STATEMENT OF THE PREMIO MAGUEY JURY 2017

Our jury watched this selection of 17 films, which gave us an extraordinary window into diverse cultures all over the world. We saw so many moving stories and superb performances that it was tough to choose just three awards. We fought over our favorites, and had to leave several deserving films without prizes.

We would like to give a special mention to two must-see selections.  ETIQUETA NO RIGUROSA (No Dress Code Required) -the only documentary in the competition- tells the dramatic story of two brave men who persevered against extraordinary obstacles to become the first gay couple to be married in Baja California.

And we want to recognize the cinematic accomplishment of HJARTASTEINN (Heartstone) the breakout feature film of writer-director Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson, which reveals the trapped isolation of two teenagers growing up in a small town within a stunning Iceland landscape. 

But finally, here are the three award winners chosen by the Ich Liebe Premio Maguey Jury: 

The Premio Maguey for Best Performance goes to LOOPING, the intergenerational portrayal of three women. The jury was incredibly moved by the fearless, raw and vulnerable performances that illuminate vital social issues such as depression, bulimia and sexual abuse. The women find safety and healing in a sensitive and unapologetic polyamorous relationship that is authentic, intimate and very sexy. In recognition of the female performances in LOOPING, by first-time German director Leonie Krippendorff, the Premio Maguey Award for Best Performance goes to Jella Haase.

We have awarded SANTA Y ANDRÉS the Special Mention award for three reasons. One, for the extraordinary lead performance by Eduardo Martinez. His portrayal of a gay man, writer, and artist who has suffered censorship, humiliation, and ostracization under an oppressive, homophobic regime in eighties Cuba is central to the film’s success. He captures the bitter irony that help homosexuals to survive in such situations, and the hopelessness that many Cubans have felt during the darker days of the revolution, but always with a glimmer of hope. Two, although the treatment of homosexuals has vastly improved over the past decade in Cuba, SANTA Y ANDRÉS -set in 1983- reminds us that Queer people are in a continuous struggle to protect their rights and freedoms all over the world, and that we must always remain vigilant whenever any country enacts discriminatory or even violent actions against those who love differently. Writer/director Carlos Lechuga tells this story in a straightforward but emotionally complex way. 

And finally, we give the Premio Maguey award to a film that through its innovative, fluid and natural mise-en-scene, told through the eyes of its protagonist, shows the transformation of work colleagues to close friends. Kelner Macêdo’s compelling, nuanced performance in the lead role anchors the film. In Brazil’s CORPO ELÉTRICO (Body Electric), first-time feature director Marcelo Caetano shows us situations full of truth with a new perspective, which makes no room for stigmatizing but embraces love in all its forms. 

Anne Thompson
Film Journalist
United States

Bruce LaBruce
Filmmaker, Photographer, Writer and Artist
Canada

Constanza Arena
Executive Director CinemaChile
Chile

Javier Van de Couter
Director and Screenwriter
Argentina

Michael Anthony Lopez
Corporate Social Responsibility
United States

Thomas Abeltshauser
Journalist and Film Critic
Germany

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