The term "Mexico's Moment" was coined to describe the country's anticipated arrival on the world stage three years ago. But now it's Mexican filmmakers who are finally living up to the country's ambitious billing: Mexico's Movie Moment, as it were.
The recent international success of Mexican filmmakers, including 'Birdman' director Alejandro G. Iñárritu's impressive Oscar victory early this week, is quickly drawing global attention to Mexican talent.
And while not all Mexican-made flicks will make it to the big screen, Netflix wants to help more Mexican movies make it to the small screen (if that 48'' flat screen TV in your bedroom can be considered "small").
The California-based company has announced a contest among 10 independently produced Mexican films for an opportunity to live for one year on Netflix’s international platform. Two films will take the top prize; Mexican viewers will select the first by voting for their favorite participating film on Facebook and Twitter, and a panel of Mexican actors, producers and filmmakers will select the second.
Kari Perez, senior communications manager for Netflix Latin America, told Fusion the company has been planning the competition since 2011. Iñárritu's Oscar win on Sunday is a happy coincidence that provides the company with the perfect moment to launch its campaign to "continue celebrating Mexican talent around the world."
Perez said the 10 participating films all show "Mexican idiosyncrasy and have a potential attraction for international audiences."
The voting will end on March 19, when the two top vote-getters will win a licensing contract and the opportunity to be seen by Netflix's 57 million global users. Netflix conducted a similar contest in Brazil in 2013, and is considering bringing the contest to other markets as well, Perez said.
It’s not the first time Netflix has tapped Mexican talent. Up-and-coming director Gaz Alazraki is already filming the company’s first Latin American original series, Club de Cuervos (Crow Club), about a wealthy and embattled Mexican family that owns a soccer club. Other Mexican actors are part of the cast in original Netflix productions like Sense8 and Narcos.
Here are some of the films that will be competing: