I can’t wait to share this film with the many fans of the novel, and to introduce this funny, profound, and resonant story to the world.”

It’s America Ferrera’s first time directing a feature film but she is no stranger to being a director for TV, having helmed episodes of the hit series Superstore before.

Released in 2017, the story follows Julia Reyes, a first-generation American-Mexican.

Released in 2017, the story follows Julia Reyes, the precocious and strong-willed teenaged daughter of first-generation Mexican immigrants. She often clashes with her more traditional parents, who wish she were more like her sister Olga, the platonic ideal of a Mexican daughter. However, when Olga is killed in a tragic accident, it is up to Julia to hold her family together.

She’ll also be working alongside fellow crew from Gentefied.

Not only is the project featuring the novel’s author, Erika Sanchez, as a co-producer but the film’s screenplay was adapted by Linda Yvette Chavez –the co-creator behind the Netflix series, Gentefied. It’s so incredible to see a powerful, female-driven team leading up such an important project.

Although Netflix has not yet revealed details about the cast, crew, or release date, America’s fans are excitedly awaiting her new project.

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