PM Latin American Critics Award

three finalists announced for the first latin american critics’ award for european films

The three finalists were selected by 33 film critics from 13 Latin American countries from a total of 23 European films submitted from 23 different European countries. They come from Greece (Animal by Sofia Exarchou), Germany (The Teachers‘ Lounge by İlker Çatak) and Portugal (Bad Living by João Canijo). The winning film will be presented with the award at the Guadalajara Film Festival on 9 June.

According to Greek director Sofia Exarchou “Animal is an allegory for any kind of labour and work.ˮ In her film, she invites her audience to a Greek all-inclusive hotel and the world of animators and poses the question of “what does it mean to have to put on the same costume, play the same roles and deliver with the same energy and smiles every day?ˮ Animal, a co-production with Austria, Romania, Cyprus and Bulgaria, had its world premiere at the 2023 Locarno Film Festival and received the Silver Leopard for Best Performance (Dimitra Vlagopoulou). Further awards included, among others, the Golden Alexander for Best Film and Best Actress at the Thessaloniki Film Festival and the Vanguard Award at the Vancouver International Film Festival.

The Teachers’ Lounge follows the young and dedicated teacher Carla Nowack (Leonie Benesch/European Shooting Star 2023) who is torn between her idealism and the reality of everyday school life in her first job. Directed by İlker Çatak and based on a screenplay he co-wrote with Johannes Duncker, the film explores society and social behaviour outside the classroom. It deals with topics such as prejudice, racism, disinformation and surveillance. In 2023, the drama celebrated its world premiere in the Berlinale’s Panorama section, screened at numerous other festivals and won several awards, including five German Film Awards as well as the Europa Cinemas Label for Best European Film at the Berlinale. The Teachers’ Lounge was produced by if… productions, in co-production with ZDF and arte, and was this year's German entry and one of the five nominees for the Academy Awards® in the Best International Feature Film category.

Bad Living by João Canijo deals with inherited traumas and the suffering of a dysfunctional family. A group of women from different generations of the same family, whose relationships with each other have grown poisoned by bitterness, are living together in a family-run hotel on Portugal’s northern shore. They are trying to survive in the declining hotel when the unexpected arrival of a granddaughter to this oppressive space stirs trouble, reviving latent hatred and piled-up resentments. Canijo had been working on the script for two years with the three actresses Anabela Moreira, Rita Blanco and Madalena Almeidaam in order “to get the truth from each of themˮ. Bad Living had its world premiere at the Berlinale where it won the Silver Bear Jury Prize. Further awards included Best Portuguese Feature Film at IndieLisboa - International Film Festival, Lady Harimaguada de Oro, the Audience Award at Las Palmas de Gran Canaria International Film Festival and the Best Actress award (Anabela Moreira) at the Festival CINEUROPA - Santiago de Compostela.

33 of the most prominent and influential film critics from 13 Latin American countries decided on their top three from 23 nominated films submitted by the European national film institutions – EFP’s member organisations – before voting again and announcing the winning film at the Guadalajara Film Festival on 9 June.

With the first Latin American Critics’ Award for European Films, EFP is focusing on the Central and South American continent and looking to boost the visibility and circulation of European films and “festival hits” in Latin America.

The Latin American Critics’ Award in cooperation with the Guadalajara Film Festival is made possible thanks to the national film promotion institutes. LatAm cinema and Cineuropa are the media partners.

about guadalajara filmf estival

The reinvention of Mexican cinema started at the Guadalajara Film Festival (FICG), and since then, the festival has become a fundamental meeting point for the Mexican and Ibero American film community. The FICG is the most solid film event in Latin America because of its program and the assembly of industry professionals, and has contributed substantially to the formation of audiences of cinema.

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The Finalists

Sofia Exarchou
Greece, Austria, Romania, Cyprus, Bulgaria

Bad Living
João Canijo
Portugal, France

The Teachers' Lounge
İlker Çatak