Local indies, docs vie for Ariel nods en Mexico

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Showing a vote of confidence in Mexico's new generation of filmmakers, the film academy here has selected two indie features and two documentaries to vie for best picture at the upcoming 51st Ariel Awards, the nation's top film honors.

Fernando Eimbcke's sophomore drama "Lake Tahoe" and the thriller "Voy a Explotar," from up-and-comer Gerardo Naranjo, received noms for best picture. Also competing in the category are the documentaries "Intimidades de Shakespeare y Victor Hugo" and "Los Herederos."

All four nominees have performed well on the international festival circuit but have struggled to secure theatrical releases in Mexico. Eimbcke, Naranjo and "Herederos" helmer Eugenio Poglovsky will battle for best director.

In all, 11 films are in the running for Ariel statuettes. Garnering the most nominations was Rodrigo Pla's period piece "Desierto Adentro," which racked up 11, while Carlos Cuaron's first feature, "Rudo y Cursi," grabbed eight.

"Desierto," co-written by Pla, also is up for best original screenplay. The soccer-themed "Rudo," starring Mexican heartthrobs Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna, received noms in three acting categories.

The ceremony takes place March 31 at Mexico City's National Auditorium. (partialdiff)
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