Netflix Sets Mexico Theatrical Release for 'Roma'

Alfonso Cuaron's film will open Nov. 21 in art house theaters in Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey, then expand to five more cities.

Roma, one of several Netflix titles getting unprecedented theatrical releases ahead of awards season, will hit screens in at least eight Mexican cities prior to its Dec. 14 launch on the streaming service.

Considered a frontrunner in the foreign-language picture Oscar category, the acclaimed black-and-white memoir film centers on a character based on writer-director Alfonso Cuaron's live-in nanny during the early '70s in Mexico City's Roma neighborhood. The filmmaker, who resides in London, returned to his homeland to shoot Roma after winning a best directing Oscar for the 2013 space thriller Gravity.

Roma will open Nov. 21 in art house theaters in Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey, Mexico's three largest cities. On Nov. 29, the limited release will expand to cinemas in five midsize cities, including Tijuana and Oaxaca.

With nearly a dozen Mexican cinemas slated to screen the film, Netflix said it hopes to further expand the theatrical release in Mexico and abroad in December. Proceeds from the third week of the Mexico release will go to civil society organizations.

"I am very happy that it has been embraced in various parts of the world, but this film belongs to Mexico, where I believe that it will find a deeper level of understanding," said Cuaron at a recent screening in Mexico.

Roma is set to hit select theaters in Los Angeles and New York on Nov. 21.

The Spanish-language semiautobiographical film, Cuaron's most personal one yet, won the Golden Lion at its world premiere in Venice. In addition to the likely possibility that it lands an Oscar nomination in the foreign-language category, Roma could potentially receive best picture, director and cinematography noms, the latter of which would be all the more impressive since Cuaron served as his own DP on the film.

The Hollywood Reporter's review of the film calls it "a memory film of unusual beauty that pushes to the foreground what is commonly left in the background."