'Alamar' tops Morelia film festival

Gonzalez-Rubio drama nabs best picture and audience award

MORELIA, Mexico -- Pedro Gonzalez-Rubio's documentary-style drama "Alamar" (To the Sea) made a big splash at the seventh edition of the Morelia International Film Festival, winning best picture and the audience award.
Produced by Mantarraya Producciones, the shingle of filmmaker Carlos Reygadas, "To the Sea" centers on a father-son relationship and the bond they form with nature.

French distributor MK2 is handling international sales; Mantarraya will release the picture next year in Mexico.

Best documentary went to "Presunto Culpable" (Presumed Guilty), a compelling look at the inefficiencies of the Mexican judicial system during a murder case proceeding. Filmmakers Roberto Hernandez, Geoffrey Smith and Leyda Negrete received a standing ovation at an emotionally charged awards ceremony Saturday night in Morelia.

Lawyers by profession, Hernandez and Negrete formed the production company Abogados con Camera (Lawyers with Cameras) to document the case of a man falsely accused of homicide.

Also creating considerable buzz in Morelia was Rigoberto Perezcano's immigration-themed dramedy "Norteado" (Northless), but it walked away empty handed.

All three pictures bowed last month at the Toronto International Film Festival.