'Twentieth Century' Wins Top Prize at Los Cabos Film Fest

The Twentieth Century - TIFF - Publicity - H 2019
Courtesy of TIFF

The feature debut from writer-director Matthew Rankin is a biographical comedy offering a twisted take on Canadian history.

The Twentieth Century, freshman filmmaker Matthew Rankin's offbeat biopic about Canada's legendary Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, on Saturday took home best picture honors at the Los Cabos Film Festival.

The Hollywood Reporter's review out of the Toronto International Film Festival, where the movie had its world premiere, called it "proudly and perversely Canadian." Rankin's film was tapped as best Canadian first feature at the fest.

In Los Cabos' Mexican competition section, best film honors went to writer-director Carlos Lenin's first feature, La Paloma y El Lobo (The Dove and the Wolf), a dark love story that bowed in August at the Locarno International Film Festival and won the Swatch Art Peace Hotel Award.   

The audience award was given to Andrea Martinez's Observar las Aves (Birdwatching), a docudrama about a writer's struggles with Alzheimer's disease.

Special guests at this year's festival included Robert De Niro, who, along with producer Gaston Pavlovich, presented the Latin America premiere of Martin Scorsese's mob drama The Irishman. Also on hand were Mexican actresses Yalitza Aparicio (Roma) and Eiza Gonzalez (Baby Driver), as well as indie director Ira Sachs (Frankie), who received the fest's Spotlight Award.

Los Cabos was a fitting place for the Latin America premiere of The Irishman, as the festival focuses on U.S.-Mexico industry ties and several Mexicans have collaborated on Scorsese's recent feature films. Oscar-nominated Mexican cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto and Mexico City-based Fabrica de Cine producer Pavlovich worked on both The Irishman and Silence, Scorsese's 17th-century religious saga starring Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver.

During the fest, Fabrica de Cine announced a deal to develop and produce Spanish- and English-language TV series with Endemol Shine Boomdog.

The eighth edition of the Los Cabos Film Festival will conclude Sunday.