'Roma' Leads Mexico's Ariel Award Nominations

Biz Screen -Roma - Publicity - H 2018
Courtesy of Netflix

Alfonso Cuaron's Oscar-winning memoir film will vie for best picture and director honors at the upcoming ceremony.

Roma, a semi-autobiographical black-and-white movie that is based on the hardships of Mexican filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron's indigenous childhood nanny, has garnered 15 Ariel Award nominations.

The Netflix film scored noms in the best picture and director categories, as well as a best actress mention for newcomer Yalitza Aparicio. Aparicio failed to get a nomination for breakthrough performance, despite her surprisingly strong acting debut, but co-star Nancy Garcia did receive a nom in the category.

In February, Roma took home Oscars for best director, cinematography and foreign-language film. For Aparicio, it marked the first time that a Mexican actor of indigenous descent had been nominated for an Academy Award. It also was a historic moment for Cuaron, who won Mexico's first-ever Academy Award in the foreign-language category.

Roma, Cuaron's most personal film to date, has opened up an important conversation about Mexico's social class divide as it sheds light on the struggles of indigenous and working-class people. Mexico's Supreme Court recently ruled that domestic workers, ones like the film's protagonist Cleo (played by Aparicio), now have a right to receive social security benefits.

Cuaron has not won an Ariel since his 1991 feature film debut Solo con tu pareja. He declined to submit his hit 2001 road movie Y Tu Mama Tambien (starring Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal) after calling into question the transparency of the Mexican film academy's voting process in its selection of the country's foreign-language Oscar entries.

Other films racking up double-digit Ariel noms include the heist movie Museo (starring Garcia Bernal) and the festival favorite The Good Girls.

In the best picture category, Roma will go up against Lila Aviles' The Chambermaid, Alonso Ruizpalacios' Berlin screenplay winner Museo, auteur Carlos Reygadas' Our Time and Alejandra Marquez's The Good Girls.

In the Ibero-American best picture category, the academy selected Colombia's Birds of Passage, Paraguay's The Heiresses, Uruguay's A Twelve-Year Night, Argentina's El Angel and Spain's Champions.

Due to government budget cuts, the Ariel Award ceremony, normally held at Mexico City's Palace of Fine Arts, will take place this year at the Cineteca Nacional on June 24.