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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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