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Ixcanul Volcano

Winner of the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival and Guatemala’s first ever submission into the Oscar’s foreign language category, this award-winning film is a poetic, yet unadorned look at a young Mayan girl’s life and loves.

Although Jayro Bustamante’s directorial debut speaks directly to contemporary issues facing Guatemala’s indigenous population, it also has the feel of a timeless tale extolling the perils of young love. María is a 17-year-old girl who lives with her parents on a coffee plantation at the foot of an active volcano. Betrothed to her father’s boss, the foreman of the plantation, María nonetheless promises her heart to Pepe, a poor laborer who dreams of escaping to the land beyond the volcano: America. One fateful night, the young lovers act upon their passions, changing the course of María’s life forever. Inspired by a chance encounter with a "real-life" María, Bustamante has a created a powerful fiction rooted in reality. Through the film, he gives a voice to Guatemala's oft-ignored Kaqchikel-speaking population, skillfully capturing not only their daily lives in their mountainside homes, but also their dreams—and fears—as they face a modern, urban world that seems wholly foreign to them.

DIRECTOR: Jayro Bustamante
CAST: María Mercedes Coroy, María Telón, Manuel Manuel Antún
COUNTRY: Guatemala, France
YEAR: 2015
LENGTH: 93 min

IN COMPETITION: First Feature Award, Best Narrative Feature
Friday, October 23

4:50pm EDT

Saturday, October 31

2:25pm EDT