FILM RELEASE by Matt Bokor.
Guatemala’s Pacaya volcano attracts a steady stream of adventure seekers eager to climb its slopes, but the smoke-belching mountain plays a new role as the backdrop for the new, critically acclaimed film “Ixcanul Volcano.”
The winner of prestigious film festivals in Berlin, Guadalajara and Cartajena, “Ixcanul Volcano” is on a trajectory to become Guatemala’s first Academy Award nominee; it’s already made history by becoming the country’s first Academy Award submission (foreign language category).
The 90-minute movie transports audiences into the life of an indigenous, Kaqchikel-speaking family eking out a living working on a coffee farm on Pacaya’s fertile slopes.
The plot focuses on María, 17, whose parents have arranged her marriage to Ignacio, the coffee plantation foreman, in a union that would secure her family’s future at the plantation. Maria, however, has her heart set on a lowly harvester, Pepe.
“Although María dreams of seeing the big city, her condition as an indigenous woman does not permit her to manage her own destiny,” the film’s synopsis explains. Later on, complications from an unwanted pregnancy force her into the modern world, where her life will be saved, but at a very high cost.
Written and directed by Guatemalan-born Jayro Bustamante, “Ixcanul Volcano” features an impressive, non-professional cast: María Mercedes Coroy (María), María Telón (Juana), Manuel Antún (Manuel), Justo Lorenzo (Ignacio) and Marvin Coroy (Pepe).
“A transporting, hypnotically beautiful debut feature… A simple, fable-like movie made in close collaboration with a real Mayan farming community from the Guatemalan highlands,” writes film critic Scott Foundas in “Variety.”
Having recently opened at theaters in Guatemala City, “Ixcanul” comes to La Antigua Guatemala this month for screenings at Cooperación Española, 6a av. norte, between 3a and 4a calle poniente. See DateBook listing, Oct. 1.
For more information visit www.lacasadeproduccionfilm.com