'Los Bastardos' wins best picture at Morelia fest

Drama focused on Mexican immigrants in LA

MORELIA, Mexico -- Amat Escalante's "Los Bastardos," a disturbing drama about the hardships of two Mexican immigrants in Los Angeles, won best picture at the 6th edition of the Morelia International Film Festival.

The Mantarraya-produced picture made its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.  It is writer-director Escalante's second feature with Mantarraya, the production company of Mexican filmmaker Carlos Reygadas. France's Le Pacte handles international sales.

The audience award went to "Cinco Dias sin Nora" (Five Days without Nora), a dark comedy revolving around a Jewish funeral. First-time filmmaker Mariana Chenillo penned and directed the picture.

Christiane Burkhard's "Trazando Aleida" (Tracing Aleida), which centers on a woman trying to track down her lost brother who disappeared during Mexico's dirty war, grabbed best docu. Two other documentaries generated considerable buzz, but both were out of competition: Juan Carlos Rulfo's immigrant-themed "Los que se Quedan" (Those Who Remain) and Eugenio Polgovsky's "Los Herederos" (The Inheritors), which focuses on child labor.

Security measures were tighter than usual this year due to a grenade attack in Morelia several weeks ago that left eight people dead and more than 100 wounded. No incidents were reported during the nine-day film fest.

Special guests this year included directors Steven Soderbergh, Cristian Mungiu, Alfonso Cuaron, Todd Haynes and actress Julia Ormond.

List of winners:

Best picture - Los Bastardos
Documentary - Trazando Aleida
Audience award - 5 Dias sin Nora
Fiction short - La Cancion de los Ninos Muertos
Animated short - Jacinta
Documentary short - Zoogocho