Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language

  • Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language

    BEST MOTION PICTURE, FOREIGN LANGUAGE

    AWARD 16

    “ROMA” (MEXICO)

    ALFONSO CUARON:   Thank you very much.  Thank you very much, the Hollywood Foreign Press.  Thank you very much Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira.  I am in awe of what they did in this film.  Cinematics best ‑‑ roles and build bridges with other cultures.  As we cross these bridges, this experience and these new shapes and these new faces, we begin to realize that while they may be strange, they are not unfamiliar.  We begin to understand exactly how much we have in common.  I want to thank my producers, and Gabriela Rodriguez and Jonathan King and Participant media and Scott Stuber and Ted Sarandos and all the Netflix team that really made an amazing effort to bring this film all around the world.  This film would not have been possible without the specific colors that made me who I am.  Gracias, familia.  Gracias, Mexico.
    (Speaks in Spanish.)

    Thank you very much.

    Backstage Interview:

    Q. So the second time around, what does this one mean to you?

    MR. CUARÓN: Probably this is more meaningful because it is a Mexican film, a Spanish drama, Mixtec, black and white, also about a character who has been invisible in cinema and society.

    Q. Congratulations. A lot of discussion has been had about Netflix’s effort to release this film theatrically. I know you expressed disappointment and unwillingness to do that. I wonder if you can talk a little bit about what Netflix did with the rollout of this movie and if you would want to do another film with them?

    MR. CUARÓN: I am not upset with Netflix. It is not that they didn’t want to release the film, just the situation that the current market has for foreign speaking film and black and white and networking.

    The fact that it is Mexican and Spanish and black and white was never even mentioned. Everything was going to the core of what this film is about.

    I feel so grateful. They are amazing. They brought this film to the world. But also in the theatrical work, I have had a greater theatrical rollout than if I had gone the conventional way. This is a dream come true. It is something I wasn’t expecting.

    Q. I wanted to ask you, are you surprised the polarizing it is creating because people don’t seem to understand it, it is just a work of art? People are, like, because of the importance of movies people want to see more, like, a social moment. To me that was the way you saw it. So we are living in a kind of different moment. This movie is like a wakening, like, hello. Very intense emotions. What do you think of that?

    MR. CUARÓN: I am just very glad it is creating discussions. The polarization is something that is part of the nature of any trade and endeavor, particularly in our — probably one of the things I am the proudest of is the organizations that are taking films as platforms, like the alliance worker alliance — the Domestic Workers Alliance are taking Roma as a platform for their movement. We are talking about the character.

    This is an indigenous worker from a poor background. These are the characters that are in the front — forefront in my film, but we keep them in the background in society. So I like the discussion that is being created. It is also exposing a very pathological behaviors from some sectors of society.

    I am very, very, very happy of the representation the movie is having in different mainstream outlets that they are pretty much reserved for certain models that they don’t respond to — frankly, to that in America, but sometimes to the world at large.

    Q. Mr. Cuarón, building on the whole theatrical distribution versus Netflix, there are some independent distributors that the success of Roma says this is the death of independent cinema. That basically the message that’s being sent is that a theatrical release for an awards contender is no longer needed. You just need to do a limited play with Netflix and then you go to streaming and forget all the aggravation and whether it is low grossing or not. What’s your take on this?

    MR. CUARÓN: My question to you is: How many theaters did you think a Mexican film in black and white in Spanish and Mixtec without stars, how big a release do you think it would be in a conventional theatrical release?

    I had a great bigger theatrical release than that, by the way, way bigger. Still playing. It was not a cinematic release. To this day, it opened a month ago, and it is still playing. That is rare for a foreign film. I think that is unfair to say that. Why don’t you take the foreign films released this year and compare them, see how many that are played in 70 mill. See the territories in which this film is playing. I don’t think so.

    I hope the discussion between Netflix and platforms in general, theatrical should be over. I think platforms and theatrical should go together and just realize whatever they are doing with discussion, it is cinema. More important, they can create diversity in cinema. Theatrical experience has become very gentrified to one specific kind of product.

    You have all these filmmakers, interesting filmmakers doing films with different platforms because those platforms are not afraid of doing those films. And like Roma, I hope that many others will have a theatrical release and greater releases than I have. This is a foreign film in Spanish and black and white. Some other movie, some films, interested filmmakers with stars, hey, my God, next year I think is coming, or this year is coming, Scorsese. Let’s see that theatrical release and talk about it.

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