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'Days of Grace' Leads Mexico's Ariel Nominations

Dias de Gracia Poster Art - P 2012

Everardo Gout's adrenaline-fueled thriller "Days of Grace" racked up 15 nominations for Mexico's most prestigious film awards.

MEXICO CITY -- Everardo Gout's high-octane thriller Dias de Gracia (Days of Grace) and Emilio Portes' Christmas-themed comedy Pastorela on Friday garnered 15 and 14 Ariel nominations, respectively, in the race for Mexico's top film award.

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Days of Grace and Pastorela will go up against Gerardo Naranjo's actioner Miss Bala for best picture and director honors at the Ariel Awards ceremony on June 2 in Mexico City. Miss Bala and Days of Grace, both of which screened at the Cannes Film Festival last year, offer disturbing looks at violence in present-day Mexico.

Sundance world cinema Grand Jury Prize winner Violeta se fue a los Cielos (Violeta Went to Heaven), a biopic about folk singer Violeta Parra from Chilean helmer Andres Wood, will compete for best Ibero-American picture alongside the Venezuelan action film La Hora Zora (The Zero Hour) and the Spanish drama Pa Negre (Black Bread), which swept Spain's Goya Awards last year.

Mexican documentary nominees include the box office hit Presunto Culpable (Presumed Guilty) and festival favorite El Lugar Mas Pequeno (The Tiniest Place).

REVIEW: Days of Grace (Dias de Gracias)

Normally slated for May, this year's Ariel Awards ceremony has suffered setbacks due to lack of funds at the Mexican film academy. The academy relies on government support to stage the annual event. 

Making matters worse, the producers of Days of Grace were upset this month when they learned that a screener copy of the film featuring an academy watermark was being sold on the black market. 

Days of Grace opens the Hola Mexico Film Festival in Los Angeles on May 24.