David Pablos Film Wins Top Prizes at Ariel Awards

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David Pablos’s second feature film, Las elegidas (The Chosen Ones), won five prizes at the 58th annual Ariel Awards, including best picture. The Ariels, handed out by the Mexican Academy of Film Arts and Sciences, are the most prestigious awards in the Mexican film industry.

Pablos, who studied in the Columbia University School of the Arts Film Program, took home the awards for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. The film’s lead actress, Nancy Talamantes, won the award for Breakthrough Performance, and its director of photography, Carolina Costa, won for Best Cinematography. The film, which in receiving five awards won the most prizes of the ceremony, along with Christian Keller's music biopic Gloria, had received a total of 13 nominations.

Las elegidas follows 14-year-old Sofía (Talamantes) as she is kidnapped by 15-year-old Ulises (Óscar Torres), whose father runs a criminal organization that abducts girls and forces them into sex work. When Ulises falls in love with Sofía, the two struggle to escape the cartel’s grasp.

Produced by Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna’s production company, Canana Films, Las elegidas premiered in the Un Certain Regard section of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. Pablos’s first feature, The Life After, premiered at the 2013 Venice Film Festival; his short film Skin, which he co-wrote with Jordana Spiro ’15 at Columbia, played at numerous prestigious festivals, including Sundance, SXSW, AFI, and Palm Springs.

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